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Star Wars > Empire Strikes Back
End of story.
Even though Empire introduces Yoda and Lando, I still prefer the sense of adventure in the original Star Wars.
It is all about story and character for me and by that alone Empire is the better movie six days a week and twice on Sunday. Don't worry I have already been threatened to have my spine ripped out and be beaten with it for my blasphemy.
Episode 4 comes before Episode 5, chronologically and on my list.
If it's all about story and character, then guess what? A New Hope introduces the great characters and the awesome story. You can't have a middle (Empire) without a beginning (A New Hope) and an end (Jedi). Episode IV is a better and more complete movie every day of the year and that small portion of time that exists which causes us to have to add leap years. End of debate.
There are things that you can argue about with both of these flicks and in the end it comes down to preference.
george lucas said himself that " the empire strikes back " was the movie "star wars" WOULD have been if paramount had given me the budget i wanted". also, since lucas conceived the whole trilogy as one idea, there really was no lack of originality as is usually the case with sequels made just to cash in on the popularity of the 1st . besides it had the "Luke, i am your father" scene!
There really is a lot of give and take between these two. Empire, while it is better written, has more interesting characters, and offers up an amazing ending, is still an incomplete film without A New Hope. A New Hope tells a complete story from beginning to end, and, if Star Wars never took off as the franchise that it is today, it would still be viewed as the sci-fi film that defined a generation. Because of that, I give the hand to A New Hope.
I love them both, so so much. They're perfect mirrors of each other. I have to give it to Star Wars though, just because it was fun and you don't want to slit your wrists after watching it.
While there would be no Empire without Star Wars, you can't beat that feeling walking out of the theatre at the end of Empire.
nothing beats watching the orignal three in one day with family. i can't pick between the two...
Empire is far superior to Star Wars.
nearly impossible. i do love a good battle of hoth scene though
Hoth Battle Scene? "Luke I am your father"? "I love you" "I know"? Woot it is all about Empire. George Lucas is a brilliant man when it comes to coming up with great stories (well in the past), but he has some flaws when it comes to directing (still rings true). In Empire we are given better acting and dialouge, which Lucas just can't provide as a direct anymore (must have burn himself up on American Graffiti and THX 1138). I feel a lot like I do here as with Batman Begins and Dark Knight - both are great films, but the firsts seem to just setup a great universe for the latter to break more to the table and create great masterpieces (A New Hope still blows BB and DK out of the water though). I love the romance in the second film and the plot twists, and it breaks something to the table for everyone. I love these movies, but Empire is just a step above A New Hope.
P.S. I wonder where Return of the Jedi sits in this debate?
Star Wars was great, but the characters lacked personality (blame Lucas' directorial style) where as Kershner's input as director on Empire took it to a new level.
I'm surprised by the comments, I thought I'd be out on a limb saying I prefer Star Wars. It's not that scientific, I just don't like movies with cliffhangers. Empire does have one of the most defining moments in movie history though. It's a close one, but I go with the original.
I think Empire is the superior film, but we're picking favourites here and Star Wars will always win over both Empire & Jedi. I just enjoy the introduction of the characters so much!
Not directed by Lucas > Directed by Lucas
One of the toughest matchups I've seen on this site. (And one that I've been waiting for in order to put Empire where it belongs.) Overall, ESB is superior - better story, more character development, and, of course, "No, I am your father."
You know I have to be honest. I want to like Star Wars a lot more than I actually still like Star Wars. Sorry George but the thrill is gone.
Star Wars gets points for starting the mythology of the franchise, but Empire is more polished and a better film. These two are far and away the better movies out of the two trilogies. Things took a wrong turn when Lucas changed the universe from human-centric to alien-centric - a decision driven by toy sales more than anything.
I knew it would come to this.
My first unhappy ending.
Gotta go with Empire. New Hope is a fine little fantasy film, but Empire just had better story and more rounded characters that made you care more about the world you're watching.
Star Wars is more than just a set up. This movie is about a little fish in a large pond, where everything is big and exciting, like Goodfellas with aliens. Star Wars has a climax worthy of comparison with the Godfather's and thankfully without the horrible cliffhanger of the second. Also I'm sensing a lot of people prefer the characters of the second film to the first, to which I must respond; since when is a muppet a better actor than Alec Guinness?
Empire, every time.
Empire is a better film, but nothing in cinema history is more memorable than the opening shot of New Hope, followed by that first capturing of Princess Leia scene... that fly-over of the space ship is too big an icon to put behind ESP and if I reduced the series to one memory, it would be the first 10 minutes of the original Star Wars.
If I did not feel inclined to watch the entire trilogy because of its immense popularity, I would have stopped at Star Wars, quite honestly. Darth Vader alone would not have been enough of a redeeming quality to watch the others. But The Empire Strikes Back, while still flawed, has enough to keep me from focusing so much on those flaws. Its script was better. Its acting was improved enough for there to be moments when I didn't hate Han Solo or CP30. Darth Vader still makes his appearances, and Yoda joins the fray. And its action was good in spite of its outdated special effects. The Empire Strikes Back, I can say I like. I cannot say the same about Star Wars.
Empire for me,hands down. It's the best movie in the original trilogy in my opinion. With two outstanding moments that choked me when i was 10 years old. Witnessing Han Solo's chilly fate was bad enough for me,but that reveal at the end,well it shocked me to the bone. It gave me my first hand in mouth movie moment that i'll never forget.
How can you guys make me pick between my two children!?!?!?
The original Star Wars, no doubt about it. It gave birth to the rest and was really great. Among the highest grossing movies of all time, *the* highest if you consider ticket price changes and variances in the value of the U.S. dollar it was amazing and unbeatable, at least in the Box Office...
As has obviously been the case for many users of this site, as evidenced by these comparison posts, Star Wars really got my cinephilia off to a roaring and still burning passion. That said, Empire represents the last, best iteration of all that is good with the franchise (hate that Lucas bears the responsibilty for the ability to use that word when speaking of films). Choosing to let Kirshner direct was a master stroke, as this episode is tighter, more fun and at the same time darker than all the others. From here Satr Wars slides into selling Ewoks and horrid tinkering. A close call but Empire takes it.
Gotta go with Empire strikes back.
Gotta go with The Empire Strikes Back, no doubt about it. As good as the original Star Wars is, the whole Star Wars franchise became what it is today due to The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and their sheer epicness. Star Wars would have been a very good stand alone movie, but it really were The Empire Strikes Back and its sequel which made the entire series an all-time classic in my opinion.
Empire, best in the series, hands down.
Damn this is hard. I mean you have The first one which set everything in motion and then the second, which has so much going on it was crazy. In "A New Hope" it was such a ground breaking achivement in filmmaking history. It has a great story line with rememberable characters. In "Empire Strike Back" it has such an amazing ending that no one would have ever seen coming. Not to mention to journey in which Luke has to face and how much he is like Darth Vader. In the past I have always choose the first one, but this is the first time I have had to choose between these two. However this isn't hard I have to go with "Empire Strike Back".
This one is easy for me. My earliest childhood movie memory is going to see TESB at the cinema. I grew up with Star Wars and even now as a grown up movie fan I believe TESB to be the better movie.
It just has much better imagery and atmosphere to A New Hope. That said both movies are head and shoulders above the big let down which is known as Return of the Jedi.
One of those times when the sequel is better than the original.
Empire Strikes Best was the best directed,best acted and most exciting entry of the series.
Empire for sure. It's just . . . better. Imo.
I remember actually gasping when Vader said "Luke I am your father." and thinking it was a trick, and slowly...just like Luke. Seeing it was true. That, among everything else, sticks out in my mind.
I gotta buck the trend. Empire is an all time favorite, but the original is just a tad more "epic"...
Star Wars is the beginning. The introduction of all that makes the saga great.
And empire is the continuation of that great saga. Common man what a cop out answer. It's the first so it is the best, what a bad way to look at things.
Empire really took this franchise to the next level. It's the best of the original Trilogy
empire is best if you care especially about star wars or film or etc...but if not, then star wars is best. if you watch all the movies and consider which is best, you will likely pick empire. but you will watch hope first. i think this type of match up really makes you have to consider why your picking one over another. and i mean, why are you even bothering to go through with this process? i think it's because we want to share with and relate to other ppl our values. i think part of the point of all this is to decide with which movies would we most want to be able to connect with other ppl. and if u want to relate to anyone thru empire, first u have to see hope
MOOOOO cows like empire better
The best sequel ever made vs. a film that redefined the genre of science fiction...The former never surpasses that mark, and the reveal of Vader to Luke still is the one of the greatest quotes of all time. Empire wins.
this is hard! very hard! AAARRRRGHHHHHHGHRARRHGH!!! ok... empire strikes back is more mature them the original, and it has the battle of hoth and yoda and i'm your father... but the original is so much fun, with obi - wan, and han solo, and luke all being introduced in the best of ways. so difficult. i have to go with my gut here and go with V, because of the memories.
Every time i ask myself this question i follow it with the question: which movie would i rather watch right now. Star Wars is always the answer for some reason.
Yet again, a very tough choice. Both are probably gonna be very close together on my list, but i think Empire gets the top spot because of the relationship between Han and Leia
All three of the originally trilogy are in my top 10. Star Wars is ranked #1, even though it isn't actually my favorite movie of all time. The original started my love...and Empire built on it. That being said...I can't cheat on who brought me to the dance....
EMPIRE!!! It's simply one of the greatest sequels ever made.
Luke Skywalker isn't a very interesting character. In Star Wars, this isn't a big problem because the journey is more important than the guy taking it. It's enough that Skywalker is young person stuck on a crappy planet who wants to see some action. People can relate to that. Going into Empire, Luke just doesn't cut it. He needs to be a more imposing figure. He needs to show some indication that he's a badass. This doesn't happen (and Jedi doesn't really improve the problem). Maybe it's just that there's not enough story about Skywalker and Vader before Empire. Luke's big confrontation with Vader, and his brief training with Yoda, really don't have enough substance. Luke whines to Yoda, Yoda makes some ominous comments, Luke rushes off to fight Vader... Then the Big Revelation! Star Wars is the more complete story without a doubt. Empire isn't complete, which is understandable. However, there's simply not enough background to make Luke Skywalker's continuing story carry enough dramatic weight. It's all quite rushed. Skywalker doesn't even interact with Vader in Star Wars... but then we get the surprise in Empire. Something is missing, I feel.
Now that I think about it. the entire Hoth part of the film could've been discarded. Not only would that remove the inappropriate sister kissing, but it would've offered more time to for Luke's training. They could've had Obi-Wan appear just about anywhere to tell Luke about Yoda.
I worship both films, but Star Wars is my favorite movie of all time. The Empire Strikes Back is just a smidge too dark for my taste (I still love it, though).
Empire was awesome, and it is #2 on my list BUT, A New Hope was groundbreaking, the original that started it all, the foundation of Star Wars. It doesn't hurt that Star Wars was the first movie I saw when I was barely able to fathom what a movie even was, I was Amazed!
ugh. i have to make a choice?
I watched them back-to-back nights, I have to say that Empire is the stronger of the two. Don't get me wrong, I've loved the entire original trilogy since I was a little kid, and I do have to say that the X-wing attack on the Death Star is better then anything in Empire; but overall, I think that Empire has a lot of elements that I prefer over A New Hope.
Empire, because of Irvin Kershner mostly.
I love them both,and it's hard to choose to any fan. But I'll have to go with the majority and pick Empire. It has a deeper story,key moments that we remember instantly when we talk about Star Wars,and everything improves from the original. Outstanding movie.
The Empire was more thought provoking and focused more on the underlying story.
Empire Strikes Back is too good.
I gotta give the slightest edge to Empire.
The one that started it all or the better movie? Well I'm thankful for Star Wars, because without it we wouldn't have had Empire. But Empire is better in almost every single way: acting, story, atmosphere, SFX, characters, entertainment and ofcourse the lightsaber fight :P . So an easy choice for me.
Best lightsaber battle ever. Vader vs. Luke in Empre. Shortest lightsaber battle ever. Vader vs. Obi-Wan in A New Hope.
And I forgot the set design and the score. Empire has such a powerful score, and introduced the Imperial March, one of the most famous melodies in movie history.
The Empire Strikes Back.
Star Wars. You cant beat the original as the greatest movie of all time. I dont know why the Dark Knight is no. 1, it should be A New Hope.
Empire, hard choice but Empire.
Star Wars, no matter how silly and obtuse it can be, is still a masterpiece alongside Empire and RotJ. I prefer the original just for the magic of its atmosphere and the real underdog story behind it, when Lucas had brilliant ideas that people wanted to hear. Point goes to Episode IV.
These two films are now No 1 and 2 on this site. Makes rta's comment seem rather prophetic.
Oops spoke to soon.
Both are fantastic, but...I'm going to have to go with the original.
Both are phenomenal, but I have to go with Empire.
Empire. Especially before the "tinkering" began...
Empire Strikes Back, easy choice
The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are definitely not bad movies but the only movie in the original Star Wars trilogy I really liked was Star Wars. Haven't seen the newer movies.
"I am you father." This line makes Empire a little bit better than SW.
Star Wars wins its my favorite movie of all time. Other then the "I am your father" quote i dont really know any of the others. I could give you a list of quotes and lines from Star Wars i enjoy it more. I seen it many more times then Empire. And in my opinion it is more memorable then Empire.
Both are great but star wars suffers from bad dialog.Empire however is just perfect in every way.
Star Wars is my favorite THING ever. Star Wars and Empire are my 2 favorites. They are filled with rich mythology, great characters and storytelling and probably contains the largest fictional universe to ever grace any form of media. So this is hard, i'll go with the original just cause it started it all but these are very much of a piece for me.
Empire takes it like a lot of people say, the best Star Wars film bar none.
There are those who consider SW and Empire to be two of a kind, with Jedi the outlier starting to display symptoms of what was to follow in the prequels. Well, all three films in the original trilogy have their shortcomings, all of which I think can be traced back to Lucas. For me, Star Wars is the outlier, and Empire/Jedi are two of a kind aesthetically. Star Wars looks like a dingy 70's film, even when you watch it in Blu-ray with the cleaned up print. Empire is my favorite film not because of its story per se, but because of the aesthetics - the crisp whiteness of Hoth World in contrast to the bland sandiness of Tatooine (and then later the lush green-ness of Endor); a much larger role for Apotheosis of the Man in Black villain, Darth Vader; the atmospherics of the Cloud City lightsaber fight...
Also, Luke Skywalker is annoying in the first film, he looks like a doofus, talks like a doofus, and dresses like one, too. Or maybe it's my post Gen X pop culture cynicism butting against Lucas' "golly gee whiz" leftovers from the 50's.
Inconsistent performances - another problem with the trilogy. Princess Leia starts out with a vaguely British accent and posture, then by the third film is stripped of her dignity, down to a gold bikini, and spends the rest of Jedi looking vaguely stoned, which she may well have been.
And the vaguely British accent turns into a vaguely New York one.
Two of my top 5. A New Hope I would've said ages ago, but Empire has grown on me and is now standing in the top 3 of my FlickChart. It is a classic in every sense of the word and is so well paced and executed, and it's quite possibly the pinnacle of science fiction adventure films. A New Hope is still a masterpiece, but Empire is the best of the series. The addition of Lando Calrissian and Bobba Fett, and the way they utter Jabba the Hutt's name (even Darth Vader), like he's a very feared man. The point is, when not under Lucas' control, Star Wars is something else, let's just hope Star Wars VII will be just as good as the prequels (which I highly doubt).
6>5>4>3>2>1 is how I would rank it.
Why is Star wars iv ranked as the best movie of all time on this flickchart ? It is one of the best but it is not THE best movie ever!
The godfather is the ultimate masterpiece of cinema and should be number one but it is only my opinion
Same reason Radiohead and Pink Floyd or whatever get #1 on music sites. Middle of the road, competent, and offends the least number of people.
^More like the most liked and the most popular. Qualities have almost nothing to do with it (Return of the Jedi ranked higher than Citizen Kane?)
Pointless question mark. Meh.
Ok . Favorite movie list . And by the way i prefer empire strikes back
The Empire Strikes Back always wins over Star Wars forever so Empire wins this time.
Star Wars Movies Best to Worst: 1. The Empire Strikes Back, 2. Star Wars: A New Hope, 3. Return of the Jedi, 4. Revenge of the Sith, 5. The Phantom Menace, 6. Attack of the Clones
Okay, good. Nobody has commented on this match up yet.
@Toki- Weird! Anyways, I prefer the first by a bit. Its slightly faster paced despite Empire being the better movie. The first isn't as iconic but it introduced a galaxy far far away in amazing style !
Empire. Hands down.
Hands down, the Empire wins! Its far more amusing than an already amazing original but I don't get how 'Star Wars' is #1 on Flickchart and 'Empire Strikes Back' is #2....To me, everything in ESB is made more amazing and is perhaps, the greatest sequel ever made and a better movie than 'Star Wars'
Empire Strikes Back easily...Its far superior to the original and I know I may get hate, but the original DOES NOT deserve to be No.1 of all time....Its a top 25 film but Empire Strikes Back is my 2nd favorite movie. Its far more entertaining, more memorable, more intense, more quotable, better music, better story and characters and directed by a better person
The Empire Strikes Back is alot better than Star Wars: A New Hope and in addition, The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite Star Wars movie of the Series and it is also my #1 favorite movie of all time.
Didn't like star wars at all . empire was much superior.
Empire Strikes Back all the way.
There must not be enough Star Wars saga fans on this site. Becsuse if there was a poll for every star wars fanatic in the world on which of these is the better film, Empire without a doubt wins. Don't understand why its not #1 globally
Empire definitely. Best in the trilogy, and a truly excellent film.
Empire, because it's more engaging plot.
Empire. It might not be as much fun but it is thoroughly more beautiful, imaginative and compelling. I would say in terms of fun though that Han and Leia get more time than in the other films to play out their sexual chemistry. It also has the entire series best handful of scenes if you could only have a handful. Here's my handful.
Everything happening during the scene when Han gets frozen in carbonite. "I know" is probably the funniest line in the series and yet the scene is also the series' most emotionally harrowing. When I was growing up the scene consistently made my back shiver.
The confrontation between Luke and Vader. It's really a handful of scenes in itself and is foreshadowed by Luke's failure at the cave. Darth cutting off Luke's hand and following it with, "I am your father" is the biggest surprise revelation of the series and the whole thing works beautifully in terms of the cutting off of Luke's hand tying into the monster Vader had become.
Flying the Millenium Falcon directly into an asteroid field despite C-3PO's odds before hiding inside of a monster living in an asteroid. Just brilliant stuff.
The series best, "happy to be back together' scene while Luke is recovering from frostbite. The banter is also series best. "Laugh it up, fuzzball" and the way Luke leans back after Leia kisses him a little romantically to get at Han are moments that give me a big goofy grin.
The scene on the landing pad when Lando pretends he is angry with Han before hugging him as a long lost friend. The scene becomes even better when we realize Lando had already made a deal with Vader.
Finally, all the moments when Vader either punishes his underlings, acts impatient with them or just when they fear him. The best scene is when Darth says, "You have failed me for the last time" and chokes an admiral to death over a display monitor and appoints the man standing next to him as the new admiral.
The argument that Star Wars was better because it was first ignores that the first/fourth film announced itself as an episode. People wore shirts after that read "Vader Lives"--the story wasn't over. Regardless, there is nothing wrong with a movie having a back story and starting in the middle or ending with a cliffhanger. Anyone who say so has either read too much Syd Field or has too great a love of everything being conventional. You could argue Citizen Kane and Casablanca start in the middle. One example from TV of a cliff hanger working out quite well: Twin Peaks' final episode is easily one of the most beloved of the series and many a fan has come around to the idea that its cliffhanger was a perfect ending for the series.
Empire for that sucker-punch revelation.
Empire takes the story to more interesting places, is more thought provoking, and has the greatest twist in the history of cinema. Empire greatly improves on its predecessor and can rightfully be called the greatest sequel of all time.
Why is it that Star Wars is #1 one on here and Empire is #2 when Empire is clearly dominating this matchup? 73-35. I also thought that Empire was the favorite and then I came to Flickchart and saw the original at #1. I don't know, it doesn't really make sense.
Two of the great science fiction movies of all-time, Star Wars is superior to Empire Strikes Back because of it's screenplay and it's overall performances from it's actors. Harrison Ford is brilliant as Han Solo, and despite one of the great cliffhangers of all-time in Empire, it's still 2nd best to A New Hope.
I'd guess the reason Star Wars is ahead of Empire on the Flickchart despite losing the discussion is that there actually are people who don't care about the Star Wars universe and either only saw the first one or only credited the first somewhat before becoming sick of the whole thing. BTW: The first film is incredibly sloppy in comparison to the second.
Actually I liked the second more than the first one like if it was of wissing on hopes
Having to debate over these two is something i've been having to do for a while. They're both as good as each other. It's a flip of a coin. Empire.
empire def. MOre epic
I'm sorry but The Empire Strikes Back is almost twice the film Star Wars is.
Love them both, but Empire is the better film.
Star Wars introduced the saga and many elements were stolen in the making of The Empire Strikes Back, I still believe that The Empire Strikes Back is a better made film though.
star wars perhaps has the better story, but boy vader is awesome in this one and I can watch empire over and over
I recently rewatched Star Wars and didn't see the magnificance I once did. It's fun but it doesn't have character development. The Empire Strikes Back needs a rewatch and I'll choose then.
Allow me to demonstrate the massive difference between the two. Here they are played simultaneously.
See the shocking truth!
The Empire Strikes Back is the better made film with more action and an enthralling story line. it introduces new iconic characters and has one of the best twists in history.
The original succeeds.
The Empire Strikes Again
Both are fantastic films and I don't like deciding which one is better. I have to decide which I like better, The Empire Strikes Back
They're both great but Star Wars
I change my mind. Without Star Wars there would be no Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars encapsulates the sense of adventure you want in a movie. The Empire Strikes Back is for chararcter development and I'd say it was better but I don't know if it's more entertaining. I'll pick it anyway
Very close but i think the Original Star Wars Movie wins, because the story is more complete while Empire strikes back feels like a puzzle piece among the Saga. Just look at the Ending of TESB.. .The Original Star Wars is sometimes a little bit cheesy (The Tatoinne Scenes) and Mark Hamills acting really sucks more than in Empires.. still wins due to Story, Tension and Atmosphere.
Empire ends the series right, there couldn't be no victory to defeat Empire.
I bet I would pick one of these one day, and pick the other one another day. Today I will pick....Star Wars.
The Empire Strikes Back is one of the best films of all time and better than Star Wars.
The Empire Strikes Back
I find The Empire Strikes Back more entertaining
The Empire Strikes Back has the battle of Hoth, Dagoba, Yoda, Evil'er Darth Vader and the big twist. Star wars started it all but TESB just surpasses it in terms of quality and entertainment.
I have to go with the original, but I do understand those who rank ESB higher.
What the fuck is so good about the first star wars so much compared to the second. It was pretty uneventful in the first one imo. Empire improved upon the original.
Both are 2 of the greatest movies of all time, but A New Hope is a little bit more epic.
A new hope
This is pretty difficult, but I'm siding with the original here. My only real issues with Empire are: all the romantic scenes between Han and Leia (they aren't bad scenes, but I could really do without them), and the pacing seems a tiny bit off sometimes. On the other hand, I find Star Wars to be pretty much flawless. Don't get me wrong, they are both masterpieces. Both are in my top 20, but for now, I'm going with Star Wars.
Yeah, Empire is better.
Star Wars is very good, but I was on tenterhooks as I watched The Empire Strikes Back - TESB wins.
That's pretty tough, but Empire why it's more epic.
EMPIRE is the reason I'm into Star Wars at all. Other than Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi, I find much of STAR WARS kind of boring, to be honest.
I hate cashews
While re-watching the films to prep for The Force Awakens, I realized The Empire Strikes Back had me more invested than A New Hope with Yoda's training and the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader.
Both are overrated movies (my proof is that these movies are number 1 and 2 on the top movies ever list, where movies like 2001 A Space Odyssey and Lawrence of Arabia should have taken those spots), but Empire is the better film. By no means am I saying they are bad, but I am saying they are not some of the best of all time. Empire I might put at like 21st in my top 25, but not anywhere close to top 15.
Luke Skywalker is a man; Darth Vader is a monster
Luke, may the Force be with you.
Unbelievably difficult, but you can't beat the original
the sequel's a tad better.
The only film better than the original Star Wars is The Empire Strikes Back.
This is crazy! All the people liked The Empire Strikes Back more than A New Hope. This match-up here has gone wrong!
I have serious trust issues with the Empire. It seems that Emperor Palpatine in the extended version just can't get away with. So, I'm still going to go with A New Hope. The final choice that I must choose.
Empire is far better because of it's completing better action mode just better than the original.
A New Hope is perfect but Empire Strikes Back is beyond perfect. Empire Strikes Back wins.
It seems that with Star Wars fans. The favorite is mostly tied with A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. I prefer Empire because of the famous reveal, Yoda, the continuation of the story, and of course, The Battle of Hoth.