Episode IV was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 6 of them but when it came to Episode V George Lucas was not interested in Oscars even though Episode V did go on to be nominated for 4 Oscars and won 1. He was much more interested in telling the story, setting up the audience for the last movie of the first trilogy, and making sure he made his money back so he could keep his company going. George Lucas bankrolled the entire $33 million budget for Episode V himself through Episode IV profits and bank loans and when Episode V made a huge profit he not only got to keep his production company going but he would up paying out over $5 million in bonuses to his employees. Conspicuous by his absence in Episode V is Obi-Wan Kenobi played by Alec Guinness. Apparently Guinness was upset that Lucas killed off Obi-Wan in Episode IV and it took some financial persuading to get him to come back for Episode V. In the end all of Lucas’ financial gambles paid off and he got to release Episode V in 1980.
Episode V can stand on its own as a movie but it is very obviously the middle of a three movie trilogy. It is assumed that the audience knows who the main characters are when the movie opens and that the audience is familiar with the back story already. It is almost impossible to understand what is going on in Episode V if you have not seen Episode IV and that could be Lucas the businessman at work again. Then again, who honestly has not seen Episode IV at least once? I know I stopped counting when I had seen it for the 75th time and it is a movie I can never get tired of as is the case with much of the rest of the world. This was the movie during which Lucas finally severed all ties with the guilds in Hollywood as the writer’s guild would not allow him to get away with not rolling credits at the beginning of the movie again like they did in Episode IV. The guilds would fine Lucas over $250,000 and make it difficult for him to get quality help in making the rest of his movies but he stuck by his guns and never gave in.