Joss Whedon not a fan of Empire’s cliffhanger

The geek legend and Entertainment Weekly’s latest cover model says that The Empire Strikes Back “committed the cardinal sin of not actually ending.”

To which your EW interviewer blurted: “You think Empire had a bad ending?”

“Well, it’s not an ending,” Whedon explained about the 1980 film, which had a cliffhanger leading into the next entry of the series, Return of the Jedi. “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.”

So I guess we can trust that The Avengers sequel won’t have stop on a cliffhanger?

9 Replies to “Joss Whedon not a fan of Empire’s cliffhanger”

  1. The fact that most people tend to ignore that Star Wars is based on a 1930s serial is what really upsets me.
    On the other hand… every Marvel Phase One movie has a post-credits scene which, to me, is a cliffhanger. Even “The Avengers”: Whedon himself showed Thanos for like 5 seconds. Isn’t that a cliffhanger?

  2. Star Wars is a cliffhanger followed by a cliffhanger followed by another cliffhanger. It’s basically cliffhanger-ception. Plus: Empire did have an ending: The rebels tried to escape for two hours, and finally they did. How is that a cliffhanger?

  3. the Marvel movies: i wouldn’t consider those cliffhangers. the post-credits scenes from phase I are more teasers that have nothing to do with the rest of the plot of the film than are short teases to get your buy-in to see the next film.

    is Empire a cliffhanger? it is and it isn’t. there is a little sense of resolution (the bad guys win this round, and the good guys go off to regroup), but we are left with a sense that more is coming that needs resolution: Lando and Chewie go off to rescue Han, and Luke has some big questions to have answered. like Leandro points out: the serial nature.

  4. I love that ending. My favorite endings are ESB, AotC and of course the amazing one for RotS. How could Josh be so wrong? There’s no betrayal here. It was almost exhilarating and you began the 3 year countdown then and there…GLADLY.

  5. It’s not a cliffhanger at all. It’s a chapter end, with the assumption of another chapter to follow, which is unusual in a movie but definitely An Ending.

  6. And suddenly, I understand now why I never could like anything written by Joss Whedon. It all becomes crystal clear. Clearly, we do not view the world the same way. Our tastes are incompatible. Oh, well.

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