Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Published April 12, 2015

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Film info

  • Title Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
  • Director Irvin Kershner
  • Year 1980
  • Run time 2hrs 4m
  • Genres Science-Fiction, Adventure, Action
  • Tagline The adventure continues...

Discover the conflict between good and evil in the electrifying The Empire Strikes Back. After the destruction of the Death Star, Imperial forces continue to pursue the Rebels. After the Rebellion's defeat on the ice planet Hoth, Luke journeys to the planet Dagobah to train with Jedi Master Yoda, who has lived in hiding since the fall of the Republic. In an attempt to convert Luke to the dark side, Darth Vader lures young Skywalker into a trap in the Cloud City of Bespin.

Live blog

Time Comment
1:28 It can’t be that secret a base if you’ve just broadcast it in giant yellow writing across space.
4:49 Cute! Chewy with welding glasses.
8:59 Was the Pixar yeti based on this monster? Snow cone?
12:52 C-3PO seems surprisingly upbeat so far!
15:50 They’ve changed their call signs to Rogue! Awesome.
17:57 Wait a minute, hold the phone. Nerfherder is a Star Wars thing! And not a hurdler!
21:24 Love a little bit of Darth Vader theme.
29:16 1980 style faceplant!
37:30 That’s what happens when you blindly follow the GPS.
42:20 Nooo, R2 fell overboard!
47:27 YODA! Sounds just like Miss Piggy. YAY!
52:08 Omg, there’s kissing.
53:15 Darth Vader isn’t the big bad? Everyone has a boss, I guess,
1:00:18 “I am not a committee!”
1:01:30 Yoda backpack.
1:07:47 Why are all these bad people British, by the way?
1:06:21 That’s some epic Yoda yoga, right there.
1:10:08 Every word Yoda says could be one of those posters. “Do or do not, there is no try.”
1:33:21 Probably a bad idea to punch if you can’t stand up afterwards.
1:47:04 I can’t get over how tiny the Princess is.
1:54:08 Ooh, is she the other one?
1:59:42 Actual lolz at R2 falling in the hole. Two films in, still the best thing in it.


We decided to binge watch the final two episodes of the original trilogy, which means they sort of blend in to each other a little bit. However, I was surprised that this was the one with the big father reveal, I would have assumed that came in the grand finale at the end. Also that it’s one of those quotes that is done wrong all the time just like “if you build it.” Kind of annoying.

It’s interesting to watch it with the knowledge of the twists, because there’s quite a lot of obvious pointers to the father and sister relationship. But that’s with the benefit of 35 years of popular culture, so I can barely imagine what a great reveal it would have been in the cinema.

I love the introduction of Yoda, he’s a little cutie pie, although it’s tricky to separate him from the voice of Miss Piggy. Also, the pacing of scenes on that planet did seem odd to me. Sort of training montage but not fast enough, sort of philosophy but not slow enough. You never find out what is under the water, and they manage to get the ship out without disturbing whatever it was. Luke went all that way to learn from Yoda but then doesn’t bother to listen to him when he tells him to stay, etc, etc.

Mostly I enjoyed it, though maybe not quite as much as the first one, but it built up the story so that we would have had to go straight on and watch the third even if we hadn’t planned to.

Revisited May 22

On a rewatch, this is such an odd little film because it’s really, firmly in the middle, setting things up for the big finale in the third… but then it has the father reveal to keep it from being completely pointless. Actually, pointless is harsh, but it does feel like a couple of set pieces thrown together to bridge the gaps: the brilliant ice planet, Lando’s duplicity, and Yoda.

It’s funny how much of an oddball Yoda is, knowing now that he went into exile when the twins were born, I guess that’s what living on a swamp planet by yourself for that long will do. Still annoyed that Luke didn’t listen to him though, and abandoned the training.

Rating: 3 / 5

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