2010 marked the 30th Anniversary of the greatest movie ever made; The Empire Strikes Back. But why is it so good, and why is it considered the best Star Wars movie? Below you’ll find ten reasons why Empire still reigns supreme as the best Star Wars ever made.
“No, I am your father.”
For those who didn’t grow up with the Original Trilogy already part of our popular culture, this revelation made our heads explode. It was a shock, and one our primitive little minds couldn’t handle. We were all like Luke in that theater, screaming “Noooooo! That’s impossible!”
While Boba Fett was introduced in a short animated segment in the Star Wars Holiday Special, it was Empire that made him a star. While Boba Fett may have become a bit too over saturated in the last few years with Lucasfilm cashing in on his popularity, in Empire he’s still the mysterious bad ass and you don’t yet know his backstory.
If everything you need to know in life you learned from Star Wars, a good portion of it would have come from Yoda. The bumpy green Muppet that no one expected to be convincing actually turned out to be one of the best parts of Empire and one of the best movie characters ever.
The Bad Guys Win
For an entire generation, The Empire Strikes Back was the first real movie tragedy they experienced. Throughout the entire film, the good guys are on the run while the Empire makes their life a living hell all the way to the end. It’s not the rousing triumph that Star Wars was, the title was really true.
The Battle of Hoth
While it didn’t cause as much shock as Vader’s revelation in Cloud City; the Battle of Hoth was also mind-blowing. Most people were caught completely off guard by the awesomeness of the giant AT-AT walkers. Huge four-legged walking tanks beating the crap out of the Rebels as they try to get away set the stage for what would come in the rest of the movie.
The Imperial March
The Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best of John Williams’ Star Wars score, partially due to giving us the Imperial March. But beyond that we got Yoda’s theme, Leia’s theme, and that great suite from the Cloud City Escape and the whole finale.
The Asteroid Field
Jedi did give us an awesome space battle, but the Asteroid Field in Empire is still a classic space sequence with the Falcon on the run from Star Destroyers and TIE Fighters, limping all the way. Again, the soundtrack here is also completely awesome as are the effects that still hold up today even in the non-Special Edition version.
Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder
Probably thanks to Lucas not writing the screenplay; the dialog, character interaction, and humor is much better in Empire. Han Solo was never better in the trilogy than here. In Star Wars he was just along for the ride and in Jedi he’s a glorified guest star, but in Empire he shines.
A City in the Clouds
Every Star Wars movie introduces new environments, but Empire’s are the best. There’s the snowy Hoth, swampy Dagobah, and Cloud City on Bespin. All three of those, and especially Cloud City, make Empire’s locations the most memorable of the trilogy.
Han Solo frozen in Carbonite and sent to Jabba the Hutt, Vader is Luke’s father, Lando is flying the Millenium Falcon; what’s going on here? Empire’s cliffhanger left people wondering what would happen, and when it came out people had no idea. The three year wait for Return of the Jedi was hell.