Review: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Style B by Tom Jung

Star Wars fans drool all over Empire Strikes Back. Fact is, I like it more than the rest of the movies put together, mainly because it relies on story instead of insane world-destruction to stay busy…but when you sit down and watch it, there is a lot about it that is horrible.

Luke gets hit by the wampa in the back of the head and has blood coming from the front of his face. What? This whole scene was to cover-up Mark Hamil’s motorcycle wreck-scars.


Wedge appears to be completely different than he does in the first movie and the third one. I guess he gained a bunch of weight. Some how, Dak gets shot in the back of Luke’s speeder (by enemies in front of Luke). I think Wedge may be killed here too and is somehow back in the next movie. May not be him

Luke goes to Dagobah and his landing approach is to fly full speed almost straight down. Even though there was a ton of fog (or dog as Apple corrected to), why not just fly really slowly down? Once he crashes, there is no fog.

Yoda thinks Luke is too impatient, but he has yet to identify himself to Luke. What would it say about Luke if he just spent days around a strange little weirdo when he needed to find a Jedi Master, with no regard for time? It would mean he wastes time, is easily distracted and unfocused.

Yoda tells Luke he doesn’t need to take a weapon but how else would he have cut phony Vader’s head off and seen his face in the mask? I guess he would have seen a lightsaber-less Vader there and they would have shook hands.


Finally, the training ends. It goes on for a pretty long time. Luke has to leave to save his friends but he wasn’t even crucial to saving them. We see Cloud City and the special edition takes a dump on it with some wild zoomy patrol ship going in and out of Bespin buildings, obviously a modern special effect. It looks nothing like the spaceship scenes that are more organic and using models. I actually laugh seeing it.


So Luke begins fighting Vader and Vader starts throwing junk at him with the Force. The stuff moves at 1 mile per hour and Luke still can’t hit it. He swings in the opposite direction like 3 times in a row!

Mark Hamill makes the ugliest faces possible during the segment where Vader reveals himself as Luke’s old man. Clearly dubbed lines.

Luke falls like 20 miles down and somehow lands perfectly in one of the six trash holes. It forms a perfect slide that doesn’t kill him or seriously maim him.

I think the shot of the Super Star Destroyer is reused here from earlier in the film.

Three of the Empire’s biggest enemies and Lando are on the Falcon, so the Empire sends three TIE fighters after them. “R2D2 you know better than to trust a strange computer.”

Supposedly, the Falcon isn’t in range of the Executor’s tractor beam – yet it is flying a foot away from it in the next shot. Pretty useless tractor beam.And R2 has the knowledge of the hyperdrive being sabotaged (that he can fix in one second) but he welds C3P0 instead if bothering to repair it…until the last minute.

See the Falcon? It's so close to the Executor, you barely notice it! But still out of range.
See the Falcon? It’s so close to the Executor, you barely notice it! But still out of range.

The movie ends with a cool shot of the galaxy and the heroes watching it all from the Nebulon B frigate.

Now, in summary, I love the movie. Don’t get me wrong. However imperfect it may be, it is still an enjoyable journey through a galaxy far, far away. But if you thought this film was perfect…sorry to rain on your parade.


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