Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - Movie Review

Dec 14, 2015
empire strikes back review
In celebration of the release of the new 'Star Wars' movie this December 17, we look back the previous installments of the franchise leading up to 'The Force Awakens', the seventh installment of the saga. To read our coverage, click here.
From its opening scroll, there’s an unusual feeling that ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ will be different from its predecessor tonally. Here we learn about the empire, after their main weapon—the Death Star—was destroyed by Luke Skywalker, and how Darth Vader felt about this. An anger-fueled Vader calls out every troop to locate young Luke’s location. The desperation on his part alone already means something to the twist later on in the movie. He knew right on that slowly destroying parts of the rebellion piece by piece will create hate on Luke’s part. The Empire’s plan mainly surrounds Luke himself, given how the force is undeniably strong as felt by Vader on the last film. 
empire strikes back review
The big scarring moment here was shown from the start, Luke is inspecting a mysterious asteroid that hit near their secret base, and all of a sudden a wampa hits him pretty hard, and it gets bloody. It’s the way the filmmakers’ approach on the scene itself that makes it even more violent. The shaky movements of the camera helped bringing a grounded feel in the whole thing.
empire strikes back review
Although he’s on the verge of becoming a Jedi, Luke isn’t the same guy we saw early on here at the end of the movie. Last time, the classic zero-to-hero approach was given to him, here Luke is slowly tempting in the dark side—in some ways. Although not really seen, it was expressed through Luke’s emotions. Vader confessing to Luke that he is his father was perhaps the most shocking moment in cinema history, but it’s more than just a dad telling his child something that is too painful. This a very powerful bit in the film because for a single scene, without any explosions and stormtroopers rolling around, the Empire effortlessly triumphs by telling the awful reality to Luke through 4 words. Vader knew yet again that after some of his allies destroyed, this will eventually bring Luke’s hate to the fullest extent. And just before this scene ends, Luke looks like he is being killed slowly, that he decided to take the leap of faith with the hope of trying to get out of all this.
empire strikes back review
The movie starts and caps off by not wasting one bit of its title. ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is a story about antagonists winning throughout. Although the film actually ends on a high-note with Luke escaping from Vader in the cloud city, viewers are expected to not raise their smiles and scratch their heads as to what they saw. It’s interesting how Christopher Nolan took cues on this movie on ‘The Dark Knight’ where the title character didn’t won anything. This is old-fashioned revenge story where the hero was replaced with the villain. Even all of the movie’s cliffhangers have to deal with the villains’ dominance, from the Hoth raid to Han’s carbonite bath arrest. Antagonistic dominance is all over its entire run time, and we are sure the domino-like effect is far from over.
empire strikes back review
Although being a very dark movie, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is weirdly the franchise’s funniest entry. The Millennium Falcon crew scene inside the alien’s mouth on the presumed cave is equally scary as it is fun to watch. C3-PO complaining, although comes out very annoying at times, gets you over immediately considering how likeable he actually is.
empire strikes back review
The movie, amidst its very simple structure and limited settings, the scope of it is even bigger compared to its predecessor. In fact, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is grander in so many ways. The superiority of it cannot be matched, on how dense and emotionally-packed this sequel was sets a pretty high bar on what a sequel needs to be done. Here we see villains literally taking over the entire movie that they ended up being more likeable than the actual heroes themselves.

The geek rates it 10/10! (I mean, why not right?!)

NEXT: Return of the Jedi
empire strikes back review

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