The Empire Strikes Back

Critics Consensus

Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 103

97%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,057,996

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Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Videos

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Movie Info

The adventure continues in this "Star Wars" sequel. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) 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 (David Prowse).

Cast & Crew

Mark Hamill
Luke Skywalker
Carrie Fisher
Princess Leia
Billy Dee Williams
Lando Calrissian
David Prowse
Darth Vader
James Earl Jones
Darth Vader (voice)
Voice
Frank Oz
Yoda
Voice
George Lucas
Writer (Story)
Jim Bloom
Associate Producer
George Lucas
Executive Producer
Robert Watts
Associate Producer
John Williams
Original Music
Peter Suschitzky
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Critic Reviews for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

All Critics (103) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (97) | Rotten (6)

  • The Empire Strikes Back Displays the same soaring imagination that made Star Wars a filmmaking classic; most other space movies seem clunky and earthbound in comparison.

    July 17, 2019 | Full Review…
  • This is a respectable sequel to Star Wars but not as good.

    April 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The Empire Strikes Back is the ultimate in fantasies, a visual wonder and a movie that should be recommended highly if only because it makes you feel good.

    December 15, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Despite a couple of drawbacks, the Empire Strikes Back is an immense amount of fun -- big and splashy and breathtaking in its display of cinematic genius by a huge group of marvelously talented people.

    December 14, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Another richly imaginative, engrossing and spectacular motion picture from the redoubtable George Lucas.

    June 29, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The Empire may not top Star Wars, but it certainly makes one look forward to whatever new surprises George Lucas and his band of cinematic wizards can conjure up for us.

    June 29, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

  • Jun 22, 2016
    Proof that if George Lucas wants his intellectual property to grow and flourish, he should lay the ground work and then take a step back and let it develop on its own. This is evident in the leap in story depth and character development from A New Hope to Empire Strikes Back. Maybe he should have let someone else take over screenplay writing and directing after Phantom Menace. This film really does get deeper into the characters and is definitely the best film in the first trilogy. Sets are extraordinary and Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian (aka the only black guy in George Lucas's universe) was excellent. They ended the film in a perfect place making the audience crave to know what happens next. The film gives us a chance to grow even more with the characters from A New Hope and has a massive reveal toward the end (at least to those that saw it in the 80s).
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 26, 2016
    A masterful film on almost every level, The Empire Strikes Back is not only ambitious in it's undertakings and more emotionally in it's storyline, but it's also an amazingly crafted and stunningly perfect movie that encapsulates everything that is good about the franchise.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 05, 2016
    By far the best of the Star Wars saga. The Empire Strikes Back is a deeper take than A New Hope and has one of the most iconic moments in cinema history. Two Thumbs up!
    Mr N Super Reviewer
  • Jan 29, 2016
    What a marvelous piece of work is "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980). The Rebel forces who are fighting the evil Galactic Empire have destroyed the Death Star, the planet-shaped mechanism that had the capability to blow up planets. And now the Rebels are stationed on a snowy planet, planning their next attack. Young Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has become both a strong presence in the Rebel alliance, and he is also learning to harness the powers of the Force, the energy which binds all things together and which, if used positively, can unleash unseen powers for its wielder. In order to do this, he makes his way to Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz), the last remaining Jedi Knight, for special training. The film eventually climaxes in a major confrontation between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones). This film has been out for 36 years so most people know the big reveal, but still I won't say, supposing you haven't seen it. Suffice it to say, the revelation creates a new sort of conflict in our hero Skywalker that we won't see resolved until the next film. "The Empire Strikes Back" is truly the best film of the original trilogy, and the best film of all the Star Wars films by far. The only film that rivals it is the new film "The Force Awakens" (2015).
    Billie P Super Reviewer

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