National Public Radio's 1981 adaptation of Star Wars was one of the most successful presentations in the history of radio: and a very tough act to follow. Nevertheless, two years later, the members of the Star Wars production team eagerly returned to create a radio version of The Empire Strikes Back.
Like its predecessor, this electrifying drama boasts an outstanding cast (including Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Anthony Daniels as See Threepio, Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, and John Lithgow as Yoda); a greatly expanded script, with many scenes not found in the movie; and audio engineering of unparalleled excellence. The Empire Strikes Back takes you once more into a galaxy of pure sound and limitless imagination for an adventure you'll never forget.
© and (P)1993, 1996 Lucasfilm Ltd.
The performance is great and the story more detailed than the movie. Loved these when I got hold of them on cassette back in the early 80s. Am glad to have the complete production now.
Short and sweet reviews, Allentown pa
terrific again, love the extra dialogue of the characters, vader is more evil in these versions rather than seeing the movies.
Science, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Military History, Thrillers, Great Courses, Horror, and anything with a good story. Please forgive errors.
Great additions to the story and the characters. It actors are extraordinary. Luke is intensifying his training and has to overcome the hurtles that come before him. The story is in constant motion and ended too quickly.
Converting a visual story to a radio play is tough. Action needs to be described by somebody in the scene. They worked it in creative ways and skipped describing things that didn't matter. I really enjoyed the enhanced scenes that weren't in the original, almost like getting the deleted scenes put back.
TIP: If listening on an iPhone, remember double clicking your earbuds will get to the next chapter (helpful to skip the credits on each episode). MAY THE FOuRth would be a nice day to enjoy it all over!
I remember listening to this as a kid over the radio, and was happy to buy this on audible to relive the fun presentation. With great actors(Hamill etc.) and Lucasfilm's work on the sound, this is the most entertaining audio presentation of Star Wars I've heard(and I've heard a lot). They do a great job of acting, not just reading an audiobook. It's an important a piece of history too fun to pass up.
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Yes, this is a review of the Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back radio drama. No, the title isn't a goof. When originally aired on NPR all those years ago, the second Star Wars radio drama was released episodically. There were 10 episodes in all. In fact Star Wars IV: A New Hope was always released the same way.
The first half of this adaptation of Episode V goes up to the the point where Luke reaches Dagobah system—where Jedi Master Yoda lives. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say you know what happens in this story, so I won't bore you with a plot synopsis. Just know that by episode 5, we still haven't been introduced to Yoda.
This was an interesting experience, because I watched the film version at the same time when I was listening to the radio drama. Well, within a few hours of each other. This made me realize how much this radio drama matches the film in terms of the dialogue. Almost every single line from the movie is used in the radio drama. This might be a good thing, but one of the parts I liked most about "A New Hope" was the fact that it added scenes not in the original movie. Empire Strikes Back starts off similar, but the scenes in the radio drama feel like deleted ones found on a special features disc. In Episode IV it adds depth to the characters.
If there's one thing I noticed when listening vs. watching The Empire Strikes Back, it's how much of Han Solo's rogue nature and pigheadedness is exemplified in the radio drama than in the films. Harrison Ford does a great job, but watching the films a long time in a galaxy far, far away he never acted as despicable as the actor playing him in the radio drama. It wasn't bad, simply different but his character was what stood out the most. Even if some of the lines were the same, the way this actor delivered them was creepy. Like Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler kind of creepy. Han is a bit of an asshole, but there was charm to his character.
Moving past Han Solo's ego, Luke begins his training under Yoda. The furry green Jedi master is played by a different actor, but there are still remnants of the original voice. At times it was odd listening to a different interpretation of the voice. Even more so than Darth Vader, whose voice took a while to get used to in A New Hope. I mean let's face it, James Earl Jones is the voice of the iconic star wars villain. However that does not mean someone else can't do their own interpretation of the character. It will just be a harder obstacle to overcome for a good portion of the population. By this adaptation I was already sold on this acting interpretation of Darth Vader. To be more specific, it happened in A New Hope.
Perhaps one the most memorable moments in cinema history is when Darth Vader tells Luke that he is his father. That revelation paved the way for sites like TVtropes.com to exist. It's become a cliche, sure, but back then it was a WTF moment of epic proportions. Of course at this point we already know the revelation is coming. It's sort of like the Sixth Sense in that once you know the ending it's hard watch the movie without that reveal in mind, acting as a sort of one trick pony.
All in all Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is a fun ride with little deviation from the movie. In fact 98% of it was taken straight from the screenplay it seemed.
I have been a big fan of SW, ever since the world created by George Lucas, began with a New Hope. I can see every scene in my head as I listen to the vocal drama. I must say, I wish Han Solo could have been played by the actual actor, but all of the voice actors did a terrific job. Brock Peters did a notable job holding down Vader's part, but there is no one like James Earl Jones. I am so glad to have this recording and the first one. I am now debating whether I should get "Return of the Jedi". Thanks Audible for making them available.
"one major flaw"
shame the recording is still split into episodes so we have credits, intros and recaps every 30mins rather than one long cinematic recording of awesomeness.
"Excellent and Highly Recommended!"
We got this after enjoying the first audio book in the series (Star Wars) and couldn't be happier with getting the next in the series. It wasn't long after purchase that we started listening and before we knew it we had listened to it all.
Its an excellent story and done very well for audio listeners, with great narrators and its great having different narrators for each character as its makes it a very enjoyable listen. You get into the story really well and if you gave seen the films (the original ones) then you even start to imagine scenes from the film.
Thoroughly enjoyed this audio book and cannot wait to get the next in the series. Highly recommended to all and I know this will be listened to again and again.
"Another jewel in the Star Wars crown"
Before you listen to The Empire Strikes Back, listen the Star Wars.
The advice isn't isn't based on potential plot confusion but it will help to embed the voices, style and feel of the production which is strangely familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time.
Again, the performances are strong and the additional scenes are a intriguing for those that are fans of the film.
Once again, Perry King's performance of Han Solo is as good as Harrison Fords.
It's lovely, enjoy it!
"another epic adventure"
I think I prefer these to the actual films there appears to be more indepth story telling although the action scenes lack the visual element and could do with a narrator.
This audio drama version is great for a lengthy immersion in the world of Star Wars. The production is great, the actors do a great job. The writing is such that you don't miss the visual aspect, although, I'd recommend having watched the movies first (but who hasn't?!?).
The only down side is that they didn't remove the credits at the end of each episode and they take up a good 5 minutes each half hour! It would've been fine to trim the credits from the episodes and run a long one at the end, most of what you hear is the same thing each time any way.
"Better than watching the movie!"
It's like having the ultimate director's cut of the film. Absolutely brilliant! I always find Darth Vader in these radio dramas to be particularly entertaining.
"Listen to this book: It is your DESTINY!!"
So gkad Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams came beack fir thus.. and John Lithgow's Yoda is impressive too! supporting cast well chosen and John Williams' majestic score! Extra background brings further understanding to the saga. Thank the Maker! as 'Threepio would say..
"good but so much time on credits"
I won't go into the story as you should know it already. Performances are good and you get used to the ones different to the films pretty quickly. What I will say is there is about 1 minute before each episode of music and credits and nearly 4 minutes after some episodes! Make use of the skip buttons to avoid them.
"Great story telling"
Great just like being back a kid at the cinema
Can't fault the reading or acting highly recommend this audio book
"Another fantastic production"
Has the same high quality production as the original and because of the increased length of running enables them to add in some small sub parts that make some parts of the film make more sense.
Highly recommended if you are a fan of the films (& most would say this was the best film of the original 3)
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