According to Empire magazine, The Empire Strikes Back is the best movie ever made.
The film magazine polled its readers on the “301 Greatest Movies of All Time,” and the second Star Wars movie ended up in the number one spot, beating out The Godfather, The Dark Knight, and The Shawshank Redemption, to name a few of the other 300. A New Hope was ranked sixth. You can see the whole list here: http://www.empireonline.com/301/301.asp.
Pretty impressive! I personally would disagree that Episode V is the best movie ever made (you can see from the picture above my blog title where my loyalties lie), but it is most definitely the best Star Wars movie. It’s got incredible action scenes–the battle on Hoth, Han flying through the asteroid field, that lightsaber fight with Darth Vader, etc. It also has the most varied landscapes of the original trilogy. We go from icy, Antarctic-like Hoth to swampy Dagobah to the almost magical Cloud City, with plenty of outer space in between. I think I can credit this movie with opening my eyes to all the different worlds that sci-fi makes possible.
But more importantly, Empire Strikes Back has the complexity and character development that the first movie lacked. Han and Leia’s banter is always a joy to watch, and their inevitable romance is quite touching. Besides the three main actors, who are all at the top of their game, two of the series’ most iconic characters are introduced: Lando Calrissian, who *almost* beats Han Solo at being cool, and, of course, Yoda. Luke’s journey to becoming a Jedi is right up there with the best hero quests in fiction, and the training scenes make it believable. The screenplay is by far the best of any Star Wars movie–probably because George Lucas wasn’t one of the screenwriters.
Also, have I mentioned how much I love R2D2? I really love R2D2.
So yeah, when I say I love Star Wars, about half of that love belongs to The Empire Strikes Back. And apparently a lot of movie fans agree with me. Perhaps some modern directors could learn something from this? Like, you don’t need CGI to make a great sci-fi movie? Food for thought, anyhow. Namarie!