Annlyel takes a retrospective look at George Lucas’ stunning sequel to select her top five moments from a movie that would go on to be regarded as the greatest Star Wars movie ever made…
The Empire Strikes Back can easily be heralded as one of the greatest movie sequels of all time. It took what had come before in A New Hope and upped the stakes, built the drama, and shocked the world with one of the greatest twists ever presented in a film. For many, The Empire Strikes Back is and will most likely be, the greatest Star Wars movie ever made and that’s an argument not easily contradicted.
This movie has it all; a concise story, resounding growth for the main characters, an impactful love story, just the right amount of new locations and characters, and a drop-the-mic moment that no one at the time could’ve foreseen. Time and time again I have watched this movie and every time by the end I am moved by the film’s impeccable storytelling. To try to pick five favorite scenes out of this movie almost seems unfair because there are so many outstanding moments but I’m going to give it a try. *thumbs up*
5. Shutting the Door
Hoth isn’t a planet you want to get lost in due to the incredibly low temperatures and deadly snowstorms. When Luke Skywalker was lost in the wilderness of Hoth and Han went out to search for them they were practically as good as dead. I love the scene when Princess Leia is forced to shut the doors of the rebel base because there is such an intensity to that moment. For her, the probability of seeing her friends again alive and well was really, really slim and the emotion on her face as the doors close says it all. She knows when the sun rises they could be dead and she could do nothing about it. At that moment she’s helpless and it’s just, to me, a riveting scene.
4. Jedi Master Yoda
When Luke first meets Yoda he thinks he’s some senile old hermit living in a disgusting swamp. He has absolutely no clue that this shrivelled, minute alien is actually the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi had instructed him to find. Luke complains constantly and when Yoda finally reveals his true identity to Luke I am wowed every time. He transforms from this silly old creature to a wise Jedi master in the blink of an eye and it makes me happy every time I see it.
3. Yoda’s Moment
Before Luke was the legendary Jedi Master that we know today he had a lot of trouble understanding how to control his power. Yoda tried to teach him the ways of the Force but he just couldn’t seem to understand. When Luke fails to lift his X-Wing using the Force out of the marsh he displays his exhaustion, believing that he can’t use the Force to demonstrate such an act of great power. Yoda tries to help him, to make him see that he’s not looking at the lesson in the right way, but Luke doesn’t want to hear it. He thinks Yoda’s teaching is too hard, hence telling him that lifting the X-Wing is impossible.
Yoda must teach Luke a lesson.
With closed eyes and a lifted hand, Yoda lifts the X-Wing from its brief home, the marsh, wowing Luke and audiences alike. That’s the moment when Yoda truly shines as one of the greatest Jedi masters there has ever been and that’s why it’s one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
2. “No, I am Your Father.”
Is this even a surprise? It’s literally one of the greatest moments in cinema history. I’ve seen a lot of plot twists but this is definitely one of the best and it’s definitely, by a mile, the greatest twist in this franchise so far.
1. The Very Last Scene
I don’t know what it is about the final scene in The Empire Strikes Back that makes me so happy but it really does. I think it’s the cleanness of the scene if that makes any sense. All of the characters have finished their adventures and look refreshed. Lando and Chewbacca are on a mission to find Han Solo. Princess Leia is sad but beautiful in her iconic white dress and all-new hairstyle. R2-D2 and C-3PO are clean and polished. And a healthy Luke is trying out his new robotic hand.
As Luke and Leia watch the Millennium Falcon flying off into space with the beautiful music playing in the background I get chills (and the occasional teary gaze) every time.
Gosh, I love this movie.
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