Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (USA, 1980)
Directed by Irvin Kershner
Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams
IMDb Top 250: #11 (28/10/12)
The success of Star Wars took everyone by surprise - most of all George Lucas, who had struggled for four years trying to get his dream project made. Out of the original principal cast, only Alec Guinness had signed on for a share of the gross; ironically, he would be the one to try and distance himself from Star Wars in later life.
Attack of the Clones).
The action scenes in Empire are generally very well-paced. Since Kershner was not an action director, or had any great knowledge of special effects, we should give credit to Lucas and ILM where it is due. While the prequels were overflowing with effects but utterly devoid of direction, in Empire the two combine in near-perfect harmony. Lucas provides the eye candy, with impressive model shots and prop work during the battles as well as improved lightsaber and sound effects. But Kershner is always on hand to keep the camera on the characters, preventing us from feeling overwhelmed.
Revenge of the Sith, we are waiting with great anticipation each time they cut back to it. We also get the sense of Vader genuinely toying with Luke: he could just crush him like an ant, but that would be too easy.
Flash Gordon territory we are.