The Empire Strikes Back

1980  124 MN


The Empire Strikes Back on IMDb
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Irvin Kershner

The epic saga continues as Luke Skywalker, in hopes of defeating the evil Galactic Empire, learns the ways of the Jedi from aging master Yoda. But Darth Vader is more determined than ever to capture Luke. Meanwhile, rebel leader Princess Leia, cocky Han Solo, Chewbacca, and droids C-3PO and R2-D2 are thrown into various stages of capture, betrayal and despair.

 Release Date

May 20, 1980


2h4m (124 min)


$ 18,000,000


$ 538,400,000

 Top Billed Cast

 Mark Hamill
 Luke Skywalker
 Harrison Ford
 Han Solo
 Carrie Fisher
 Princess Leia
 Billy Dee Williams
 Lando Calrissian
 Anthony Daniels
 David Prowse
 Darth Vader

 Written by

George Lucas Story
Leigh Brackett Screenplay
Lawrence Kasdan Screenplay


The Adventure Continues...



Mark Hamill
  Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford
  Han Solo
Carrie Fisher
  Princess Leia
Billy Dee Williams
  Lando Calrissian
Anthony Daniels
David Prowse
  Darth Vader
Peter Mayhew
Kenny Baker
Frank Oz
  Yoda (Voice)
Alec Guinness
  Obi-Wan Kenobi
Jeremy Bulloch
  Boba Fett
Jason Wingreen
  Boba Fett (voice - uncredited)
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)
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
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)
James Earl Jones
  Darth Vader (voice) (uncredited)
Ralph McQuarrie
  General McQuarrie (uncredited)
Ralph Morse
  Stormtrooper / Imperial Comms Officer / Rebel Soldier (uncredited)
Terry Richards
  Wampa (uncredited)
Treat Williams
  Echo Base Trooper (uncredited)
Shaun Curry
  Hoth Rebel Commander (uncredited)
Alan Austen
Jim Dowdall
Tom Egeland
  Hoth Trooper (uncredited)
Alan Flyng
  Stormtrooper (uncredited)
Trevor Butterfield
  Imperial Officer / Stormtrooper (uncredited)
Mercedes Burleigh
  Female Hoth Control Room Tech (uncredited)
Jane Busby
  Ugnaught (uncredited)
Maurice Bush
  Dengar (uncredited)
Tony Clarkin
  Storm Trooper (uncredited)
Mike Edmonds
  Ugnaught (uncredited)
Walter Henry
  Rebel Technician on Hoth (uncredited)
Paul Jerricho
  AT-AT Driver (uncredited)
Joe Johnston
  Captain Shawn Valdez - Hoth Rebel (uncredited)
Peter Roy
  Snowtrooper (uncredited)


George Lucas
  Executive Producer
George Lucas
Gary Kurtz
Rick McCallum
John Williams
  Original Music Composer
Terry Liebling
Peter Suschitzky
  Director of Photography
Irene Lamb
Howard G. Kazanjian
Norman Reynolds
  Production Design
Ben Burtt
  Sound Designer
Robert Watts
  Associate Producer
Leigh Brackett
Leslie Dilley
  Art Direction
John Mollo
  Costume Design
Lawrence Kasdan
Phil Tippett
Phil Tippett
  Makeup Effects
Patricia Carr
  Production Manager
Michael Ford
  Set Decoration
Philip Kohler
  Location Manager
Brian Johnson
  Special Effects
Stuart Freeborn
  Makeup Artist
Alan Tomkins
  Art Direction
Rick Baker
  Makeup Artist
Paul Hirsch
Peter MacDonald
  Second Unit Director
Irvin Kershner
Richard Edlund
  Visual Effects
Harley Cokeliss
  Second Unit Director
Tiny Nicholls
  Costume Supervisor
Peter Diamond
  Stunt Coordinator
Bruce Sharman
  Production Supervisor
Bonnie Koehler
  Sound Editor
Roy Button
  Second Assistant Director
Svend Johansen
  Production Manager
Nick Maley
  Makeup Artist
Bob Anderson
John Barry
  Second Unit Director
Jim Bloom
  Associate Producer
Barbara Ritchie
Pamela Mann
Harry Lange
  Art Direction
David Tomblin
  First Assistant Director
Herbert W. Spencer
Gregg Landaker
  Sound Re-Recording Mixer
Paul Huston
  Camera Operator
George Whitear
  Still Photographer
Bob Edmiston
Ralph McQuarrie
  Visual Effects
Terry Pritchard
Steve Lanning
  Second Assistant Director
David H. Watkins
  Special Effects
Kay Rawlings
Eileen Sullivan
  Wardrobe Supervisor
Graham Freeborn
  Makeup Department Head
Kay Freeborn
  Makeup Artist
Richard Burrow
  Sound Editor
Frank Bruton
  Property Master
Reg Bream


 New Quote

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


You have failed me for the last time, Admiral.
— Darth Vader


Never tell me the odds.
— Han Solo


Search your feelings, Lord Vader. You know it to be true.
— Emperor Palpatine


Princess Leia: I love you.
Han Solo: I know.


The Force is with you, young Skywalker. But you are not a Jedi yet.
— Darth Vader


If you only knew the power of the dark side.
— Darth Vader


Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
— Darth Vader


I am your father.
— Darth Vader


Search your feelings. You know it to be true.
— Darth Vader


Join me and together we will rule the galaxy as father and son.
— Darth Vader


Luke, it is your destiny.
— Darth Vader



 New Review

By Jack Anderson on January 6, 2020

Yes, The Empire Strikes Back is supposed to be the best Star Wars movie. Well, I find it incredibly boring.
The fight on the snowy planet (whatever it's called, I don't give a damn), the gang wandering in Space, but most importantly, Luke Skywalker doing his Jedi training. I much more enjoyed the training of Rey in The Last Jedi. That was fun. Here, I can admit that it's perhaps more philosophical, but the pace is really slow.
The only scene that is cool is the fight between Skywalker and Darth Vader. But five minutes for a two-hour long film is real short.

Mark Hamill is really showing great acting talent in this film. The scene in which he loses hope in front of his newly-discovered evil father is quite impressive.

I give it 7 out of 10. The original Star Wars film is much better and a true classic, unlike Empire. And yes, I believe many will disagree and I do not care.

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.

John Chard

It's a dark time for the rebellion; and us the audience as well.

Luke, Leia and Han are fighting with the rebels in the hope of defeating the Imperial forces. But Luke gets a calling to the planet Dagobah, where under the tutelage of Jedi Master, Yoda, he hopes to become a Jedi himself, but that also brings him closer to his, and Leia's, destiny.

Lets tell it as it is, The Empire Strikes Back is a better film than Star Wars, not as impacting of course, but most definitely better. Technically, in story telling and in tone, it holds up well today and certainly warrants the amount of times it crops up in best sequels debates. That it's not actually a sequel is irrelevant, it is of course the filler in a wonderful sci-fi sandwich, because as second instalments go, Empire has few peers. With Empire Strikes Back we get all the whizz bang adventure strewn heart of Star Wars, but George Lucas (stepping aside for Irvin Kershner to direct) has also fleshed the story out with a serious dark tone that oddly becomes a bedfellow to the romantic fun on offer, where new and engaging characters (and creatures) add spice to this wonderful fantastical broth.

Aided by the considerable writing talent of Leigh Brackett (The Long Goodbye, Rio Bravo, The Big Sleep), Lucas took the bold and ingenious step of giving the bad guys the upper hand, in fact it could be argued that he was taking a considerable risk with his ending. Forcing his viewers to wait for the final chapter (three years later), after tantalisingly setting us up with a corker of plot twist (one which is still to this day as potent as it was back on release), Lucas pulled perhaps one of the cheekiest carrot dangles in cinema history.

Though more famed for its dark undertones, Empire is for sure still a very fun movie, C3PO goes into camp overdrive and Han Solo ups his quip quota by some margin. Then of course there is Yoda, in himself a comedic joy. The action sequences beg for repeat viewings, a battle on the ice laden planet Hoth is a marvel and the choreography for Skywalker's fight with Darth Vader is out of the top draw. But ultimately it's with the dark side that the picture excels. Complex and amazingly posing moral quandary's, The Empire Strikes Back is quite an experience, one that will forever hold up to repeat viewings for this particular viewer. 10/10


_**Fun, imaginative, iconic space adventure with a kick-axx cast**_

"Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) was the anticipated follow-up to the initial mega-hit blockbuster from 1977. It’s an epic, but simplistic space fantasy about an evil empire and the noble souls who dare to fight it. The main cast features Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and the voice work of James Earl Jones (Darth Vader), Frank Oz (Yoda) and Clive Revill (Emperor).

This is an amusing, inventive, iconic space adventure with a stellar cast. While I prefer the adult-oriented space science-fiction of Star Trek, I can’t deny that this space fantasy grants you an entertaining two hours with lots of sci-fi action, space ships, a snowy planet, asteroid caves and mysterious swamps. I also appreciate the mind-powers angle. It doesn’t hurt that Fisher is in her prime and easy on the eyes, not to mention Ford and Williams are at their charismatic best. Even the more obscure Hamill shines in his boyish youth. Then there’s RD-D2, C-3PO and Chewbacca.

The film runs 2 hours, 7 minutes.



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