fives’s review published on Letterboxd:
It is impressive - most impressive - how this movie gets better the more I watch it (considering I have seen it countless times).
Every Star Wars trilogy has one movie that stands above the other two in terms of visuals, I don't think there is controversy in this statement. In the prequels, it's easily Episode III, and in the sequels, it's easily Episode VIII. Empire takes the cake as the visual darling of the Original Trilogy. The cold wastelands of Hoth, the arcane swamp that is Dagobah, a mix of clean, vibrant, calming, and sinister settings in Bespin, are not only easy on the eyes, but also a testimony of the amount of care & craft that went into making this movie convey its story through its visuals.
Dare I say, this is the best directed film in the franchise. George made the right call giving the opportunity to someone else to tell his tale, and Irvin Kershner did a more than outstanding job. This movie and its character have so much personality, each chapter of this story has its own unique atmosphere and charm. The cast has also noticeably improved their acting skill, and everything else feels better than the original (which was already breathtaking). There is a tremendous scope here, and everything the film tries to do pays-off very nicely.
My favorite section is still Yoda and the Force. Undeniably one of fiction's most well-integrated and iconic characters, he (and most of everything surrounding him) only got better after this film, but it is still the work that introduced him to us. Everything about the Dagobah scenes are mystical, Yoda's dialogue are all so beautiful and poignant, and the journey Luke goes through in the film is still one of my favorites. And, just so it doesn't semm like I don't have the same love for the other stories, Han and Leia's romance is masterfullly executed, 3PO is a blast, and Darth Vader's sheer impact needs no introduction.
Oh, and Williams' music? One of the best scores ever put into film. It's flawless.
Best Star Wars; yes, a basic answer, but that doesn't take away its merits and groundbreaking impact in the franchise and the basic premise of every sequel being made to this day. In fact, I am very happy I am not the only one that sees this as absolute perfection from every angle.
Ohh, great warrior. Wars not make one great.