Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back parents guide

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Parent Guide

Some secrets can shake your universe.

Overall B+

When the Empire attacks the Rebel base and scatters their forces, Han and Leia flee, while Luke seeks further Jedi training. But Darth Vader will stop at nothing to find them (especially young Skywalker) in this sci-fi action/adventure film that acts as a story bridge between the first Star Wars film, Episode IV: A New Hope, and Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi.

Release date May 20, 1980

Violence C
Sexual Content A-
Profanity A-
Substance Use A

Why is Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back rated PG? The MPAA rated Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back PG

Run Time: 124 minutes

Parent Movie Review

If your family is looking for “out of this world” video entertainment, then try the “good versus evil” franchise that translated smoking guns and dueling swords into a universe of laser-blasters and lightsabers.

The successful 1977 Star Wars left the public anxiously waiting for the Empire to Strike Back. George Lucas obliged, crafting a sequel by carefully combing out vague strands found in the original story, weaving them into an intricate plot, and planning a third installment to tie them up. With past financial success pointing to future prosperity, a “bridge” movie was born.

Debuting in 1980, the yarn picks up with the heroes lying low after having inflicted serious damage on the Empire’s galaxy conquering plans. Hiding from Imperial armies who leave no star unturned in the search for revenge, the Rebel Alliance’s hopes go up in smoke when a deep space probe detects their base on a frozen planet. Faster than light speed, Imperial Storm Troopers attack. During the ensuing evacuation, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) decides not to rendezvous with his friends, but instead seek out more training from a mysterious Jedi Master in a distant star system. Meanwhile, attempting to avoid the evil intentions of the Emperor’s henchman Darth Vader, Han (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fischer) take flight aboard the mechanically challenged Millennial Falcon.

Even after a three-year intermission, audiences were not disappointed. Sitting on the edge of their seats they rode the plot twist roller-coaster, dodged asteroids with the Falcon’s intrepid crew, and felt Luke’s pain when he came up short-handed in his fight against the Force’s dark side. With plenty of spacecraft dogfights, weapons, explosions, and a brush with a Yeti-like creature, the movie presented more violence than its predecessor. Yet fans’ biggest complaint was—not unlike one of the main characters—they were left hanging another 36 months for the concluding episode.

Viewers can now consume the entire trilogy in one three-course marathon—proving some people can’t get enough of a good thing. Speaking of which, there’s a certain déjà vu about the next generation of Star Wars.

Directed by George Lucas. Starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer. Running time: 124 minutes. Theatrical release May 20, 1980. Updated

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Rating & Content Info

Why is Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back rated PG? Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back is rated PG by the MPAA

Overall: B+

When the Empire attacks the Rebel base and scatters their forces, Han and Leia flee, while Luke seeks further Jedi training. But Darth Vader will stop at nothing to find them (especially young Skywalker) in this sci-fi action/adventure film that acts as a story bridge between the first Star Wars film, Episode IV—A New Hope, and Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi. (The Special Edition of The Empire Strikes Back features slightly more violent depictions than the original release).

Violence: C

Throughout the film gunfire is exchanged between characters, machines, and spacecrafts, resulting result in chases, explosions, property damage, injuries, and death (violence is not graphic). Large beast attacks an animal and a man: beast devours animal, man’s face scratched, and beast’s arm is dismembered (some blood shown). Characters exposed to extreme elements with risk of dying from cold. Carcass of dead animal is cut open; intestines are shown. Two characters are choked to death, and another character is threatened with choking. Spaceships narrowly miss or collide with asteroids. Spaceship crash-lands. Robot is swallowed and spit out by swamp creature. Brief glimpse of disfigured head. Flying creature is shot. Several scenes portray lightsaber (like sword) fighting; a decapitation and a dismembered arm result. Implied torture of two characters; screams heard. Man punches another man. A risky procedure is used to freeze a character. Desperate character attempts suicide. Character hangs precariously.

Sexual Content: A-

Man shown wearing only a bathing suit-like covering. Several kisses are exchanged between male and female characters; some affectionate, some passionate. Man and woman exchange mild banter about attraction to one another.

Language: A-

At least: One mild profanity, and some name-calling.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A

None.

Miscellaneous Concerns:

Those with reptile phobias may not appreciate the several snakes and lizards that are shown.

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More parents' guide for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back after the break...

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Parents' Guide

When Luke offers to try to accomplish a task, the Jedi Master Yoda corrects his apprentice by saying:“Do, or do not…. there is no try.” What do you think this counsel meant? Could you apply these words of wisdom in your life?

Talk about the movie with your family…

When Luke offers to try to accomplish a task, the Jedi Master Yoda corrects his apprentice by saying: “Do, or do not…. there is no try.” What do you think this counsel meant? Could you apply these words of wisdom in your life?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back movie is September 11, 2006. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Star Wars: Episodes IV - VI

Release Date: 8 October 2013

20th Century Fox is releasing Star Wars: Episodes IV - VI to home video (Blu-ray and DVD). This 6 Disc Combo Set (3 Blu-ray +3 DVD) includes:

- Blu-ray Only Bonus Features: Audio Commentary for Each Movie from Archival

Interviews with George Lucas, Cast and Crew.

Note: Star Wars: Episodes I - III are also being released on the same date as a separate package.

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