Star Wars Marathon: Review: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (Special Edition, 1980)

In this installment of the Star Wars Marathon the greatest showdown in the history of the universe takes place! That’s right, it’s R2-D2 versus Yoda, the droid versus the old dude with a walking stick, bring on the awesomeness!

Screenplay By: Leigh Brackett & Lawrence Kasdan
Directed By: Irvin Kershner

One of the definitions of the word epic as supplied by Dictionary.com reads as follows;

heroic; majestic; impressively great“.

That is their definition of the word epic, now I am going to enlighten you as to what my definition of epic is;

“AT-AT’s appearing through the scope of a pair of Rebel binoculars : The space battle over Hoth between the Millennium Falcon and the Imperial forces : Yoda and R2-D2 square off and the world is shaken to its very core : The Emperor makes his first appearance : Boba Fett speaks and acts like a bad ass without even trying : Is that the back of Darth Vader’s head? What is going on with that thing? : I’ll see your Hoth and raise you a Bespin : Force chokes all over the place : Luke, I AM YOUR FATHER!!!!!!!”.

Not to sound cocky, but I do believe my definition of epic is a tad better than the standard version. It’s also as succinct of a review of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back as anyone should ever require. If after watching this film you don’t read that paragraph and nod along with every epic moment I just described then I don’t know what to say other than Star Wars may not be your thing (of course others have said the same thing to me concerning my dislike of the original Star Wars film so what do I know?).

I don’t want to drive this point into the ground any more than I have to, but I can’t stress to you how god damn epic Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is. There are tales that are legendary, stories passed down from generation to generation that tell of grand quests and massive battles, of heroes and villains, of the fight to save humanity and the need to destroy it. Those stories are epic, they understand their level of import, they realize that they don’t exist as quaint little tales, they are the tales that bully around all others on the playground. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is an epic tale like that, from the get go it smacks you in the face with its epicness (yes, I just made that up and to hell with you if you don’t like my awesome new word), and it never once lets up. It’s a thrill ride and a half, but it is a thrill ride of the largest magnitude and it knows this. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is big, bombastic, over the top, glorious and most of all, it is an epic fucking masterpiece.

If the swearing didn’t give it away, I get really jazzed when talking about this, my favorite of all the Star Wars films. I’m not going to run down the list of epic occurrences again, but do me a favor and scroll back up real quick and give that list in the form of a definition a gander again and then come back….. Isn’t that just some of the most awesome stuff you have ever read, doesn’t thinking about those things just turn you into a drooling fanboy? I know that it has that effect on me and that is the effect that the entirety of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back has on me. From beginning to end I watch the moving pictures pass in front of my eyes with an intensity that borders on a sickness. This is the film that has always defined Star Wars for me, and as much of an oxymoron as this statement may be, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back gets what Star Wars is all about. It goes big and it doesn’t look back, doesn’t allow time for rumination or thought to take place. You swim along deeper and deeper into its ocean because that is all it allows you to do.

I don’t know what else I can say, and no matter what I say, or type as the case may be, I can guarantee you that I will inundate you with superlative after superlative in support of this picture. I don’t want to say that the world of Star Wars has never been as harmonious as it is in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, there are some other novels, comics and games that I think reach this zenith as well, but there isn’t another film in the saga that comes close. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back combines the mythos of the universe, with a deep and interesting story, action galore, characters that we care about and relationships so honest and real that they strain the tear ducts of even the most iron clad man. But, it doesn’t end there, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back has a massive twist, one that still hits me in the gut every time I see it, and that is a testament to the film because after years of being immersed in the Star Wars universe and having seen Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back countless times that moment of reveal shouldn’t still impact me the way it does. On and on and on and on I could go, literally, I really mean it, there is no shortage of glaringly positive things I have to say about Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.

I know I’ve tossed a boatload of hyperbole your way, but there are some movies that justify the hyperbole and I believe Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is one of those movies. I’ve said so many nice things about the film already, but really, this is the Star Wars film to end all Star Wars films we are talking about. I know that anyone reading this review should have seen it, and I know the majority will agree with my lavish praise. I don’t have to tell you to see Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, I don’t have to recommend this film to you. My words, no matter how much I may like them, can’t do justice to the experience that is Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. So don’t take my word for it, go pop in your DVD and watch Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back for the umpteenth time and remember why you love movies in the first place.

I only wonder if Edgar will share my love or burn me with his reaction, we shall see, shan’t we?

Edgar’s review can be found at Between The Seats.

Rating:

****

Cheers,
Bill

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7 responses to “Star Wars Marathon: Review: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (Special Edition, 1980)

  1. Fuck it. let’s just end the marathon here and now. What do you say?

  2. ‘Apology accepted, Captain Needa.’

    Best line and scene in the franchise.

  3. This is the movie that firmly entrenched Vader in my mind as the ultimate bad ass of all the bad asses, so yeah, that line and scene may well be the best in the entire franchise.

  4. mcarteratthemovies

    Wow. You’re all over the “Star Wars” reviews like Heidi Montag on a plastic surgery table.

    I’ll be glad when it’s over so I can comment again — I’m not the world’s biggest “Star Wars” aficionado or fan, so I’m out of my element here!

  5. I’ve tried to pepper in some other reviews here and there, but to be honest I’ve been super busy in-between school and work lately, and that hasn’t left much time for watching movies. That’s why I made sure I watched and wrote about all of the Star Wars films about a month ago, before I knew everything would get hectic.

    Don’t worry though, some more reviews of different material should be coming down the pipeline, I’m looking to pick up the Disney and World War II marathon’s again, or should I say finally finish those, and I want to finish the Miyazaki I have yet to review. Plus I’ll be sprinkling in some other films as well. : )

  6. Bounty hunters.. we dont need their kind of scum…
    great film.

  7. Yep, it is a great one, and outside of Boba Fett bounty hunters are generally useless.

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