The Empire Strikes Back
May 21, 1980 - 2020: 40 years of: The Empire Strikes Back.
The biggest sequel from the biggest movie-trilogy of all time.
The multiple decade-long track-history proves that the initial Star Wars trilogy: 1977's Episode IV: A New Hope, 1980's Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Episode VI: The Return Of The Jedi were way, way, way more than the average drive-in B-movie sci-fi of the shady-70s.
This is the full package: faith, passion, adventure, war, futuristic societies, totalitarian politics, religion, friendship and family. All the elements were present on the first movie but came back, stronger than ever on Episode V, where the evil Empire takes a bite out of the relentless Rebellion. From great to greatest, these adventures became larger then life space-operas, all penned by visionaire, writer and producer George Lucas.
From the silver-screens to the breakfast-cereal, the Star Wars brand created and perfected a full 360° commercial-juggernaut. Toys, action-figures, clothes, video-games, books, music, spin-offs and beyond ...the related merchandising quickly became a trillion-dollar industry, that forever changed not only Hollywood's modus-operandi ...but entertainment itself !
Music-wise the grandiose soundtrack courtesy of John Williams, takes a huge page out of Gustav Holst's iconic 1918 seven-movement orchestral suite: The Planets. Classical score, jazz infused and filled with epic dynamics, The Empire Strikes Back's melo-dramatic soundwaves matches the film's melo-dramatic flavors.
And this cosmic-saga couldn't be perfect, without it's perfect coup-de-théatre. Nothing from the first movie could've prepared us for this now immortal cut-throat (or hand actually) scene from this science-fiction supernova !
The biggest blockbuster event of all-time:
- The stage is set.
- There is no escape.
- The wounded boy-hero protagonist is weapon-less and cornered.
- The tall menacing Darth Vader looks from above.
- They exchange a few last rites.
- In for the final kill.
Four words that forever changed pop-culture:
"I, am your Father"
As a 5 year-old space super-fan, seeing this on the large-screen changed my life and shaped me for the upcoming glorious 80s roller-coaster bonanza, thanks Mom !
Happy 40th The Empire Strikes Back ...and with the recent Disney acquisition and too numerous prequels, sequels and side-stories ...it's safe to say that the Star Wars franchise will be around for well pass another 40+ years.
Set your course for the Hoth System !
RIP Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)
RIP Kenny Baker (1934-2016)
RIP Peter Mayhew (1944-2019)
The Empire Strikes Back - movie trailer
The Empire Strikes Back - movie review
The Empire Strikes Back - documentary
Gustav Holst's The Planets
The Empire Strikes Back - soundtrack
The Imperial March
The Imperial March - orchestral version
The Imperial March - rock version
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The Empire Strikes Back - edition comparison
The Empire Strikes Back - Family Guy vision
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