The Empire Strikes Back
In the latest installment of the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Luke and his fellow Rebels are on the run from the Empire following the destruction of the Death Star. With Ben Kenobi gone, Luke has nowhere to turn for more Jedi training, until he sees an apparition of Ben on the ice planet Hoth, instructing him to seek out Dagobah and Yoda, the last of the Jedi Masters. Leia and Han, in the meantime, escape an Imperial attack on Hoth and, after a near-suicidal dash through an asteroid belt in the Millennium Falcon, seek help from Han’s old friend (and fellow scoundrel) Lando Calrissian. Luke goes to Dagobah, meets Yoda and begins his training, finding that the path to becoming a Jedi Knight is anything but easy. When Luke uses the Force and sees a vision of Leia and Han in trouble, he leaves Yoda to help his friends, unaware that Darth Vader is waiting for all of them.
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: In the same tradition of The Story Of Star Wars, this story LP retells The Empire Strikes Back in audio form with copious clips from the movie, and somewhat more minimal narration, this time from Malachi Throne (a veteran of roles on the original Star Trek). Adapted by the same writers as the Star Wars story record, Empire winds up letting the movie clips tell the story, only adding the narrator when a purely visual setup is needed.
Again, where there is narration, I’m struck by how literate and mature the narration script is. Though it doesn’t drench the listener with every detail, it doesn’t skirt such things as the growing relationship between Han and Leia, Han’s torture on Cloud City, or other elements that one wouldn’t normally address in an audio story aimed at a younger audience; on the other hand, the admittedly rather graphic element of Luke losing his hand is something that the story does dance around. In some places the narration is almost too sparse, not describing some things that beg for a little more explanation; this listener knows instinctively what scene is taking place just from the music and the context of the story, and it seems that the writers and producers of this record seemed to be counting on that a little too much.
Not a bad effort, and certainly a good solid listen, but not quite up to the level of The Story Of Star Wars.