Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – 10/10 science fiction fantasy action adventure movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Irvin Kershner
Producer: Gary Kurtz
Writer (Screenplay): Leigh Brackett
Writer (Screenplay): Lawrence Kasdan
Writer (Story): George Lucas
Executive Producer: George Lucas
Mark Hamill: Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford: Han Solo
Carrie Fisher: Princess Leia
Billy Dee Williams: Lando Calrissian
Anthony Daniels: C-3PO
David Prowse: Darth Vader
Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca
Kenny Baker: R2-D2
Frank Oz: Yoda

Star Wars Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back, The (1980)

The Rebels flee after suffer a devastating attack by the Imperial army seeking to eliminate the only source of dissent, and presumably violence, in the galaxy. Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca survive aboard the Millennium Falcon and fight a running battle against Imperial ships while Luke Skywalker seeks out Yoda, the ancient Jedi master, to be trained as a Jedi knight. Meanwhile, Darth Vader is scheming to lure Luke to the Dark Side of the Force, or kill him in their final showdown – a duel in which Luke learns the secret of his destiny.


"I realised that I just had one of the great experiences of my life." – Irwin Kershner

Especially if you’ve got Return of the Jedi to watch immediately afterward, this is the best of the trilogy with outstanding action, unpredictable plot developments and genuine emotion. Again Harrison Ford gets the best of it by being brilliant in a whole series of fun, flirty, flippant yet heartfelt scenes with Carrie Fisher but his is not the best performance in the film. Nope, that would be Frank Oz who (with performing assistant Kathryn Mullen) delivers the greatest puppet performance in cinema history with Jedi Master Yoda (oddly, he wasn’t as good in Return of the Jedi). In fact, the Yoda performance is in a class of all it’s own. He’s convincing from frame one. There’s a stunning scene where he changes from mischievous to Master and you can feel it and believe it. You can even see the life in him. Remarkable.

This Star Wars movie contains violence, unpleasant scenes and mild sensuality.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.


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