The Empire starts a systematic search as they look to avenge their earlier losses and finally end the threat of the Rebel Alliance.
The Rebel hideout on ice planet Hoth is finally exposed and the heroes are forced to flee for their lives. But just as they think they are safe an old friend is forced into betrayal.
There are three major settings in the second installment of the regional trilogy, Hoth, Dagobah and Bespin. Although the action is (mostly) limited to these locations they are drawn with such care and attention to detail you don’t feel any limitation or claustrophobia. The Ice planet feels enormous, the swamp planet truly alive like no other and the cloud giant plain different.
The second instalment of the series sees more character development, some passive and some active. This greatly enhance the movie and allows e audience greater insight into the drives and motivations of the motley group. Producing Yoda in such a way that he is easily to accept as a character rather than a puppet was no mean feat and the voice talents of Frank Oz unquestionably breathe life into a pivotal character.
The inner darkness that Luke has to fight (actual and metaphorical) is well engineered, could even upset some younger viewers.
Vader and Luke’s showdown in Cloud City is cinema legend!
The two droids are split up but still the central line of the plot, all be it forked into the twin stories of Leia/Han/C-3PO and Luke/R2-D2. This allows the two robots the chance to grow in the hearts of the viewers too, less of a comedy double act. Having said that they still get most of the funny bits.
R2-D2’s disconmort on Dagobah is palpable. Not bad for a droid that doesn’t speak (English).
This movie does feel the absence of a movie monolith like Peter Cushing or Alec Guinness. Yes, the latter is present as a apparition but it isn’t the same. The primary cast do step up though and pull the viewer on and into the story.
Things to look out for: eh? Can you spot Pixar favourite John Ratzenberger?, inside a Tauntan, Yoda, Ghostly Ben, carbonite, Boba Fett, AT-AT, Snow Speeder (my personal favourite in Star Wars), Battle for Hoth, Dagobah swamps, final showdown and amazing reveal
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Peter Mayhew, Alec Guinness, Frank Oz,
Rating: good strong continuation of the story, highly recommended