After seeing Rogue One, I decided to review every Star Wars movie and I must say that this is the one I was waiting for. I also think that in terms of ton it is quite close to Rogue One, since both are darker and the Empire comes out much stronger than the Rebellion at the end of the movie. And just like in Rogue One, in this movie, losing the battle at end of this film, means higher stakes at the beginning of the next one. Unlike other sequels, this movie tries to change the formula from the first movie by splitting the main characters and giving them different mission to developed different side of their personality that are necessary to the story.
1. Battle of Hoth
In Episode IV, we saw our first space battle, in this next instalment, we see the power of the Empire on the ground as well. This expend also the vehicles and the weapons both armies use like AT-ATs for the Empire and speeders for the Rebellion. Though, this shows how powerful the Empire, since the AT-AT is much bigger, and more powerful than the speeders. This also gives us a chance to see how clever the Rebels are when they use the cables on their speeders to bring down one of the AT-ATs. In this sequence, the special effects, using models, are spectacular, to this day. They feel grounded on the planet and not added by computers. Finally, this battle gives the audience the tone of the movie, that even if the Death Star was destroyed, the Empire is still more powerful that ever.
2. Luke’s Training on Degobah
On Degobah, we were introduced to Yoda for this first time and he is a great addition to the characters. It was a great idea to first introduce him as a crazy little creature and then show his real power as a Jedi Knight. Yoda is Luke and, at the same time, our last link to an older time, to the Republic when the Jedi Knights were at their height. Yoda brings a more philosophical and spiritual strength to the franchise, explaining the Force by training Luke. With Yoda, we finally understand how powerful you can be by using the Force when he uses it to lift an X-Wing even if he is quite small. To me, this is the best way to explain the Force. It is mysterious, but learning to control it will make you stronger than your adversary.
3. The Plot Twist
If you ask anyone what is the best plot twist of all time, it always comes back to this famous line: No, I am your father. For someone living in this day and age, it seems almost impossible to keep something like that a secret, but I would have loved to have been in the movie theatre without knowing it in 1980 with everyone else. Imagine if you had to wait 3 more years to know if Vader was telling the truth to Luke. Also, to me, this is the ultimate win of the Empire over the Rebellion. Yes, Vader did not turn Luke to the dark side, but he did hurt the Rebellion by making Luke realized how close he is to it. Now Luke is afraid to become is father when he is training, yet he knows that he will have to fight him at the end of the day to end the war. It burdens him even more.
4. The Asteroid Field
This is a cool chase scene, because the hyperdrive is broken and they are trying to fix it while evading the Empire. It is a tense scene and thrilling because the director is switching between nerve breaking scenes between asteroids and calm scenes between Han and Leia to put emphasis on the action. It starts with one problem: the Empire is chasing them and then they add another one with the asteroid field and then another and it continues on and on for a long time. And it is never boring, because of those calmer moments between those exciting sequences. This is how you build the tension. Without those calm moments, the sequence would not be as tense. Also, like on Hoth, it is not technology that will save them, but ingenuity when Han hides with the garbage, before the Destroyer goes into hyperspace.
5. Banter Between Han and Leia
The banter between them is a way to release the tension between the action sequences during the movie. There is great chemistry between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher which gives us hilarious and entertaining interactions. We also see them evolve from Episode IV through Episode V and how much their relationship changed. Unlike the relationship between Padmé and Anakin in the Prequels, it doesn’t feel cold and clinical between them. And it doesn’t feel sudden when they kiss or they say I love you, since the attraction is shown in the previous movie. So at the end of the film, it pays off, it doesn’t feel corny or cliché, because we have seen in the last 2 movies how close they have become. Well it might be a bit corny, but it is part of the charm.
So, what did you think of Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back? Like most Star Wars fan, this is my favorite instalment in the franchise. The story and the characters are engaging, the writing is clever and the action is thrilling throughout the movie. We get to see a darker side to the war between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. The special effects are still amazing to this day, making us believe that Star Wars might be real.