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The Empire Strikes Back

9/10
Adventure . Action . Science Fiction . Fantasy
 

The epic saga continues as Luke Skywalker, in hopes of defeating the evil Galactic Empire, learns the ways of the Jedi from aging master Yoda. But Darth Vader is more determined than ever to capture Luke. Meanwhile, rebel leader Princess Leia, cocky Han Solo, Chewbacca, and droids C-3PO and R2-D2 are thrown into various stages of capture, betrayal and despair.

 
Actors: Mark Hamill , Harrison Ford , Carrie Fisher , Billy Dee Williams , Anthony Daniels , David Prowse , Kenny Baker , Peter Mayhew , Frank Oz , James Earl Jones
Directors: Irvin Kershner
Country: USA
Release: 1980-06-20
More Info:
  • Roger Ebert

    The best of three Star Wars films, and the most thought-provoking. After the space opera cheerfulness of the original film, this one plunges into darkness and even despair, and surrenders more completely to the underlying mystery of the story. It is because of the emotions stirred in Empire that the entire series takes on a mythic quality that resonates back to the first and ahead to the third. This is the heart.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Peter Stack

    The balance between action and mysticism in The Empire Strikes Back provides fascinating energy. It's as if the kids are given one set of delights, the bravado of battles and elaborate warships zooming through exotic space, and adults are given another, a layered explanation of what it all means in the grand scheme of things. [Special Edition]

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The storyline is more interesting and ambitious, the characters -- little more than appealing types in the original -- are allowed to grow and develop, the special effects are more mature, and the tone is deliciously dark and downbeat. [Special Edition]

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The storytelling is the series' best, with a zingy balance of drama, humor, and Deep Thoughts (in a screenplay by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, directed with confident exuberance by Irvin Kershner). [Special Edition]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Chris Gore

    It was incredible to see what is arguably the best of the Star Wars films, on the big screen again. However, I do not believe that any of the minor changes make the film any better. [Special Edition]

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Bob Stephens

    This is the bluest film you'll ever see. The haunting color resounds throughout Empire like a sustained, melancholy chord...Empire is essential viewing for lovers of science fiction. [Special Edition]

    San Francisco Examiner Full Review
  • Staff (Not Credited)

    A darker, richer, and more elaborate film than the original; it suffers most from being just what it is: a middle chapter with no real ending. [Special Edition]

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Staff (Not Credited)

    A worthy sequel to "Star Wars," equal in both technical mastery and characterization, suffering only from the familiarity with the effects generated in the original and imitated too much by others.

    Variety Full Review
  • Judith Martin

    The total effect is fast and attractive and occasionally amusing. Like a good hot dog, that's something of an achievement in a field where unpalatable junk is the rule.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Stephen Godfrey

    Adds more cosmic cliff-hangers than it resolves, and it's not as satisfying as the original. A star war can be an exhausting bit of business, especially when, in the end, it turns out to be something of a cheat.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Vincent Canby

    It's a big, expensive, time-consuming, essentially mechanical operation.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Dave Kehr

    Mainly it's marking time: the characters take a definite backseat to the special effects, and much of the action seems gratuitous, leading nowhere.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Charles Champlin

    It is expansive but more tightly time-framed in terms of plot. I wish it were a handful of minutes shorter, but this is my single caveat about another richly imaginative, engrossing and spectacular motion picture from the redoubtable George Lucas. [18 May 1980]

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
Add Soundtrack
  • 2. Han Solo and the Princess Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 3. Main Title The Ice Planet Hoth Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 4. The Rebel Fleet End Title Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 5. The Clash of Lightsabers Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 6. The Imperial Probe Aboard the Executor Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 8. The Training of a Jedi Knight The Magic Tree Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 9. Lukes Nocturnal Visitor Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 12. Jedi Master Revealed Mynock Cave Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 14. Rescue from Cloud City Hyperspace Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 16. The Wampas Lair Vision of Obi-Wan Snowspeeders Take Flight Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 18. Attacking a Star Destroyer Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 19. 20th Century Fox Fanfare Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 21. Imperial Starfleet Deployed City In the Clouds Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 23. Carbon Freeze Darth Vaders Trap Departure of Boba Fett Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 24. Main Title / The Ice Planet Hoth Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 25. The Rebel Fleet / End Title Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 27. The Imperial Probe / Aboard the Executor Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 28. Rescue from Cloud City / Hyperspace Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 29. The Training of a Jedi Knight / The Magic Tree Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 30. Luke's Nocturnal Visitor Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 32. The Wampa's Lair / Vision of Obi-Wan / Snowspeeders Take Flight Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 33. Jedi Master Revealed / Mynock Cave Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 34. Imperial Starfleet Deployed / City In the Clouds Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 35. Carbon Freeze / Darth Vader's Trap / Departure of Boba Fett Performer: John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online

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