By some regarded as the best movie in the franchise, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, was released in 1980. Despite the success of the original, creator George Lucas seemed to have taken some of the criticism to heart and took a back seat for the follow-up, handing over the directorial reigns to his old film school professor Irvin Kershner.
Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film’s story and serving as executive producer. It starred Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, and Frank Oz.
The Empire Strikes Back really was a significant technological achievement for the time of its 1980 release. The film introduced the famous AT-AT walker vehicles to the Star Wars universe and featured several exciting fight sequences, some much more complex than those found in its predecessor.
The dark, brooding tone of the film starts immediately after the opening crawl and it takes place on the ice planet, Hoth. It’s frigid cold, cloudy, and extremely windy. The sense of dread fills the arctic air and the battle begins..
“Make ready to land our troops beyond their energy field, then deploy the fleet so that nothing gets off the system. You are in command now, Admiral Piett.”
― Darth Vader, to Firmus Piett, as he executes Kendal Ozzel
The Battle of Hoth was an Imperial invasion led by Darth Vader, aimed at destroying the Rebel Alliance’s Echo Base hidden on the remote ice world Hoth and capturing Luke Skywalker. The base’s location was discovered when a viper probe droid, deployed by Darth Vader’s Death Squadron randomly landed on Hoth. It was a major victory for the Galactic Empire and among the worst battlefield defeats suffered by the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War.