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TV & Film

The Empire Strikes Back

Hemal Jhaveri July 18, 2023

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This week on Ten Movies:

If there’s a more iconic Harrison Ford role than Indiana Jones, it’s Han Solo. The vest! The blaster! The roguish ne’er-do-well grin! The giant dog sidekick! He is the dashing space pirate by which all future dashing space pirates will be measured – and found wanting.

We chose ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ over the original; ‘Star Wars’ not only because it features more Han Solo, but because the movie hangs more on Ford’s portrayal of the character – not just as a hero, but as an oddly contemporary aspect of the film. Amidst the flying monsters and space wizards, Ford’s presence keeps the movie human – but not so much that he’s winking at all the made-up stuff. It’s a fine line.

We also enjoyed – as many have before – the bravura of the film. Somebody makes a surprise hit space adventure with the good guys flying around and blowing up the bad guys and you gotta figure the studio wanted “that, but more” for the sequel, but instead, George Lucas and company gave us a story about failure and sacrifice, rather than triumph. Luke flunks out of Jedi school and they cut off his hand and Han Solo gets frozen in carbonite. Good stuff.


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