The Empire Strikes Back Poster

Release Date: May 21st, 1980

DVD Release Date: September 12th, 2006

PG|2 hr 4 min

Plot Summary
The adventure continues in this "Star Wars" sequel. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) face attack by the Imperial forces and its AT-AT walkers on the ice planet Hoth. While Han and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke travels to Dagobah in search of Yoda. Only with the Jedi master's help will Luke survive when the dark side of the Force beckons him into the ultimate duel with Darth Vader (David Prowse).

Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Peter Mayhew

Director: Irvin Kershner

Genres: Fantasy, Action, Science fiction, Adventure

Production Co: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Distributors: 20th Century Fox

Keywords: Rousing, Transformation, Rivalry, Pursuit, Rescue, Dark

Ratings & Reviews

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  • While Empire doesn't quite measure up to Star Wars in the freshness and originality of its script, and the plethora of space operas that has been jamming the screens ever since Star Wars has somewhat lessened the novelty of city-sized ships sailing the stratosphere, nevertheless this 20th Century-Fox release remains a rattling good entertainment, a worthy successor to the original — and far and away the best of its kind since Star Wars itself. show more

  • No, this time out, the "Star Wars" enterprise isn't anywhere as enjoyable as the original...One might argue that all this represents a gain, adding to the original, sophistication, richness, depth. But truth to tell, these developments seem little more than inappropriate. To place internal struggles within one-dimensional characters who by definition have no interior is absurd; just as it also seems misguided to take such frothy stuff as the "Star Wars" saga and attempt to give it substance and weight. show more

  • The best of three Star Wars films, and the most thought-provoking. After the space opera cheerfulness of the original film, this one plunges into darkness and even despair, and surrenders more completely to the underlying mystery of the story. It is because of the emotions stirred in Empire that the entire series takes on a mythic quality that resonates back to the first and ahead to the third. This is the heart. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

Awards

Winner Sound
Nominated Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Winner Special Achievement Award (Visual Effects)
Winner Original Film Music
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1980)
Nominated Music (Original Score)
Nominated Sound
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1980)
Nominated Production Design
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1980)
Nominated Art Direction