After re-watching the Empires Strikes Back with my sister, I was really stunned by how good the movie is. And I seen the movie hundreds of times! But I started to look at it in a more analytic way. There were so many things that this movie did that so many huge blockbuster movies continually fail at realizing. Here are some things that I thought were really noticable.
1) You don’t need your climax to be a huge battle.
The big battle in Empires happens at the beginning of the film. The rest of the film got more personal with the characters and explored their flight. Too many movies now a days have fallen into a trap and think “If I put a bunch of people fighting a bunch of other guys, it’ll be awesome!”
But we seen this. Way too many times. Transformers, Avengers, Dark Knight Rises,even Alice in Wonderland got painful when they had this army march.
You don’t need a bunch of nobodies hitting each other for your finale.
2) It kept it personal.
In Empires, the cast is kept pretty tight. It was Luke, Yoda and R2 in one group, C3PO, Chewie, Han Solo and Leia in another. Darth Vadar had his own moments and Lando was properly introduced.
The characters were allowed room to bounce off each other, and we weren’t flooded with minor casts. The fact that the climax was Luke confronting Darth Vader had much more weight to it than seeing a city get wreck by rampaging armies.
3) It wasn’t an end of the world scenario.
The film didn’t put the stakes as far as the whole galaxy. Planets weren’t exploding or anything like that. It was a group of the good guys just struggling to not get captured by the Empire. And it worked because we spend enough time with them to really care about them. They are the underdogs you wanted to live, not the guys who had to stop the nuke from blowing up New York.
Just some things that were bouncing around in my head.