Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Riffed by RiffTrax
Riffers Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett, Chad Vader
Series Star Wars Original Trilogy
Date Released April 14, 2009

The Empire Strikes Back (later released as Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back) is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner, produced by Gary Kurtz, and written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, with George Lucas writing the film's story and serving as executive producer. Of the six main Star Wars films, it was the second to be released and the fifth in terms of internal chronology. The film is set three years after Star Wars. The Galactic Empire, under the leadership of the villainous Darth Vader, is in pursuit of Luke Skywalker and the rest of the Rebel Alliance. While Vader chases a small band of Luke's friends—Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and others—across the galaxy, Luke studies the Force under Jedi Master Yoda. But when Vader captures Luke's friends, Luke must decide whether to complete his training and become a full Jedi Knight or to confront Vader and save his comrades.

RiffTrax released their riff in April 2009.

Synopsis and Preview[edit | edit source]


RiffTrax - Empire Strikes Back Sample

Three years after destroying the Death Star, the Rebel Alliance has been driven from their former base on Yavin IV by the Galactic Empire. Princess Leia leads a contingent, which includes Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, in a new base on the icy planet Hoth. Luke goes to investigate a probe droid sent by Darth Vader in search of him, but is ambushed by a monstrous, furry wampa. While Han Solo searches for him, Luke frees himself from the wampa's cave with his lightsaber, but soon suffers from the freezing temperatures of the snowy wasteland. The spirit of his late mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, appears before him and instructs him to go to the planet Dagobah to train under Jedi Master Yoda. He is then found by Han, who uses the warmth of his dead tauntaun for shelter, and brought back to the base to recover.

Meanwhile, the Imperial fleet is alerted to the location of the Rebel base by the probe droid and launches an attack using gigantic AT-AT Walkers, capturing the base. Han and Leia escape on the Millennium Falcon with C-3PO and Chewbacca, but their hyperspace drive malfunctions. They hide in an asteroid field, where Han and Leia grow closer. Vader turns to several notorious bounty hunters to assist in finding the Falcon. Luke escapes with R2-D2 in his X-wing fighter and crash lands on Dagobah. He meets the diminutive Yoda, who accepts Luke as his pupil after conferring with Obi-Wan's spirit. While undergoing intensive training, Luke has a premonition of Han and Leia in pain and, against Yoda's wishes, leaves to save his friends.

Unknowingly followed by the bounty hunter Boba Fett, Han sets a course for Cloud City, a floating gas mining colony in the skies of the planet Bespin run by Han's old friend, Lando Calrissian. Shortly after they arrive, though, Lando reluctantly turns them over to Vader and Boba to prevent the takeover of his city. Over Lando's objections, Vader uses them as bait to lure Luke into a trap. Vader intends to hold Luke in suspended animation via carbon freezing, and selects Han as a test subject for the process. Leia professes her love for Han, after which Han is frozen in a block of carbonite. Vader gives Han's hibernating form to Fett, who plans to present him to Jabba the Hutt. Lando frees Leia and the others, but they are too late to stop Fett from escaping with Han, forcing them to flee in the Millennium Falcon without him.

Meanwhile, Luke arrives at Cloud City and falls into Vader's trap. Luke and Vader engage in a lightsaber duel that leads them over the city's central air shaft. Vader cuts off Luke's right hand, disarming him, and reveals himself to be Luke's father, contrary to Obi-Wan's claim that Vader killed his father. Horrified by this fact, Luke refuses Vader's offer to rule the galaxy at his side and throws himself down the air shaft. He slides through a tube system and is ejected beneath the floating city, where he grabs onto an antenna. He makes a desperate telepathic plea to Leia, who senses it and persuades Lando to return for him. R2-D2 repairs the Falcon's hyperdrive, allowing them to escape. Aboard a Rebel medical frigate, Luke is fitted with a robotic artificial hand. Lando and Chewbacca set off in the Falcon to rescue Han as Luke, Leia, R2-D2, and C-3PO look on.

Cast and Crew[edit | edit source]

  • Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
  • Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
  • Kenny Baker as R2-D2
  • Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
  • Jeremy Bulloch as Boba Fett
  • James Earl Jones and David Prowse as Darth Vader

Notes[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

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