Return of the Jedi vs. The Empire Strikes Back



The classic debate. Empire versus Jedi. I always choose Empire because it ended on a cliffhanger (which I'm a sucker for), it wasn't directed by George Lucas, and no muppets. Mad respect to Jim Henson but I never liked the Ewoks.

"Empire" had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader's his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that's what life is, a series of down endings. All "Jedi" had was a bunch of Muppets.

Best movie of the series by far. It had the better story and the best character development of the franchise. It is all about story and character.

Empire sits at my #1 for good reason - it's the combination of a perfect blend of story, character, development, special effects, music, and the rare sequel that in my mind bests the original. Jedi's a fantastic film as well (also in my Top 20) but Empire is just so pitch-perfect. No other movie can beat it for me.

The ewoks never bothered me much. But the choice is fairly easy: Empire has more memorable scenes (Yoda, carbonite Han, Vader vs. Luke).

Both movies have their problems. Empire suffers from "middle of a trilogy"-syndrome. Return caters to a different target group, a younger target group, than the previous two movies. Empire is much better written, though, and I dare anyone to find something in Return that matches the emotional punches of "Luke, I am your father!" and "I know."

The second act is always more interesting than the third act of a three act play.

The Empire of course. The introduction of Yoda makes it all worthwhile.


Empire, hands down...

Jedi, just because it's the end of it all. On my Top 20, this is the order: 1. Return Of The Jedi 2. A New Hope 3. The Empire Strikes Back 4. The Aviator. It's just the best trilogy of films ever made.

Empire is by far a better constructed film, it's more of a character piece then both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, it's deeper and is the showcase of the best acting from any Star Wars film.

Wow! Really? Empire vs Jedi? Really? Haha I love this site. C'mon though. Empire is amazing. I actually prefer the original Star Wars slightly more, but Empire is one of the best movies ever! The introduction of Yoda and the subsequent training, the battle of hoth, the most epic confrontation ever in Luke Vs. Darth Vader, Han being frozen, Lando being Lando, the list goes on and on. Jedi on the other hand had a cool opening with the slow, but epic reintroduction of each character and rescue of han, but after that the movie becomes a bore with all the ewoks until the three part ending with the death star battle, the Endor battle, and the Luke, Vader, Emperor battle with only they L,V,E battle being any good. I mean seriously who likes the Ewoks and destroying the death star was cool the first time, but do it again and it's just lame.

empire strikes back. return of the jedi is great but not as great.

Empire, no doubt about it. Jedi is great and I love the speed bike scenes, but Empire is the Star Wars to see. Star Wars is the set up, Empire is the high point, and Jedi is the resolution. People need to stop complaining about the Ewoks, yeah they were corny, but they definitely don't ruin anything, unlike the atrocity that was Jar Jar.

No Contest.

Empire Strikes Back all the way. The darker Star Wars episodes are always the better ones. That's why I prefer Empire from the original trilogy and Revenge of the Sith in the second trilogy.

This is one of those tricky ones. Empire is clearly the more well written of the two, but Jedi seems to have a higher replay value for me. It's almost a coin flip.

Empire is the greatest middle act in movie history! The script was great, the acting was great, and the direction was great. After I saw Empire I couldn't believe how it ended, I mean in a new Hope they destroyed the Death Star, but the last shot of them looking out in to space just knowing how beaten they were was pure genius! Empire is the hands down winner.

Empire is my favorite movie of all time. So I choose Empire. But Return is is a great movie. The original trilogy are my favorite movies ever.

Got to go with Empire here. As Hurley said, face it, Ewoks suck dude.

Empire is far and away better than ROTJ, it just has a darker, grittier feel to it and the heroes are on their heels the entire movie which makes for great drama.

Wow, so only one person has said Jedi over Empire. I'm throwing my vote in for Jedi, as it is my favorite of the trilogy anyway...or at least it ties with A New Hope. First, let me see if I can bring the Empire voters down a peg. Let's start with Hoth: That battle may have been cool the first time you saw it, but slow AT-AT walkers are really quite lame and too easily tripped up to be long lasting entertainment. Then you have Han, Leia, Chewy, and 3P0 stuck in an asteroid field while Luke trains with Yoda. Hanging out in the belly of a spaceworm is not adding drama or character development. The bounty hunter scene and anything with Boba Fett seems interesting, but he totally gets his ass handed to him, like the punk that he is, in Jedi. Lando rocks, but he rocks harder leading the assault on the Second Death Star. Sure Empire has the twist, but it goes absolutely nowhere. I don't want just some dark ending without a resolution. You might as well tack on a big "To Be Concluded?" sign before the end credits of Empire. The second act may be more interesting as some people have said, but you still have to end with a big finish and answer all those puzzling questions: Can Han be rescued? What's up with Darth Daddy? Jedi IS the big finish. Jabba and the stuff (see Rancor fight, not musical number) that goes down in his palace and on Tatooine kicks more ass than asteroid chases and Wampa attacks. The Sarlac Pitt scenes alone are more thrilling than Vader walking through the hallways of Cloud City looking for Luke, yawn. Yoda's death is heavy. Sure the Ewoks are lame to grown ups, but Star Wars wasn't for grown ups...most grown ups who love Star Wars were kids or teens when they saw those movies, and Ewoks are great to young kids. Admit it, you'd love to own a live ewok, even if you just wanted to beat it daily or have it as a slave. The Emperor's evil totally makes up for the cutsieness of the Ewoks. Yeah he built another Death Star, but guess destroy's freakin' planets! Why mess with a classic weapon? Especially when you're trying to draw out some punk rebels. The end of Jedi is hands down why it trumps Empire. We get complete resolution. Luke fights Vader, way harder than in Empire. Luke practically beats the crap out of his dad, then triumphantly exclaims "I am a Jedi, like my father before me." The Emperor uses force lightning! Holy Cow! Vader redeems himself, and we get to see what he looks like. The Rebel Alliance wins...for sure this time. So ladies and gents, for those and many more reasons, hands down, Jedi is better than Empire.

No contest. Empire does everything a good sequel should do - expand the universe, move the plot forward, present real jeopardy, and you have to remember that in 1980 - with no internet spy network and 3 full years between films - ending such a major and highly anticipated franchise movie on a cliffhanger was absolutely as ballsy as hell. As a side note, while the Ewoks are now cringe-inducing, they weren't nearly as bothersome when I was 12. I loved Jedi once, but now I merely like it. Still love Empire.

Empire is great. Dark, more adult, and very dramatic. Lightsaber fight between Luke and Vader is amazing. And should I say about "- I am your father. - NOOOOO!!!!"? For me the choice is obvious.

I'm not an Ewok h8r like some folks here, but I'd have to say Empire only marginally bests Jedi for me. But when you add it up (Hoth, Dagobah, Cloud City) Empire is the best all around film of the original trilogy.

Empire by a mile. Lucas is a horrid director. And BTW I have to say I have a serious difference of opinion with anyone over 12 who ranks any Star Wars movie in their top 20.

Empire Strikes Back has the better climatic lightsaberbattle, however I have to say that I've always liked Return of the Jedi better.

I liked Return of the Jedi as a kid, but midget Wookies aka "Ewoks" defeating the Empire? Seriously? Fail.

This is a very very tough call for me. Jedi is underrated because people just think of Ewoks and push it, wrongly, aside. The scenes with Luke, Vader, and Palpatine are maybe the best of the original trilogy... not to mention the score.

No contest. The Empire Strikes Back is in a league of it's own, back when Lucas still knew how to make movies (even though he didn't direct this one). The pace is unrelenting, the tone is dark as hell (but still fun somehow). It's a perfect mirror to the first Star Wars. Return of the Jedi is good, but a bit of a mess, what with the climactic battle constantly being interrupted by Ewoks attempting to worship C-3PO or something like that. Lordy.

No question, it's Empire. Jedi is a flawed film at best, a bad film at worst.

Hands down, Empire is the better movie. Damn diry ewoks

Hands down, Empire is the better movie. Damn dirty ewoks

The last 45 minutes of EMPIRE alone clinches this one for me

Empire all the way.

No, I am your father. enough said. Empire

I was actually going to say inb4 the famous Clerks quote, but then I read the second comment. Oh well. Empire all the way for me.

How is this even a discussion? Empire is so much better it isn't even close. Plus no Ewoks in Empire.

Every good Star Wars geek knows the answer to this one. EMPIRE!!!

Empire wins simply based on the fact that it has the greatest plot twist. Not just in the the history of movies but in the history of story.

A friend of mine was going on how The evil galactic Empire was so much badder than the Federation from Star Trek (it really is) but he was getting on my nerves so I just said "Ewoks ovethrew the Empire". It shut him up and said what is wrong with this movie compared to Empire Strikes Back. Its no contest.

Empire is the superior film...The themes and epic qualities of the Star Wars trilogy were working in full effect on Empire but unfortunately they fell short in Return of the Jedi. as a kid... I would say Return of the Jedi would win.... but as an adult... Empire is the much better film the nostalgia of ewoks and lighted hearted goodness looses its effect once you turn 20.

Ewoks = 2nd place in this debate "nuff Said

empire respects itself by not having teddy bears running around.... a much serious and formal film.

I got this one...Empire by a landslide.

Return of the Jedi. It made the jedi a complete badarse!

I think the debate in Clerks pretty much summed up my feelings on these two. I like Empire because it's a much darker film and doesn't have a bunch of muppets saving the day. I'll admit that when I was a kid and first saw both of these at the movie theater that I preferred Jedi, but as I've aged, my enjoyment of Jedi has decreased while my admiration for Empire has increased.

When people think of star wars they think of "I am your father", Empire kicks ass. No death star tho :(. First real (and timeless) lightsabre battle, great space sequences, Leiah Kisses Luke (eww) and Han. Hoth battle, yeah empire is the best of the 3 but i reckon star wars was better than jedi

Empire had the best dialouge of the entire series. It also had ATAT walkers, Hoth, bounty hunters, Yoda, asteroids, the revelation and the grossest kiss in the history of movies.

Empire is way better, because it's more epic than the Return.

Empire has it by a mile. If this were Star Wars vs. Empire, I may have sit back and think about it a bit. But there are Ewoks to consider.

Both are parts of the same story, but for sure Empire does a better job representing that story.

Empire is a better story but Jedi brings more entertainment value... gotta side with the better story

Everybody is well aware that the quality of the first trilogy deteriorates in chronological order. Star Wars is the superior film, followed by Empire, then Return of the Jedi. NEXT.

"I am your father" wins;)

One word, Ewoks. Empire was the best on the 6 or so Star Wars movies. It had the best story structure, even though I could have used more Alec.

I going for 'The Empire Strikes Back'

I'm going for 'The Empire Strikes Back'

Empire! My jaw dropped when Vader said he's Luke's father. It also dropped when I found out that Luke and Leia were sibblings, yuck lol. I do have to say the battle scenes at the end of Jedi are awesome, but I do hate the ewoks. It's strange how my taste has changed since I used to love the ewoks.

Empire is better in every single way.

I'm a big muppet fan, but the ewoks seemed a little out of place in Jedi. Jedi has some great scenes but the movie doesn't flow nearly as well. As has been said a dozen times already, the many specacular (and cohesive) moments in Empire make it a superior film - of course that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be your favroutire...

I'm with Olsography on this one, I always thought (and looking at the numbers on this site I was right) that statistically Jedi was the least favourite of the original trilogy, I would much rather discuss Empire vs. Star Wars - a matchup not so one-sided (currently 58-8). My personal list from best to worst is: IV, V, III, VI, I, II. This goes back to what I said in the Raiders/Doom debate: Star Wars had an innocence to it that disappeared with each subsequent chapter. Empire had all the twists, but Luke rocked the first one, his excitement and wonder at the galaxy that he was just beginning to get to know was infectious. Unfortunately he became more and more dour as the series progressed, and yes, while the Skywalker family tree made for some great surprises, in my personal opinion it isn't as "WOW" inducing as the entire first movie from beginning to end.

A few people have implied here that liked Empire more than Return of the Jedi because George Lucas is a terrible director. Just to clarify, Lucas didn't direct Jedi either. Richard Marquand did. Oh, and between the two, it's Empire for me. :-)

gotta be jedi because empire had a huge plot hole in it when luke went to see yoda and han went to the city in the clouds , crazy travel time

The scenes with Luke, Vader and the Emperor in the throne room in Return of the Jeri are the best in any of the films, but Empire is a better movie on the whole.

I choose Empire because it doesn't feature teddy bears defeating the most powerful military force in the galaxy. /still likes Jedi a lot.

Empire wins Easily in this matchup C3PO as the savior of a bunch of muppett ewoks.

Jedi for me. Badass Luke in the beginning!

A better comparison would be Empire vs. A New Hope. RotJ was already Lucas pandering to marketing dollars, but even without the obvious toy tie-ins, Empire is a better film with richer context and character development than Jedi. Empire is a saga - Jedi is a ride on a speeder bike.

What we all been waiting for. I'll go with the second one, but it's close.

I was definitely a Jedi fan when I was younger, which makes sense since it caters a bit more to that demographic. As I come back to these movies quite a bit to this day, Empire just owns it in every way. Better character development, the story, Lucas not directing, etc...

It's like choosing between my two babies but it's Empire for the win.

I'm like Dante in Clerks on this one. EMPIRE!

No Contest. Empire is the ultimate Star Wars film. Jedi has epic moments but lacks the edge and momentum of story that the first 2 had.

JEDI is getting crushed, and rightly so... it has a first act that belongs in the 007 universe, not the Lucas one. I can understand why so many directors (David Lynch, David Cronenberg and more) passed on directing it. And the Ewoks wouldn not have been such a miscalculation if used in, say, the first part of the movie, or in an earlier film. But the silliness of them cheapens everything going on at the climax of this very dramatic trilogy. EMPIRE also has the advantage of feeling less time-specific, whileas JEDI makes it clear that "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" is "the Eighties in Hollywood".

I'm going to have to give it to Empire, though I do love the scenes with Luke, Vader, and the Emperor in Jedi and it would have been a coinf-flip if it had mostly that.

As a kid, Jedi was my favorite Star Wars film. I have since matured into an Empire Strikes Back fan.

Empire had the better ending, and just kicks more ass!

Difficult choice, but have to go with my gut feeling from back when I first saw the movies as a kid and say Jedi.

Return Of The Jedi is really good, imo, and I love the Ewoks, but Empire is the better movie. It has better lines, a tighter plot, and a kickass double-crpss. plus the best ligthsaber fight in the entire sereis!

No competition her at all. Empire is clearly the better film. Arguably the best in the series. Jedi has it's moments and is the climax, but is also the beginning of the end for the series. Lucas starts to play more to what he thinks the audience wants and makes some terrible errors. Teddy bear Ewoks? Please. This mentality carries over to the apocryphal prequel series which still ticks me off to no end. I wish he would have let Spielberg direct Jedi, which was planned at one time.

Nothing touches Empire!

I'm one of the few that actually likes Return of the Jedi more than The Empire Strikes Back. This is mainly due to the epic battle in the end, especially the duel between Luke and Vader. Best scene of the whole series in my opinion. The second movie had its moments, too, but overall, Return of the Jedi feels just more amazing to me.

The biggest strike against Empire is no Ackbar. Everything else in Empire trumps Jedi.

Not only is Empire better but there are few better examples on screen of a beloved story being corrupted for populist commercial purposes as the shift this story goes through in Jedi. Empire still seems to exist only to propel the story while Jedi with its replacement of Wookies to Ewoks just to bring a new generation of fans in the the merch stream is unconscionable. Its is with this modification that Lucas foreshadows his greatest crime: altering Star Wars so that Greedo shoots first. Han is a mercenary bad ass! He shoots first! Wookies are emblematic of humanity's baser instincts. They shamble around, unshaven with no clothes on, grunting, growling and tearing limbs off their adversaries. But Lucas, too ball-less to stick to the more visceral impulses borne of the swinging 70's neuters Han and cutesies the Wookies to make it all so G rated as to be a true corruption of the arc set out in the first 2 films. Why are we even having this discussion! What's next? Die Hard v. Die Hard 2?

I have to pick "Return Of The Jedi" - but by a very narrow margin. Both films, IMHO, are equally good, but I guess I like the happy ending that is "Jedi" than the dark overtones of "Empire". The caveat, though, is that the original music has to be part of "Return Of The Jedi" - the new music that I heard on the re-cut DVD just sticks out like a sore thumb (not that the original music was anything great - but it's what I'm used to).

Empire. Luke spends most of the movie being an impatient, unlikeable ass, and yet the beating he receives at Vader's hands, then the revelation that said beatdown came from his own father, makes him sympathetic again.

When I saw this matchup I laughed. I thought how could there be any question as to the superiority of Empire. That is, until I read some of these comments and started thinking about it some more. Sure, Jedi has the Ewoks, but it also has some of the greatest scenes from the trilogy, and we finally get to see Luke aspire to his full potential. That alone is extremely satisfying, but toss in all the other resolutions and I'm not sure anymore. I need to think about this some more.

I recently saw all three movies in a row on my high definition television for fun. As a child, I never really liked Empire Strikes Back as much as the rest, and never really gave it a second chance. When I saw the Empire Strikes Back for the second time, it blew my mind. I had totally forgotten about the brilliant writing, engaging story and the unforgettable scenes such as the Battle of Hoth and the revelation that Darth Vader was Luke's father. One of the biggest twists in cinema history. What really drew me in was how dark Empire was compared to A New Hope and Return of the Jedi; it tells the story of these great heroes who are now cast down and beaten as they face dilemma after dilemma and never be able to have a moment of relaxation. It ends on a powerful note, to show that the Rebels will return, they will come back and rise again and for that, I say the Empire Strikes Back is better than Return of the Jedi.

Return of the Jedi vs. Empire, no contest. It's Empire.

Not that tough, really...!

Going back 200 days: @ Haggis: No Muppets? What was Yoda then. A Muppet he was. Anyway, I go IV, V then VI.

Ewoks and slapstick kill Return of the Jedi, and is a foreshadowing of much that would be wrong with The Phantom Menace. Empire isn't a masterpiece, but at least it has some dignity.

Empire and it's not even close.

The point of the Ewoks bringing down the Empire was that bravery can overcome other disparities; this is a hallmark of many of the most exciting and important stories ever told, dating back to David vs. Goliath. I'm giving the nod to "Empire," though, because while I enjoy "Jedi" tremendously, "Empire" is the only one that really expanded the "Star Wars" universe. It's the only episode of the original trilogy that doesn't move from Tatooine to a Death Star, and while we do find out the full scope of Luke's family history in "Jedi," it doesn't mean as much as what we learn in "Empire."

Too many Ewoks spoil the broth... Empire by a wide margin.

Empire. Just...Empire.

The Empire Strikes Back was nothing special. It had decent action, at least. Return of the Jedi had... uh... slave Leia and... um... no, that's it.

Empire has the better ending. "No Luke I...."

I think Empire is clearly the better of the two movies - ROTJ lacks the visual/atmospheric brilliance of the second movie and Ford/Fisher are clearly sub par in ROTJ.

Empire. No question. The Ewoks almost ruin his movie. Seriously? A Tarzan yell? 1/3rd of Return of teh jedi is a kids movie. Thumbs down.


Empire for sure. Jedi has so many missteps! A very, very underwhelming end to the trilogy. It lacked originality (ANOTHER Death Star -- Oooh, a planet with trees!), the 'surprises' were lame (surprise! you're siblings!), much of it didn't make sense even within its world, the tone was all over the place, Darth Vader's face wasn't a good match, and everything involving the Care Bears was so cheesy. I could go on. Yes, I really like it (probably due to nostalgia), but it's nowhere near Empire. If it weren't for Phantom Menace, Jedi would be my least favorite Star Wars film.

Return of the Jedi Hands Down! Empire is a good Star Wars movie but it did not have the power that Return of the Jedi had. Empire introduced us to Master Yoda and began Luke's training to become a jedi. Also Luke had his first encounter with his father Darth Vader. And were the awesome Han Solo is frozen in carbonate making the audience if this is the end of the great Han Solo. But Return of the Jedi has Jabba the Hut and the epic battle with the Rancor that Luke so easily defeats. When Luke and his companions were about to be feed to the pit Luke was able to break free and save Lea and everyone else. Lea's slave outfit was not to shabby either! But by far my favorite part about Return of the Jedi was the Ewok Battle and the Ewok Wikket! The cutest little thing you ever seen and a vicious fighter. And when Vader saved Luke from getting fried by the Emperor was the biggest turning point in the star war's saga!! But even though Vader died in the end seeing him with Obi and Yoda in the end as ghosts was a great ending to one of the best scifi series ever!

Jesus man. Do you masturbate to this sh*t?

Oh, go give Optimus Prime a bj. Bitch.

I will after you blow frodo homo

holy crap! You guys are freeeeeks!!!!


No Ewoks is reason enough to prefer Empire but I have other reasons that are too many to expound.

Tough choice. When I was younger and growing up on my dad's VHS copies of Star Wars in the mid 90's, Jedi was my favorite. As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate Empire far more than I did 15 years ago. While I still believe it's close, Empire is the best of the series. However, none of these 3 films are near top 20 quality for me. (maybe not having grown up going to the theater and seeing it when I was a kid or a teenager has something to do with my opinion). They all bunch together near 100.

Empire is definitely the better film, for many of the reasons listed above (better plot, more developed characters, less cheesy, less dated), but I will say I absolutely loved the opening act of Jedi (the Jabba's palace rescue of Han), and think it is one of the best in the trilogy.

The Empire Strikes Back is the (only) perfect Star Wars film.

In my opinion, Return of the Jedi is the weakest of the three films. I always liked how Empire Strikes Back ended on such a negative note...Luke gets owned by Vader, Han gets captured...The original is hard to vote against as well, but it's a close second behind Empire

Return of the Jedi has a Rancor in it. Therefor it wins.

Let me get this straight, I love Return of the Jedi...but the ewoks really killed it for me. Empire is an amazing movie and hard to beat by any movie ever created. In my humble opinion of course.

Jedi wins for me, and always has. The speeder bikes, Jabba the Hutt, the amazing space battle, and all the fantastic stuff with the Emperor. In fact, even if all of Jedi was replaced with Ewoks and musical numbers but still had its stunning Throne Room conclusion, I'd still vote it higher than Empire.

While Empire is clearly the better movie in terms of storytelling, ROTJ wins for me because it was the first "event" movie of my life. Saw it six times in the just has a special place in my it's my choice.

Empire Strikes Back is the greatest Star Wars movie ever made. I have always been a sucker for dark storylines.

leah's slave girl costume and luke playing a goth kid...jedi FTW!

It's the 'to be continued...' cliffhanger of Empire that clinches it, plus the revelation of Luke's parentage, which is still a powerful scene - RotJ doesn't have that heft.

I always seem to vote for the second movie in trilogies. Empire!

Best Ending EVER! Empire has everything a good movie needs, PLUS no teddy bears picnic.

Both are all-time classics, but The Empire Strikes Back is more than just a classic- it's one of the greatest movies in Hollywood history. A near-perfect sequel in every way, Empire vastly expanded the Star Wars universe (Yoda, Cloud City, Boba Fett), had some flat-out incredible action sequences (Battle of Hoth, Duel between Vader and Luke), and has maybe the greatest plot twist in movie history ("I am your father"). There are just too many memorable moments in this film, and although RotJ is fantastic as well, Empire is as good as it gets.

this is a bit off topic but: 5 > 4 > 6 > 3 > 1 > 2

if it was IV vs V it would have been much harder to choose

I'm for the Empire Strikes back. I don't have a problem with ewoks. But the Empire Strikes Back has an amazing ending.

Empire Strikes Back wins for sure. Empire Strikes Back is the best of all Star Wars movies.

Empire kicks the Jedi's butt any day, everyday.

Such an easy matchup.

Empire for sure, Return of the Jedi had too many weak moments.

I say Empire is better, ROTJ has too many week moments.

Possibly on the greatest face off's in Flickchart history. I'm going to have to side with Empire here.

Empire was the best of the Trilogy (as far as I'm concerned, there's only the original three films). Jedi, meh. Ewoks vs Leia in a bikini cancels each other out.

Empire definitely tops ROTJ for me. Like A New Hope, Empire had fantastic pacing and development from start to finish. It was almost a direct contrast from ANH as it is now the Rebellion on the run rather than the Empire. Good doesn't always triumph over Evil; and sometimes the darkest truths are the ones closest to home. Also, hey. Everyone can, in one or other regardless if they are wrong, quote one of the most famous moments in the series when Darth Vader reveals himself to be Luke's father. If that scene alone doesn't make it a better movie, I don't know what does.

Both Awesome!!!...But,Empire has a simply better story,its more darker & suspense filled,Return is great but,Ewoks destroying the Empire,Comee On,and Empire has the most suspense/suprise scene i've ever seen in a movie,especially when you first see it,"Luke,I Am Your Father"...Tht was AWESOME!!!! :D...STAR WARS ROCKSS!!!

This one goes easily for Empire,but Jedi was such a thrillride. I never get people complaining about Ewoks like they are some sort of Jar-Jar,and it's crazy how the final chapter mixes humour and a very emotional plot in a very balanced mix. It was the perfect ending to a perfect saga (obviously excluding the prequels.) BUT Empire is trully the movie that defined the Star Wars essence. Gosh,i love SW so freakin' much. =)

Jedi had its great moments, no question: the marvelously complicated plan to rescue Han from Jabba's palace, the creepy Emperor, the moments between Luke and Vader. But it has its corny moments too ... not just the Ewoks, but the celebratory ending with all the ghosts. Meh. What seals it for Empire is the dialogue. It is on an entirely different plain from the writing for the rest of the series. Just compare Han and Leia's interactions in the two movies; there is a depth to their Empire exchanges that is missing in the third film.

Right, here's why Jedi wins for me. Sure, Empire was a much more mature film, sure I made up my mind on this when I was younger, back when I was supposed to prefer Jedi to Empire and sure the Ewoks are the bane of the original trilogy. However, my tactic for enjoying Jedi is simple; just fast forward the Endor bits. The Luke/Vader/Emperor battle is even more epic for me than the Cloud City battle (although that probably has something to do with the fact that I knew about the plot twist in Empire before I watched it), and Vader's redemption (regardless of the business in the prequels, besides, the "younglings" were f*cking annoying) are absolutely brilliant pieces of cinema. Also, the thing that nobody seems to mention in these comments is the Space battle above Endor. THE BEST SPACE BATTLE IN THE ENTIRE SAGA BY A CLEAN MILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was what sold it for me. Plus there are plenty of other decent bits in it too; rescuing Han from Jabba, Yoda's death scene (much heavier than a lot of people give it credit for), and also, as a story telling device, I thought John William's score (which is brilliant in all of his films, not to mention the Star Wars saga) is at it's best in Jedi, with some really fantastic moments. Empire is still a great film, make no mistake, and I have warmed to it much more over the years, but I still enjoy Jedi much more. Remember, fast forward the bits with the Ewoks, it makes it so much more enjoyable!

I enjoyed both but Empire had the revelation of Vader as Luke's father. We take it for granted now but can you remember the gasp in the theater when Vader said "I am your father."? Truly great cinema. On top of that, I think that the Hoth and Degobah scenes trump Tatoine and Endor.

ROTJ has some awesome moments, but Empire is much better made.

The Empire Strikes Back by a nose.

One of the best sequels in motion picture history vs teddy bears and a lot of recycling. Ladies and gentlemen, I think the choice is clear. And it's probably my favourite movie atm I'm writing this.

The Empire Strikes Back is better.

The Empire Strikes Back is too good. This is pretty close and Im about to leave it at a draw, but I must say the fifth installment TESB.

I love The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi but it's not a hard decision for me. The Empire Strikes Back wins. It's like a checklist of everything a sequel should be. The story becomes more complex, new facets of the characters are explored, the audience is taken to new places and the ending leaves us wanting more. I like to think of the original Star Wars trilogy as a cinematic sandwich and The Empire Strikes Back is the juicy middle section every audience member wants when they walk into a second franchise installment. I think that people who hate Return of the Jedi only dislike it because they expected another Empire. Return of the Jedi needed to be a more lighthearted adventure instead of going even darker. Not only is it unexpected, but it'sThe audience knows that it is the final chapter and there has to be the final confrontation between Luke and Vader,

I love The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi but it's not a hard decision for me. The Empire Strikes Back wins. It's like a checklist of everything a sequel should be. The story becomes more complex, new facets of the characters are explored, the audience is taken to new places and the ending leaves us wanting more. I like to think of the original Star Wars trilogy as a cinematic sandwich and The Empire Strikes Back is the juicy middle section every audience member wants when they walk into a second franchise installment. I think that people who hate Return of the Jedi only dislike it because they expected another Empire. Return of the Jedi needed to be a more lighthearted adventure instead of staying dark in tone. For me it was a refreshing surprise. Had it attempted to be as emotionally heavy as Empire, I would have felt exasperated instead of uplifted at the end. I knew that it was the final chapter and I knew there would be a final confrontation between Luke and Vader, but its sense of fun and whimsy I did not see coming.

What return of the jedi is a conclusion to the original trilogy that has paved the way for sci fi films everywhere.

Two of the Top 3 greatest movies of all time but Empire is the best.

Empire Strikes Back, it has when Vader tells Luke he is his father. It is one of the greatest sequels ever, second only to The Godfather Part II.

Though Jedi had one of the most epic space battles in film history, Empire had a sense of gritty dark suspense that made me feel that I might be in immediate danger while watching the film.

I'm a Return of the Jedi apologist, but even I can't pick it in this matchup. The Empire Strikes Back is THE greatest sequel ever made.

I'm glad *some* people have said Jedi. However, I will not be one of them, because I have to go Empire.

holiday special all the way lol im jus bein a smartass. Episode V over VI, because empire completley changed the game by setting the standard of what a sequel should be

Empire is the "BETTER" movie but i enjoy Return more and have seen it more times. I pick Return of the Jedi until i see bothe again.

Empire is more for people who like movies, Return is more for people who at some point in their lives collected Star Wars toys, merchandise, etc. Not being rude, that's just how it is.

JEDI disappointed me when I was four. Today I shake my head at the missed opportunity: the closing film in a trilogy with two PERFECT entries ruined utterly by a frakking feature-length toy commercial/James Bond ripoff set in space. Look up a guy named Gary Kurtz if you don't believe me. JEDI is absolutely the worst film in the series, even worse than PHANTOM MENACE.

EMPIRE, by a milliom miles. When George Lucas rewrote the script and Gary Kurtz left the project, the series became a pale shadow of Episodes 4 and 5. JEDI is a total selling out of all of the story potential of the first two movies, which constitutes the most disappointing third film in a trilogy ever (you're off the hook, GODFATHER PART III).

episode 6 would have been great if it wasn't for Han Solo's pointless comedic role and the dumb ewoks. Episode on the other hand is almost perfect.

JP2011 JP2011 about a minute ago episode 6 would have been great if it wasn't for Han Solo's pointless comedic role and the dumb ewoks. Episode 5 on the other hand is almost perfect.

I have always slightly prefered Return of The Jedi.

I clearly prefer The Return of the Jedi. The Empire Strikes Back is much slower and less interesting to watch, in my opinion.

Yeah, I'd rather watch one of those prequels than that HOOBY JOOOBY DOOO WOP JOOBYDOO cgi song from the Jedi re-release again.

I love them both but i ll choose empire strikes back because of yoda

I always thought Jedi is the most slept on Star Wars film.

The Empire Strikes Back is the Greatest Star Wars Movie of the Series, it is my #1 favorite movie of all time, and The Empire Strikes Back is also alot better than Return of the Jedi in many ways.

The Empire Strikes Back is the Greatest Star Wars Movie of all time Hands Down! Return of the Jedi on the other hand is a decent end to the original trilogy but it is the weakest of the original three Star Wars Films. So The Empire Strikes Back wins by far.

Empire. Hope Disney can bring back the greatness.

The Empire Strikes Back is the better due to its all round high standard. RotJ has a great ending but has some poor scenes whereas Empire has many great scenes all the way through. The best bits being Yoda, Vader vs Luke and Leia confessing her love to Han

The inclusion of the Ewoks simply made this movie better,it's the dividing line that separated the two

The Empire Strikes Back is the Greatest Star Wars Film of the Series in the history of film. In my opinion, Return of the Jedi does suck because the second half of ROTJ was based on the Ewoks and Another Death Star is a joke. The Only 2 Scenes That I Liked in Return of the Jedi was Han Solo coming out of the Carbonite and the death of Darth Vader. The rest of ROTJ is Crap.

The Empire Strikes Back is the clear winner. It has amazing soundtrack, introduces some amazing characters and has a far greater story. The action sequences are amazing in both but seriously, how iconic is ESB... I love both, but ESB no contest...In fact, both these films are in my personal top 15

Probably the biggest movie match-up of all time!!! I grew up loving Return of the Jedi but watching the two films back to back Empire is much more EPIC!!!

Empire Strikes Back is such an excellent film. It does so many things superbly and is probably the greatest sequel ever. Return of the Jedi cannot compare to its superior predecessor, it was entertaining but Empire Strikes Back had such a great plot, twist and ending; whereas Return of the Jedi’s ending was slightly underwhelming.

While I can freely admit that Jedi is the weakest of the trilogy it happens to also be my favorite. Why you ask. It has two of my favorite sequences in cinematic history. The first one is the opening sequence on Tatooine which includes Jabba's Palace, Han's Rescue, and the Sarlacc Pit. The second happens to be my favorite sequence of any Star Wars film. That is the Death Star throne room sequence with the final confrontation between The Emperor, Luke, and Darth Vader. Everything about it screams perfection. Return of the Jedi is the perfect end to a legendary trilogy.

Empire remains my favorite SW film.

Return of the Jedi has a much more focuses plot and more drama, therefore I like it more.

I always liked Return of the Jedi more as a child. But over time, I have come to like ESB more.

Empire vs Jedi. Empire is the darker film, but then all 2nd acts are. Some love Jedi simply for being the final act of such a magnificent trilogy. When comparing the films, Empire has the more dramatic story lines, and therefore the more emotional scenes. Ultimately, it is the better picture. If for no other reason, than because of the best scene of the trilogy with Darth Vader telling Luke the truth.


Haha the ol' star wars matchup! I pick Empire over both Return and the original, so really it's not that close.

I had half a mind to pick Return when I rewatched it and I just might later, but as of now Empire

The empire strikes back iss teh the best star wars.

Empire's scenes from Dagobah draw so many parallels and present so much mystery to the Star Wars films. Empire also has the best of Han and Leia's love story, including the infamous "i know" line that is absolutely perfect. It's a little easier to lean Jedi sometimes because it's the conclusion to such an awesome trilogy, but Empire holds aspects that both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi just don't. I could almost argue that the "failure in the cave" scene alone propels Empire above Jedi.

Empire Strikes Back is by far superior better, Return of the Jedi has too many weak moments and I really don't like the Ewoks. Empire Strikes Back has far better moments such as Yoda's appearance, The Imperial walkers in the snow, Darth Vader reveals the truth to Luke, and lets not forget the amazing Imperial March music. Empire Strikes Back totaly wins big time.

both top 20 on my list right here but I'm going to have to go with the empire strikes back on this on

both top 20 on my list right here but I'm going to have to go with the empire strikes back on this one

I enjoy Jedi but some how it woundn't be likey as good it could be, but empire had some better effets like had some of those battle walkers in the pole and Jedi did not do as well enougth so empire is the best one

I agree that the into of Yoda is great, but ROTJ has the Ewoks... hmm I will go with TESB

Adding Hayden Christensen in the end with Yoda and Obi Wan, although doesnt ruin SW, is blasphemy

I feel funny about this, but I always enjoyed Return of the Jedi more. I love the triple-stranded climax.

Empire Strikes Back! Jedi was an enjoyable film, but Empire was superior of the two! Empire had a better story line. I never cared much for rebuilding the Death Star. Hoth, Introductions of Yoda, Lando, and technically Boba Fett (as far as the original trilogy goes). Han being frozen. Luke's training with Yoda. The lightsaber duel between Luke and Vader. The cliffhanger ending. It all has the makings of a classically great film, while Jedi was very good, it just fell a little flat in my opinion to Empire.

It should be called Return of the Muppets but i stil like to watch it more than the better Empire Strikes back. All the emotions that were made in the prequels are finally discharged here and it feels great.

I really don't see How this could be a debate. Empire is the ultimate Star Wars Movie.

There is no debate. Empire is the better of the two simply because throughout the entire movie, you think the Empire might actually defeat the Rebel Alliance once and for all, and they almost do. And while I still consider this a fantastic movie, far better movies have been made since 1980--not many, but there are a few.

This is really tough. I'm a huge fan of the Star Wars movies, but TESB is my favorite, so I'll give it a go for that movie.


The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars. Jedi is the weakest of the original in my opinion. But it's still excellent. It's just that Empire beats it on almost every level.

I have to say The Empire Strikes back is much, much better than Return Of The Jedi.

It is not even a question,Return of the jedi is one of the eorst movie I have ever seen.Empire whiçh I don't like either is still million times better

It is not even a question,Return of the jedi is one of the worst movie I have ever seen.Empire whiçh I don't like either is still million times better

Hardest Star Wars matchup ever for me! It's almost a tie. I'll take Jedi simply because it has more special moments for me than Empire does. Some examples: the scene where Vader saves Luke from the emperor, the lightsaber fight, the attack on the second Death Star, and yes, I even love the Ewok celebration at the end (such a happy ending). Both are masterpieces, but I'm going with Return of the Jedi.

Pfft. The Empire Strikes Back easily. It defiantly made more sense than Return of the Jedi. And the last 30 minutes of The Empire Strikes back were some of the best minutes I have ever experienced in movies; so gripping, so funny, so intense, and so awesome.

Empire wins! Not even a fair matchup.

Empire, because for once, no desert planet appears in the film. On my chart, Empire holds #8, while Return holds #14. My number 1 is Revenge Of The Sith, followed by the 2015 film Survivor. A New Hope holds #19, The Phantom Menace #18, and Attack Of The Clones #15. The Force Awakens isn't on my favorite list. If anything, it'd be #4 on my LEAST favorite list, just behind Frozen, Inside Out, and Barbie.

It has to be Empire. I think a better discussion would be 'Jedi' versus 'Revenge of the Sith'. The most overrated stars wars against the most underrated. I'd have to pick Sith in that battle.

Is it a kind of joke or what? Did someone take this seriously? The empire is the best Star Wars movie, The return is the worst or at least as bad as The phantom. I´ve tried to watch it a couple of times lately and I didn´t manage to finish it. It sucks.

by the way, Im absolutely agree with Protozoid

This is crazy! The complete training of the Jedi has gone wrong. The Empire strikes them down. Ugh! I give up, so The Empire wins.

The Empire Strikes Back is better! But Return of the Jedi is still a great movie

It's Empire. Once my mind was blown, it could not be un-blown. Sorry, Jedi

This is literally a debate that film critics have.

Empire (10/10)>Star Wars (10/10)>Force Awakens>(9/10)>ROTJ (8.5/10)>The Rest

Empire Strikes Back is more on a higher level than A New Hope and Jedi..

Most definitely episode V.

Episode V all the way.

Empire but it’s pretty close for me.

I love 6, it was my childhood favorite. But Empire is the masterpiece of Sci-Fi.

Jedi is also a masterpiece but empire easily wins

I love return of the jedi but empire is my number 1 movie ever

RotJ was definitely not as good as ESB, though it was still a great conclusion and is to me, the TRUE ending of Star Wars (not that sequel trilogy bullcrap)

My top 2 favourite Star Wars films, and probably my top 2 favourite films of all time

Jedi is fantastic, but Empire is perfect.

I've always been a Jedi guy, but as the years go by I am slowly conforming to the Empire.

The Empire Strikes Back

ESB is considered to not only be the best Star Wars film, but one of the greatest films of all time. The other is, while still a great film, the weakest of the original trilogy and a disappointment compared to its predecessors. ROTJ is great and extremely underrated, but ESB is peak Star Wars

Probably ESB here, but I'm surprised the votes are in such a landslide.

Probably ESB here, but I'm surprised the votes are in such a landslide.

I love Empire but I absolutely ADORE Jedi.

I understand why people choose rotj but empire is my favorite

Empire Strikes Back is constantly superior and involved it’s greatest terms