The Movie Review Guy Best Movies for 2013
Dec 31, 2013
The Top 80 movies from the 1980's in 80 Days ( DAY 75):
6. “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)
As Luke trains with Master Yoda to become a Jedi, his friends evade the Imperial fleet under the command of Darth Vader who is obsessed with turning Skywalker to the Dark Side.
Mark Hamill—Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford—Han Solo
Carrie Fisher—Princess Leia
Billy Dee Williams—Lando Carlrissian
David Prowes—Darth Vander
Frank Oz—Yoda (voice)
Alec Guinness—Ben ‘Obi wan’ Kenobi
Jeremy Bulloch—Boba Fett
Facts about the this movie:
*More scenes of the AT-ST Imperial "chicken walkers" were filmed, but George Lucas decided that the larger AT-ATs were more menacing and impressive. He later realized that the AT-STs would work better in close quarters, which led to using them extensively in the forest battle in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi.
*In the asteroid scene, one of the asteroids is actually a shoe. The rumor is that George Lucas asked the SFX people to redo the scene so many times that they got annoyed and one of them threw in their shoe.
*Another of the asteroids is actually a potato. It appears just as the Millennium Falcon first enters the field. Two asteroids travel from the top left to the bottom right corner of the screen. Just after the second asteroid leaves the screen a third one appears in the top left corner. This is the potato.
*Lighting for SFX was so strong that several models melted.
*There seems to be many stories behind Alec Guinness and his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi. In George Lucas's original treatment (When it was ALL one story instead of a trilogy), Obi-Wan lives throughout the whole story (A fact confirmed by Lucas in the DVD Commentary). However, Obi-Wan ends up getting killed off in the first film (Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope). There are many stories as to why Lucas changed it. There are some stories that either Guinness demanded that Obi-Wan was killed off so he wouldn't have to appear in any sequels or Lucas did it on his own much to the bitterness of Guinness. In the Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope DVD Commentary, Lucas says that he felt it was a waste of Guinness's talents to have him stand beside Leia in the control room during the Death Star battle (as it was scripted) and too outlandish to have the elderly Obi-Wan join the dogfight. So he killed off Obi-Wan in order to spur Luke on to going into Jedi training and defeat the Empire. In any event, when it came time to make Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), in which Luke begins his training, Lucas drew from the "ugly creature with mystical powers" mythological archetype (as he did when creating Star Wars) and created Yoda as Luke's new Jedi master. Eventually, Alec Guinness was lured back into the role of Obi-Wan when he was promised more money. Therefore creating the "force spirit" motif that remains throughout the rest of the films, including the new trilogy.
*Originaly, the scene where Han rescues Luke on Hoth was to have been filmed at Elstree Studios, and only Mark Hamill was needed on location in Norway. But when a blizzard made it impossible to film anywhere but near the hotel, Harrison Ford was summoned to Finse, anyway. Unable to travel by train, he arrived in the engine compartment of a snow clearance vehicle.
*The scene in the Cloud City apartment where Han Solo enters to tell Princess Leia that the repairs on the Millennium Falcon are almost complete played out differently in the finished film than it did in the original script. There, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is lounging around in the apartment when Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) enters, having changed from the white combat clothes she wore on Hoth to the brown dress and having her hair done up differently. In surprised reaction to how she's dressed, Solo attempts to flatter her ("You look beautiful. You should wear girls clothes all the time.") and Leia teases him by mentioning Luke; the scene ended with them sharing a kiss. The film was originally shot this way, but director Irvin Kershner felt it wasn't coming out right, so he re-shot it to appear as it does in the finished film. Excerpts of how the scene was originally filmed can now be seen on the special edition DVD.
*Having Han Solo frozen in carbonite was (at least in part) due to the fact that they were not sure that Harrison Ford would return for a third film. When the original Star Wars was made Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill were signed for a three picture deal, but Harrison Ford refused. Ford even requested George Lucas to kill off Solo, since the character had played its part already, but Lucas refused, saying that he still had a heroic part for Han Solo to play in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi.
*Irvin Kershner initially turned down the opportunity to direct the film as he felt that it would be too difficult to top the success of Star Wars. He took the job when his agent convinced him that he shouldn't pass on the opportunity to make a sequel to one of the most popular movies in history.
*The scene where Solo was hit by the toolbox as well as hitting the control panels were improvised on the set. At first, the crew were afraid of shooting it, but Irvin Kershner finally persuaded them to do so, saying "Come on, that's fun. Let's do it!"
*In the original script when Lando is about to lead Han, Leia, and Chewie into the trap set by Darth Vader, Lando offers his arm to Leia, as a gesture to lead her down the hallway and she accepts it. Harrison Ford ad-libbed Han coming up behind Leia and offering his arm to her at the exact same moment to imply that Han was jealous.
*Carrie Fisher stood on a box for many of her scenes with Harrison Ford in order to make up for the height difference and have her appear in the frame with him. Carrie Fisher is about a foot shorter than Harrison Ford.
*The lightsaber fight scenes set in the carbon freezing chamber tend to focus on Luke. This is because during many of the shots, Bob Anderson (Vader's fight double) was not wearing the Darth Vader helmet, as it made it difficult for him to breathe.
*Mark Hamill had to bang his head 16 times on the ceiling of Yoda's hut before the director was satisfied.
*George Lucas was so impressed by Frank Oz's performance as Yoda that he spent thousands of dollars on an advertising campaign to try and get him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Lucas's campaign ultimately failed because it was felt that a puppeteer wasn't an actor.
*Han Solo is the only non-Jedi/Sith in the entire original trilogy to ever use a lightsaber when he cuts open the tauntaun's belly.
*George Lucas decided that a battle on an ice planet was necessary because he felt that it was easy to "cheat" in space, because the background was black and you could hide errors easily. With a white background, the effects crews would have to work much harder, and the effects would be much more impressive.
*With the exception of being sucked out of a Cloud City window, Mark Hamill did all of his own stunts.
*As Yoda and Obi-Wan urge Luke to stay on Dagobah to finish his training, Luke pulls a snake from his spaceship. Irvin Kershner assured Mark Hamill that the snake was harmless, though it did bite him during one take.
*In an interview with Cinescape magazine, director Irvin Kershner said that he thought the first film was trashy and how he had no interest in films with special effects. However, he was won over by George Lucas, although Kershner was determined to make the film more about characterizations than hardware. Kershner spent several months working on the script, pushing the writers into humanizing the characters more (something that Lucas has often been criticized for failing to do).
*When Han Solo is about to be frozen, Princess Leia says, "I love you." In the original script, Han Solo was supposed to say, "Just remember that, Leia, because I'll be back," but at the time of filming, Harrison Ford wasn't entirely certain he did want to come back for a third film. There is a recurring legend that his line, "I know", was ad-libbed; however Alan Arnold's book "Once Upon A Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back" includes a transcription of the discussion between Ford and Irvin Kershner in which Ford suggested the line.
*Boba Fett's action figure was originally to have had a rocket-firing mechanism, but after a child choked to death on a similar toy, Kenner dropped the mechanism and made the rocket stationary. A trace of the rocket launcher survived to the completed toy, however, as there is a rectangular area on the backpack in which the rocket launcher would have been embedded. The version with the mechanism is now considered the longest-running unobtainable action figure; contrary to popular belief, it was never sold to the public.
*It has been widely rumored that Luke's injury early in the film was included to explain the difference in Mark Hamill's appearance, as a result of a car accident he had been in shortly after the release of the first film. In fact, however, that scene was already in the early drafts of the script before Hamill's accident.
*In an early outtake, when Vader entered the Hoth base, he tripped over a cable and fell down face-first.
Why I Picked this movie #6:
1. Awesome Action
2. Good acting
3. Awesome dialog.
4. Brilliant twist.
5. It is a timeless movie.
6. The SFX in the movie.
7. The real life models made for the movie.
8. The best Sy-Fy movie ever made.
9. Brilliant cast.
10. Brilliant chemistry with the cast.
11. Has some of the most memorable scenes in film history.
12. Brilliant Script.
13. I can watch this movie over, over and over it never get old
14. Brilliantly funny.
15. Has some of the most memorable quotes / dialog in film history.
16. Has some of the most memorable action scenes in film history.
17. One of the most brilliant ending to a movie ever.
18. It is an all-a-round brilliant movie.
19. It is the best one out the original three. It is also the best out of the whole six.
20. One of the best sequels ever made.
21.The Beginning pretty brilliant to.
22. Could have easily been my number one movie of this whole list.
First time seeing it:
At a driven movie theater with my family.