AFI’s Top 10 genre films: ‘Empire’ Strikes Out

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LUCASFILM

Can somebody please explain how Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope makes the American Film Institute’s top-10 lists of the best genre films, but Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back gets left out in the cold like a Tauntaun in the wastes of Hoth?

The original Star Wars movie (1977) ranked second only to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) on the science fiction list. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) was third.

The rest of the list, counting down from fourth place to tenth: A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951), Blade Runner (1982), Alien (1979), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Back to the Future (1985).Empire received mixed reviews when it came out in 1980, but down the years it has almost universally been hailed as the best of the trilogy and a rare example of a sequel outclassing its predecessor.

As of this writing, Nerdvana readers clearly favor Empire, as reflected in the poll at right.

I knew there was a reason I liked you.

{democracy:3}

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About the author

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Scott Kirchhofer

One of Nerdvana's founding bloggers, Scott Kirchhofer is a graphic artist and designer of the Nerdvana logo, as well as a gamer and comic book movie fan.

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  • There’s an equal snub in that same category actually. 1986’s Aliens is a far superior film to the original Alien, especially in the sci-fi genre. In terms of straight out suspense/horror, Alien might have an argument, a losing argument, but an argument nonetheless. I would just chalk it up to them not liking sequels, but they gave T2 the nod over the original, so that’s not it.

    But I’ve got problems with almost their whole list, so this is just insult to injury. (Not a single Man with No Name movie on the Westerns list? No love for Return of the King under Epics? How about Memento or L.A. Confidential under mystery?) Empire is and always will be the better movie. As a wise man once said: “Empire had the better ending. Luke gets his hand cut off. Han gets frozen in carbonite and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. That’s all life is: a series of down endings.”

  • There’s an equal snub in that same category actually. 1986’s Aliens is a far superior film to the original Alien, especially in the sci-fi genre. In terms of straight out suspense/horror, Alien might have an argument, a losing argument, but an argument nonetheless. I would just chalk it up to them not liking sequels, but they gave T2 the nod over the original, so that’s not it.

    But I’ve got problems with almost their whole list, so this is just insult to injury. (Not a single Man with No Name movie on the Westerns list? No love for Return of the King under Epics? How about Memento or L.A. Confidential under mystery?) Empire is and always will be the better movie. As a wise man once said: “Empire had the better ending. Luke gets his hand cut off. Han gets frozen in carbonite and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. That’s all life is: a series of down endings.”

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