How Fans Reacted To The Empire Strikes Back In 1980

The second movie in the third Star Wars trilogy is in theaters now, and the reactions from fans is split between those who love The Last Jedi and those who hate it. The middle movie of a trilogy is a unique position, in that it is free of the exposition of the first film, must provide a bridge to the third installment, and will inevitably be compared critically to the first film no matter what. The comparisons are even more brutal for episode XIII with seven movies coming before. But The Last Jedi has been compared most often to The Empire Strikes Back, which is episode five, the second Star Wars film produced, and the middle of the original trilogy. Now considered by many to be the best movie of the series, when Empire hit theaters in 1980 some fans were not at all happy with it. Starlog magazine printed fan reactions when The Empire Strikes Back was new. As ever, they were quite nitpicky, and are funny in retrospect.

Robert L. Beedy-Scarola:

Is Luke related to Vader? Most think so now that Vader came right out and said it. Well, I say, do you believe everything you hear? Vader may have lied just to enlist Luke to his side. Vader would then dispose of Luke once he got what he wanted.

Jeannette Vogelpohl:

Somebody should tell Harrison Ford that when a woman tells a man, “I love you,” “I know” is not an acceptable response. That scene was not funny, it was infuriating.

Of course, some fans loved the movie. Starlog itself offered a criticism of The Empire Strikes Back. Read more of the fan reactions to Empire and a comparison with what is being said about The Last Jedi (with spoilers) at A Critical Hit.

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