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Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

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After the rebels are overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Master Yoda. His friends accept shelter from a questionable ally as Darth Vader hunts them in a plan to capture Luke.

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Top Rated Movies #13 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Yoda (voice)
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Emperor (voice)
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Storyline

Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca face attack by the Imperial forces and its AT-AT walkers on the ice planet Hoth. While Han and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke travels to Dagobah in search of Yoda. Only with the Jedi master's help will Luke survive when the dark side of the Force beckons him into the ultimate duel with Darth Vader. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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The battle continues... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sci-fi action violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

20 June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ITL 609,584,000 (Italy) (11 April 1997)

Gross:

$290,475,067 (USA) (30 June 1997)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (DVD)| (6.1 channels) (blu-ray)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes where R2-D2 is submerged in the mud pool were shot in George Lucas' unfinished swimming pool. Most of the crew were hidden under the water and the entire sequence was shot by George Lucas himself. See more »

Goofs

When Luke is hanging from the roof of the Wampa's cave, he uses the Force to draw his light saber to him. When viewed from Luke's POV, the light saber is clearly buried in the snow, but when viewed from the other side, it is just as clearly sitting on top of the snow, unburied. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Luke: Echo Three to Echo Seven. Han, old buddy, do you read me?
Han Solo: Loud and clear, kid. What's up?
Luke: Well, I finished my circle. I don't pick up any life readings.
Han Solo: There isn't enough life on this ice cube to fill a space cruiser. Sensors are placed. I'm going back.
Luke: Right. I'll see you shortly. There's a meteorite that hit the ground near here. I want to check it out. It won't take long.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the alternate DVD version, the Emperor is still credited as being voiced by Clive Revill, despite his performance being replaced by Ian McDiarmid. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Geeks Who Drink: John DiMaggio vs. David Giuntoli (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle in the Snow
Composed by John Williams
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Towers Over All The Rest: Intensity
6 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead:

This is my favorite; the others are not even in the same ballpark. Kirshner was noted for his intensity that got him into trouble with RoboCop 2. From the first frame, it is non stop action, great acting and intensity. There is a depth here, characters are deepened from the cardboard cutouts they were in A New Hope. Those that love Vader, as much as I do, owe a debt to Kirshner for here he is deepened into the terrifying villain we all loved. This was before he was emasculated in Marquand's travesty: Return Of The Muppets. Hoth is a fascinating planet full of weird creatures like the tauntauns. The action begins right away, no character development for a half an hour like New Hope. The probe droids, the attack on Luke, the rescue. Want to know how much I loved this movie? I saw it 30 times in my twenties waiting hours in line every time to see it in a 1100 seat rocking chair huge theater. Vader makes the earlier Vader look like a Cub Scout: strangling underlines, terrifying everyone around him; he strides with majestic evil throughout the movie. His has the best dialog of any of the movies: "Apology accepted Captain Needa. I am altering the deal, pray I don't alter it any further."

Kirshner is such a visual genius, watch for Vader always enveloped in steam or smoke like he emerged fresh from Hell. The duel between Luke and Vader may not have the athletics or the speed of Darth Maul and Obi Wan but Vader is so ruthless here. Watch how he pops out and almost chops Luke clean in half. This is the core of the success: Vader is depicted much deeper and more terrifying. The strength of his delineation is what gives the movie its power. It also, by the way, it part of the reason, besides the Muppets, that Jedi stinks so badly. They felt the need to lighten Vader and let Sidious be the heavy in Jedi; it wrecks all the work Kirshner did here. All the characters are deepened, the romance between Leia and Han acts as emotional clout to the impending freezing of Solo. The bravery to show Han being tortured, that was Kirshner. We can all but wonder what Jedi would have been if Kirshner and not Marquand had directed.

The main attack on the movie has always been that it suffers from being the second chapter of a trilogy leaving the viewers with a bad ending. We now know how it ends; that has faded in time. Yes, in 1980, you did have this awful lack of satisfaction with the cliffhanger ending. But, if you want to appreciate how great it is, compare it to that Clone crap second chapter in the prequel trilogy. This shows how great a well done second chapter could be. Luke's training with Yoda moves quickly and is not boring. Yoda is introduced well and grows quickly into the endearing Icon he became until he was ruined in the prequels. The other five movies are quite inferior to this in characterization, acting, writing and intensity. The freezing of Solo, with its attendant devastation on Leia, is done like any serious film would have presented it. The Masterpiece Of The Series. I do not regret one hour I spent waiting in line to watch this over and over, you will love it!!


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