Yes, this is a review of the Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back radio drama. No, the title isn’t a goof. When originally aired on NPR all those years ago, the second Star Wars radio drama was released episodically. There were 10 episodes in all. In fact Star Wars IV: A New Hope was always released the same way.
The first half of this adaptation of Episode V goes up to the the point where Luke reaches Dagobah system—where Jedi Master Yoda lives. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you know what happens in this story, so I won’t bore you with a plot synopsis. Just know that by episode 5, we still haven’t been introduced to Yoda.
This was an interesting experience, because I watched the film version at the same time when I was listening to the radio drama. Well, within a few hours of each other. This made me realize how much this radio drama matches the film in terms of the dialogue. Almost every single line from the movie is used in the radio drama. This might be a good thing, but one of the parts I liked most about “A New Hope” was the fact that it added scenes not in the original movie. Empire Strikes Back starts off similar, but the scenes in the radio drama feel like deleted ones found on a special features disc. In Episode IV it adds depth to the characters.
You can find this on audible and it’s a treat for any Star Wars fan. Originally this review wasn’t going to be two reviews, but seeing as how next Sunday is the day before Star Wars Day (May the Fourth), I figured I’d split it in two.
You’ll get the overall star review next week.