It is a dark time for the Rebellion. After a devastating attack on their ice base on the frozen planet of Hoth, the Rebels are scattered by Imperial pursuit. Luke Skywalker seeks out the mysterious Jedi Master Yoda in the swamps of Dagobah, while Han Solo and Princess Leia outrun the Imperial fleet to the beautiful Cloud City of Bespin. In an attempt to convert Luke to the dark side, the evil Darth Vader lures young Skywalker into a trap. In the midst of a fierce lightsaber duel with the Sith Lord, Luke faces a terrible truth about the Skywalker legacy.


Character's name Portrayed by
Luke Skywalker Mark Hamill
Han Solo Harrison Ford
Princess Leia Carrie Fisher
Lando Calrissian Billy Dee Williams
Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi Alec Guinness
Darth Vader David Prowse
C-3PO Anthony Daniels
R2-D2 Kenny Baker
Chewbacca Peter Mayhew
Yoda Frank Oz
Boba Fett Jeremy Bulloch
Wedge Antilles Denis Lawson
Emperor Palpatine Clive Revill

In Other Languages

Language Title
Spanish El Imperio Contraataca
Portuguese O Império Contra-Ataca
Japanese スター・ウォーズ:帝国の逆襲
Chinese 星球大战:帝國大反擊
Korean 스타 워즈: 제국의 역습
Thai สตาร์ วอร์ส: จักรวรรดิเอมไพร์โต้กลับ

Production timeline

  • February 1978: The first draft of this sequel's script was completed.
  • March 5, 1979: Filming for The Empire Strikes Back began at the Hardangerjøkulen glacier in Finse, Norway.
  • March 13, 1979: Production moved to Elstree Studios in London.
  • September 1979: Filming was completed on this date.

Release timeline

Format Country of origin Date
Original theatrical USA May 21, 1980
First re-release USA July 31, 1981
Second re-release USA November 19, 1982
VHS USA November 13, 1984
VHS Japan August 21, 1985
VHS UK February 1987
VHS re-release USA September 11, 1990
VHS re-release (subtitled) Japan November 21, 1990
VHS re-release (THX-certified) USA August 29, 1995
VHS re-release (THX-certified) Japan October 21, 1995
Special Edition USA February 21, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) USA August 26, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) UK October 6, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) France October 16, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) South Korea October 20, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) Latin America October 31, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) Japan November 7, 1997
VHS (Special Edition re-release) USA November 21, 2000
VHS (Special Edition re-release) Japan November 22, 2000
DVD USA September 21, 2004
DVD (separate film) USA September 12, 2006
DVD re-release USA November 4, 2008
Blu-ray Disc USA September 16, 2011
Blu-ray/DVD Combo USA October 8, 2013

Home video timeline

Main article: Home video timeline for the Star Wars films


Entire trilogy

  • The Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition/Star Wars Trilogy: Official Website (1996-1997)
  • Official Star Wars Web Site (1997-1998)
  • Star Wars: Welcome to the Official Web Site (1998-1999)
  • Star Wars: Welcome to the Official Site (2000-2008)
  • (2008-present)

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1998-2001)
  • Star Wars: Welcome to the Official Site (2001–July 1, 2008) (redesigned on October 23-24, 2004)


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