The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back ★★★★★

Skywalker Saga Rewatch #5

There's never going to be a Star Wars twist as good as the Darth Vader reveal. That's not because audiences nowadays are harder to please or to surprise because they already think about every possible outcome. It's simply because it wasn't made solely with "subverting expectations" in mind. I'm sure there was a part of George Lucas that wanted to do the wildest thing possible with the Star Wars sequel, but there's no way this was conceived as a random thing to throw in the movie. There's narrative weight to it. From the moment Luke finds out the truth about his father, he has a personal stake in this war. He's not just someone who randomly found himself in this fight anymore. He now has a purpose greater than defeating evil just because it's the right thing to do. It's shocking and heartbreaking, but it drives the story forward in such a satisfying way.

Star Wars took a dark turn with Empire, but it wouldn't have been so good if it had only happened for the sake of doing something different.

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