Greetings and welcome aboard! I’m your conductor Gavin Nowak and today let’s take the train back to 1980 and take a close look at The Empire Strikes Back. As you know the presumed “end” of the saga has just been released recently hence why I have decided to examine probably the most praised entry in the franchise today. Let’s get this show on the road.
Following three years after the destruction of the dreaded Death Star constructed and managed by the Galactic Empire, it’s villainous leader Darth Vader hunts down the force-strong Luke Skywalker in order to turn him to the dark side while his rebel friends consisting of the smug yet skilled pilot Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, the voluble droid C-3P0, and Solo’s loyal and incredibly hairy co-pilot Chewbacca are on the run from bounty hunter’s hired by the Empire. However, Luke’s Jedi training with Master Yoda on the swamp planet Dagobah is delayed when his allies are captured by Vader himself hoping to lure young Skywalker in…
Not many film enthusiasts can say the sequel is better in quality then the previous installment- especially an instant classic like the original Star Wars. This is a rare case where it examines what the first did well and improve on it. Our main leads on both sides of the spectrum, Luke and Han, go through major development as characters; Luke speaks of more of determination and less of complaints while Han learns to handle more responsibility as well as trailing down a more romantic path with Leia in their relationship. Along with the notably puppeteered Yoda, menacingly intimidating Boba Fett and charming Lando Calrissian, the bundle of remaining characters bring delightful moments to this masterpiece. And we can’t forget the climaxes twist reveal bumping into one of the most quotable lines in not just the chronicle but in film history.
Also loaded into this satisfying Thanksgiving turkey is dazzling special and practical effects that openly flood the screen, which is complimented by John Williams beautifully composed score that pleases the audience’s eardrums quite well. Of course, I am a tad picky about some of the stuffing inside, most notably how it feels to some extent like the middle of a story, with no real beginning or end. Even that is pretty paltry in measure to the monumental and compelling craft.
A smashing achievement by George Lucas and his band of filmmaking virtuoso’s, ‘Empire’ manages to continue the legendary adventure of cosmic wizards and starship skirmishes with special skill. RATING: 10/10 “Gold Reel”
~originally written by G.H. Nowak on December 28, 2019~