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The Empire Strikes Back


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 Written by
Leigh Brackett Screenplay
Lawrence Kasdan Screenplay
George Lucas Story

 Directed by
Irvin Kershner


 Release Date
May 20, 1980

2 hours and 4 minutes (124 minutes)

Mark Hamill
  Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford
  Han Solo
Carrie Fisher
  Princess Leia
Billy Dee Williams
  Lando Calrissian
Anthony Daniels
David Prowse
  Darth Vader
James Earl Jones
  Darth Vader (voice - uncredited)
Peter Mayhew
Kenny Baker
Frank Oz
  Yoda (Voice)
Alec Guinness
  Obi-Wan Kenobi
Jeremy Bulloch
  Boba Fett
Jason Wingreen
  Boba Fett (voice - uncredited)
Temuera Morrison
  Boba Fett (voice - Special Edition)
John Hollis
  Lando's Aide
Jack Purvis
  Chief Ugnaught
Des Webb
  Snow Creature
Kathryn Mullen
  Performing Assistant for Yoda
Marjorie Eaton
  Emperor (uncredited)
Clive Revill
  Emperor (voice)
Ian McDiarmid
  Emperor (Special Edition)
Kenneth Colley
  Admiral Piett
Julian Glover
  General Veers
Michael Sheard
  Admiral Ozzel
Michael Culver
  Captain Needa
John Dicks
  Captain Lennox
Milton Johns
Oliver Maguire
Robin Scobey
  Lieutenant Venka
Bruce Boa
  General Carlist Rieekan
Christopher Malcolm
  Zev Senesca
Denis Lawson
  Wedge Antilles
Richard Oldfield
  Derek "Hobbie" Klivian
John Morton
  Dak Ralter
Ian Liston
  Wes Janson
John Ratzenberger
  Major Derlin
Jack McKenzie
  Cal Alder
Jerry Harte
  Rebel Force Head Controller
Norman Chancer
  Tamizander Rey
Norwich Duff
  Jeroen Webb
Ray Hassett
  Tigran Jamiro
Brigitte Kahn
  Toryn Farr
Burnell Tucker
  Wyron Serper
Wendy Froud
Bob Anderson
  Imperial Officer (uncredited)
Lightning Bear
  Stormtrooper (uncredited)
Richard Bonehill
  Stormtrooper / Snowtrooper / Rebel Soldier / ... (uncredited)
John Cannon
  Holographic Imperial Officer (uncredited)
Mark Capri
  Officer M'kae (Captain Needa's Communications Officer) (uncredited)
Martin Dew
  Cloud City Guard (uncredited)
Peter Diamond
  Snowtrooper Gunner (uncredited)
Stuart Fell
  Snowtrooper (uncredited)
Doug Robinson
  Snowtrooper (uncredited)
Tony Smart
  Snowtrooper (uncredited)
Alan Harris
  Bossk / Bespin Security Guard (uncredited)
Tiffany L. Kurtz
  Extra (uncredited)
Ralph McQuarrie
  General McQuarrie (uncredited)
Ralph Morse
  Stormtrooper / Imperial Comms Officer / Rebel Soldier (uncredited)
Terry Richards
  Wampa (uncredited)
Michael Santiago
  (voice, uncredited)
Treat Williams
  Echo Base Trooper (uncredited)
Shaun Curry
  Hoth Rebel Commander (uncredited)
Alan Austen
Jim Dowdall
Ian Durrant
Tom Egeland
Alan Flyng
Chris Parsons
Trevor Butterfield
Christopher Bunn
Quentin Pierre
Keith Swaden
Howie Weed
Morris Bush

Add a Quote

Try not. Do-or do not. There is no try.
— Yoda


Add my review

Ian Beale

**Overrated **

An enjoyable film - just not as engaging as parts IV and VI. The argument that Jedi was ruined by little furry creatures is laughable as this instalment features a _little green muppet_. I was expecting Kermit and Miss Piggy to show up.

Once we get the impressive Hoth battle over with the film meanders and crawls along - padding out its running time with predictable romantic sparring and an extended and dull sequence on Degobah.

Things finally pick up again at Cloud City but not enough to justify the worship this film receives. I much prefer _Return of the Jedi_ to this one - at least Return of the Jedi gets the emotional juices flowing. This one leaves me as cold as the snow on Hoth.

- Ian Beale


A masterpiece of cinema. The film transcends the franchise, seamlessly combining elements of myth, science fiction, fantasy, war film, romance, bildungsroman, epic and tragedy in a way that its sequels have been unable to replicate. It is a move without a moment of fluff. Cut anything and the film would suffer. Story, character, effects, cinematography, music, screenplay, acting, editing and action are all superb. One of the most artistically poignant films ever made. And because its style cannot be replicated, it will continue to appreciate with age.

This was a time when George Lucas still had integrity, as evidenced in this 1980 Rolling Stone interview (he has since contradicted much of what he espouses in both word and deed): https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/the-empire-strikes-back-and-so-does-george-lucas-19800612

Here's a blog article shows Empire's cinematic chiasmus, or narrative symmetry: https://dejareviewer.com/2014/05/20/cinematic-chiasmus-the-empire-strikes-back-is-a-perfectly-symmetrical-film/

My favorite version is the Team Negative1 Renegade Grindhouse Edition, an unrestored 35mm scan complete with damage and dust. The Despecialized version is okay too. All official releases are desecrations.

People may say that Star Wars is dead, but The Empire Strikes Back is deathless.

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Saga: Star Wars

Return of the Jedi
Star Wars
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Terminator
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Star Trek
Die Hard
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Back to the Future Part II
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

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