Tomorrow’s a big day! My family and I are going to see an early screening of The Last Jedi, the 8th “Episode” of Star Wars. I have to admit that I’m pretty jazzed to see it. Star Wars is one of those movie franchises that really excites me. Each time a new film starts, we see the words “Star Wars”, trumpets blare and we pull back onto the deep space sky with a million stars. Without fail, my pulse quickens and I get a little lump in my throat. In that instant, I’m the 11 year old kid who saw the first Star Wars in 1977 not really knowing what to expect, but, like so many other 11 year olds at the time, was completely blown away.
The early reviews on The Last Jedi look good so we have very high hopes for this film. Given all of the anticipation, I got to thinking about Star Wars and realized that even after all of these years, Empire Strikes Back is still my favorite. A few of the reasons why:
- “I am your father”: I know it’s a cliché by now but that “oh shit” moment in Empire Strikes Back caught most of us by surprise and it was freaking awesome. It also starts us down the path that leads to Darth Vader saving Luke from the Emperor in Return of the Jedi.
- Luke being trained by Yoda: I thought the introduction of Yoda and the various steps of Luke’s training were really fun and memorable. The wimpy farm boy from A New Hope (Episode 4) all of a sudden had some skills.
- “I love you.” “I know.”: Han Solo gets captured by Boba Fett the bounty hunter and just as he’s about to be frozen in carbonite for transport back to Jabba The Hut. Leia declares her love and Han’s response is classic.
- The AT-AT battle on planet Hoth: The film begins on the ice planet of Hoth and before long, the Empire shows up in the big walking vehicles to attack the Rebel base that is hidden there. The imagination and creativity of the environments and situations really have been unrivaled except possibly by the Harry Potter films. And given what year these films were made, the special effects in them were especially impressive.
- The Creatures: This isn’t necessarily exclusive to Empire Strikes Back but one of my favorite things about these movies is the endless variety of creatures that the filmmakers constantly come up with to inhabit their various worlds. Even ones that only enjoy a fleeting moment of screen time are impressive.
What was your favorite Star Wars movie?