Friday, May 10, 2013

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

This movie does not simply take us through outer space. We get to experience the harsh winter of Hoth, the swamp jungle of the Dagobah system, and even journey to a city in the clouds.

I was lucky in that I got to see the re-release on the big screen.  The beginning scenes on Hoth were excellent. The empire comes to fight them on the rebel's snowy base and there's lots of explosions and fighting (x-wing fighters vs. the at-ats).  But, the rebels have to leave because its no longer safe.
I never saw the point of Yoda other than to reiterate the fact that they're in space so there has to be space aliens. In the first movie, we saw aliens in the bar, but Yoda is different.  He is a Jedi (and until the prequels the only alien Jedi that I noticed) and a scholar.  He has been training Jedis for 800 years. He trains Luke to harness the force. He also has a weird backward way of talking.
Han catches up with his old friend Lando in Cloud City.  But Lando is going to betray them! When Han sees Darth Vader in the other room, he immediately starts firing at him. No questions, no long story, he just springs to action. He is so awesome. This post needs a picture of him. When Han is being dragged away to be frozen in carbonite, Leia cries out that she loves him. Originally, George Lucas wrote in the script that Han was to reply that he loved her too, but no one thought that matched his character. That's why he simply says, "I know."

There we go.

Vader is wanting to take Luke to the Emperor. So there's someone higher up than Lord Vader? Well of course, he's just a lord. I always thought that even when I was watching the first movie. If he was the highest one in command, he'd be called like Emperor Vader, not Lord Vader. And then, Luke comes and fights Darth Vader.  They have an epic light saber duel which will ultimately lead them to a stunning revelation.

Behind the scenes photo from the film.
There are several hints at Luke and Leia's true relationship.  Such as when Yoda says, "There is another." And they have this kind of "twin telepathy" thing going on.  When everyone's leaving Cloud City, Leia tells them to turn back because she knows where Luke is and they go right to where he has fallen down at the bottom of Cloud City.  Vader only knows about Luke (I'll discuss how he finds out about his daughter in the next film). Of course, he wasn't there for their birth during the prequel because he's a whiny jerk who abandoned them.  But when the Emperor tells him the dangers of the son of Skywalker, he insists that he can turn him so he won't become a Jedi. He even tells Luke that he wants them to rule the galaxy together. And he orders Boba Fett not to disintegrate anything because he wants everyone on the Millennium Falcon alive.

I'm giving this film an 8/10.

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