My Five Favorite Things About The Empire Strikes Back

So I realized that after I posted My Five Favorite Things About A New Hope that I totally forgot about Solo and Rogue One, lol. I had planned on doing them in chronological order, but now it would just be weird to go back and do them. So I’ll continue on with the main trilogies, and then at the end do Solo and Rogue One.

Anyway, here’s my five favorite things about The Empire Strikes Back.

Favorite Scene

Carrie Fisher

I’m going to say pretty much all the scenes between Han and Leia. I simply can’t pick just one, because they’re all delightful. The arguing, the banter, the chemistry and sexual tension, the tenderness–it’s all great. The kissing scene in the Falcon, culminating in the “I love you, I know” scene in the carbonation chamber makes up the best love story in all of Star Wars, in my opinion. When I was a kid and first saw Empire, it was about Han and Leia first, lol, and then Luke and Vader.

Favorite Duel

Again, there’s only one duel of note in this movie (besides Luke’s confrontation with Vader in the dark side cave on Dagobah, which is symbolic), and it’s between Darth Vader and Luke in Cloud City on Bespin (which is for reals). And it’s probably my favorite duel out of all the films in many ways. It’s kind of a game of cat and mouse, as they clash, each disappearing and reappearing, pouncing on each other suddenly and violently. Everything about this duel is epic: the part where Vader uses Luke as target practice and Luke smashes through a window and falls; the savage confrontation on the catwalk and the loss of Luke’s hand; Vader’s shocking revelation and offer; Luke’s decision to step off the catwalk and fall into oblivion rather than join his evil father in ruling the galaxy. So much going on here, and we get some insight into each character: Vader is willing to betray his master the Emperor and overthrow him (which is basically what the Sith do, but we wonder if he’s got a soft spot for his son, and therefore a bit of light left? Maybe?); and we see Luke’s total commitment to the Light and choosing to die rather than join evil. Later, in ROTJ, that commitment will be tested, but right now, there’s no question of going down that shaft.

Favorite Line

You know, up until very recently, this line confused the hell out of me. What does it even mean? I’ve come to realize that what Yoda was getting at is how you go about doing something–if you go into it “trying” then you’re letting in doubt about succeeding. Perhaps you don’t fully believe in yourself, and believe that you may fail. Once doubt sets in, I think Yoda is saying, then you’re doomed to fail. If Luke doesn’t believe in himself, then he doesn’t believe the Force will help him, and the Force won’t believe in him–it won’t work with him to move that darn X-Wing. A Jedi needs confidence and faith, in himself and the Force. Anyway, that’s how I’ve come to see it. A lot of philosophy in those few words, lol.

Funniest Moment

More classic Han Solo:

He’s got a point.

Most Impactful Character

Yoda. Yoda is the mysterious center of the film–force ghost Obi-Wan exhorts dying Luke to find Yoda and train to be a Jedi with him. Once on Dagobah, Luke finds not a “great warrior,” but a little wizened green guy with big ears, who makes a mess of his camp and plays tug-of-war with Artoo. But everything Yoda does is a lesson: he wants to gauge Luke’s response to him before he reveals himself. And of course, he finds that Luke takes things at face value, as most of us do sometimes. The lessons begin immediately, and he shows Luke that he has a lot to learn. He has misgivings, but trains Luke anyway–brave, considering he did the same thing with Anakin. Or perhaps he senses something in Luke, the strength of the Light in him. Either way, he has a lot to do with the Jedi Luke becomes. Wars not make one great, but Yoda is definitely a great Jedi Master.

What are your favorite things about The Empire Strikes Back? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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The Empire Strikes Back

My husband I watched The Empire Strikes Back on Sunday afternoon at our local movie theater. I still love everything about it, but what I loved the most was that I was watching it in the very same theater I had first seen it in 40 years ago as a kid.

Oh, the theater’s different, that’s for sure. It’s a multiplex now, has been for decades, but when I first saw Empire with friends at ten years old, it was the only movie playing, in a theater that was designed as a throwback to its old vaudeville days. It was still a thrill to watch the familiar words scrawl up the big screen, and even though I’ve seen this movie probably a few dozen times and know it like the back of my hand, I settled back into the seat for what I knew was going to be a treat.

In honor of ESB’s 40th birthday, I thought I’d list a few of my favorite moments from this, my favorite SW film:

  • AT-AT assault on Hoth.
coolpops: “ That Armor’s Too Strong for Blasters | Jock - Follow Artist on Instagram // Twitter // BigCartel • More Jock’s Artworks • More Star Wars Related Artworks ”
My first space battle! Well, alien planet battle.
  • Pre-prequel Yoda.
the empire strikes back star wars gif
Prequel Yoda was badass, but I’ll always prefer OT Yoda: prankster, teacher, wise one.
  • That kiss.
Pin for Later: An Important Reminder of How Hot Han Solo Is This Sexy Kiss
He really is a nice man, by the way.
  • That other kiss.
Han Solo Kisses Princess Leia from The Best Star Wars Movie Moments Ever | E! Online
I love this, too. They know.
  • Luke battles Darth Vader.
The 76 Most Beautiful Shots In The Original "Star Wars" Trilogy
Iconic, thrilling, edge-of-your seat dueling. And leads up to the most shocking reveal in movie history. You know it to be true.

Come to think of it, I love everything about this movie: the scenes, the dialogue, the humor, the music, the feels. Every. Single. Thing. Even Threepio’s constant complaining didn’t grate on me that much this time around. I suppose that’s true with every SW movie–I love them all–but there’s something about this one…it’s the one that made me fall in love with Star Wars, with Harrison Ford, with space fantasy, with storytelling, with everything I love about the movies.

It’s special, and it always will be.

How do you rank ESB in the Star Wars universe? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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