The ESB has been so analyzed over decades that … I’ll simply add that ESB is for me, too, the best of the entire series.
The importance of John William’s score should not be overlooked. It really made the these early episodes. Iconic pieces for iconic images (such as Darth Vader looking out the window on the destroyer.) I remember my cousin bought the original Star Wars soundtrack album (which was a top-10 hit album in the US) when it first came.
Here is my reaction to tESB after watching all the Star Wars saga:
Life is cheap in that galaxy. Have you ever noticed how dispensable rebel fighters are? Poor Dak, getting crushed under foot…. We don’t really know if he was dead before getting crushed, but websites like Wookiepedia retcon that he was dead before getting crushed, probably to avoid this simple truth about Luke, a Jedi (in training), who failed to rescue him: The Jedi Are A Death Cult!
Wherever the Jedi go, masses of people die.
The Mandalorians are right in their assessment of the Jedi.
In this movie Yoda says: “The Jedi use the force for… defense, never attack.” However, the prequels showed that to be wrong (see Obi using the force to go on the attack in II and III.)
Yoda: “Luminous beings we are, not this crude matter”. Ok, so Yoda and the Jedi religion are drawn from a mix of Earthly beliefs, ancient gnosticism and animism. Again, the Mandalorians’ assessment of the Jedi being a cult is spot on.
As Luke scrambles to leave Degobah to help his friends and Yoda wants him to stay, Luke: “Sacrifice Han and Leia?” Yoda: “Yes!” Here again we see that the Jedi have no second thoughts about the death of whoever, even their friends. All must be sacrificed.
Star Wars is not really science fiction, it is cowboy-and-indians with a heavy dose of mystical religion. This has been discussed Ad nauseam in critical evaluations of modern fiction. Lucas spun a tale that is in no small part a search for a post-Christian worldview, in hopes of keeping magic (“the force”) alive. Unfortunately Lucas landed on a death-cult as his main set of characters.
PS: When Vader gathers the bounty hunters, there is an IG-II, something which previous to watching The Mandalorian I would have completely overlooked.