I saw “The Empire Strikes Back” again today, and it took me back. Partly because 1979 was a long time ago, and who doesn’t change from their teenaged years? But I also remember how this movie inspired me. Science Fiction doesn’t usually do that; heh, movies don’t usually inspire me, but TESB did just that. And all because of a muppet.
“The Empire Strikes Back” is the best of the Star Wars movies, and that includes the Episode III coming out this summer. That’s because TESB didn’t rely on special effects or star power to make its story work; it had decent acting, a good plot, relative suspense, and a great theme using ‘The Force’. The first three (now renumbered ‘Episodes 4, 5, and 6’) movies showed the force as a moral element, and a personal choice; the next three (‘Episodes 1, 2, and 3’) treat it as little more than a chemical component in the blood stream. For all the financial and marketing success, George Lucas blew this call. What could have been a true epic, lost its message. But in TESB, the message was still true and valid.
Back to that muppet. Yoda the Jedi Master spoke of choosing to do better than just live, to be a part of directed goodness. We could use Jedis today, and I don’t mean light sabers and acrobatic stunts. A man who orders his life in pursuit of the good and productive, is a man of honor.