Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – Review

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and David Prowse as Darth Vader in Star Wars: The Empire Strike Back – Courtesy of Disney.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back not only stands firmly as one the greatest adventure films ever conceived, but also as one of the most iconic representations between the conflict of good and evil – this film sinks its claws into the history books by shattering the audience’s mind with arguably the greatest plot twist in film history.

The Empire Strikes Back reigns supreme out of the Star Wars franchise and has now become a standard of greatness in which other Star Wars films mirror; all in an effort to capture its likeness. Now I don’t support the idea of mirroring other films to “recapture” their glory, but I do believe in mimicking fantastic filmmaking qualities, such as rich dialogue, momentous character arcs, and unpredictable story elements. The Empire Strikes Back is that good, it doesn’t just do a handful of components correctly over A New Hope and even Return of the Jedi, it ticks every single box – combining story, character chemistry, visuals, and quite literally industry-changing plot twists.

Mark Hamill takes Luke, an awkward and naïve young boy, and turns him into a far more emotionally relatable character. Both Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are consistent with their roles and their on-screen chemistry works just as well as their incessant teasing and humour.

Visually I find this film to be the most remarkable in combining both visuals effects and special effects; it has the added improvement of more detailed backdrops through blue screens and somehow manages to improve its sets in many locations, such as Dagobah and Hoth. Ultimately this film is perfect in nearly all of its visual categories, with some of the special effects holding up to this day.

Who doesn’t love this film on some deeply personal level? It captures the fierce struggle between good and evil, a hero in conflict with his decisions, and the choices he is faced with when he learns unsettling truths. The Empire Strikes Back is pure Star Wars in all its glory, not a moment is wasted in this fantastical journey, and this stands as one of the greatest films ever produced.

9.5/10

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