Is ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ the Perfect Sequel?

When A New Hope came out 42 years ago people didn’t know there was going to be a sequel. It, sure enough, didn’t seem like it. A New Hope told a solid story with unsuspecting heroes who defeated the bad guys and were given medals in an unforgettable celebration at the end of the movie that made it seem like this story was over. But oh no, the story hadn’t ended. In fact, it had just begun.

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Three years later, it’s 1980, and The Empire Strikes Back is in theaters. Star Wars was a practically a perfect movie. Who would want to continue something that didn’t need to be tampered with? But George Lucas, with the help of the magnificent Lawrence Kasdan, built on A New Hope‘s momentum and told a story that was so utterly magnificent that it’s still regarded as the zenith of sequel movie making.

Everything about The Empire Strikes Back was better than the first. The planets were more awe-inspiring, the character developments were phenomenal, Darth Vader was on the next level of awesome, it displayed a compelling romance between Han and Leia that will go down as one of the greatest movie love stories of all time, the action was absolutely incredible, and it dropped a movie bombshell that no one could’ve seen coming.

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A Movie Ranking: Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer is one of the most iconic actresses with her distinct features that have managed to grow only more polished over the decades. She has graced some of the best movies I’ve ever watched and played roles that have essentially become iconic. To be honest, she has surprisingly become one of my favorite actresses and I’m SOOO happy she’s part of the MCU. I thought it would be awesome to highlight her for this week’s A Movie Ranking. Enjoy!

7. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Michelle Pfeiffer, Angelina Jolie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elle Fanning, Ed Skrein, and Harris Dickinson in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)

Michelle played cunning villainess Queen Ingrith and besides the jaw-dropping costumes that she wore in this film, the movie was ultimately bogged down by terrible storytelling and bad CGI.

6. Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

I mainly watched this film because Daisy Ridley was in it. Turns out, it wasn’t that bad. I tried to determine who the culprit of the movie was. I ended up getting it wrong which left me pleasantly surprised. All in all, it’s a good whodunnit movie but Knives Out is much better.

5. The Prince of Egypt

Val Kilmer in The Prince of Egypt (1998)

One of the animated films I remember from my childhood was The Prince of Egypt. It wasn’t my favorite animated movie by a long shot but it was enjoyable and I have seen it several times. I had no idea Michelle Pfeiffer voiced Tzipporah in this film.

4. Batman Returns

Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, Christopher Walken, and Cristi Conaway in Batman Returns (1992)

This movie isn’t exactly a good Batman movie but it is ultimately memorable because of Danny Devito’s The Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman. She played the heck out of this iconic comic book character and it is undoubtedly one of my favorite roles of hers.

3. Ant-Man and the Wasp

Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Walton Goggins, Michael Peña, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Hannah John-Kamen in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Several decades later she would cross franchises, appearing in Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp as Janet van Dyne, a woman who has learned to harness the powers of the quantum realm. What that means moving forward, I don’t know, but I cannot wait to see her story grow in the coming phase (or phase) of the MCU.

2. Avengers: Endgame

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I just watched Avengers: Endgame yesterday after participating in a Captain America marathon and boy was I invested emotionally into this film. It’s practically a perfect movie, impeccably concluding a ton of storylines that were built throughout the eleven years of the MCU. There were deaths and new beginnings for certain characters. We got to see characters evolve and become better people. We got to see the villains finally lose in an epic way. And geez, we got one of the greatest moments in cinema history with Tony Stark’s “And I am Iron Man” moment. Cue the tears.

I love this movie and I have a feeling I always will.

1. Scarface

Al Pacino in Scarface (1983)

I mean, come on! This is one of the greatest movies ever made. Next to The GodfatherScarface stands as one of the greatest crime films ever conceived and it ultimately is what has made Michelle Pfeiffer so memorable over the years.

No, she didn’t speak much in the actual film but she graced every scene with an untouchable elegance that made her seem almost otherworldly. And yet, you couldn’t help but feel sorry for her because in every scene she’s either drinking, smoking, or taking cocaine along with Al Pacino’s Tony Montana until she eventually can’t take it anymore and decides to leave him. You can’t help but wonder…did she end up in an alley somewhere half-dead or did she leave that dark world behind and goes on to live a much cleaner life free of drugs, alcohol, and criminals? Hmm…

So, that’s my movie ranking.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a remarkable day.