Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Review

Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back movie posterSynopsis
After Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) destroyed the Death Star, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and the rest of the Rebel Alliance go on the run from the Galactic Empire. When Darth Vader (David Prowse, James Earl Jones (voice)) discovers the Rebel base to the planet Hoth, he sends his forces to destroy the base and the Rebels inside.

Take everything great about Star Wars: A New Hope and improve on it and you have Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The relationship between Luke, Han and Leia is greatly developed and is actually the main focus of the movie. Whereas A New Hope introduced the characters and presented a lot of action, The Empire Strikes Back concerns itself more with character development. That’s not to say there still isn’t plenty of action. It opens with the Empire attacking the new Rebel base and there is a lightsaber duel between Luke and Darth Vader that is much better and more exciting than the Obi-Wan / Vader duel of the previous movie. This film’s score, once again written by John Williams, is my all-time favorite movie soundtrack. The only knock I have against this movie is that it left too much open to be picked up in the following movie, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. This is a personal preference, but I don’t like when movies aren’t self-contained, which is common among middle entries of a trilogy (see The Matrix Reloaded or The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is a demonstration on how to correctly make a sequel, upping the stakes, expanding the characters, and building the universe established previously. If it had a more definitive conclusion, it would have been a perfect movie.



Cast & Crew
Irvin Kershner – Director
George Lucas – Story
Leigh Brackett – Screenplay
Lawrence Kasdan – Screenplay
John Williams – Composer

Mark Hamill – Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford – Han Solo
Carrie Fisher – Princess Leia Organa
David Prowse – Darth Vader
James Earl Jones – Darth Vader (voice)
Anthony Daniels – C-3PO
Kenny Baker – R2-D2
Peter Mayhew – Chewbacca
Billy Dee Williams – Lando Calrissian
Alec Guinness – Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
Frank Oz – Yoda (voice)
Jeremy Bulloch – Boba Fett
John Hollis – Lando’s Aid
Kenneth Colley – Admiral Piett
Julian Glover – General Veers

Lightning Review: RoboCop 2

RoboCop 2 movie posterSynopsis
Omni Consumer Products (OCP) plans to foreclose on Detroit and putting the city under the control of OCP, taking them one step closer to building Delta City. Feeling that RoboCop (Peter Weller) is costing the company too much, OCP develops “RoboCop 2” under the direction of Dr. Juliette Faxx (Belinda Bauer) after finding the perfect candidate in the drug addict Cain (Tom Noonan). But when OCP loses control of Cain, RoboCop must fight a bigger and stronger version of himself in order to protect Detroit.

I really enjoyed the first RoboCop, it was gruesome but satirical and had some interesting themes at the heart of it. RoboCop 2 is just as violent as its predecessor but lacks the thematic undertones. It appeared like it was going to delve more into RoboCop’s humanity and past life, something I wish the first had done more of, but that was skipped over pretty quickly. This movie is more or less a melting pot of several ideas that could have been developed into their own RoboCop movie but instead they were all thrown together and as a result, none were fully developed. The most disappointing, however, was Cain. He had the potential to be a really great villain but instead his character is fairly weak. And his design as “RoboCop 2” is hideous and one of the worst designs for a robot I have seen. RoboCop 2 could have been a strong sequel if it had been able to expand any of the several concepts laid throughout the film.


For the rest of the RoboCop franchise, check out my reviews for RoboCop and RoboCop 3.


Cast & Crew
Irvin Kershner – Director
Frank Miller – Story/Screenplay
Walon Green – Screenplay
Leonard Rosenman – Composer

Peter Weller – RoboCop
Nancy Allen – Anne Lewis
Dan O’Herlihy – The Old Man
Felton Perry – Donal Johnson
Belinda Bauer – Dr. Juliette Fox
Robert Doqui – Sgt. Reed
Tom Noonan – Cain
Galyn Gorg – Angie
Gabriel Damon – Hob
Willard E. Pugh – Mayor Kuzak
Stephen Lee – Duffy
Roger Aaron Brown – Whittaker