BY JACOB LAURITZEN
The Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best Star Wars film. Period.
Last night, I watched Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back in preparation for watching the new movie being released later this week. And despite being very tired, I think I enjoyed watching it more than any of the previous four movies.
The movie opens on the sixth planet in the Hoth system, usually just called Hoth, where the rebel alliance is starting a new base. But Hoth isn’t your regular galactic hotspot. It’s quite the opposite. Hoth is cold. Very cold. Luke and Han are out on patrol when Luke is captured by the Abominable Snowman. When Han finds out that Luke hasn’t returned, he goes back out into the cold to save his friend. Han hasn’t left the rebel alliance like he’s alluded to, and it seems like it’s because of Princess Leia. Han saves Luke, but it isn’t long before the Empire finds the rebel base and sends troops to destroy them.
While Luke was stuck in the storm, he started seeing visions of Obi Wan Kenobi, so after the rebels escape, he goes to study under Yoda. Meanwhile, on the other side of the galaxy, Han and Leia run away from the Empire in the broken Millennium Falcon. They eventually make their way to Cloud City where they are captured by Darth Vader. Luke sees a vision and goes to save them. He fights Vader, finds out who his real father is, screams, “That’s impossible!”, and eventually escapes, but not without losing his hand first. Luke and Leia are reunited, but not before Han is frozen in carbonite and taken away by Boba Fett to Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine.
So, a lot happens, but basically the movie tells two stories: Han and Leia falling in love and Luke becoming a Jedi. Now, compare that to the crazy plot lines of Episodes I through III. Notice a difference? The Empire Strikes Back focuses on characters in the middle of a galactic civil war, not the politics of the war. Because of that, we have time to enjoy the characters and their interactions with each other. Hans and Leia’s banter is classic and funny. Luke’s journey to become a Jedi is classic in it’s own right. The movie is a successful sequel to the classic that made the Star Wars franchise what it is.
But is this the best? I don’t know and honestly I don’t really care. It’s a great movie and that’s all that really matters, right?