Movie Reviews: The Empire Strikes Back


Just when you think it was safe to go back to Tatooine and live happily ever after, the Empire whips out one giant can of whoop ass on those rebel scum. Han, Luke, and Leia are freezing their asses off in the Hoth System. George Lucas made a great decision getting Lawrence Kasdan to write a great script and Irvin Kershner to direct more subtle character performances because there is no more whining about the next harvest here. The story itself is simple. Darth Vader now flies around on a bigger and badder Super Star Destroyer, a ship so large that if it opened A New Hope, it would have taken seventeen minutes to fly over. Why the rebels have not found an exhaust port on that sucker (I don’t know, perhaps Ackbar thinks simply crashing into the bridge will do the trick), it baffles me

After an action packed defense of the icy planet, showing off the lost art of stop motion by Paul Tippett, the rebels depart with relative ease. I mean, they had to fire those damn ion cannons to get the transports out, but the Falcon and Luke’s X-Wing fly out despite a bajillion Star Destroyers lurking. No Matter, Luke goes to Dagobah to seek Yoda while Han and Leia get chased down by the bajillion Star Destroyers (maybe they were lurking on the other side of the planet despite assaulting a small rebel base). Lucky for them, the Millennium Falcon evidently has the greatest rear deflector shield in the Galaxy. How the hell can the Empire look at itself in the eye and call their ships Star Destroyers? (Also, can a Star Destroyer actually destroy a star? If so, why even build a Death Star?

The training and evading and romance plotline continues to the score of the mighty John Williams soundtrack until we reach Bespin, and the greatest character in the trilogy finally arrives.

Yes, I said it.


Lando Calrissian is key component to the Empire Strikes back and goes through a faster character arc than any of the other characters. Luke in A New Hope is the same wamp rat shooting farm boy, except he uses the force one time to save the galaxy. Han Solo is a dirty smuggler who shoots first (before 1997), but goes back for a friend (The Falcon probably had the greatest forward deflector shield … and how he wasn’t tracked since that is how the Empire found Yavin … just eat your popcorn kids). Leia is Leia in all 3 films.

Lando, however, is the ex-Falcon owning, fast talking administrator of Bespin who betrays his old friend, executes a flawless carbonate freeze for his buddy, double crosses the Empire with an ambush, and escapes on his old ship with Leia without a wookie ripping his limbs off, then flies back to rescue Luke due to some weird “feeling” from Leia all while keeping his cool. The entire plot hinges on Lando’s calm and coolness under pressure. He is a man of redemption and his change happens in a span 40 minutes.  Just call him Chameleon Calrissian.

To top his exploits in saving every damn person (Han really owes him one) in The Empire Strikes Back, Lando returns like an Interstellar James Bond, and tops himself in Return of the Jedi, but that’s another blog.

The movie itself is a classic and in my list of top 10 movies of all time.

Movie Rating: 11/10 (off the damn charts)

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