Movie Review: Star Wars rewind

David Eckstein-Schoemann and Kenny Eckstein-Schoemann

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Seeing how great the first Star Wars turned out, you’re probably wondering how Lucasfilm would be able to top it. 

One example was by creating an emotionally-engaging sequel that moves the story forward in a different and dark way. “The Empire Strikes Back” is considered by many to be not only the greatest of the Star Wars films, but also one of the greatest films of all time. 

The story continues with the Empire seeking out the Rebels, led once again by Darth Vader. Luke receives a message from a deceased Obi-Wan to seek out his old mentor Yoda, the Jedi master who instructed him. 

After suffering a crushing defeat by the Empire on Hoth, Luke separates from his friends to seek out Yoda on Dagobah and learn the ways of the Force. While this is going on Han, Leia and the rest of the gang are constantly on the run from the Empire as they take shelter in Cloud City, run by Lando Calrissian.

 Little do they know, Vader is one step ahead and has an evil trap waiting for them, especially targeting Luke, who Vader has a keen interest in.

It’s so refreshing that they decided to not only do something different with this film, but also take chances with it. The pacing is much slower, the story is darker and it evolves the characters to a whole new level. The characters we all know and love aren’t the same characters they were in the first film.

 Luke continues to explore the ways of the Force, and we get a blossoming romance between Han and Leia. These are some of the greatest character moments we’ve seen in this series. It also helps that the narrative throws surprises at every turn and keeps you guessing on what’s going to happen next.

John Williams, once again, knocks it out of the park with the soundtrack. This movie has introduced more incredibly memorable themes into the Star Wars franchise. From the uplifting Yoda theme to the menacing Imperial March, Williams has taken his music to a whole new level with this one. 

This movie takes a happy go lucky adventure and turns it into something more gritty and, dare we say, even menacing. The Empire was threatening in the first film, but here they’re downright relentless.

They’re always on our heroes tail at every turn and chasing them into deadly situations. If that wasn’t bad enough, the fact that Darth Vader is hunting our heroes down is flat out terrifying. 

Vader  went from someone who controlled things from behind the scenes, to an unstoppable beast! Whenever he shows up on screen you feel the intimidation. You feel that if you encountered him in real life, you would lose to this guy. 

This is the movie that cemented Vader as one of the greatest cinematic villains of all time. He could strike you down in a single stroke or stand perfectly still and choke the life out of you. He’s patient, intelligent, and kills anyone who screws up or gets in his way. He’s everything we see in a great villain.

We would also like to talk about our favorite part of the film, which is when Luke is training under Yoda. 

This character, despite clearly being a puppet, stills feels very much alive. You never felt like Luke was talking to nothing, you see two characters sharing the screen together. It holds up because there’s so much great writing and acting behind it. It’s so good, that no amount of CGI will ever top it. 

Things get especially interesting when, much like with the first film, we learn about the ways of the Force. Yoda teaches Luke what it is, but not how it works. He shows Luke what he experiences, but doesn’t tell him what it means. 

What makes it even better is that it’s not all explained in dialogue, some of it is told purely through the visuals. 

The scene in the cave where Luke strikes down Vader and sees his face behind his mask is our favorite scene, because it makes people ask questions and draw their own conclusions. It’s a story that makes you think of what could or can happen, like good storytelling should.

The universe itself feels all the more larger and real in this film. Our heroes are not only more explained in-depth, but they’re also more vulnerable. They can fall into traps and lose to the villain. Heck, sometimes they can even lose limbs!

Speaking of which, let’s talk about the big reveal at the end. We’re not going to spoil it here for the sake of people who haven’t seen it. 

Much like everyone else, we didn’t see it coming. Without giving anything away, when it’s revealed, the lines between good and evil suddenly become blurred in an interesting way. 

It showed people that this conflict isn’t one sided and is more three-dimensional than they realized. What was once this clear black and white conflict, now feels like a complicated grey area that sticks with you after watching it.  It’s one of the few surprises in cinema that still gets a big reaction out of people to this very day.

Like many people, we consider this film the best of the Star Wars movies. While there are a few details that don’t add up, you overlook them because the rest of the film is so great. 

There is not a single dull moment to be found here, it’s all amazing to witness. We can watch it over and over and still get sucked into it.

 It’s dramatic, suspenseful and pushes the story into a bold direction. Give it a watch and see for yourself.

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