Empire Strikes Back

A Bright Force In The World

Main Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, David Prowse

Director: Irvin Kershner

No review database would be complete without this classic sci-fi story. Not only did it excite the imaginations of countless kids growing up (Me!), it boosted the concept of sci-fi into the general public and broke down some of the negative connotations associated with this rich genre.

To summarize, this is the story of an evil galactic Empire and those brave enough to fight against it… and win. The rebels are led by Luke Skywalker, at the beginning an average kid on a distant desert planet, but one who grows into a master Jedi, a warrior of awesome strength of will and of mastery of the Force. The Force allows the jedi to manipulate both physical objects and other brains with their mind alone, and it is a potent power. Of course, the Force can be used by good and evil alike, and a great hero would be lost without an equally great villain: Darth Vader fills this role in the first two movies, then the Emperor himself takes center stage in the last episode.

Episode 5 begins on another rebel base. Luke, Leia, and Solo are hiding out, but Darth Vader manages to track them down. The rebels fight and lose the planet, but the heroes split up and escape. Luke continues his Jedi training while Han and Leia travel to a friend of the smuggler’s. But not is all that it seems, and Luke must make a hard choice. While rescuing his friends he learns a number of unpleasant things about his past. Han does not escape this time, and at the end our other heroes gather to decide on what to do next.

I think Empire is a better movie than the first, as not only does it have plenty of action, it also develops the characters and allows them to have depth and meaning. The story is better, and richer, and shades of gray are introduced.

This series is better than the sum of its parts. It’s a classic sci-fi story, and something everyone should see at least once in their lives. May the Force be with you!

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