Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Widescreen Limited Edition)
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For the first time ever and for a limited time only, the enhanced versions of the Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi will be available individually on DVD. Plus, these 2-Disc DVD's will feature a bonus disc that includes, for the first time ever on DVD, the original films as seen in theaters in 1977, 1980 and 1983.
The 2006 limited-edition two-disc release of The Empire Strikes Back is not only the first time the movie has been officially available by itself on DVD. It marks the first-ever DVD release of Empire as it originally played in theaters in 1980. What does that mean exactly? The film is without the various "improvements" and enhancements George Lucas added for the theatrical rerelease in 1997 as well as the DVD premiere in 2004. So no more of Ian McDiarmid (the Emperor) replacing Clive Revill with slightly revised lines, or Temuera Morrison rerecording of Boba Fett's minimal dialogue.
What do you lose by watching the 1980 version? Dolby Digital 5.1 EX sound, for one thing (only 2.0 Surround here), and digital cleanup. But for home-theater owners, the biggest frustration will be from the non-anamorphic picture. On a widescreen TV, an anamorphically enhanced (16x9) picture at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio will fill the screen with the exception of small black bars on the top and bottom. The original edition of Empire, however, on a widescreen TV will have large black bars on the top, the bottom, and the sides unless you stretch the picture (and distort it in the process, especially considering the substandard picture quality). If you're watching on a standard square-shaped (4:3) TV, though, you won't notice a difference.
Yes, it's true that serious home-theater lovers who want spectacular sound and anamorphically enhanced picture can always watch the 2004 version of the movie also included in this set. But chances are good that they already picked up the trilogy edition of all three films, so their decision to buy the 2006 two-disc edition depends on how much they want the original film. The official LucasFilm stance is that this is an individual release of the 2004 version of The Empire Strikes Back, and the 1980 version of the film is merely a "bonus feature." Common speculation is that the only reason the original versions are seeing the official light of day at all is to undercut the booming black market for the laserdisc version. Star Wars fans will have to decide for themselves if that's worth the purchase. --David Horiuchi
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Top Customer Reviews
Picking up 3 years after Star Wars, the empire is in an all out search for the rebels who destroyed their Death Star at the end of the first film. Spearheading the search is the Sith Lord Darth Vader, obsessed with capturing young Luke Skywalker. He will stop at nothing! We learn why he is so feared, he tolerates no failure.
The mood is brilliantly dark. The story superb, the dialogue of the finest quality. By far the best of the Star Wars films.
THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE!!!!
It was a dark time for the Rebellion.
The now-famous scroll of yellow letters over the movie screen set the tone for the second chapter in George Lucas's Star Wars saga. In The Empire Strikes Back, we see a darker side to the conflict that was first introduced in the swashbuckling Star Wars. The stakes are higher, the battles are more tense, and the characters grow. In the same vein as the matinee movie serials that Lucas was honoring with these movies, Empire begins with a bang and ends on a cliffhangar, but, from beginning to end, showcases the best that the Star Wars Trilogy has to offer.
The Rebellion has just been driven from their base, and are set upon on all sides by the numerically superior Imerial Fleet, leaving the heroes scattered. Luke, yearning to finish his Jedi training, sets out to find a reclusive master, and must come to terms with his first defeat. Han and Leia travel to a magnificent city in the clouds, only to meet with betrayel at the hands of an old friend. Darth Vader, more sinister and evil than ever, has concocted a plan to capture Luke and turn him to the Dark Side of the Force, using Han and Leia as bait.
Lucas handed the directing reins over to Irvin Kershner (Never Say Never Again), who infuses his own brand of vision into Lucas's story, creating a much darker, character-driven narrative, and, arguable, the best film in the series. My first experience with the saga, Empire holds a special place in my heart. Either way, The Empire Strikes Back is filled with exotic worlds, fierce space battles, and climactic lightsaber duels.Read more ›
So what has been changed with the already perfect, in my opinion, STAR WARS: EPISODE 5 - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK? For starters one may want to familiarize themselves with Donald F. Glut's storybook novelization to read any scenes that are not included in the original 1980 release. Despite many of the key scenes occuring out of sequence in the novel and comic book version - for instance, the Bounty Hunters are introduced following Yoda bringing Luke's X-Wing out of the swamp, and the arrival at Cloud City occuring after Luke's imaginary duel with Darth Vader inside the dark cave. What has been changed?
There are many unnecessary, in my opinion, changes seen throughout. When R2-D2 is nearly swallowed by the swamp monster, Luke's "You're lucky you don't taste very good!" is changed to "You were lucky to get out of there!" WHAT? WHY? A more visual look at the Wampa eating carrion while Luke struggles to free himself from the ice cavern. Plus an actual look at Luke slashing off the monsters' arm. The best changes made are a wider view of Cloud City. There are open windows making the city look more like a real metropolis instead of a very confined set as it was in the original 1980 release. When Luke takes his fall from the reactor core, his cry as he falls is a recycled sound effect of the Emperor falling down the shaft in RETURN OF THE JEDI.Read more ›
The basic story of the movie goes something like this. Three years have past since the events of the first Star Wars film. The Rebel Alliance has gone into hiding in a base on the remote, icy world of Hoth. Unfortunately, the Galactic Empire discovers them. After an intense battle against imperial forces, Luke goes to a distant, swampy world to begin his training to become a Jedi knight, while Han and Leia get chased by the Empire, and a number of bounty hunters employed by them. The climax of the film comes in a lightsaber duel between Luke and Darth Vader, in which Vader makes a startling revelation...
A great film - no questions asked. This is a rare example of a film nearly thirty years old that doesn't seem dated. Even by modern standards, this is still an excellent film. I was glad to see the movie get the remastering it so desperately needed. Oh, and to all you folks new to the series - steer clear of the prequels. Stick with the CLASSIC trilogy.
Even though this is a VHS tape and not a DVD (god only knows when this film will get a DVD release), Lucasfilm has included extra features.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I love the Star wars saga, but I think that they only sell the Star wars trillogy nowdays, so it was hard to find this jem, but here it is.Published on July 15 2013 by willy
Great movie. It brought me back to my childhood, and it's obviously a timeless film. My kids love it as much as me.Published on April 28 2013 by Jason I. Pyne
INTRO:For the first time on DVD in 2006 the "original" films of the Star Wars trilogy were released,fans are finally getting the chance to see the original movies,"IV:A New... Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2007 by T. Skylar
in this one,the deathstar is being rebuilt and the rebels go nuke it again.after a smorgasboard of malfunctions with the millenium falcon,they are trapped with the empire. Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by abe
Carrie Fisher once stated the SW series is like ice cream (nice simile). All being good, however ESB being the best flavor. I agree with her statement. Read morePublished on July 14 2004 by Whoisit
Empire strikes back is not like two towers.Years have passed since new hope.Apooohyy is mad.he's even more out to get the webels than ever and never before. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2004 by M.F.4-14
With the phenomenal success of Star Wars in 1977, George Lucas realized he could continue the planned trilogy he had been outlining since the early 1970s. Read morePublished on Nov. 6 2003 by Alex Diaz-Granados
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