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Joss Whedon Explains Why He Thinks ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ Is “Not A Movie, It’s An Episode”

Joss Whedon Explains Why He Thinks 'The Empire Strikes Back' Is "Not A Movie, It’s An Episode”

If you were anywhere near the Internet last night, you know that the Twittersphere and Facebookverse was dominated by two things: nerds freaking out over Ben Affleck being cast as Batman in “Superman Vs. Batman,” and Joss Whedon dissing “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back.” But here’s the thing about the latter tidbit of news—it’s not the first time Whedon has made his feelings known on that film.

Last year, the writer/director made clear his feelings on the first ‘Star Wars’ versus the sequel, and why, for him at least, ‘Empire’ doesn’t hold up. “I still believe that even though ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is better in innumerable ways than ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Star Wars’ wins because you can’t end a movie with Han frozen in Carbonite. That’s not a movie, it’s an episode,” he said. And now, he’s elaborated a bit more on those thoughts.

In a wide ranging interview with EW, Whedon expanded on his thesis further. “ ‘Empire’ committed the cardinal sin of not actually ending,” he explained. “Which at the time I was appalled by and I still think it was a terrible idea.”

“Well, it’s not an ending,” he continued, addressing the cliffhanger finale of ‘Empire.’ “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.”

And well…Whedon does have a point. Can a blockbuster movie like ‘Empire’—as good as it is—really be counted as complete chapter if it leaves you hanging for the next movie? We’re sure you all have an opinion on this, so feel free to weigh in below.

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