Film - Empire is Best

The Empire Strikes Back

Steve Taylor-Bryant tells you why The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the Star Wars films, has a go at George Lucas and generally rants a bit. This is what happens when Star Wars is the talk of the office. We truly are sorry...

I don’t mean to cause controversy whenever I open my mouth or write something down. I never intend to tell everyone they are wrong, it’s just a gift…I mean curse, that I have to live with. So today is no different. I am going to tell you all why the god-like George Lucas should have stopped with the original trilogy and why The Empire Strikes Back is the best of all of the Star Wars films. Bring on the hatred and fan-boy death threats, I relish the fight.

Star Wars V – The Empire Strikes Back was directed by the late Irvin Kershner. Kershner was responsible for my favourite non-Bond Bond film Never Say Never Again, also directing Robocop 2 before retiring from directing after completing Seaquest DSV in 1993.

Whether it was from his time making documentaries in the Middle East or just the way he was, all Kershner’s films had a slightly darker aura around them and were full of social alienation and the weaknesses that all humans posses.

Empire was no different. It had a slower pace than the others and really let you get to know the characters well, highlighting the intricate parts of their personality that you didn’t quite get in Star Wars IV – A New Hope and that made your enjoyment of Star Wars VI – Return Of The Jedi an awful lot better. Irvin Kershner was all about the emotional base, the character or the person playing them, seeing the story through their eyes, quite literally in some scenes, which is why certain shots in the film are close ups of someone’s face. He wanted you to follow the story through the characters and not because of them. His style was to make films like an opera, especially the sequels. He wanted to leave all the climax for the third film and have his project be the emotional story telling Act Two.

The cast and crew, over the years, have all said they favoured Irvin Kershner’s style and personality over that of George Lucas (New Hope) and Richard Marquand (Jedi), and that Empire was the film they liked making the most.

Return of the Jedi was a better film because you learned so much in Empire and this is why George Lucas should have stopped there, with the first Trilogy. We really didn’t need episodes 1,2 or 3 and, quite honestly, they are not good films. The special effects are of course second to none, but that’s because they are nothing more than Hollywood films. George Lucas, when asked by Irvin Kershner why he wanted him to direct such a film, answered “Well, because you know everything a Hollywood director is supposed to know, but you’re not Hollywood. I like that”

Should have listened to your own advice George.

Image - IMDb.