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CT Can someone please explain why Episode V is considered the best?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Logan La Marco, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. realjim949

    realjim949 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2017
    It only took four words - “I am your father” - to re-align the Star Wars universe. All these years later, we’ve become accustomed to Darth Vader’s identity. It’s no longer a secret. In fact, it formed the basis of the prequels. However, in 1980, this wasn’t something any fan had on his or her radar. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back was already a great movie by the time the scene arrived some 110 minutes into the proceedings. The revelation took the film to another level and virtually assured that no other Star Wars film, past or future, will surpass it as the best the saga has to offer.

    SW2 is a true classic. It has scope and grandeur. It has heroics and tragedy. It can make us laugh and cry. It can make us get up and cheer. It can shock us to the very core of our beings. The characters are larger than life and the space battles thrilling all these years later. This is space opera at the highest level. Star Wars was the purest kind of fun. SW2 is a richer, more fulfilling experience - not as heady, perhaps, but with deeper roots. It’s said that middle chapters of movie trilogies are often weak links but SW2 defies that rule. This is cinematic greatness.
     
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  2. Bob Effette

    Bob Effette Jedi Knight star 3

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    Dec 20, 2015
    It's the best for many reasons, mostly down to Irvin Kerschner's direction probably. It feels the most human of them all, because the focus is on the characters and their interaction with each other. Plus, for my money it is the episode that still looks the best and has the best sets. Those epic shots of the Falcon flying through that asteroid trench. Dagobah really is like something out of a dream. It is Tim Burton long before anybody had even heard of Tim Burton.

    I absolutely love the art deco design of Cloud City too. That red corridor where Vader speaks to Boba Fett for example. It looks so menacing yet beautiful at the same time. The carbon freezing chamber too was another gorgeous set, with the most incredible lighting. Also, the room beneath with the window out to the reactor and that oscillating humming sound (Blade Runner and Alien used the same sound)

    Everything about Empire is just incredibly well done. It never dates and never looks old.

    Nostalgia alert
    I was six when The Empire Strikes Back was released, and my grandfather took me to see it at a small cinema in Lancashire, UK. I took my original Kenner Han Solo figure with me and I cried at the end because I thought Han Solo was dead, and he was my favourite.

    Back then in Primary School, there was no internet of course, and we got our information from official tie-in movie photo-books and stickers. Before I went to see it, my school friend brought in a photo-book for this brand new Star Wars movie "The Empire Strikes Back" and I remember looking at the pictures inside during school break. I always remember feeling scared looking at the screenshot below of Han in the carbonite because it referred to the block as his "coffin", and had the caption "Lando kneels beside his frozen friend" I really did think they had killed him.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Who said that?

    Overall if anything it's the second that is the "easiest" in that it can build on the success of the first (without which there would be no second) but doesn't have to commit to a finish (even if it's taken from other material it's different in a movie to the book).

    Of course sometimes things really end after two (or are effectively another one-off) and for box office not creative reasons another one is made that doesn't need to be like T3. T2 is the end of the story and everything since then in movies has been unsuccessful. I never saw the 4th or 5th Terminators which themselves were trying to be firsts in new trilogies but obviously there were quite unsuccessful.

    The Dark Knight, T2, X3, Mad Max 2, Spider-Man 2, Aliens and even LOTR: TTT, Godfather II all built from the first films like TESB did from ANH.

    That among others is a whole lot of rule defying to be that exceptional.
     
  4. DealAlterer

    DealAlterer Jedi Knight star 2

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    Nov 2, 2012
    They didn't have the courage to kill Han Solo, which would have undoubtedly made Empire an even stronger film.
     
  5. Bob Effette

    Bob Effette Jedi Knight star 3

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    Dec 20, 2015
    That's a very fair point, but I really love the whole concept and execution of the carbonite scene. The design of the carbonite block is an absolute work of art and it is scary to think of being put in hibernation as he was.

    What would have been a more courageous story decision in my opinion would have been to have Han Solo lead the Death Star assault in ROTJ, and lose his life to make his selfish line from ANH "Besides, attacking that Death Star isn't my idea of courage, more like suicide" therefore a chilling premonition. He would have cemented his legend and his story would have come full circle.
     
  6. StartCenterEnd

    StartCenterEnd Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    May 2, 2006
    I rewatched this movie last night and don't know where else to put this. I noticed that we do not hear stormtroopers talk in Empire at all. I wonder if this in any way contributed to the darker nature of this movie compared to New Hope. The stormtroopers were kinda bumbling and corny and they sounded kinda funny in a new hope. Did making them silent while increasing the presence and menace of Vader do something to make the empire feel more of a serious threat in this movie? Could this contribute to why many fans hail it as the best even over the original?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    This post is not relevant to this thread. Please post this question in this the "Ask a Question" thread HERE
     
  7. AndyLGR

    AndyLGR Jedi Master star 4

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    May 1, 2014
    I think a sequel is only easier from the point of view in that you are virtually guaranteeed an audience off the back of the first. There have been many 'easy' sequels made but its not an easy task to better the first film. If we look at sequels in the years since Empire and we can see how some have arguably bettered the original or been as good as it, like the examples you list and maybe Wrath of Kahn and I'd also be tempted to throw BR2049 in there too.

    But looking at it now with nearly 40 of years of history since Empire its easy to forget the impact that Empire had. Back then sequels weren't always the best, they mainly were a rehash of the first. The James Bond franchsie was an exception with it being long running even then, but Godfather 2 is the only sequel I can think of from before Empire that bettered the original and took the story somewhere else to enhance the original too.

    Empire in many ways broke the mould in terms of its themes, its expansion of the characters, it not being a happy ending and it being a legitimate second act leaving threads hanging. What Lucas did was set a template and I feel Empire really is a defining moment of cinema. Who back then would have expected something so different to the original and for it to be unresolved too? It really wasn't the norm then to do sequels like that.

    In addition how many film franchises since have to become a trilogy and try to ape the OT? Lots have and there aren't many that can claim to have made such a strong film as the sequel to the original. Since then Hollywood has been littered with sequels to big hits, some of them successful, some not and the vast majority can't hold a candle to what Empire did, because the majority were made knowing they were trying to cash in, even if its a diminished return on the original. Of course Empire was probably born of a money making idea too, but the OT had a story to tell, they were thinking about what was next and what they did with Empire made it different and it stands out and Hollywood is still tyring to mimic that success with many franchises. But nowadays I feel that Hollywood is at least trying to think about its franchises more and where they are going.

    I'm so glad they didn't kill him then because the carbonite is a genius idea and it gave us one of the best scenes of the trilogy (my personal favourite in fact). That was anothe bold choice IMO.
     
  8. WookieTrooper

    WookieTrooper Jedi Youngling

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    Oct 12, 2017
    Popular opinion seems to favour Empire as the best of the saga; I too prefer it too, but only slightly more than Star Wars. The question is “Why is this film considered the best”. My take on it is simple, Irvin Kershner and Lawrence Kasden. I still believe that Lucas did a fine job as the director of Star Wars. But character development was never his forte. This was Kershner’s film to direct and his touch is all over the movie. Lawrence Kasden rewrote the entire story for Empire following Lucas’ outline. Kasden’s other claim to fame is he wrote Raiders Of The Lost Arc for Lucas and Spielberg. It’s no wonder that Empire is as good as it is.
     
  9. AndyLGR

    AndyLGR Jedi Master star 4

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    May 1, 2014
    Writing on his own and direction are not Lucas's strong point, you only have to look at the PT to see that. He did the wise thing and passed Empire, Jedi and Indy on to others.
     
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  10. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 18, 2013
    Yet who goes on and on about any movies that they did after that not associated with Lucas?

    So suddenly people didn't like ANH? The character development in the PT was of a much higher order than the OT.

    The story was not rewritten. In fact it was the least changed of any of the stories from when Lucas created it. It wasn't an outline but a first draft. Lucas then brought LK in to rewrite and expand the script (not the story) then Lucas rewrote/edited that and back and forth until Lucas approved the "final" script before shooting. That of course was then tweaked by Lucas, Kasdan and Kershner at various points during and after shooting.

    Actually they are but as with the OT Lucas didn't work simply by himself. Besides the credited Hales for AOTC both Carrie Fisher and playwright Tom Stoppard apparently did various dialogue work at some points. Nevermind that the usual cast of suspects looked over his work like Coppola, Spielberg and the like.
     
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  11. DealAlterer

    DealAlterer Jedi Knight star 2

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    Nov 2, 2012
    Star Wars > Empire IMO.

    Empire is a slow build. The first 20-30 minutes is almost entirely exposition and does little more than establish everyone's story since the last movie. I'm not saying it isn't good but it doesn't compare to the first 20-30 minutes of Star Wars.

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    The next 20-30 minutes is admittedly slower but it's also the most important 30 minutes in Star Wars because this is where we learn about Luke Skywalker, the force, the jedi, the empire, Darth Vader... and what a lightsaber is. This portion of the film is essentially 'Welcome to Star Wars'.


    [​IMG]

    Now admittedly the middle section in Empire is amazing. The Luke and Yoda stuff is magic and on par with anything in the original film, but the B-plot with the falcon is really just that... a B-plot. Outside of the asteroid chase there's really not much else that's 'legendary' about that portion of the film.

    It certainly doesn't compare to this:

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    And from there the movie just keeps building and building. The rest of the film is the DEFINITION of a roller coaster ride.

    [​IMG]

    That just goes higher...

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    ... and higher

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    ... and higher

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    ... all building and culminating to the huge, HUGE climax.

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    Star Wars is a movie that sucks you in from the first frame and literally doesn't let go until the very, very end.

    Empire is an amazing movie and it was genius how they expanded the story and approached the material from a different perspective, but overall I don't think it's as good of a MOVIE as Star Wars.
     
  12. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 18, 2013
    ANH is the best "one-off" SW movie there will ever be. One of the best movies ever I'd say.

    All the rest of the movies fit around it. Lucas in essence remade it 5 more times.

    It's a weird thing because it's not the best saga movie but that is because it in itself is not a saga movie. It's now one because the other 5 Lucas movies did that frame it but it works as it's own entity because that is what it was when it was made.

    There are 3 versions of Lucas' Star Wars.

    1) The original movie

    2)The original movie in the context of the following two that made up the OT even though it only really became a trilogy that ended because Lucas decided he wasn't going to do VII-IX.

    3) The original movie in the overall context of the OT and PT which creates the Tragedy of Darth Vader saga.
     
  13. AndyLGR

    AndyLGR Jedi Master star 4

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    May 1, 2014
    We know Lucas was responsible for Star Wars and we know how good the OT is without pushing his name in every sentence. You must be on some sort of commission for how many times you mention the name Lucas and its obvious that by doing so are trying to subliminally and not so subtly push everyone to your way of (blinkered) thinking. Also the agenda that you seem to have in trying to play down everyones involvement in making a great film like Empire and also the films since that Lucas hasn't been involved in is becoming repetitive and a bit embarassing because of the obvious bias and unwillingness to see past the great man himself. Theres a strange defence mechanism that comes up straight away in a lot of topics that prevents any discussion and credibility.


    Thats a great question as to why those 2 films in particular are considered the best of the franchises and he certainly hit the jackpot with both Empire and Raiders. They both have great stories, ideas, direction, performances, visuals, sets, costumes, characters, character development and scores. Maybe its a combination of everyone involved bringing their A game and it gelled and connected perfectly to produce 2 of the best films ever IMO. Thats not to take anything away from the original SW because its a classic in its own right, and started it all off, but for me Empire took it to another level entirely.

    Of course Kasdans success with those 2 films in particular has ensured he got asked back for TFA and Solo. In many ways I think that the original and Empire are the template that has so far defined the new Disney era Star Wars films, they are the standard to work to.
     
  14. cxcfffxx

    cxcfffxx Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Jan 17, 2017
    Look, I think everyone has their say. TESB has several reasons to be the best film in the saga, more what I like about TESB are the characters, each has its own screen moment.
     
  15. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    My most striking memory when I saw ESB the first time was the empathy shown by 3PO when he's trying to reassure Leia about Han and Luke on Hoth. Daniels does the most solid job throughout the entire trilogy, IMO.
     
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  16. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 18, 2013
    Stating facts is hardly "pushing".

    "subliminally and subtly" at the same time?

    I don't play them down but put it in proper context. The playing down angle is the one being used on Lucas. The number of people who actually think or want to think Lucas had little to do with TESB is really astonishing. They actually believe that Kasdan wrote it himself and that Kershner was the director like Lucas was on ANH.

    Don't follow this.

    As opposed to the strange attack mechanism that brushes aside production facts.

    This is Lucas we are talking about? Not LK who had nothing to do with ANH and didn't create either Empire or Raiders. That was Lucas then Lucas and Spielberg.

    Which to me is exactly what happened with Star Wars. 6 of the best films ever.

    No. He was doing Solo but when they got into difficulty he came in for TFA. I don't blame LK for TFA. With no Lucas or anyone of that caliber around plus the commercial expectations for VII they really had no interest in being bold in the storytelling. That wasn't the point of the movie.
     
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  17. AndyLGR

    AndyLGR Jedi Master star 4

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    May 1, 2014
    Again I am reminded of why I should never bother engaging or replying because it is a completely pointless exercise.
     
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  18. Darth Downunder

    Darth Downunder Chosen One star 6

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    Aug 5, 2001
    & who decides what constitutes a "higher order" in this case? You?
    Nice attempt at a drive by dig at a clearly more acclaimed & highly regarded movie than certain other episodes we could mention.

    RE Lucas & TESB. No doubt he had a lot of input into this film. Also no doubt that compared to the other 5 of his SW movies he had easily the least amount of involvement in TESB, particularly in terms of on-set production. The fact is it's widely regarded as the best SW movie. That it's the entry that tops every single poll that's ever held is a significant fact for many people. Particularly Lucas critics. Can't say I blame them.
     
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  19. CLee

    CLee Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Jun 18, 2017
    I think that in the last scenes of the Empire, after all they've been through, the characters are still optimistic and confident that they can rescue Han and even win more generally is really impressive and better than having total grief and bleakness.

    BTW something interesting is that the darkness in The Empire Strikes Back has been pretty embraced and acclaimed (over time, I think it initially was thought of as good but still a step down) and Jedi's reputation gradually gone down while there hasn't been much positive reassessment to the dark-toned Temple of Doom or increased negativity to the lighter, much-more-like-the-first-one (even somewhat rehashy) Last Crusade. That's probably in large part due to audiences just disliking Willie and liking Connery.
     
  20. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 18, 2013
    I don't know why engaging in facts of production are pointless.

    For myself? Yes. Not for you.

    I don't know how many hundreds of times I have to state this before the point comes across.

    If you feel different then you do and there is nothing I can do about it but disagree.

    This is the difference between objective and subjective.

    No one can say objectively that TESB is the best but they can state their case for why they think it is.


    Again here is the basic problem. If one person like myself says the prequels are of a far higher order it's apparently wrong because you disagree but then you say TFA is more acclaimed & highly regarded and that should simply be accepted as some sort of proof that is therefore objective. It's highly acclaimed and regarded by those that do so.

    Fine.

    I don't see why subjective opinions are a problem.

    Yet some do nevermind writing the story, script and being the executive producer. His work on the movie is a matter of record.

    Which is like saying in comparison instead of 100% for the other 5 it was 90%.

    Agreed that it's a fact in that regard. This of course does not mean that tons of other people don't disagree.

    In fact even for fans while TESB is the clear "winner" it's not a majority view:

    http://www.starwars.com/news/poll-which-star-wars-movie-is-your-favorite

    Over 100,000 fan votes:

    TESB 39%
    ROTS 22%
    ROTJ 18%
    ANH 12%
    AOTC 5%
    TPM 4%

    Which is fine for them. That I or any number of people can argue that any of the other 5 movies are as good as or better should hardly be a surprise to anyone.

    Which is one of the problems as the Lucas critics must really have a hard time knowing that the movie only exists because of Lucas and that without LK or IK that it would still exist but without Lucas it wouldn't.

    Empire was a bonkers sequel that no one else would have ever come up with but now in hindsight it's looked at being the only way it could go. That isn't true of course. He could have gone down a far easier path for each and every movie and never did.

    That is my point. Lucas did things the hard way which should always be commended even if you don't like the results and many people didn't in 1980 but came around.
     
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  21. Jar Jar Skywalker

    Jar Jar Skywalker Jedi Youngling

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    Oct 18, 2017
    I think it's overrated because of the 'I am your father' twist.

    Han and Leia have no proper arc in this one, they just drift around and have romance. Only Luke's arc was interesting. ANH is a much better well rounded film where every character contributes well.
     
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  22. Jcuk

    Jcuk Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Mar 16, 2013
    I think it's best to remember that before the Original Trilogy, there had NEVER been such a thing in cinema before.
     
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  23. Darth Downunder

    Darth Downunder Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Sure but we can state as an objective fact that TESB easily tops every single SW poll that's ever conducted. That doesn't mean that if you favor one of the other episodes you're "wrong", of course. But it is a highly significant fact. Just as much as the fact that the same two episodes always come dead last in every single poll & metric.

    As an example, that poll you posted showed that TESB received almost double the votes of the next highest. At a certain point there is another definition of "better" that comes into play. There's enough evidence across countless polls & metrics to say that TESB is objectively better at entertaining & being approved of by more people than the other SW films. We need to be able to recognise this, otherwise we can almost never say anything on this topic. As an extreme example, technically we can't say that The Godfather is an objectively better movie than Norbit. No doubt, there are some people who would prefer the latter. They're not wrong to think so. Yet when you have such an extreme difference in acclaim & such a weight of opinion surely you can say generally that The GF is a better movie. In the sense that it's vastly better at providing enjoyment to a vastly higher proportion of its audience. Enjoyment being the primary goal of any commercial movie. So it is with TESB & the SW movie(s) at the other end of the spectrum.
    Ridiculous on both counts. It's all a collaboration, even usually the script & story phase. In the case of TESB the contributions of Kershner, Kurtz, & Kasdan all combined was HUGE. Some quotes from Lucas about this:

    Q: "What did you do on this film?"
    GL: "I provided the story and technical advice, like, does a robot do this or that? They shipped me the dailies and I looked at them. There were some problems. They were a little over budget, over schedule. That concerned me, because I only had so much money and I was afraid if they used it all up, we wouldn't be able to finish the movie. But I knew they were trying to do the best job they possibly could, and I thought the stuff looked terrific. It's truly Kershner's movie."

    Q: "How would you have made the movie differently?"
    GL: "Hard to describe. I look at a scene and think, "Gee, I wouldn't have done it that way." A lot of people have told me that The Empire is a better film than Star Wars, so whatever my disagreements were, well, Kershner was right."
    http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/the-empire-strikes-back-and-so-does-george-lucas

    So pls don't bother downplaying the role of Kershner & others. Bcs Lucas hasn't done that & he should know. He provided the basic story & did some other important work but there's alot more to a movie than that.
    No, without Kershner, Kurtz, & Kasdan TESB as we know it would not exist. There'd be a movie with the same name but it would be very different, as Lucas clearly indicates in the quote above. He "wouldn't have done it that way". All I can say is, thank God someone else was doing it their way.
     
  24. Rickleo123

    Rickleo123 Jedi Knight star 3

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    May 20, 2016
    After the disaster that was TLJ I went back and re-watched ESB. This movie really is a work of cinematic art on par with The GodFather and other cinema classics. I don't think anything in the SW universe can ever top it. It was a perfect circumstance of forces coming together. Lucas' incredible grand genius vision, Kasdan's witty dialogue and nuanced scene work, the subtle and impeccable directing of Kershner and the once in a generation score of John Williams. The way it balances tone and the unfolding dramatic beats are just pure poetry of light, visuals and sound. There's comedy, but it never undermines the tension, there are plot twists but nothing is there for pure shock and the gravitas is operatic in its reverence for the story it's telling. It saddens me that we won't ever get a movie like this again. Then again it's mythic power will never fade. It transcends its time and really only grows in stature with age. This film and the OT as a whole is on par with The Odyssey and other hero's journeys that all cultures can draw inspiration from and will do for as long as humanity struggles on this pale blue dot.
     
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  25. jimtalkbox

    jimtalkbox Jedi Knight star 1

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    Dec 22, 2015
    I always felt like ESB was always "the meat" of the OT. I hate to compare it with ANH, but it does such a great job of expanding on what ANH introduces.
     
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