Star Wars, Episode V:
The Empire Strikes Back (1980, 1997)

Long before E.T., in another galaxy far, far away, there was Yoda. And he was friendly and good.

This film contains the first appearance of the dark side in the Star Wars trilogy and a fascinating ravel of Freudian psychology with Greek tints. The Star Wars Trilogy is the twentieth century's technological triumph of modern mythmaking. Lucas admits his debt to the work of Joseph Campbell in the formation of his original concepts. He wanted to create a story that would touch people, that had morality, that would be didactic, and that would also be a good movie. Lucas says quite directly that the films are about "Redemption".

It has resulted in what is probably the most carefully tended secular story on Earth. A book referred to as "The Bible", which is 170 pages and growing, is maintained by continuity editors Allan Kausch and Sue Rostoni. A chronology of all the events in the Star War universe, including films, books, CD-ROMS, Nintendo games, comic books, and role-playing guides. New developments must always be approved by Lucas himself.

Within the universe of his own creation, Lucas plays a kind of father role, sending all twelve hundred of his employees a turkey for Thanksgiving, and sitting each month behind the redwood boardroom table to receive the latest news of his ever developing companies. Lucas' own father was full of small town business principles and, despite George Jr.'s basic dislike of authority, which brought about a big break between them when he turned eighteen, he appears to have wound up in the position of the once much dreaded president of a company. For those who wish to immerse themselves into more of the Lucas myth, I highly recommend the 1983 biography by Dale Pollock.

Espisode V, The Empire Strikes Back, may well be the deepest (if such an adjective is appropriate), most interesting, and most disturbing of the three films. It is definitely worth at least a visit, and the "new version" makes it all the more enjoyable.

In the meantime, may the prana be with you.

A don't miss. See also under Star Wars, A New Hope & Return of the Jedi.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett