If you ask any fanboy what one of the greatest sic-fi movies to have ever been made is, almost all of them will name Star Wars Episiode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Fanboys everywhere hold the 1980 sequel to A New Hope in he highest regards and critics have it somewhere in their top 10 movies of all-time.
But one filmmaker who isn’t a fan of the movie is one that will have fanboys confused and slightly heartbroken. Sci-fi cult hero Joss Whedon has come forth to say he is not a really big fan of the way Empire Strikes Back ended, claiming it committed the sin of never ending.
“Empire committed the cardinal sin of not actually ending, which at the time I was appalled by and I still think it was a terrible idea,” Whedon said, before Entertainment Weekly writer James Hibberd tried to stick up for the film, asking Whedon if he thinks the ending is bad. ”Well, it’s not an ending, it’s a Come Back Next Week, or in three years. And that upsets me [...] I go to movies expecting to have a whole experience. If I want a movie that doesn’t end I’ll go to a French movie. That’s a betrayal of trust to me. A movie has to be complete within itself, it can’t just build off the first one or play variations.”
Now, one has to wonder if Whedon is just trolling Star Wars fans as no one is going to argue that Empire Strikes Back is not only one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made, it’s an American classic commonly referred to whenever a decent sequel is released. Many view the film as the best of the six Star Wars movies, and Whedon has not been shy about his love of Star Wars.
But while Empire is a classic, Whedon has a point when he notes the way the film ended. For years the ending has been up for debate, from basement lightsaber fights to the infamous Clerks reference, Whedon introduces a new angle to the debate — it’s perhaps the most glorified cliffhanger ever put on film.
Whedon will take flak for his comments, but in the geeked out world of sic-fi, if you’re not taking flak for something then you’re doing something wrong.