Empire Strikes Back

Make no mistake: It’s not that Joss Whedon doesn’t like The Empire Strikes Back. When recently asked a question about doing a sequel to one of his own works, he cited the fan-favorite entry in the Star Wars saga along with The Godfather Part II as sequels that got it right. But The Avengers writer-director does have an issue with Empire‘s ending or its lack of one, to be exact.

Empire committed the cardinal sin of not actually ending,” Whedon noted during his 10-page deep-dive interview with Entertainment Weekly in this week’s issue. “Which at the time I was appalled by and I still think it was a terrible idea.”

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.”

We also prodded Whedon, who pioneered the modern teenage vampire saga with The WB’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for how he felt about the Twilight films and The CW’s The Vampire Diaries.

“A small part of you is like: ‘Well, you know, I did that first. I liked that band before they were popular,'” he says. “The thing about Buffy for me is–on a show-by-show basis–are there female characters who are being empowered, who are driving the narrative? The Twilight thing and a lot of these franchise attempts coming out, everything rests on what this girl will do, but she’s completely passive, or not really knowing what the hell is going on. And that’s incredibly frustrating to me because a lot of what’s taking on the oeuvre of Buffy, is actually a reaction against it. Everything is there — except for the Buffy. A lot of things aimed at the younger kids is just Choosing Boyfriends: The Movie.”

Want more S.H.I.E.L.D.? Click over for EW’s exclusive “Meet the Cast” gallery. For another tease from Whedon’s interview, see yesterday’s story on how Whedon will adapt robot baddie Ultron for The Avengers sequel. For the full interview, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. And for an exclusive clip from S.H.I.E.L.D. go to our Facebook page.