Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

Name: Star Wars: Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back
Year: 1980
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 124
Description: Fleeing the evil Galactic Empire, the rebels abandon their new base on Hoth. Princess Leia, Han Solo and the droid C-3P0 escape in the damaged Millenium Falcon, but are later captured by Lord Darth Vader on Bespin. Skywalker and the droid R2-D2, meanwhile, follows Ben Kenobi’s posthumous command and receives Jedi training by Yoda on Dagobah. Will Skywalker manage to rescue his friends from the dark lord?
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher
Genres: Action, Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi

First, the positive things. I still find C3-PO hilarious and actually care about his fate. The same goes for Han Solo, it was so sad how they tortured and froze him. I’m starting to like Leia too, though to a lesser extent, and she clearly has some thinking to do regarding who she fancies. Darth Vader was charismatic enough, though I knew all about the ‘I am your father’ scene already.

The score was still not really my thing, though the imperial march is a very effective theme and I’m wondering why Williams wasn’t asked to write that theme for the previous episode already. The first part of the end credits suite sounded a bit unlike the rest of the score, like The Throne Room did in episode 4: too cheerful after the rather dark story, but the way Williams merges the Rebel fanfare and Yoda’s theme is simply fantastic. Lando’s entrance featured good music too, and the sound effects were neatly distributed across the channels.

Then, the negatives. I’m sorry, but I just cannot care about Luke. He seems to be able to communicate with everyone using some (or the?) Force and Ben keeps communicating with him from someplace or another and then Yoda apparently overhears their conversations too, but don’t bother for any explanation. All Luke does is complain that he learned too much from Yoda already and he really needs to save his friends even though you can’t even call the relationship between him and the rest a true friendship and you also don’t see him learn that much, so stop whining. Speaking of Yoda, he was great if maybe a little annoying in the beginning. Next week the next episode I will watch!

A note about the audio description: I used the UK version narrated by James O’Hara, who is always brilliant, but the volume of the original soundtrack kept being reduced whenever he spoke, which didn’t make for nice listening at all. Still have to listen to Miles Neff’s American AD.

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