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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

A Force for Good in a Dark Galaxy

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) on IMDb

Plot Overview

In this sequel to the previous Star Wars movie, “Episode IV: A New Hope”,  a long time ago [and] in a galaxy far, far away, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy. Evading the dreaded Imperial Star­fleet, a group of freedom fighters led by Luke Sky­walker has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth. The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Sky­walker, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of space...

Luke (Mark Hamill) while outside battling cold front and snow beast he discovers an Imperial probe droid, necessitating an evac­uation that happens in conflict with a quick response team from Darth Vader (acted by David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones.) At the behest of a vision of deceased Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guin­ness), Luke heads for the Degobah system to meet with Jedi Master Yoda (voice: Frank Oz). Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) gets aboard a junker with smuggler-pilot Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and thew anthropoid ape Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), sheltering in an asteroid belt when unable to achieve warp drive. The rest of the survivors split for parts unknown.

All the principals eventually find their way to Cloud City near the gas planet of Bespin, a mecca presided over by Han's friend Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) of question­able loyalties. Various inter­actions and betrayals prepare us for another sequel.


“Star Wars: Episode V” explores the themes of Ezekiel 33, starting with the vigilance necessary to warn of am invader, (Ezek. 33:2-5) “Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watch­man: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then who­so­ever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.”

That is expanded on in analogy of the prophet issuing warnings concerning one's spiritual state, as in (Ezek. 33:13) “When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteous­nesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.” “The Force is strong with Luke,” but Yoda warns him, “beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.”

The flip side is the possibility for Lando to recover from his treachery, as in, (Ezek. 33:14-16) “Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.”

Production Values

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) was directed by Irvin Kershner. The screen­play was based on a story by George Lucas and was written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan. It stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher. Harrison Ford did an amazing bit in this one.

MPAA rated it PG for Sci-Fi action violence. It was filmed in Banks, Oregon. It won the Oscar for Best Sound. It was nominated for Best Art Direction–Set Decoration, for Best Music (of John Williams) and for a Special Achievement Award for visual effects. It won the BAFTA for Best Original Film Music, and it was nominated for Best Production Design/Art Direction and Best Sound, and also nominated the Golden Globe for Best Original Score.

The movie looks good with its highly convincing special effects. Even judging by today's standards, the special effects look out­standing. The set pieces are primo, and Darth Vader's character is here at its most menacing. The cinema­tog­raphy by Peter Suschitzky renders the perfect mood. The musical score by John Williams is classic. The sound effects are fantastic, too. Irvin Kershner does amazing camera work using dutch angles. He'll create a moody atmosphere at times, use great POV shots & lots of other amazing shots, all the while running the film at an extremely fast pace. Puppet Yoda looks fake but feels real. Later CGI Yodas will look real but feel fake.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

I thought “The Empire Strikes Back” was great back when I first saw it, but since then I have become jaded by too many sequels and off­shoots. Still, it was a fun picture to watch, just not one of my personal favorites. It will always retain a juvenile appeal, and the action scenes still work.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability for children: Suitable for children with parental guidance. Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.