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What makes TESB the best?

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by Lock_S_Foils, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    There seems to be some inherent agreement among SW fanatics that "TESB is the best movie".....many polls back this up.

    So, TESB supporters, why is this? I freely admit up front that TESB is NOT my most favorite SW movie, it comes in at #3. (R1-ANH-TESB....)
     
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  2. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    As for my part I like ROTJ the most followed by TESB. But TESB is the best movie film making wise.
    After all these years TESB is still a remarkable piece of movie magic.

    A lot of people like TESB the most because of its darker tone. This movie is considered to be the darkest one in the saga:
    > the Rebellion is on the run
    > Luke has to face his inner fears
    > Han gets frozen in carbonite
    > depressing cliffhanger

    Some personal reason why TESB is one of the greatest SW movie ever made:
    > good and reasonable character developments
    > brilliant dialogue, good acting, great directing
    > introduction of new and interesting characters (Yoda, Lando, Boba Fett)
    > introduction of new and more exotic looking locations (especially Bespin)
    > great action (the battle of Hoth, lightsaber duel)
    > Yoda and the nature of the force
    > a great and shocking reveal
    > first use of the Imperial March

    It's hard to find something bad about TESB. It's a sequel that actually builds on the predecessor. You can't say that about today's sequels.
     
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  3. Daft Ada

    Daft Ada Rebelscum

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    I have to say that TESB has never been my favourite SW film. As a child (I was eight years old when I first saw it), I thought it was boring. As an adult I like it a lot more, mainly because of John Williams's score which I think its one of the best scores he's ever written. I still think the film drags in the middle but it has a lot of stand-out moments like the chase through the asteroid field (ridiculous slug monster glove puppet notwithstanding), Luke and Vader's duel and the sequence in the carbon-freezing chamber.

    Darkest film in the series, though? That'd be Revenge of the Sith by a country mile.

    I've been re-watching TESB over the past couple of days with the Blu-ray exclusive commentary. Very revealing. Simon Pegg wrote in his book Nerd Do Well that TESB was George Lucas's least favourite episode of the saga. Tellingly, Pegg does not credit his source but it's given rise to a belief that George Lucas somehow hates the film and that this is in part due to his lack of involvement with it.

    While it is true that George handed over the directorial reins partly to avoid having a nervous breakdown (as was almost the case with A New Hope) but also because he needed time to build his own company which would in turn free him completely from the shackles of Hollywood, George was as involved with the film as much as he was with any of the others, in terms of story and pacing. And far from hating the movie, he calls it a much more "elegant" film than the previous instalment.

    I have to say that of all the versions of the film I've seen over the years, the current Blu-ray version is by far the best looking. There's still the odd matte line here and there but other than that it's a stunning transfer and the 6.1 mix is to die for!
     
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  4. tm0910196

    tm0910196 Guest

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    To quote Batman Begins, "Escalation."

    You had the original Star Wars movie, which was on a low budget if I understand correctly. The original film was awesome for what it did and for the ways it made use of what was available; its story was accessible; it neatly wrapped things up (if necessary), but also laid the groundwork for sequels (if possible). But for all the wonderful things about A New Hope, it just scratched the surface of what would be possible in this world that had been created. As a product of the modest budget it was crafted with, the environments of the film are very simple. You have the Tantive IV, you have Tunisia, you have the Death Star, and you have the base at Yavin 4. They're all very straightforward places, and while they certainly display imagination, it's easy to believe Lucas when he claims that he had to "limit" his imagination during A New Hope.

    The Empire Strikes Back changed that. There was a higher budget for this movie; we saw more locales; things looked more high-tech across the board, from the Hoth Rebel Base to the Imperial Fleet to Dagobah to Cloud City. We truly began to get a sense that this world has scale and technology and alien life like we'd never seen before. We got impressive battles like the Battle of Hoth with the AT-ATs, we got a chase through an asteroid field, we got two of those massive Star Destroyers colliding, and we got a lightsaber fight of higher intensity than before. The whole production team appears to have become much more comfortable "in the Star Wars shoes" this time around.

    That's just the production side. Characters were improved upon, too. Take Darth Vader as an example. That character absolutely shines (LITERALLY!) in this movie. He went from having under 15 minutes onscreen to being the central antagonist of the movie. His suit was fixed up to fit less haphazardly and it was polished and whatnot. He was given a story arc, being the unknown father of our hero from the last movie. Irvin Kershner figured out that making Vader move, act, and speak with more deliberation than before made him a more menacing antagonist, and got the best performances out of David Prowse and James Earl Jones as a result. Vader got a proper theme in this movie thanks to John Williams, and the imperial march has been iconic ever since. This movie also established the trope of "imperial underlings cowering once Vader shows up in the room." A New Hope didn't have that.

    But it's not just Vader, either. Everyone is improved upon. Luke is more mature, but still has a lot of growing to do. Luke gets tested this time around, and experiences emotional turmoil in a one-two punch, first concerned about the fates of Han and Leia, then reeling from the fact that Vader is his father. Han and Leia are more humanized also, and unlike AOTC (sorry), their romance actually makes sense. Chewbacca is better in this movie, too, being treated more like a rational creature and less like Han's big pet.

    And the movie provides just enough story exposition to keep you wanting more, rather than giving you so much that you feel like there's nothing left for it to say.

    I don't know. I could keep going. But this should give an idea. :)
     
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  5. SKB

    SKB Force Sensitive

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    It isn't the best. Its a good film and a great sequel, but it only builds on what came before it. ANH had a much bigger cultural impact and is also a better film in my opinion.
    ;)
     
    #5 SKB, Apr 2, 2017
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  6. BespinMinersUnion1138

    BespinMinersUnion1138 Force Sensitive

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    The movie forces our protagonists to suffer for their causes, seemingly from the very beginning of the film they are on the run. We get 20 seconds of "Han, ole' buddy..." and from there everything goes wrong for our heroes.

    Luke gets mauled
    Han wants to leave but can't because of Luke
    Leia has to lock out Han and Luke of the base
    Han gets stuck due at the base to the asteroid activity
    The Empire finds them
    The Empire routs them
    Luke crashes
    The Falcon can't jump to light speed
    Luke crashes again

    I could go on...there is a quote from Irvin Kirshner from the "Making of" a but to paraphrase it, he says that R2 flipping a switch to save the day in the end was the choice made due to the fact that something good had to happen to our heroes at some point - that they basically earned that miracle save in the end.

    Typically characters learn and grow the most when they are forced to make difficult choices, look at their own issues and suffer loss. Both Han and Leia had to come to terms with their feelings for each other. Han decided being with Leia was more important than his old life. Leia learned to love someone/something beyond the Rebellion. Luke had to come to terms with his own fears and ignorance. The movie took these characters and let us discover layers upon layers.

    This movie also developed more about the Force, in essence creating the mythology upon which the entire future discussions of the Force were built. Those scenes with Yoda talking about the Force are incredibly vital and without them, we could not have a Mortis trilogy etc. In ANH we only saw glimpses of the Force in action, but in this film, we see its more than just hitting bullseyes and blocking bolts. The Force is something that is all around our characters and can be used for good or for evil.

    Finally the movie forced audiences to see their heroes lose, but survive. It taught audiences, and I include myself, that we don't always save the day, sometimes we have to survive the day to learn from our mistakes. Its not a surprise that at the END of the film, although Luke and Leia are in pain and hurting, each along with the Rebellion have a resolve to fix what went wrong. They lived to fight another day, even Han wasn't dead and could be revived with a little luck. Our heroes took the Empire's best punch and still survived, giving us an ending full of hope.
     
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  7. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    It's more well paced than most of the others.
    The character development is at it's peak. You get all the major arcs for SW in this movie.
    The direction is great.
    Script is great.
    The best acting in the series from Hamill, Fisher and Ford.
    New characters aren't forced in or there just for lame comedic relief.
    Han Solo and The Princess.
    It did new things while staying in a very Star Wars world, gave us Hoth, Dagobah, Bespin...

    I don't think it's necessarily the dark tone, it's just that it was so well done.
    If this were one where the Rebellion wins, but the same quality was applicable, it would still be the best.

    The little things we look for in movies are all there and it's still grand and epic.
     
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  8. Daft Ada

    Daft Ada Rebelscum

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    We see two planets in the film: Hoth and Dagobah. And there are more aliens in A New Hope's cantina scene than in the whole of The Empire Strikes Back.
     
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  9. tm0910196

    tm0910196 Guest

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    Lemme rephrase that: my intended meaning was, "We saw new locales, i.e., not just the same places (or types of places) we were given in the prior movie."

    Edit: We also see Bespin and the interior of a Super Star Destroyer.
     
    #9 tm0910196, Apr 2, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2017
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  10. The Hero With No Fear

    The Hero With No Fear Jedi General

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    In my opinion, A New Hope was kinda cheesy. This film was a more believable (well, as believable as you can get in a galaxy far, far away) stronger, story and it remains original compared to many other movies today. The Empire Strikes Back is really the only SW movie that is very hard to find any flaws with, other than the slow middle and open-ended ending.
     
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  11. Daft Ada

    Daft Ada Rebelscum

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    Both of which are pretty big flaws, to be fair.
     
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  12. The Hero With No Fear

    The Hero With No Fear Jedi General

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    Yeah, but those aren't flaws that really take too much enjoyment from the film, compared to special edition changes or Jar Jar. I do see where you're coming from, though, as I think they could have cut out some of the scenes on board the Millenium Falcon. (Like the space slug scene.)
     
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  13. Daft Ada

    Daft Ada Rebelscum

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    I'm not sure what Jar Jar has to do with The Empire Strikes Back (or flaws in general, come to that) but certainly the saggy middle section does make the film something of a chore to sit through and the open ending of the movie is totally reliant on the audience wanting to see the next instalment, unlike A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, both of which have definite endings. And if I never saw that space slug again it would be too soon!
     
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  14. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    An open ended ending is not a flaw.
    Not every question needs answered. Not every story needs an end.
     
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  15. The Hero With No Fear

    The Hero With No Fear Jedi General

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    I referred to Jar Jar, because his mostly unfunny antics were a distraction in the films he was in. Distractions during a movie aren't good, because they detract from the center action. I used him as an example of something that actually detracts from the enjoyment of a Star Wars film.

    Your opinions on the film remain your opinions on the film, and I'm not trying to change your opinion. But you are on a thread on why ESB is the best Star Wars movie, not why it is/isn't your favorite. ;) The middle of the film can be a bit boring, but I think it pays off in the end. Plus, I don't think the cliffhanger ending is as bad as TFA.
     
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  16. Daft Ada

    Daft Ada Rebelscum

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    You need to check back on who it was who originally declared the open ending to be a flaw and direct your response to them.
     
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  17. The Hero With No Fear

    The Hero With No Fear Jedi General

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    I said it was just a problem that I had with the film. I didn't say it made it bad and it, in fact, is a small problem that I had with the film. We're trying to discuss why the ESB is the best, not flaws with the film itself. I only meant to say that I find few flaws with the film, which is one of the things that make it the best in my opinion. I didn't mean to open a can of worms.
     
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  18. Daft Ada

    Daft Ada Rebelscum

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    Not for me. For me, Jar Jar serves the essential and traditional role of the fool in that he leavens an otherwise serious story. I'm not sure how many children would have sat through The Phantom Menace were Jar Jar not such a prominent part of the film.

    You quite rightly say that this is a thread devoted to TESB being considered the "best" in the saga - despite the creator of the thread declaring that they don't consider it to be so - but I think any thread that is filled with a bunch of nodding heads is pretty boring. I'm just trying to introduce a bit of perspective.
     
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  19. The Hero With No Fear

    The Hero With No Fear Jedi General

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    Yeah, I agree with the Jar Jar thing. I think that he was a comic-relief character that was there for the kids in a more-adult kind of movie. They got a little carried away with some of the gags I think and they took a little bit of enjoyment out of a film that I mostly enjoyed.

    I didn't realize you were trying to offer a little perspective, so I didn't mean to offend you if I did. This just might not be the right thread for that.
     
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  20. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    You also said it was a flaw.
    Am I not worthy of addressing the almighty "Daft Ada"?
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 2, 2017, Original Post Date: Apr 2, 2017 ---
    You didn't.
    I addressed him because he said it was a major flaw.

    But apparently that isn't allowed.
     
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