It’s amazing to realise that The Empire Strikes Back started it’s public release on the 21st of May way back in 1980 - 40 years ago!
“When it came time to open Empire, there was tremendous excitement and everybody agreed we should try something that had never been done before. So we opened it at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles at midnight—and then kept running it without stopping for one full day.”
- Sid Ganis (Vice President: Publicity, Lucasfilm)
Episode V, as it eventually became known, was the second Star Wars movie released and a sequel to the original with a storyline set 3 years after the events of the first film. It’s since become recognised as one of the rare occasions in cinema where the sequel is better than the original ESB remains the highest rated Star Wars film on IMDB, and is regularly included in “Greatest Movies of all Time” type lists.
It’s also the Star Wars movie that introduced us to Yoda, and produced many of the most memorable scenes and quotes in the franchise.
Here’s two quick video recaps of the movie, the second with commentary:
And some of the best quotes from the movie:
Yoda: No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.
Princess Leia: Why, you stuck up… half-witted… scruffy-looking… Nerf-herder!
Princess Leia: I love you.
Han Solo: I know.
C-3PO: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.
Han Solo: Never tell me the odds.
Yoda: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.
Darth Vader: I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.
Emperor Palpatine: There is a great disturbance in the Force.
Darth Vader: I have felt it.
Princess Leia: Luke! Luke! Don’t! It’s a trap! It’s a trap!
Darth Vader: You have failed me for the last time, Admiral!
Princess Leia: I have a bad feeling about this…
Darth Vader: If you only knew the power of the Dark Side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!
Darth Vader: No. I am your father.
Luke: No. No. That’s not true. That’s impossible!
Darth Vader: Search your feelings, you know it to be true!
Luke: No! No!
It truly is a remarkable piece of cinematic history and a popular culture icon for the ages.
(To make up for my Imperial March tease the other day, here’s the man himself, John Williams, conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic, complete with an appearance from Storm Troopers and Lord Vader…)