After the first Star Wars film was such a huge success, a sequel was a bit of a gamble seeing as sequels aren't usually better than their predecessors. In this case, I found The Empire Strikes Back a lot better than A New Hope. I guess this one opened up Star Wars as a saga not an individual film like A New Hope did especially learning more about the Force, the history of the Jedi Knights and the Sith Lords and a shocking twist that becomes the purpose of the prequel trilogy. It is quite hard to explain what I mean by this but The Empire Strikes Back is almost like a road-space film seeing as most of the characters involved are fugitives for the Empire.
This didn't earn as much glory regarding awards like A New Hope did but The Empire Strikes Back is perhaps even more famous than that one seeing as it, as I said, changed the entire series around completely which led to more films and more success hence why it is my favourite Star Wars film. The pace of it was pretty intense the whole way through because the Rebel Alliance are on the brink of capture at the hands of the Empire but they have plans of their own to get away and fight back against them. This was perhaps more adult than A New Hope too seeing as it was a lot darker and there was more of a stronger two-sided story to it than just a group who go onto this sphere-shaped space station.
Fleeing the evil Galactic Empire, the rebels abandon their new base on Hoth. Princess Leia, Han Solo and the droids R2-D2 and C-3P0 escape in the damaged Millenium Falcon, but are later captured by Lord Darth Vader on Bespin. Skywalker, meanwhile, follows Ben Kenobi's posthumous command and receives Jedi training by Yoda on Dagobah. Will Skywalker manage to rescue his friends from the Sith Lord?
Mark Hamill's performance as Luke improved a lot and his character and what he goes through in this film makes it seem a bit like an underdog story seeing as Yoda is old now, Obi-Wan has died and he is now their only hope to defeat Darth Vader (and the Emperor in Return Of The Jedi). However, his determination to do that or not is rocked by a shocking revelation that would leave you thinking 'What?!' (Most of you probably know anyway). Harrison Ford has always been a favourite actor of mine but he shows especially in this one that he is the true hero in the original trilogy. Han and Leia are at each other's throats at the start of this film but the love between them begins to build during their time on the Falcon while fugitives from the Empire. Carrie Fisher was amazing and gorgeous once again as Princess Leia and I really liked Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian although his role wasn't as involved as it was in Return Of The Jedi seeing as he first appears just over half way through the film.
Back then, George Lucas not being director was perhaps a bad idea seeing as A New Hope was such a huge success but Irvin Kershner surprised us all with a brilliant sci-fi action thrill-ride that lived up to its predecessor and, in my opinion, far surpassed it. George may not have directed, produced (executive producer though) or written it but obviously was his story. I guess that shows that George is not a good director or writer (except Episode III and IV) but he is a genius at creating stories and expanding on the audience's imagination. Despite it not being their story, Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote it amazingly and, to be perfectly honest, it couldn't have been written any better than this.
Overall, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is a masterpiece of the fantasy/science-fiction genre and has proved itself to be one of the most famous and successful sequels ever made. In fact, for me it is the best sequel of all time. It is also my favourite Star Wars film and my favourite science-fiction film as well. This should have earned all the Oscar nominations over A New Hope despite that film deserved them too. Unforgettable classic.