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Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

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After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader and a bounty hunter named Boba Fett all over the galaxy.

Director:

Irvin Kershner

Writers:

Leigh Brackett (screenplay by), Lawrence Kasdan (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
151 ( 48)

Here's Your Cheat Sheet for the 'Star Wars' Saga

With the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, this is the perfect opportunity to recap the epic space opera audiences have enjoyed for over 40 years.

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Top Rated Movies #14 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 24 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Hamill ... Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford ... Han Solo
Carrie Fisher ... Princess Leia
Billy Dee Williams ... Lando Calrissian
Anthony Daniels ... C-3PO
David Prowse ... Darth Vader
Peter Mayhew ... Chewbacca
Kenny Baker ... R2-D2
Frank Oz ... Yoda (voice)
Alec Guinness ... Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
Jeremy Bulloch ... Boba Fett
John Hollis ... Lando's Aide
Jack Purvis ... Chief Ugnaught
Des Webb Des Webb ... Snow Creature
Clive Revill ... Emperor (voice)
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Storyline

Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca 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. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The battle continues... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sci-fi action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back See more »

Filming Locations:

Banks, Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,910,483, 25 May 1980

Gross USA:

$290,271,960

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$547,879,454
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lucasfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| Dolby Digital EX (DVD)| DTS-ES (6.1 channels) (blu-ray)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Han Solo's use of his mount's entrails to keep Luke warm is actually an American Indian trick. According to legend, a hunter named Hugh Glass had killed a bear despite being mauled severely, in the American frontier. He was abandoned by his fellow frontiermen, and had to crawl hundreds of miles to safety. On the way he became trapped by a sudden blizzard. He cut open a horse's stomach and climbed inside and stayed warm and safe until the storm had subsided. This event was dramatized in The Revenant (2015), starring Leonardo DiCaprio. See more »

Goofs

As they are are walking through cloud city, Leia is between Han and Lando. As they come around a corner, Han and Lando have switched places. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Luke: Echo Three to Echo Seven. Han, old buddy, do you read me?
Han Solo: Loud and clear, kid. What's up?
Luke: Well, I finished my circle. I don't pick up any life readings.
Han Solo: There isn't enough life on this ice cube to fill a space cruiser. Sensors are placed. I'm going back.
Luke: Right. I'll see you shortly. There's a meteorite that hit the ground near here. I want to check it out. It won't take long.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The stars form the backdrop for the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

In some German video releases of the original version, about 3 sec. where cut to obtain a "Not under 6" rating. The torture scene of Han, on Bespin was shortened, so you only see him lowering towards the torture machine, no actual light flashes could be seen, or any Han screaming. Never the less this scene was included completely in the last VHS release of the original cut, in 1995, Widescreen-THX-Remastered edition, and was still rated "Not under 6"! See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Mandalorian: Chapter 5: The Gunslinger (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Original 'Star Wars' Themes and Compositions
(uncredited)
Composed, Arranged and Conducted by John Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A worthy second (or 5th??) Star Wars installment, might be the best of the bunch.
7 October 2004 | by TxMikeSee all my reviews

My five children were all pre-teens when 'The Empire Strikes Back' came to the theater. While there had been other Sci-Fi movies with a theme of conflict in outer space, the 'Star Wars' trilogy filled our imaginations like no other movies before them. The fantastic, strange worlds were presented almost like we were there too. Aliens sitting around a tavern, enjoying drinks and speaking in all sorts of languages. Nothing before had approached the sheer size of the space ships depicted here, huge cities traveling all over the galaxy. And how about the jump to hyper speed, then disappearing from the screen as the speed exceeds light speed! And the light sabres of the Jedi Knights. The Jedi Knights, a striking parallel to the Japanese Samurai.

It is fruitless trying to argue 'which is best' in a trilogy, because the first one, in this case 'Star Wars', starts it all and has to be the 'father'. However, an argument can be made that 'The Empire Strikes Back' (now on DVD called Episode V) is overall a better-made movie which has more excitement, and grabs your imagination,than the other two original installments (now called parts IV and VI). The DVDs finally came out last month, and they are near perfect, as we should expect from Lucas Films and THX. The bit rate is high, and the picture is nothing short of superb. As is the Dolby EX surround track.

My wife and I watched all three of the movies on DVD this week -- Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi -- compliments of our local public library. It was an appropriate reminder how good these movies are, and still ahead of their time. Nothing else has been made to compare to them.


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