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"THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK"
(1980) (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None None Mild None *Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Minor Mild None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Minor Minor *Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-Fi: A young man continues his fight against an evil intergalactic empire.
PLOT:
The rebel alliance against the evil Empire continues with Luke Skywalker (MARK HAMILL) now leading the forces. He is joined by Princess Leia (CARRIE FISHER), maverick pilot Han Solo (HARRISON FORD) and his furry companion, Chewbacca, and two 'droids, R2D2 and C3PO. As they fight the evil lord of the "dark side of the force," Darth Vader (voice of JAMES EARL JONES), Luke is trained by the diminutive Yoda (voice of FRANK OZ) and they look for help from Lando Calrissian (BILLY DEE WILLIAMS), an old friend of Han's.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Without a doubt.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For sci-fi action violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
All but the characters of Darth Vader and his military troops are good role models.
CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


OUR TAKE: 8 out of 10
This sequel to the hugely popular "Star Wars" is by far a better movie. While perhaps not as enjoyable or as emotionally gratifying as the original, this film definitely has a more mature feel to it and is more sophisticated looking. While it has a darker side than "Star Wars," it’s still accessible to all ages and proves to be an enjoyable experience. This is the film that took the gee-whiz qualities of the first and transformed them into a serious, slick-looking movie that forever changed the production quality standard of films to come. Although the performances aren't up to Oscar caliber, they're definitely many steps above those in the first film. While some viewers didn't like the incomplete feel the movie leaves you with at the ending, that's merely a minor flaw to this wild adventure (and of course prepares us for the last episode of the trilogy). We give this film an 8 out of 10.
OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
While we list Violence as extreme and Guns/Weapons as heavy, this is due only to the number of incidents where people are killed and/or space ships destroyed and not to the degree of the acts. Certainly none of it’s graphic (even when two arms are cut off) and isn't intended to be realistic or shocking in its presentation. Due to the number of incidents, however, we must give those categories the ratings we did, since violence is violence. On the flip side, the character of Yoda provides some good lessons that kids may pick up, such as when Luke says he'll try to do something, Yoda says, "Try not. Do or not do. There is no try." Beyond the violence, which again isn't that bad, there's nearly nothing to object to in this film other than a few scenes that may be a little scary to the youngest of viewers.

ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Luke has a small amount of blood on his face after being attacked by a snow creature.
  • Han uses a light saber to cut open a dead, but still warm creature’s belly and its intestines roll out (but aren’t bloody). He then places Luke inside the belly to keep him warm, but our view of this is blocked by the creature’s body.
  • Luke gets into a slow motion, dreamlike fight with Darth Vader. He finally lops off Vader’s head with a light saber and then sees his own face inside the mask. Though Vader’s been decapitated, it’s not bloody, but kids may find it a bit disconcerting.
  • Luke’s arm is cut off, but it isn’t particularly gory or graphic.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Obviously Vader and the Empire have both. In addition, Darth Vader wants to bring Luke over to the "dark side of the force" (in other words, corrupt him into being evil).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A large snow monster knocks Luke from his ride, kills it and drags him into its lair. When Luke regains consciousness, he barely has time to free himself and escape.
  • Younger kids may worry about Luke and Han when they’re stranded in the cold.
  • Several scenes on Yoda’s planet may be somewhat scary for younger kids. Some sort of creature lurks under the water and grabs R2D2. In another scene, Luke goes into a dark cave where strange animal sounds are heard. He then has a slow motion light saber encounter with Darth Vader where he lops off Vader’s head and then sees his own face in the helmet.
  • Han, Leia, and Chewbacca step into a cave they’ve landed in. Strange sounds echo throughout and flying creatures startle them.
  • Darth tortures Han and only the very beginning of this is seen, though his screams are heard for some time after that.
  • Han is frozen solid in a block of carbonate and the sight of his head and hands sticking from the block may be unsettling to younger kids.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Light saber: Used by Luke and Darth Vader in different scenes. See "Violence" for details.
  • Laser guns: Used to injure or kill many storm troopers or others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Space ship weapons: Used to fire upon other ships or people.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shut him up or shut him down," "Loser," "Stupid," and "Shut up."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A parasite-like creature lands on a window and startles Leia.
  • Luke searches for Vader through a tunnel when the evil leader suddenly jumps out.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There is a mild amount of suspenseful music in a few scenes. The rest is mostly action/adventure based.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Luke discovers the real identity of his father, but this happens at the very end of the movie.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The fight between good and evil (ie. The dark side of the force vs. the "good" side).
  • VIOLENCE
  • All of the violence listed below, while numerous and including many deaths, is in no way graphic or intense.
  • A snow monster knocks Luke from his ride, kills it and hangs him from the ceiling. He finally comes to, frees himself, and slices off the creature’s arm with his light saber.
  • There’s a lot of laser shots fired between space ships.
  • A big battle ensues on Planet Hoth where many people are killed, and ships and big, Emperial "walkers" are destroyed.
  • Several storm troopers are shot and killed by laser blasts from the Millenium Falcon.
  • A number of Emperial ships are destroyed in an asteroid field.
  • Han shoots and blows up an Empire droid probe.
  • Darth Vader twice uses "the force" to strangle two military men who’ve failed or disappointed him.
  • Luke gets into a slow motion, dream-like fight with Darth Vader. He finally lops of Vader’s head with a light saber and then sees his own face inside the mask.
  • C3PO is hit by a laser blast and parts of him fly here and there.
  • Han tries to shoot Vader, but the laser blasts are blocked aside.
  • Darth tortures Han and only the very beginning of this is seen, though his screams are heard for some time after that.
  • Han slugs Lando, but a guard then hits Han over the head.
  • Chewbacca throws several storm troopers aside before Han is frozen and later chokes Lando for not stopping Vader.
  • Luke and Darth have a big light saber fight where Luke’s arm is cut off.
  • Leia, Chewy, and Lando shot at least 7 storm troopers dead (but not graphically) as they try to escape.



  • Reviewed February 16, 1997

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