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  • Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Special Edition) [VHS]
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Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Special Edition) [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels
  • Directors: Irvin Kershner
  • Writers: George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan, Leigh Brackett
  • Producers: Gary Kurtz, George Lucas, Jim Bloom, Rick McCallum
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Special Edition, THX, NTSC
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
  • VHS Release Date: August 26, 1997
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (575 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304539266
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,853 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

VHS, great new condition

Amazon.com

The middle film in George Lucas's enormously popular Star Wars science fiction trilogy is a darker, more somber entry, considered by many fans as the best in the series. Gone is the jaunty swashbuckling of the first film; the rebellion led by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) suffers before the superior forces of the Empire, young hero Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) faces his first defeats as he attempts to harness the Force under the tutelage of Jedi master Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz), and cocky Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is betrayed by former ally Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). In the tradition of the great serials, this film is left with a hefty cliffhanger. The leap in special effects technology in the three years since Star Wars results in an amazing array of effects, including a breathtaking chase through an asteroid field and a dazzling, utopian Cloud City, where Luke faces the black-clad villain Darth Vader (David Prowse, voice of James Earl Jones) in a futuristic sword fight and learns the secret of his Jedi father. Veteran director Irvin Kershner (The Eyes of Laura Mars, Never Say Never Again) took the directorial reins from creator and producer Lucas and invested the light-speed adventure with deeper characters and a more emphatic sense of danger. The special edition expands Luke's encounter with the Abominable Snowman-esque wampa and establishes the creature as a tangibly more terrifying beast, in addition to refining many of the existing effects. The trilogy is concluded in The Return of the Jedi. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

EMPIRE is the single best part of the original Star Wars Trilogy.
Marc A. Coignard
I also like the fact that the Empire wins in this movie, how many major movies do you know willing to take a risk of ending the movie with the bad guys winning.
Duane Monacelli
In my opinion this movie contains one of the best scenes ever filmed.
Suzie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

141 of 159 people found the following review helpful By M. French on May 27, 2006
Format: DVD
Lucasfilm is marketing this trilogy release on the inclusion of the unaltered versions of the films when in fact this is a shoddy laserdisc transfer on a bonus disc and the buyer is forced to purchase, yet again, the 2004 versions also. This is essentially retail fraud given that Lucasfilm holds itself as a bastion of home video quality and film preservation - these transfers are 13 years old, non-anamorphic and substandard. YOU WILL BE PAYING $[...] FOR OLD LASERDISCS TRANSFERRED TO DVD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. You will not be able to watch them on a widescreen TV with adequate quality - this is shameful and shameless marketing taking advantage of buyers. DO NOT BUY!
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160 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Aguilar on September 11, 2006
Format: DVD
So after waiting 11 years or so, we finally get a re-release of the original The Empire Strikes Back in all it's unaltered glory. Just as fans have been dreaming about since the advent of DVD.

Well, um...I don't think any fan was dreaming about this particular release.

The original release version of The Empire Strikes Back (the only reason to buy this set as most all fans will already have one of the previous Special Edition releases) is relegated to bonus material on disc two. Ouch! But wait, it gets worse.

George Lucas, the champion of pristine presentation in the theatre and at home has released the film that made him a legend in the state of the art of technology circa 1993.

Yes, that's right. This transfer is from the laserdisc release of '93. Even worse, the film is not anamorphic like just about every other modern day DVD. What does that mean? Well a non-anamorphic DVD has a low visual clarity and the image won't fill a widescreen TV. To make a movie anamorphic takes very little time and money. That Star Wars is not anamorphic shows a disregard for the film that is troubling.

Star Wars fans expect these landmark films to be treated just like many other films (Vertigo, Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane, Snow White, etc.) that have gotten detailed restorations that cleaned up dirt, grime and audio ticks and presented the films in today's state of the art. This is the release most fans were dreaming of. A release that showed the film some modicrum of respect.

George, the fan base you have worked so hard to woo over the years is fed up with your shoddy treatment of these films.
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92 of 111 people found the following review helpful By MATTYG on July 13, 2006
Format: DVD
to paraphrase darth vader " I find Mr. Lucas lack of faith in the oot disturbing"

out of all the three at least empire deserved the gold standard when It came on dvd in it's orginal version. But non anamorphic for one of the greatest sequels in movie history please!

again thanks for nothing mr. lucas.

Please somebody stop him before film history is erased forever by a so called film preservationist activist, who often likes to re-write history and cgi the crap out of it.

Please AFI and the DGA stop this madness! Lobby him to perserve these films as they deserve to be treated not as bastard children he once disowned.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By RES on September 16, 2006
Format: DVD
We are given 2-DVD releases where the films in the much sought-after original 1977/83 STAR WARS Trilogy are relegated to the status of "bonus discs," a remarkably cynical move even for Lucas and Fox, who know full well that very few people actually want the dreadful 1997/2004 revisions that have been around on DVD for two years. These "bonus discs" are largely non-cleaned-up, low-definition, non-anamorphic transfers based on the 1993 laser discs. The picture is actually not bad, all things considered--better, in fact, than any other issuance of the originals (which admittedly appeared in media far inferior to the DVD); but with a little effort, they could have been so much better--especially for folks with 16x9 TVs. The 2.0 sound is more than adequate--actually rather clearer than the 5.1 mess that was produced for the 2004 disasters. Ironically, it is the 2.0 mix, not the 2004 5.1 remix, which is more similar to, though less complex than, the 6-channel, non-digital, non-surround stereo that was heard theatrically 30 years ago.

A couple of interesting details: one reviewer felt that these DVDs were worse than the 1995 VHS tapes, which he remembered as having been better cleaned up. In point of fact, the LDs from 1993 and the LDs/VHS tapes from 1995 were the *same* THX remasterings--just packaged differently; having seen both, I can say confidently that neither are nearly as good as these still-below-par DVDs. Moreover, the 1993/5 THX versions from which these DVDs were transferred are full of print damage at the same points--odd for a THX mastering; it means that even for what he said would be the *final* release in 1995, Lucas *already* didn't care about the old versions, as he was about to embark upon his 1997 distortions!
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206 of 255 people found the following review helpful By J. Renner on June 27, 2006
Format: DVD
If you love the original Star Wars trilogy as much as me, it is time to send a loud and clear message to Lucas that you will not endorse a subpar, inferior product. Do not get too excited when you pop this DVD into your player to watch on a widescreen TV. The 1980 version will appear as a tiny, low-resolution image. It is a non-anamorphic transfer (which in 2006 is NOT an industry standard), so it is NOT enhanced for 16x9 viewing. Get ready to enjoy Star Wars like you never have before - as if you were watching it through a mail slot!!!

Boycott this DVD until Lucasfilm acknowledges and corrects this. This trilogy's most loyal fans deserve better.
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high-def preservation of the 1997 Theatrical SE Empire Strikes Back.
If it's the 1997 version, it shouldn't need much if any color correction as the horrible blue tint happened in 2004.

Having this version in HD would be very impressive as it has much proper coloring and contrast levels, features a true film restoration and has a lot of the compositing shots... Read More
Sep 14, 2011 by Knightmessenger |  See all 2 posts
Best Sequels Ever
Toy Story 2 should be on that list...
Jun 6, 2010 by ttarkA113 |  See all 2 posts
Why the complaining?
Fans are upset primarily because the films haven't been restored and they are being released from inferior masters. The original negatives were in bad shape (at least for the first film episode IV)but that doesn't prevent Lucas from doing a restoration. The fans that want to see them in their... Read More
Sep 12, 2006 by Wayne Klein |  See all 7 posts
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