Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Empire Strikes Back

You know, now that I have watched this movie again, I do have to agree with people when they say it's better than the original Star Wars.

I've even heard people call this movie a coming to age film, and I have never thought about it that way. But yes, The Empire Strikes Back is a superior film to the original Star Wars with no doubt about it. The stakes are raised higher than before, our heroes go through the darkest chapter of their story, and we get a revelation that shocked everyone in 1980 and still shocks people to this very day. So our story takes place six months after the end of Star Wars and the Empire is relentlessly hunting down the Rebels, because no one destroys the Death Star without turning a few heads and pissing off some people. The Rebels are hiding on a snow planet called Hoth, and the Empire is sending out probes throughout the galaxy and soon finds our heroes. They commence an attack which gives us the iconic battle of Hoth where the Imperial walkers are being fought by Snowspeeders, and it is a fantastic battle that gives us more vehicles that we haven't seen before and is quite intense at moments. So the Rebels are defeated and they have to retreat from the planet, but our main hero Luke has a vision of his old mentor Obi-Wan telling him he must travel to the Dagobah system to learn from the Jedi master Yoda. So Luke travels to Dagobah and starts learning more about the Force from his new master. Meanwhile Han Solo and his crew are being hunted down by the Empire and they eventually have to hide out on the planet of Bespin where they meet Lando Calrissian an old friend of Han Solo's played suavely by Billy Dee Williams. But the Empire soon finds them even there and captures them. Luke senses that his friends are in grave danger and leaves his training to save them, but before he even gets there Han Solo is frozen in carbonite and taken by a bounty hunter. When Luke finally arrives he has an incredible lightsaber duel with Darth Vader which results in Luke losing his right hand and learning some world shattering news. In my opinion this lightsaber duel is the greatest, probably of all the Star Wars movies, it makes the first lightsaber duel in the original Star Wars look like the most boring lightsaber duel in Star Wars history. One of my favorite parts of this fight is in the beginning, Vader treats Luke like he is no threat and single handedly fights Luke but near the end of the fight, Vader's breathing hard and he's really swinging at him and he's not one handing his lighsaber anymore because he knows Luke is a formidable opponent. There are tons of great moments in this movie, some even considered to be some of the greatest moments in cinema. The battle of Hoth is great, and the Imperial walkers are just such a huge threat and they move like machines because they were made with stop-motion. But another scene before that is also just awesome, so Luke is trapped in this cave and the only way he can get out is with his lighsaber, problem is it's just barely out of reach, so he closes his eyes and reaches out his hand and you just barely see that lightsaber just inch it's way towards his hands very slowly, which is awesome because in the first movie Luke really doesn't use the force until almost at the end. There's an unforgettable line of dialogue by Han Solo right before he gets frozen, because this is a big moment for the characters because they think this is the last time they will ever see him, so Chewbacca is freaking out throwing Stormtroopers left and right and Leia finally breaks and she says, "I love you.", to which Han Solo replies, "I know.". That is a badass, ladies and gentlemen. I'm not even going to touch the big secret in Empire Strikes Back for those of you who have not yet seen The Empire Strikes Back, but I will say this, when I first saw this movie when I was either 2 or 3 years old, I freaked a little bit. I've heard stories of people who saw this in the theater in 1980, so the third movie didn't even come out for another three years and people flipped and I can understand why!

So that is my review of The Empire Strikes Back, tune in tomorrow where we will finish the original trilogy, and then we can understand why for the most part the prequels were unnecessary and kinda pissed people off a bit.

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