The Empire Strikes Back
|Title:||The Empire Strikes Back|
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
The Empire Strikes Back is the second film in the original Star Wars trilogy.
It was a film that had a rocky start with fans due to its different tone, its revelations, and its cliffhanger ending. When it first came out, many fans were lukewarm to hostile in their reviews. However, this film is now generally considered to be the best of the three.
Some Early Reviews
This, to me, was perhaps the most overrated and meretricious film of the year. To put it bluntly (to save space), it was poorly acted (with the exception of Mark Hamill who was the only one who seemed to really live his part and to even show any emotion); flat, shallow, with nothing to get one's teeth into since it was all just a lot of running around, leading nowhere, with no dramatic structure, no central purpose to the film, uninvolving, even downright boring in parts because of the overuse of too many laser-zap battles and chases through space which were not really necessary nor related to anything; it was overdone as far as false dilemnas and false suspense went (so many accidents and disasters piled up on top of one another); the humour was heavy-handed and childish, lacking the impish wit of SW; the music was an equally heavy-handed pastiche of every other Williams score plus rip-offs of Tchaikovsky and others; the script was puerile in the extreme - are these supposed to be sophisticated, mature people talking?- particularly the dialogue between Fisher and Ford, which was embarrassingly inept; the SPFX were definately below standard; never have I seen so many matt lines and such obvious matt paintings; it lacked any plot whatsoever, any meaning- it was more like a trailer for a much longer film or a Super 8 short; it was choppily directed and served only to reduce the heroic epic sweep of SW to pure soap opera hinging on such earth shattering questions as, "is Vader Luke's father?" "Will Han be thawed out?"; what plot it did have was illogical and made no sense with the first film, and even within itself it had holes the size of the Death Star; it had no proper ending- just because it is part of a series, this is no excuse. After all, the PLANET OF THE APES films were all self contained and complete dramatically. The continuity within scenes cinematically, was bad. All in all, it was a shoddy piece of exploitation to try to bring people back for the third film. It was not well made as a film and it nonsense as a piece of SW. The doubts I felt when I heard there was to be a series of sequels have been amply confirmed. ST:TMP may have been boring and nearly as plotless but at least the characters were true to their TV selves. The same cannot be said of TESB. They seem to be a set of different people (except Luke) in an alternate universe, to me. 
Some Later Reviews
- from a much longer review in Empire Star #4