Let me ask you a question…..how many times have you watched the original Star Wars Trilogy, and which one is your favorite? If you can’t make up your mind then you are not alone. Many people agree that Empire Strikes Back is their favorite because of the dark theme it portrays. My theory is that people like a hero story where the protagonists wins in the end and gets the girl or guy, and saves the universe. However there are a select few that secretly support the antagonist because they make the story more intriguing and spicier.
The Empire Strikes Back is the second chapter of the Star Wars saga. But if you want to get technical, ESB is actually Chapter Five in the whole Star Wars storyline. The Empire has struck a hard blow to the Rebellion and Luke is trying to find himself with the help of a three foot yellowish green Hobbit named Yoda. Han and Leia continue to play footsies under the table while trying to escape the Empire in the Millennium Falcon. Darth Vader is still the baddest looking Sith of all time. New characters get introduced to us that expand the Star Wars universe even greater. Billie Dee Williams plays this silver tongue, smooth-talking politician, Lando Calrissian, who runs a mining citadel called Cloud City, who later plays an important role in Return of the Jedi. Boba Fett gets his name immortalized with the capture of Han, sending his carbonite freeze-dried body to Jabba the Hutt. But ultimately gets eaten by a desert dwelling human eating Venus Fly Trap in Return of the Jedi. The dark impending doom for this underdog of a Rebellion resonates throughout the film where the powerful Empire is two steps ahead of them. When you watch a film like this, everything plays into how the story unfolds; the color scheme, the background, and the behavior of each and every character trying to survive against overwhelming odds.
In ESB, the development of the main hero, Luke, continues as he faces extremely difficult obstacles to become the savior of the universe and discover things about himself that only a licensed therapist can handle. But there aren’t any head shrinks in the Star Wars universe, only a blue aura-like old sage, and a greenish yellow Munchkin that speaks Dyslexia for Luke to bounce his frustration and confusing problems with. Yoda, the yellow greenish munchkin-like Jedi Master, is one of the most entertaining creatures that has ever graced us on the big screen. Even though his appearance is tiny, he can match strength and wisdom with the best Jedi out there. He proves this by using the Force to salvage Luke’s sunken X-Wing out of the swamp. As Luke trains with our beloved yellowish green gnome, he learns about the Dark Side and its illusions and deception, but firmly tells Luke that it is not all that powerful. Luke takes this advice when he confronts Vader in Cloud City trying to save his friends from the Empire and Boba Fett. In that iconic moment where Vader declares his secret to Luke, you get the sense that you are watching a Maury Povich segment about deadbeat baby daddies….. “Vader, you are the father!!!!!!!”. SHOCKER!!
In this film, we witness the Empire use all their malicious, evil-doing behavior to thwart the Rebellion’s plan to defeat them. Darth Vader shows off his mad lightsaber skills and Force mojo against whoever stands in his way, mostly on Luke. Vader’s actions are cold, calculating, and deviously intelligent throughout the film. His legendary cinematic moment when he reveals his identity to Luke will always give me chills even when I watch it a million times. His delivery of that iconic quote, “No…I am your father”, is brilliantly spoken by James Earl Jones. His deep growling tone echoes within your soul and into the lasting memories of one the best lines in cinematic history. You can only imagine what the audience’s reaction when Vader said that, probably a lot of gasping and amazement.
The developing relationship between the beautiful princess Leia and the scruffy looking “nerfherder” of a smuggler, Han, is dynamic, funny, cute, and inspirational to every couple who tries to find that special spark between each other. In human history, you hear women say that there are two types of men that they prefer; bad boys, and someone who they can bring to meet their parents. From the beginning, Princess Leia and Han’s love/hate relationship gives us perfect examples of what you would expect when you first meet somebody; sarcasm, arguing, playfulness, and discovering each other’s likes and dislikes. But in the end, you discover that your feelings run deep for your significant other. Leia discovers that when Han is put in carbonite by Vader and taken by Boba Fett for him to be delivered to Jabba the Hutt. One word of advice though, if your significant other tells you, “I love you”, do not respond with “I know”. Make sure your answer is “I love you too”. Or else you will be sleeping on the couch for a week.
Ok, let’s summarize, Luke gets his hand cut off by his deadbeat father. Han is frozen in carbonite and taken away to be displayed for a grossly obese slug worm-like gangster and the Rebellion is scattered throughout the universe. New friends like Yoda and Calrissian are introduced into the story to give the Empire a splitting headache, and Han and Leia finally get their groove on before all hell breaks loose. The saga concludes with Return of the Jedi where Luke and his rag tag band of rebels stir up more trouble for the nasty Empire, but that’s for another article. Until then…..MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!!!!!