Thursday, January 9, 2014

Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) review


This sequel to the first Star Wars installment is much more developed than its predecessor. More character development, visionary direction, nostalgic and iconic moments, and a more involving story leave the viewer more stunned as they get sucked into the world of Star Wars.

PLOT:Since the rebel base has been found on Yavin's moon, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and the other rebels move shop to the snowy planet of Hoth. However, a probe finds the rebel base, causing the remainders of the Empire and the surviving Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) to invade and attack Hoth. Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Chewbacca and the droids load up in the Millennium Falcon and head for safety, with an idea of peace in Cloud City. Luke, however, takes R2-D2 and heads to Dagobah, a swamp system as foretold by the spirit of Ben Kenobi. Ben tells Luke that a retired Jedi warrior will be there to teach him. Luke finds short, green, and old alien Yoda (Frank Oz) as his mentor. While Han and the rest find solitude, Luke must train with Yoda to be a great Jedi warrior and defeat Darth Vader. However, some evil plots are going on in Cloud City, and more seems to be behind Luke's family history than he even knew. It's a good plot executed brilliantly.

ACTING:The performances in this film are great and even more improved over its predecessor. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher all play excellently improved parts as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. Everybody did an improved job, from Prowse/Jones as Darth Vader to Anthony Daniels as C-3P0 and even to Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca. The introduction of new characters Yoda, Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett are also pleasant, excellently played by Frank Oz, Billy Dee Williams and Jeremy Bulloch. The performances in this film are just much more improved overall.

SCORE:The score in this film is about as great as its predecessor. John Williams borrows some themes, like the title, from the original and adds a few new in the middle. "The Imperial March" also seemed to be a nice touch throughout the film.

EFFECTS:The effects in this one aren't as well done or realistic, as stop-motion Taun-Tauns and puppet Yoda prove, but the set designs and other effects really made up for it. The set designs were pretty well crafted, as well as the effects for Luke's hand near the end of the film. Most effects were a fall, but the sets and latter effects made up for it.

OTHER CONTENT:This Star Wars film doesn't even need effects to keep it good and interesting. The added character development, love story, and many twists make the film work out even better. Much more character development is added from Luke and Vader's relationships to Yoda's relationship with Ben. A lot more is found out, causing some major twists. Even without the character development, several unexpected twists take place, swinging everything out of proportion. Also with the character development, a love story takes place between Solo and Leia that escalates into pure chemistry. Aside from all of this, the film also contains many iconic scenes and lines that make it nostalgic and memorable. Not one year has passed for me where I haven't heard an "I am your father" reference. This is one of the most well known Star Wars film in content, also accompanied by visionary direction by Irvin Kershner. Kerhner really took the film and put it on a different course, and I loved it.

OVERALL,an epic Star Wars film with a brilliant plot, great and improved performances, nice classic and new themes, mixed effects, more character development, many unexpected twists, a love story with great chemistry, iconic scenes and lines that everyone remembers, and visionary direction that improved the film.

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