Review: The Empire Strikes Back
Leia kisses Luke. Perhaps to spite Han, but nevertheless it’s a pretty hot kiss. I think “Yuck! Incest!” But that kiss happened before Lucas decided that Leia was going to be Luke’s sister.
There are those who think this is the best of the Star Wars movies, and also the most adult. I, for one, like the first movie better because it has a very tight and coherent plot, whereas the plot in Empire Strikes Back is more of a disconnected sequence of action scenes with an unresolved ending (the Rebels suffered a significant loss when their base on the ice planet was destroyed, Han has been captured, and Luke has not finished his Jedi training).
The banter between Solo and Leia is great. I even laughed out loud when they are finally kissing each other and then C3PO interrupts them. Every scene in this movie with Harrison Ford is just incredibly fun to watch, but then they cut away to the more boring story-line featuring the acting non-talent of Mark Hamill and the pseudo-Eastern philosophy of the muppet Yoda.
And I am still annoyed by the revelation that Darth Vader is Luke’s father, because it was pretty clear from watching the first movie that there was no such intent. Ben calls Darth Vader “Darth” when they meet in the Death Star; he says it with the fondness he had for an old pupil he knew as “Darth” and not as a title for an evil Jedi.
Compared to the first movie, there are more action scenes, more spaceships on the screen at the same time, and better special effects. Lucas had a bigger budget and more special effects experience, and it shows. When this movie was filmed, the concept of the big-budget fast and furious action movie didn’t exist. Empire is the template for all of those movies that followed.
The Force is a lot stronger in this movie. In the first movie it’s only good for lightsaber dueling, sneaking some droids into a spaceport, and Vader used it once to choke one of his subordinates, but that’s about it. In this movie, Vader uses the Force to kill a succession of admirals who fail him and he demonstrates how the Force makes him invincible to blasters (which I guess makes sense because it explains why Jedi fight with lightsabers). The Force is also good for telekinesis. Yoda is even able to levitate Luke’s crashed X-wing fighter. And Luke is able to use the Force to telepathically get a message to Princess Leia to come pick him up because he’s hanging from the bottom of the cloud city.
Compared to the hot girl who kicks ass in the J.J. Abrams reboot, Luke doesn’t kick anyone’s ass in this movie. He starts the movie being knocked out by an abominable snowman and needing Han to rescue him. And at the end of the movie, despite having some training by Yoda, he is thoroughly schlonged by Vader. The fight only takes as long as it does because Vader is toying with him because he hopes to convert Luke to the Dark Side. Together, he says they can “bring order to the Galaxy,” which doesn’t really sound that evil.