Journey to ‘Star Wars’: ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

It’s the best for a reason.

Image via Lucasfilm

“I love you.” “I know.”

I have been a nerd for a long time, and this movie is a large part of that. I couldn’t tell you when I first saw it. I know that my parents had a VHS of the movie when I was a kid and I know that I have seen it more times than I can count. It is one of those few movies that is truly timeless. I haven’t seen it in years, but simply watching a few clips on YouTube brought back all kinds of great memories of watching it over and over with my family and friends, dissecting every line and every shot as we got excited to watch the prequels in theaters (needless to say, those didn’t turn out as good as we hoped, but that is for another article).

This movie stands proudly as one of the greatest sequels ever made, if not one of the greatest movies of all time, which is saying something since it came out during a time when sequels either didn’t exist or were only a shadow of the original. It improved in almost every way from the original, A New Hope, with better writing, better special effects, and better character arcs. The Empire Strikes Back may not have started the trend towards trilogies with the middle movie going badly for the heroes, but it is the most well-known example, inspiring future releases like Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2, Terminator 2, X-Men 2 and more. The story may have been a bit cheesy and it may seem cliche now, but sometimes a little cheese is a good thing and it only seems cliche to us because everyone else ended up copying it. In case you forgot, this movie introduced audiences to Yoda, Hoth, Lando, Luke’s parentage and Cloud City, all while telling a great story about the tension between responsibility and taking care of loved ones.

Image via Lucasfilm

Image via Lucasfilm

The most important thing that The Force Awakens can learn from the best Star Wars movie is to remember that the story and characters don’t serve the science fiction, the science fiction serves the story and characters. The story of Star Wars would feel just at home in a medieval time period as it would in a futuristic one. It is one of those timeless stories that could be adapted to almost any setting, making it all the more important to make the story the best that it can be. This was one of the many issues with the prequels, for while Coruscant and Naboo were beautiful to see, it didn’t matter when the characters were flat and uninteresting.

The Force Awakens edges ever closer, so be sure to stick with us as we journey ever closer to a galaxy far, far away with our post on Return of the Jedi next week. Until then, may the force be with you.

Is ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ the best Star Wars movie? Can you think of anything they could have done differently? You can tweet me @adam_mcconnell. And be sure you follow us @YouNerded.

About Adam McConnell (97 Articles)
Adam McConnell is a staff writer at He is a dorkasaur and only wants to be accepted by society. You can follow him on Twitter @boyuvdarkness.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Journey to ‘Star Wars’: ‘A New Hope’ | YouNerded
  2. Journey to ‘Star Wars’: ‘Return of the Jedi’ | YouNerded

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