Empire Magazine just published the results of their reader’s poll, “The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time,” and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back tops the list!
From the magazine:
USP: Where Star Wars had been an unabashedly exciting space adventure, Empire Strikes Back introduced complexity and uncertainty to the galaxy far, far away. The stakes are raised, the characters relationships tested and evolved in surprising ways, and a dash of pure black is mixed into those primary paint colours. As George Lucas himself describes it in our issue, “It’s soulful, but in a different way from Episode IV. It’s a little bit more adult. I’m more of a goofy director. Star Wars skews slightly younger than you’d expect; it was a film for 12-year-olds. Empire’s like that but a bit of the goofiness has been shaved off it. [Director Irvin] Kershner was much more of a serious person. He loved the whole religious aspect of it, Luke learning the Force.”
MVP: Mark Hamill as Luke. Last time we saw him, he’d been making eyes at Princess Leia and gazing about in wide-eyed wonder. Here, he is battle-hardened even before he is reforged by Yoda into something approaching the zen master he will become. But that self-control is tested to breaking point and beyond with Darth’s revelations during their duel below Cloud City. It’s a huge twist, and it’s Hamill’s anguished reaction that gives the moment such power and impact.
OMG: While the Skywalker family soap does most of the heavy dramatic lifting of the film, and the comedy is handled by Yoda and R2, another addition to Empire that was largely absent from its predecessor is that of a love story. Han and Leia are perfectly mismatched, and from that brilliant first kiss (“I’m a nice man”) things seem to be building nicely until their last, desperate moments together. “I love you,” she finally admits. “I know,” he says, as he’s lowered into the carbon chamber. HOW COULD YOU LEAVE THIS ON A CLIFFHANGER?
The Top 10 of the 301 is as follows:
9. Raiders of the Lost Ark
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
6. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
5. Pulp Fiction
4. The Shawshank Redemption
3. The Dark Knight
2. The Godfather
1. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
You can see the full list right here.