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Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

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Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is the sequel to A New Hope, and the second of the original Star Wars trilogy (and thus is titled "Episode V"). Featuring most of the original cast of the first movie, it received its first cinema release in 1980.

Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers

Plot Summary After the destruction of the first Death Star, the Galactic Empire under the control of the dictator Emperor Palpatine and his enforcer Darth Vader seeks revenge upon the Rebel Alliance by staging a surprise attack, forcing the Rebels to evacuate their base on the ice planet Hoth. Luke Skywalker, after ensuring that the Rebel fleet had escaped to safety, heads to the Dagobah System with his droid companion R2-D2 in order to continue his training as a Jedi-Knight under the direction of Yoda - a diminutive yet powerful Jedi-Master. Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and the droid C-3PO make their way to Cloud City, a gas-mining colony run by an "old friend" of Solo's named Lando Calrissian. Initially betrayed by Calrissian, they become the captives of Darth Vader who proceeds to torture them. Luke, as Vader hoped, senses through The Force that his friends were in distress and, disobeying Yoda's warning, goes to Cloud City to rescue them. There, he meets with Vader and the two fight in an epic lightsaber duel, where Luke's undeveloped Jedi skills are no match for Vader. During the course of this fight, Vader reveals to Luke that he is his father in perhaps one of the most memorable scenes in cinema history. Vader hands over Han Solo to bounty hunter Boba Fett who has him entombed in carbonite. This procedure places Solo in a state of suspended animation and Fett transports him to Tatooine to receive a bounty from gangster Jabba the Hutt (whom Han owed a debt). Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 are able to escape from Cloud City with the aid of the redeemed Calrissian, but Leia mysteriously senses Luke is in trouble. Despite having his hand amputated in combat, Luke manages to escape from Vader and hangs precariously on an antenna complex under the city until Leia and Lando are able to return and rescue him. The group was almost caught when they learned the hard way with Vader in pursuit that the Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive system was deactivated to prevent their escape. However, R2-D2 managed to fix the system just in time for the ship to get away before they were captured. The film ends on a medical ship where Luke is outfitted with a prosthetic hand even while he, Leia and the droids see Lando and Chewie off as they begin their quest to rescue Han.

Critical reception

Many consider this installment of the series to be the best of the original trilogy in that it lacks much of the stilted acting of its predecessor, A New Hope, and the obvious and - some would say - overdone cuteness of Return of the Jedi.

Film credits

Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher[?] (Princess Leia), Billy Dee Williams[?] (Lando Calrissian), and James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader)

Directed by Irvin Kershner[?], from a screenplay by Leigh Brackett & Lawrence Kasdan[?] (adapted from a Story by George Lucas), musical score by John Williams.

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