I’ve seen a fair few films.
One of the best of all time is Star Wars Episode 5- The Empire Strikes Back. I’m not going to number them or make bullet points, but there are a number of reasons why I think it is one of the best movies ever.
First of all, Hoth. Yes the entire planet, it’s a big snowball, Han even says so. The fact that the Rebel Cell led by Leia/Riekan and co make a base there shows how desperate they are to avoid the Empire, even though it looks like they’ve only just moved in. I mean, I like a bit of snow, but an entire planet where it’s Frozen but never Christmas, brrr, shiver me timbers Captain Jack!
Next is a little green guy, playing Luke like a Grand Piano, Why not just introduce himself properly? Yoda’s first appearance was a creative risk, a gamble that paid off. It’s not easy being green and muppety, just ask Kermit the Frog, but the characterisation, the inverted speech pattern and downright cheekiness made him flawless. Stand out moment- lifting the X-Wing out of the swamp. “I don’t believe it” Luke says, doing a poor impression of Victor Meldrew. “That is why you failed” Yoda tells him gravely. And then there is The Cave. Yes, remember the failure at the Cave. Luke V Vader, who loses his head and revealed to be Luke! A Dark Side entity or Force-Projection? One of the mysteries of the Force never answered.
Then there is The Executor, known for years as Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer. Dwarfing normal Star Destroyers, its appearance to the brilliant theme of The Imperial March by John Williams was awe-inspiring, as was the Playset, until it crashed in the back garden!
Finally- Han and Leia. Ahhhh, a little bit of romance out amongst the stars. There’s friction there at the start, as well as a bit of flirtation. You get the impression it’s been going on for a while. While the tension ramps up in the Asteroid field, it’s Bespin where they finally acknowledge their feelings. The added complication of smooth-talking Lando, then the betrayal and Luke’s attempt at a rescue. The ending is bittersweet, Luke and Leia, still unaware of being related, look out on a neighbouring galaxy as Lando and Chewbacca fly off to search for Han. Then, to the awesome end theme the camera pulls back on the Rebel Fleet, heading away from the neighbouring galaxy and into the unknown. What an Epic Finale.
So there are a few reasons why I rate ESB so highly, even more so than all the other films. Return of the Jedi was the Second part of ESB and concluded the trilogy. It will be interesting to see what JJ Abrams has done to finish off the saga and what might be coming next from A Galaxy far, far away. Or one of its neighbours in the Whills Cluster of Galaxies, as I’ve called them.