The Empire Strikes Back ★★★½

Watched it with my twin boys for the first time. They knew every detail from books and friends but they still dug it.

Pound for pound, a better piece of filmmaking than Episode IV (and every other installment, really), which explains why it’s always been my favorite. But it’s also maybe the most problematic film in that it starts the mythological sprawl that has done the whole franchise in. Even as this movie opened up the universe, it also  started to contract it by drawing a familial connection between Vader and Luke. Obviously, that’s a great plot twist, but on the whole it’s a trap, as they say, and is the germ of what would become the cheap interconnectedness of Episode IX. I hate to admit this but on the whole there’s almost nothing in Empire that’s truly necessary.