Star Wars: Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back

While the fourth one, the introduction, was so self-obsessed, this one feels like a team working together both on and off screen.

Irvin Kershner, the director, was handed over this sensitive torch that not only reflects George Lucas’s vision but now also is the breadwinner to those believers, fans of the well established system, religion formed by Lucas himself in the first or more accurately fourth chapter of this breathtaking saga. And I have always thought that these two films or chapters have gone hand in hand, supporting and complementing each other with subtle inner beauty that shines but never discloses how the magic is actually created. For instance Lucas in the previous chapter beautifully and meticulously sewed a world for us to roam around. Ergo, all the scenes, if you look carefully starts with a wider shot and characters shown from afar. Characters invested, a resident of this world and part of the war. They are new to us and hence he, Lucas, gives each of them enough time to mark an impression on us and then gives us their closer look. A close up shot. Their, a close up shot was to be earned; exception being, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, obviously. But in this one. Irvin Kirshner insists on us to just completely lose ourselves in the reaction of these character, expression of these actors with their career defining performances. We know these fellows and are familiar to them, hence it is easy to latch themselves onto us. Kirshner tricks us and you will never feel cheated. But why would he trick us? It is because the script is brimming with betrayals. Left and right. Up and down. And I don’t just mean the plot, but the environment, the characters, teachers, friends, strangers and at the end, the truth. But above all, the surprising one, is the humor. Even humor betrays you in the film. Solo played by the Ford carries his reputation as a baggage and where we were expecting blanks to be filled with jokes and one liners, we get the truth.

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