Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back has topped a poll conducted by Empire magazine to find 'the greatest movie of all time', as voted for by film fans. The second instalment of George Lucas’s mammoth sci-fi franchise knocked Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather into second place while The Dark Knight rounded off the top three.

George LucasStar Wars creator George Lucas

Speaking to the magazine, Star Wars creator George Lucas said it was a “privilege” to see the film come out on top. “It's soulful, but in a different way from Episode IV. It's a little bit more adult." he said. Adding that he’d “never really planned" Star Wars to be three separate films but when it became so, "it had an interesting effect of each film having its own personality, caused by the plot.”

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Empire editor-In-chief Mark Dinning commented on the result saying, "we are delighted, if not surprised, that The Empire Strikes Back has been voted the number one greatest movie of all time, by the hundreds of thousands of readers of Empire.”

Over 250,000 film fans voted in the poll, choosing between 301 titles. Dinning also added that Empire Strikes Back "managed to make Star Wars both bigger and more intimate all at the same time. And today it retains all of its power, wit, heart and spectacle."

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Currently, Star Wars fans are eagerly awaiting the franchise's next instalment, Episode VII, which is being directed by J.J. Abrams. Main cast members Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill will all be returning for the new movie, which is scheduled for release next year.

Harrison FordHarrison Ford will be back for Episode VII

The Top 10 Greatest Movies Of All Time, as voted by Empire readers are as follows:

1. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

2. The Godfather

3. The Dark Knight

4. The Shawshank Redemption

5. Pulp Fiction

6. Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope

7. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

8. Jaws

9. Raiders Of The Lost Ark

10. Inception