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Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Discuss all Star Wars films here - the original trilogy, prequel trilogy and the new Disney films.
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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby The89thchris » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:34 am

Well, it seems you're preaching to the choir here, that was a far more diverse range of opinions than I'd expected. :mrgreen:

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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby Dantooine » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:19 am

I'm with TC, Star Wars is the best of the OT. However, Empire is better directed, shot, and acted, but it's a continuation of characters set up in the first film.

Star Wars does a colossal job of building a complete and convincing universe with believable characters in it. At the start you are watching two robots chatting and we completely relate to them. It's bonkers.

Also, Lucas spent a long time distilling down adventure stories from the past, being influenced by Kurosawa and all, making a fantastically plotted film. When friends are a bit dismissive of Star Wars the thing I always come back to is the plot of the first film. It has an almost perfect structure of character introduction, situation, outcome. Lucas wanted to make a great film first and foremost, everything else since has been about continuing the franchise, expanding the lore. The films are almost secondary to what they contain and what that means to "canon"... and I'd include Empire in that. If you don't like Star Wars Empire doesn't really work.

Also, I love the Tatooine stuff more than anything else in the OT. I certainly think it's down to how things are introduced, with the droids not knowing where they are. Also, as a kid, who can't relate to Like going into the Cantina and being out of his depth. Just like going to the pub when you're 12...

That said, I love all 3 and they each great for different reasons. Empire is kind of more sunblime. All the Han Solo stuff is fantastic, Bespin looks great and what happens there is great. Personally I'm not such a fan of Hoth. I think Hamil is bad in that part of the film... and I have to say the Yoda training is a bit boring. I remember being bored as a kid, and just wanting to get back to Han, Chewey and Leia. Jedi is probably the weakest of the OT, but it has so much cool stuff in it it works.

So yeah, Star Wars above Empire for me.

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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby SAVORY100 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:04 am

You kinda lost me by trying to suggest that The Matrix is a great movie :lol: but as this thread proves, everyone likes different things 8)

Anyway, back to ESB

It is my favourite of the OT for a number of reasons and although I hear what you're saying about a great start, great middle and great end make a great movie in a traditional sense, I think we could all reflect on what great is in the context of ESB and therefore what is the beginning, middle and end... the traditional middle is at the start, the end is not quite at the end, but nearly... and the start... well, is there one or are there actually three starts to three threads in this one film alone...

1) I'm pretty sure that ESB is the first movie to effectively open (or at least almost start) with the films epic battle sequence... but we often therefore overlook the whole Luke getting lost, Wampa, Tauntaun belly moments that build to that battle. So on two scores for me a great opening to the film, even if this would traditionally in part be in the middle of any movie. that's exciting and that stayed with me all these years as a reason to pick it first off the shelf every time.

2) The film-making has to be admired.... filming in the snow is crazy difficult and to then 'do' special effects as well in the same environment as well as in post production with snow as the background and foreground is quite frankly an amazing achievement.

3) The overall Direction of the shots is better than any other OT film, the cinematography is better than any other OT film, the storyline is more shocking and therefore absorbing than the others too.

4) ESB has more traditional (western) film cues than Star Wars, it is more of a traditional war film in parts and a romance in others as well as some murder mystery and of course a scandalous thriller too... it has the best elements of every western movie genre, whereas Star Wars has a hero's journey and ROTJ has... i dunno actually, some fun kids version of the previous two combined maybe... odd film...

5) it was the first of the films I saw in the cinema; so it will always be 'that film' for me...

I think that as an overarching note I personally feel that it has more epic scenes, shocks, adventures, locations and vehicles than all the others, for me at the time it was a dream... so many toys and stories to regale from a wonderful film, that as an adult I appreciate ever more for its technical filmmaking skills and directorial brilliance.
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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby TheJabbaWookie » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:36 am

peekaygee73 wrote:ESB is beautifully shot and, particularly with the carbon freeze scenes, beautifully lit. The Hoth scenes are stunning and the model work integrates so well into the live action. I can completely believe in Dagobah - to say it's studio-bound it looks phenomenal; I remember the first time I rewatched Jedi as an adult and being a bit underwhelmed at the Jabba's Palace scenes - it didn't seem as big or grand as I'd remembered. I don't get that at any point with ESB. For me the VFX in ESB are almost flawless, and it's easy to see why it won a 'Special Achievement Award' for VFX.

I have to admit that the lighting is great in the Hoth scenes, and even more so, for me, on Bespin during the atmospheric fight scenes between Luke and Vader when he is first brought before Vader. And also in the carbon freeze scenes which were so successful that they were revisited by Spielberg and Lucas Films in A Temple of Doom.

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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby TheJabbaWookie » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:49 am

Dantooine wrote:Bespin looks great and what happens there is great. Personally I'm not such a fan of Hoth. I think Hamil is bad in that part of the film... and I have to say the Yoda training is a bit boring. I remember being bored as a kid, and just wanting to get back to Han, Chewey and Leia.

Though I like the lighting in the Hoth scenes, and as mentioned earlier I like the Wampa and Taun Taun scenes, I just don’t get as excited by the Hoth battle scenes as the trench run in SW. I can’t put my finger on the why. And I’m also not overawed by the Dagobah scenes. Perhaps it’s because they were using state of the art puppetry and technology at the time, and it looks clunky now (rather like the Rancor scenes in Jedi), or maybe it’s something else. All of which surprises me as both Yoda and the Hoth Stormtrooper are two of my favourite figures from the toy line.

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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby Screen Moments » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:26 pm

I've always liked both A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. ANH is a simpler tale, very much a fairy tale in space while ESB is a more strategic and wider-scoping storyline.

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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby _Lee_ » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:50 pm

TESB is the best movie ever made :D

Its my number one because it completely blew my mind. Hoth , Yoda and the big revelation about Vader was superior story telling and movie making. ANH is a close second followed by ROTJ.

I suppose that Star Wars was my childhood :D :D
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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby TheJabbaWookie » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:25 am

SAVORY100 wrote:You kinda lost me by trying to suggest that The Matrix is a great movie :lol: but as this thread proves, everyone likes different things 8)
2) The film-making has to be admired.... filming in the snow is crazy difficult and to then 'do' special effects as well in the same environment as well as in post production with snow as the background and foreground is quite frankly an amazing achievement.
4) ESB has more traditional (western) film cues than Star Wars, it is more of a traditional war film in parts and a romance in others as well as some murder mystery and of course a scandalous thriller too... it has the best elements of every western movie genre, whereas Star Wars has a hero's journey and ROTJ has... i dunno actually, some fun kids version of the previous two combined maybe... odd film...
5) it was the first of the films I saw in the cinema; so it will always be 'that film' for me...

I heard an interview recently regarding the incredible studio production sets for the Hoth scenes and I think you’re right, you definitely have to admire Lucas Films for seamlessly dblending post production with filming in a hostile environment to award winning effect.

When you say western are you referring to location or movie genre?

I wonder if point number 5 is the most important of all the points made. Seeing Empire on the big screen must of been mind-blowing. Subzero on the other hand, grew up with ROTJ and sights that as his favourite movie. I never saw any of the movies as a child at the cinema and was introduced to the OT with the Christmas premier of SW. These have probably had the greatest influences on defining our favourite movie.

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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby SAVORY100 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:17 am

TheJabbaWookie wrote:
SAVORY100 wrote:You kinda lost me by trying to suggest that The Matrix is a great movie :lol: but as this thread proves, everyone likes different things 8)
2) The film-making has to be admired.... filming in the snow is crazy difficult and to then 'do' special effects as well in the same environment as well as in post production with snow as the background and foreground is quite frankly an amazing achievement.
4) ESB has more traditional (western) film cues than Star Wars, it is more of a traditional war film in parts and a romance in others as well as some murder mystery and of course a scandalous thriller too... it has the best elements of every western movie genre, whereas Star Wars has a hero's journey and ROTJ has... i dunno actually, some fun kids version of the previous two combined maybe... odd film...
5) it was the first of the films I saw in the cinema; so it will always be 'that film' for me...

I heard an interview recently regarding the incredible studio production sets for the Hoth scenes and I think you’re right, you definitely have to admire Lucas Films for seamlessly dblending post production with filming in a hostile environment to award winning effect.

When you say western are you referring to location or movie genre?

I wonder if point number 5 is the most important of all the points made. Seeing Empire on the big screen must of been mind-blowing. Subzero on the other hand, grew up with ROTJ and sights that as his favourite movie. I never saw any of the movies as a child at the cinema and was introduced to the OT with the Christmas premier of SW. These have probably had the greatest influences on defining our favourite movie.


Not genre as such, more in the western tradition of film making
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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby BrickFan » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:44 pm

The best Star Wars movie? The Empire Strikes Back!!

You have emotional twists, you have Han Solo on the run, you have the first view of Yoda and above all, you have Darth Vader with his Star Destroyer in full badass mode and The Imperial Death March blaring in the background.

End of, as far as im concerned.

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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby Pomse2001 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:37 am

I think esb is the best star wars movie ever. Love between leia and solo, luke learning vader is his father, the first time we see executor, at-at walkers, at-st walkers, snow speeders, rebel transporters, ion cannons, cloud city, the first time we see yoda, lando calrissian, boba fett. The battle for hoth, vader using the force to kill a few officers, bounty hunters, dagobah, obi-wan as a ghost, luke and vader fighting. Fantastic music in the movie. Everything is just better in that movie.

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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby fett1972 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:57 pm

Age, life experience and John Williams score

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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby Ruby2511 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:30 pm

BrickFan wrote:The best Star Wars movie? The Empire Strikes Back!!

You have emotional twists, you have Han Solo on the run, you have the first view of Yoda and above all, you have Darth Vader with his Star Destroyer in full badass mode and The Imperial Death March blaring in the background.

End of, as far as im concerned.


Second that Brick fan :D

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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby TheJabbaWookie » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:15 pm

Pomse2001 wrote:I think esb is the best star wars movie ever. Love between leia and solo, luke learning vader is his father, the first time we see executor, at-at walkers, at-st walkers, snow speeders, rebel transporters, ion cannons, cloud city, the first time we see yoda, lando calrissian, boba fett. The battle for hoth, vader using the force to kill a few officers, bounty hunters, dagobah, obi-wan as a ghost, luke and vader fighting. Fantastic music in the movie. Everything is just better in that movie.

You’re right Lars... there are a fair few epic scenes in ESB but I still rate the Trench run in SW above the battle for Hoth; and like Rich said on the VR Pod Cast I’m not a massive fan of the Dagobah scenes - I like the training and it’s focal to the story but despite Yoda being one of my favourite Kenner figures, the puppet work doesn’t stand the test of time as well as some of the other scenes... and as for Obi Wan as a ghost... :lol:

But I’ll give you Cloud City, Vader and the Bounty Hunters

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Re: Why do most SW fans say ESB is the best film in the OT?

Postby Pomse2001 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:23 pm

TheJabbaWookie wrote:
Pomse2001 wrote:I think esb is the best star wars movie ever. Love between leia and solo, luke learning vader is his father, the first time we see executor, at-at walkers, at-st walkers, snow speeders, rebel transporters, ion cannons, cloud city, the first time we see yoda, lando calrissian, boba fett. The battle for hoth, vader using the force to kill a few officers, bounty hunters, dagobah, obi-wan as a ghost, luke and vader fighting. Fantastic music in the movie. Everything is just better in that movie.

You’re right Lars... there are a fair few epic scenes in ESB but I still rate the Trench run in SW above the battle for Hoth; and like Rich said on the VR Pod Cast I’m not a massive fan of the Dagobah scenes - I like the training and it’s focal to the story but despite Yoda being one of my favourite Kenner figures, the puppet work doesn’t stand the test of time as well as some of the other scenes... and as for Obi Wan as a ghost... :lol:

But I’ll give you Cloud City, Vader and the Bounty Hunters


thanks for cloud city, vader and the bounty hunters :lol: :wink: what about the love scenes, the fantastic music ? :D


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