The Empire Strikes Back Is The Best Star Wars Movie

Image of the Empire Strikes Back in the post The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars Movie

We love the classic Star Wars trilogy in its entirety, but for a lot of fans, the middle chapter had the most appeal. Claiming that something is the greatest can be tricky because surely, someone will disagree. However, some things just obviously deserve the title. Really, it’s not hard to pinpoint why The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie.

'Empire' featured incredible special effects
Image of Luke Skywalker in the blog post The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie
Mark Hamill had to keep the ending a secret for over a year

A More Complex Narrative

The middle chapter can easily be described as the “heart” of the trilogy since it breathes life to the first one, A New Hope. Moreover, it provides a pressing need for the third one, Return of the Jedi. The Empire Strikes Back establishes Luke as the hero and shows how much he has evolved since we first met him in the first installment. The roles of the supporting characters in Luke’s quest also became clearer, which made them more relatable.

The bounty hunter, Boba Fett
Skywalker and Yoda in the blog post The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie
Yoda, surely the most beloved Star Wars character

Introduction Of New Characters

The Empire Strikes Back introduced a lot of iconic characters, including Boba Fett, the Mandalorian bounty hunter who chased the Millennium Falcon and ended up in Cloud City. This also paved way for the introduction of a whole line of other bounty hunters, which included Bossk, IG-88, Dengar, 4-Lom, and Zuckuss. 

The middle chapter was also where Lando Calrissian first appeared and while he was forced to sell out our protagonists, he didn’t fail to show his true allegiance in the end. And of course, it was The Empire Strikes back that gifted us with the wise and endearing Yoda. That fact alone is already enough to make this film the best one among the trilogy.

Dark But Hopeful

Compared to A New Hope, it is apparent that The Empire Strikes Back took a darker turn. If the trilogy is to be treated as a single movie, the middle chapter is where the conflict was presented. It’s where the audience got emotionally invested and also where the protagonists took a beating. We see Leia confessing to Han about how she feel, only for Han to be taken awar shortly after. Luke also finds out that Vader is his father, which is normally supposed to be a happy father-and-son reunion, if not for the fact that the father is an evil Sith Lord. 

Despite the film having a dark tone, it was also brimming with hope. Luke learned a devastating truth but didn’t lose his determination to set things rights. Meanwhile, Princess Leia continues to be the strong leader that she’s always been and Lando and Chewbacca are eager to save Han.

Image of Imperial Walkers in the post The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie
The Imperial Walkers were a force to be reckoned with
Image of Skywalker in the blog post The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie
Skywalker about to get his training

A Better Appreciation Of The Force

Master Yoda’s wise words were the ones that helped not only Luke, but also the audience, in understanding the fundamental principles of The Force. The Force never lost its mysteriousness and vagueness, but Yoda’s speech nonetheless helped the viewers create their own concept of The Force. And perhaps, one common insight that the audience got from it is that one can do anything he puts his mind to. 

It’s also charming that such an important lesson is being taught to Luke by someone who does not conventionally look powerful and wise. The virtue and strength of the Force were made more pronounced when Yoda, in his tiny and seemingly fragile physique, lifted the X-Wing out of the water. He’s shown that true strength lies, not in the body itself, but in the mind and heart.

Image of Baby Yoda in the in the blog post The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie
Baby Yoda features in the Star Wars spin-off, The Mandalorian
Image of The Mandalorian in the blog post The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie
The Mandalorian bounty hunter of 2019

The Most Defining Moments Of Star Wars

Now let’s talk about something more objective and concrete: The Empire Strikes Back has some of the most iconic cinematic moments, not only in terms of the franchise, but in the entire history of movies as well. It is the middle chapter in which Luke lost his hand, Leia said “I love you” to Han and Han was frozen in carbonite. The Empire Strikes Back also had remarkable quotes — “Do. Or do not. There is no try;” “Never tell me the odds” and of course we’re saving the most momentous one for last — “I am your father.” To top it all off, the film had an incredible musical score and thrilling battle sequences. At this point, it’s pretty clear that The Empire is greatest. 

The Big Reveal

The “I am your father” scene has already been mentioned earlier, but it’s so pivotal that it deserves its own section. This big reveal shows that Darth Vader is more than just an almost-mechanical monster. By establishing his significant connection with Luke, the scene has humanized Vader. This moment is also emotionally charged since Luke realizes that the person he wants to destroy is the same person whom he yearned to get to know and be with for so long. 

However, we know that it’s debatable whether Vader still really is the same person as Luke’s father, Anakin. But that’s precisely what humanizes Vader. The audience comes to know that before he turned into this robotic mayhem, he was once a great jedi knight.


Character growth, a more thoughtful plot and the defining cinematic moments are just some of many reasons why The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie (at least for some of us). Again, some fans might disagree, but I think we can all see eye to eye on one thing — every installment in the classic trilogy is just as important as the others.

What are your thoughts on The Empire Strikes Back? Let me know in the comments section below.

For more cool things from the 80’s, read our full post, 17 Cool Things About The 80’s .

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The Empire Strikes Back Gift Ideas

There is a lot of memorabilia out there, especially on Amazon, Etsy and Ebay. Amazon is usually cheaper with more selection and so I’ve chosen them. And if you’re not super satisfied with what you’ve bought, their returns policy is really good.

With so much to choose from, where do you start? My focus has been on cool, fun and quirky items, all garnering decent ratings from well-priced sellers.

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and receive a small compensation if you use my links, but it will not increase your purchase price. If you use my links, I truly appreciate it 😉

Star Wars Throw Blanket

The Empire strikes back in the blog post The empire strikes back is the best star wars

Perfect to get your little hooked on Star Wars for life.   

Check it out on Amazon.

Empire Film Cell

Film cell in the blog post The empire strikes back is the best star wars

A great bit of Empire memorabilia for your wall.  

Check it out on Amazon.

Empire T Shirt

Empire t shirt in the blog post The empire strikes back is the best star wars

The iconic Empire tee.

Check it out on Amazon.

Mandalorian Lego Set

Image of Mandalorian lego set in the post The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars

Not technically Empire Lego, but from the same awesome world. 

Check it out on Amazon.

6 thoughts on “The Empire Strikes Back Is The Best Star Wars Movie”

  1. I think I would have to agree that The Empire Strikes Back is definitely the BEST Star Wars movie. This takes me back to my childhood. So nostalgic. Memories of watching with the family. My older brother was an avid fan, enthusiast or should I say totally obsessed and still is. There is something truly magical about Star Wars. Love it. Love your site. Thank you.

  2. Absolutely loved ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ I grew up watching these movies and it did shape my thoughts about achieving. Loved Yoda’s ‘Do or do not’ ‘There is not Try’. I agree with you that the narrative was rich, the characters were solid and relatable, and oh so memorable.

    I have them in my movie library and watch them often. I’m not so keen on the follow-up movies.

  3. I have to be honest. I remember Star Wars coming out when I was about 11 or 12 years old. It didn’t appeal to me. Neither did The Empire Strikes Back. My sister was a big fan. Still, I love that you describe the most defining moments in Star Wars. Yes, it does have some of the most iconic, cinematic moments. But for me, the soundtrack for Star Wars by Meco was the best soundtrack ever. 

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