Movie Reviews

Glory Days Vol 2. (Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back Review)

With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Friday, December 18th, I thought I would take a look back at all of the previous movies from the beginning starting with the prequels and then the original trilogy. If you would like to read any of my previous reviews, click here. Try to ignore this, or not while watching the prequels. I’ll probably be treading through familiar territory with most people as well.

The adventure continues in this Star Wars sequel. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) face attack by the Imperial forces and its AT-AT walkers on the ice planet Hoth. While Han and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke travels to Dagobah in search of Yoda (Frank Oz). Only with the Jedi master’s help will Luke survive when the dark side of the Force beckons him into the ultimate duel with Darth Vader (David Prowse, voice: James Earl Jones).

Now we’ll go back even further back in time for this one as it is the second of the original trilogy of films from the late 70s to early 80s. For those who don’t know the story (essentially those who probably weren’t alive), Luke Skywalker (Hamill), Han Solo (Ford), and Princess Leia (Fisher) continue their fight against the Empire on the ice planet Hoth. Once their position becomes known they must flee but instead Luke decides to travel to the planet Dagobah in search of training by Jedi Master Yoda (Frank Oz). Now with training, Luke must go back in save Han and Leia from the evil Darth Vader (Prowse/Jones) and the Empire. This film continues along the lines of the previous films by having a simple, yet exciting story while not being too flashy action-wise. Sure some of the stuff looks dated now but I am willing to forgive it as I never thought it was trying too hard. The action in this film did ramp up and it was nice to see with ship battles, blaster battles, and lightsaber battles. The lightsaber battle between Luke and Darth Vader was exciting to watch and definitely one of the most dramatic moments of the whole series while also providing one of the greatest moments in film history (seems so obvious but I still won’t spoil it). I did like the story a lot more here as it separated some of the main character for a stretch of time which allowed more time for character development which was probably the first time I’ve seen that in a Star Wars film. The training scenes with Yoda (Oz) were just weird to me as Yoda seemed to act strangely and was hesitant at first to train Luke and it just felt like a waste of time. The separation of Luke from the others allowed more time for me to appreciate Luke and he did not seem as annoying to me which was a big problem I’ve had with the series so far. It seems a little redundant but the music by John Williams is amazing and complements the action nicely. Overall, this film does the best job at putting everything together better than the first film of the original series.

Score: 8.5/10

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