Wednesday, May 04, 2022

The Empire Strikes Back (1980 Version) Easily Stands Alone As Best Star Wars Movie

Lied to about this Father his entire life by those he trusted most, not only for who he was, but led to believe he was murdered in order to put him into position to kill his own Father, thus ending a greater threat.

The reason the original version of The Empire Strikes Back from 1980 is far better than the 1997 Special Edition in my point of view, is because the SE unnecessarily added a scene with Darth Vader and the Emperor basically spoiling a part of the big reveal that Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker.

I saw the original Trilogy in the early 80's (in order) way before the SE versions and Prequel Trilogy existed, and the power/anxious nature when Luke faces Darth Vader for the first time in the 1980 film simply can't be matched.

Because the "lie" Luke was made to believe spanned two straight movies from 1977-1980, Darth Vader was positioned as the murderer of the main character's Father and as an audience you wanted Luke to somehow win against this mechanical yet human monster.

So the feelings conveyed (at least for me) when Darth Vader rather easily defeats Luke after a long fight of him basically seeing how much skill/power Luke has, is a somber one. There was no escape for Luke, he was going to be killed and he had failed to save his friends.

Darth Vader then reveals the real reason why Luke was drawn to that place by him: He was actually Luke's Father who was still alive and not his Father's murderer who also nearly killed him (Luke) just before that in the Lightsaber Duel.

The confusion, disbelief and despair Luke had in that moment was conveyed to the viewer perfectly, and then after he escapes death and he's safe, it starts to sink in for him that he was lied to for 22 years, and now he is questioning everything.

The movie ends there, a cliff hanger and not a happy ending for either side. The sequel, Return of the Jedi, answers the questions for Luke (and the audience) and it's another legendary movie but nothing really matched the tone set by The Empire Strikes Back from opening crawl to ending credits.


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