The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

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We are now about three weeks away from the conclusion to the Star Wars saga with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Episode IX.  Even though a bit of the polish has come off the series for some because of the divisiveness of The Last Jedi, I am still very much looking forward to the conclusion of this saga.

In order to prepare for the movie, I wanted to watch the films prior to the final episode and it makes it easy with Disney + available.  Since I have already done Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope for Doc’s Classic Movies Reviewed, I decided to start with the second Star wars movie in chronological order, The Empire Strikes Back.

In sense, I believe that the creators of Star Wars have been chasing Empire ever since it came out in 1980 because it is such a brilliant movie.  It is the best of the Star Wars films, period.  I know there are some who may not agree with that statement, but I have it firmly on top of my best Star Wars movies list.

It is such a dark time for our heroes.  The Rebellion is in trouble.  Han is preparing to go face Jabba the Hut.  Luke is struggling to become a Jedi.  The Empire is hot on their trail.  Vader has some kind of jones for Luke.

Yet there is joy in the little things.  Han and Leia are discovering their love, even if it is a rocky trip to get there.  Luke and Han are cementing their bromance as Han saves Luke from freezing to death on the ice planet of Hoth.  We meet Yoda and Lando.  The relationships in the film are note perfect and develop throughout the hardships that surrounded them.

Of course, we have some of the most iconic confrontations, not just in Star Wars canon, but in movie history.  The whole “I love you“… “I know” bit is a perfect encompassing of the Han & Leia relationship (which was an ad-lib by Harrison Ford).  And, of course, the iconic “I am your father” line blew the mind of everybody watching.  I remember when I first saw it as a eleven year old, I did not believe it to be true.  Even after searching my feelings, I could not comprehend that Vader was Luke’s father.

The feeling of defeat is all over this film, setting us up for a rousing return in Episode VI.  I plan on watching The Return of the Jedi next, perhaps tomorrow.  Then, I will go back to the prequels, something I have not done since seeing them for the first time.  Perhaps they will hold more for me this time through.

As for The Empire Strikes Back, it is one of the great movies around and a member of the EYG Hall of Fame.


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