Trolling #32: The Empire Strikes Back SUCKS!
Ask anyone what the best film in the Star Wars series is, and they'll likely point to Irvin Kershner's 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back without too much hesitation. Sure, you might find that occasional outlier who has a passionate case for Return of the Jedi, and some of our younger readers who were born in the late 1990s may see all the Star Wars films (including the maligned prequels), but the overwhelming consensus is that The Empire Strikes Back is easily and handily the best. It's the most dramatic, people will say. Or it's the most moving. It has the best plot, I have heard. Odd that few people choose my favorite, the 1977 original.
But I'm not here to validate popular opinion, dear readers. I'm not here to give you professional and critical support of an opinion you already have. This is CraveOnline's Trolling, my lovelies, and it's my sworn duty to contradict you, go against the tide of popular opinion, and deliberately piss you off in the process.
And as such, I have decided to come down on one of the single most beloved pop culture tentpoles of all time; seriously, I haven't talked to anyone who even slightly disliked The Empire Strikes Back. It's such a beloved film, it's held up as the standard of how to make a sequel properly. It only won one Oscar back in 1981 (compared to Star Wars' seven), but The Empire Strikes Back has gone on to evolve into a monolith of sci-fi worship, often cited as the reason people are into sci-fi – or even movies – to begin with.
But is it good, or are people blinded by its godlike status? Are people merely automatically accepting that it is great without using a critical eye? Indeed, when looked at very closely, could it be that The Empire Strikes Back doesn't hold up? Indeed, could it be that The Empire Strikes Back… sucks? I have discovered the following: The Empire Strikes Back SUCKS. Let's look at a few reasons as to why:
Is the film still exciting and fun? For the most part yes, despite its gray, downer town, bad ending, and bad beginning. The visuals are still amazing, and the characters are no less likeable. Plus I like Yoda as a character, and no piece of movie music is more fun than the Imperial Death March. Also, we get to see C3PO blasted into pieces, which was such a relief after two movies of his incessant whining. But The Empire Strikes Back is not a “tight” movie, and it's not an “important” one as so many people have said. It has many flaws, and it falls apart under simple scrutiny.
Until next week, let the hate mail flow.
Witney Seibold is the head film critic for Nerdist, and a contributor on the CraveOnline Film Channel, and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. You can read his weekly articles Trolling, and The Series Project, and follow him on “Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.