I recently purchased a mini-master set for Star Wars Black and White: Empire Strikes Back and was conflicted with how much detail to write about it. I love these sets and can write about them in quite a bit of detail which I already did with A New Hope. Ultimately, I’m going to continue to do Set of the Day articles on the different sets from Empire Strikes Back as I feel like it. I will certainly keep mixing in other cards while I do that too because I always want there to be variety on the site.
In the Star Wars movie pantheon, Empire Strikes Back is my least favorite of the original trilogy. I like Hoth, I like Yoda, and Cloud City looks cool but something about the movie never appealed to me the way A New Hope and Return of the Jedi do. With that said, I was excited to see it receive the Star Wars Black and White treatment and I think the base set is once again strong. Just like with A New Hope, there are interesting images used throughout the set. Some cards are what you would expect like with Yoda above but others like the snowspeeders below were clearly chosen because of how cool they look in black and white. And that was a smart move by Topps as it makes the base set feel special and like thought was put into it.
The set also does a good job of taking familiar settings and scenes and picking images from them that you wouldn’t expect to see in a card set. The image of Luke during the duel with Vader and Lando checking on Han after being frozen in carbonite are excellent examples of that. I’ve mentioned this before but its worth saying it again. There are so many Star Wars cards in existence now that seeing new images is so important for existing card collectors.
That isn’t to say that the set is perfect. I think there are a few too many generic images of Han, Luke, and Leia standing around in Hoth and Cloud City. There are strangely not as many cool pictures of the Battle of Hoth as there should be too. With that said, there are still many images like the one below where the Wampa attacks Luke really help make up for it! Even if you’ve technically seen this on-screen, there is something neat about seeing the Wampa and Luke’s reaction!
Overall, it is a really strong base set with excellent image selection by Topps. Empire Strikes Back may not be my favorite movie but I really enjoy this set and hope to see a Return of the Jedi set in the future!