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Parents' Guide to

Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

The best of the original series, but the most intense, too.

Movie PG 1980 124 minutes
Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 46 parent reviews

age 8+

Well made for the 80s

It is an increadible movie with amazing scenes. There is some violence but it does not look too realistic. I warn you if you have not watched this movie there is a scene where Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader battle ( though I will not spoil to you all what happens ). It might just be a little bit creepy for sensitive people ( not including adults). Nevetheless the film is incredibly done.

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Great messages
3 people found this helpful.
age 7+

Complex characters in a big budget movie!

This film has grown on me over the years and it is now my favorite of the original trilogy (like for so many others). It is a joy to see the arc of Lando Calrissian and see how the plot, the chasing, the fights, and the twists and turns envelop each character which feels like they are all on their own trajectory that keeps them all in pieces, like C-3PO. Why must it be so difficult to have complex characters in a big budget movie...when you have it done so well in this 1980 extravaganza.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (46 ):
Kids say (178 ):

By many opinions, this is the very best in the Star Wars series. To 1980 audiences (who did not have the benefit of The Phantom Menace and its follow-ups) it was a breathtaking surprise, a hugely entertaining mix of sci-fi spectacle, fantasy, and funny robots.

George Lucas did not direct, but handed the reins to a time-proven but relatively unsung director named Irvin Kershner, who delivered a space spectacle that is true to the Joseph Campbell mythology and fairy-tale wonder of the first Star Wars Episode IV. But The Empire Strikes Back stands apart from the rest in terms of mature, straight-ahead storytelling. It's significant as the only Star Wars feature that doesn't have a big "cantina" scene in which the filmmakers overindulge in cramming the frame with all the wacky aliens they can.

Movie Details

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