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30 years ago today, I was in the best line ever!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with a place to remember. 30 years ago, today, a pretty seminal film event took place. I was 8 years old - and I remember it like it was yesterday. In fact, 30 years ago YESTERDAY was when I got in line. The theater was the AMERICANA - the largest screen that was ever projected upon here in Austin. Through the glass windows of the lobby you could see standees of Vader, C3PO, BOBA FETT (pretty much a myth to all of us at this stage), R2D2 and that was it. I had stayed pretty spoiler free. On Siskel & Ebert's show - I'd seen some asteroids tumbling in space as the Falcon soared ahead of a bunch of TIE fighters. I knew there was snow. But I didn't know much else. Everyone I knew was in that line. Mom & Dad. Walter S Falk, Wizard, Alamon, Bob Magnusson, my friends like Josh O'Quinn, Rylan Bosher, Roland DeNoie Sr & Jr and a host of others. We spent all night in line talking about what we thought was gonna happen. And none of us really had a clue. It wa a chilly night - the grownups were drinking beer, smoking pot - and us kids? We were hopped up on sodas and candy - excited beyond all belief. In the years since STAR WARS - we had played infinite hours with our STAR WARS toys. Our adventures were always slight permutations of what we saw in the original STAR WARS or from the STAR WARS comics that we were reading monthly. I knew we were getting SNOWTROOPERS - as my Uncle had sent me a box of SNOWTROOPERS from Germany, in Austin - these were not yet available. I pretty much ruled for having them. When the sun came up, floods of people showed up. We were against the wall - and the floods of people just wrapped around the building... 4 or 5 times. This represented thousands. Nerves started to get frayed. People were pushing. There was a fear of a riot - of people pushing ahead and cutting. Some folks that were "saving" places got a royal chewing out from some of the Grown-ups. There were a lot of nerves frayed, worrying that it was going to be a huge disappointment. Discussions about the great sequels and the terrible ones ensued. Then - about 30 minutes before the box office opened - a friend that had read the novelization... HOW DARE HE... upon listening to my grown up friend Alamon speculating about Vader's significance burst out with a "DARTH VADER IS..... " you can imagine the rest, but I will not spoil it, even at this late date. Alamon picked said friend up by the scruff of his neck. Shook him like a rag doll while screaming, "I DID NOT WANT TO FUCKING KNOW THAT!!! WHO DO YOU FUCKING THINK YOU ARE!" Said friend began crying - and depending on who tells the story, he pissed himself. Though - how he attended the first showing with urine soaked pants is beyond any of us - and we don't actually remember any smells - but that's how we all remember it. I remember holding my ticket. KNOWING I had a seat for the first showing. At the time, this was the ONLY THEATER in Austin playing EMPIRE STRIKES BACK - it was an exclusive engagement. I had a seat for the first showing in Austin. I was going to see the new STAR WARS movie first! This was better than Christmas. As I filed through the lobby - past the standees - stopping at Boba Fett - which we had seen in the animated section of the STAR WARS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL which wasn't that good - even to us kids at the time. But we knew about Boba Fett. He was a Bounty Hunter. Who he was hunting? We hadn't a clue - but he looked so fucking cool in that lobby. (That following Christmas - my father bought all of these standees and had them standing by the Christmas tree all wearing Santa hats. My fragile grip of reality slipped and I actually thought they were really in my christmas tree lit living room) My kid friends and I ran to sit FRONT ROW CENTER. Nothing was coming between us and the screen. Someone from the management came out and greeted us and congratulated us for getting tickets for the very first showing. The audience cheered. The curtains parted on that enormous screen, which was never as giant as this... ever again. They didn't play any trailers. It just began. It was perhaps my very best film screening experience in my life, up to that time. It was so much bigger, richer and enormouser than the first one. I remember my brain trying to comprehend the WALKER sequence. It seriously blew my mind. The asteroid sequence... Williams' music... I wanted to soar through space. I wanted a blaster. The horrors of CLOUD CITY made me hate Vader more than ever - and then VADER blew my mind. Sure- my friend had just spoilt it outside, but the movie erased everything that I had ever known. When that bomb was unleashed - fragments of my skull were embedded into the cloth of the seat behind my head. MIND BLOWN. The film was so fucking great - it made me want to know how they did everything. After the film - my father drove me to Austin Books - and we got every issue of STARLOG & CINEFANTASTIQUE that they had. And I began reading. I had been reading old issues of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND - but there was something different about these mags. They were not punny, they had the facts - the names - everything. I soaked it up. From that point on, I read every issue. Everything that I could get my hands on. I wanted to know how the asteroids tumbled. I wanted to know everything about YODA. I learned and evolved from a little boy that grew up on 50's sci fi and Universal horrors and King Kong and Busby Berkeley and I started to read GENRE MAGAZINES - and although I was already a pretty big geek (unavoidable in my household) I became my own geek. After that day, I began to tell my parents what was coming up, what we were going to see, how it was made and what I wanted to be when I grew up. Which was a makeup visual effects artist. Life presented other options of course, but here I am... 30 years later - still drunk in love with EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Wondering where the 30th Anniversary Blu Ray is? So as I leave you to discuss EMPIRE STRIKES BACK - For many of you - you were not around that day in 1980. You're likely excuse was not being born yet. That's a pretty good excuse. But for those of us that were in those lines 30 years ago today. This space is for you. Tell your experiences - this was mine.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 21, 2010, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Best movie ever made!

    by DirtyDingusMegee

  • May 21, 2010, 4:06 p.m. CST


    by DeweyOxburger

    Bad mutha fucka...

  • May 21, 2010, 4:09 p.m. CST

    by TRON

    14 years old, Washington DC, KB Cinema Wisconsin Ave NW first show on Saturday morning. One of the last in the theater, last open seats in the front row.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Never Saw It

    by drew mcweeny

    I've just never been that big a "Star Trek" fan.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Yep, went onto it toally spoiler free age 11

    by Boba Fat

    I remember squinting and the first shot of the walker legs, through the rebel binoculars, and trying to work out what it was. I remember the hit after hit of the ending as our hero's were beaten and Han Sole didn't escape. That was a bigger shock to me than Vader who I decided was just lying to mess with Luke's mind. It messed with my mind. Loved/love it.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Nice, nice post...

    by Somerichs

    Epic time in our lives...i saw it in Socal, if memory serves it was over by South Coast Plaza. if it wasn't opening night it was damn close, and we stood in a long-ass line just like everyone else. And I even think my bro read the novel, too. I heard the rumors bandied about regarding Vader, everyone thinking Boba Fett was the coolest fucking thing ever. How great was it that that actually ended up being the case, and that not a single thing about the entire movie disappointed? Definitely in my top 5 most memorable movie screenings, which also includes seeing Raiders and Pulp Fiction for the first time with packed houses...

  • May 21, 2010, 4:12 p.m. CST

    King of hyperbole

    by onaps6453

    Uh...bow down?

  • May 21, 2010, 4:13 p.m. CST

    TheRealMoriarty (spoiler)

    by Boba Fat

    You should see it. It's the one where you find out that Vader was originally the Voyager probe.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:13 p.m. CST

    My father was there...

    by Dr_Zoidberg

    so technically I was in a theatre in 1980 with him. In his ballsack at least.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:13 p.m. CST

    I was 8 as well...

    by MediaGold

    opening night somewhere in Rhode Island. All I remember was yelling at the rowdy audience to "shut up!" before the film started and getting nothing but dismissive laughter. And of course, "the reveal". I didn't have any friends spoil it, didn't see anything on TV or read anything about it. I didn't even know what a spoiler was. My little brain was officially blown away by that Darthy revelation. BTW, was that something planned by Lucas or was it something Kasdan came up with? I have a feeling it was the latter.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Creve Coeur Cinema - St. Louis, MO

    by utz_world

    That's where I saw it during the summer following 1st grade. What's INTERESTING is that I didn't see the flick till the middle of it's run - sometime in June or July. School was out and I was staying at my (FAVORITE!) aunt's house for the early part of summer vacation. She promised me day in and day out that we would go see it but we never made it. <p> I went back home and one morning my mom told me to get dressed & get ready to go. She WOULD NOT TELL ME where we were going. We get in the car and she's driving along not saying a word. Once I saw the Creve Coeur marquee (posted on the side of the building) and our car making that familiar right turn to the theatre parking lot, I lit up like a firecracker! She got me GOOD!

  • May 21, 2010, 4:16 p.m. CST

    spoilers back then...

    by Somerichs

    weren't the same as they are now. I'd heard whispers before it came out, suggestions here and there about certain things, but it was mostly just speculation then, and it kind of even added to the excitement. Spoilers as we know them today didn't really exist unless they came direct from someone who'd seen it already. Even my brother managed to be pretty coy about what was in that novelization, one of the rare cool things he ever did... :)

  • May 21, 2010, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Talking about a 30 year old movie is better than

    by palimpsest

    paying good money to see PRINCE OF PERSIA. Don't do it, kids. It's really not very good at all (Alfred Molina aside, who steals the movie and seems to be writing his own lines). It's just a 2 hour collection of scenes lifted from other franchise movies. When your climax swipes the end of LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER you know you're in trouble...

  • May 21, 2010, 4:16 p.m. CST

    And now, 30 years later....

    by whatupsummmmmmbitch

    ....this website is carrying the legacy of that little boy by posting plentiful spoilers of many many other films.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:16 p.m. CST

    The Back Striking Empire

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    It was a cool movie. Starting out in the frozen wastes , then soaring toward the stars to escape and then entering a heaven that quickly turned to hell.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Opening day

    by Pooty

    Yeah, I was there opening day as well, in Denver. I'm pretty sure it was the Cooper theater. I remember at the end of the movie saying, "wait, no, there has to be more." I really thought they'd go off and rescue Han by the end of the movie.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Clinton, Maryland -- 1980

    by 7-zark-7

    I had just celebrated my tenth birthday the week before. I only got to see EMPIRE once in the theater, thanks to my overly frugal parents. But I bought the score on LP, and listened to that pretty much non-stop for the next three years. I actually DID eventually make my way into the visual effects business .. and STAR WARS in general was a huge inspiration toward that end.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:18 p.m. CST

    30 years ago...


    ... I was 17 years old and a Junior at Iolani School in Honolulu. My classmate Jeffrey Ing read the Goddam paperback novelization of ESB before the movie came back and told me Vader was Luke's father. I am still plotting my fiendish revenge, he will never see it coming.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:18 p.m. CST

    The Airport Drive-in, Binghamton NY

    by Ronindesu78

    I was all of 2 years old when I saw this movie. I remember being in pajamas with feet. I remember that mom had a giant plastic bowl with popcorn and other snacks for my brother and I. My memories were fuzzy and confused the plot, because I could barely stay awake in parts. I was enthralled with the Hoth sequence, and then drifted off until I heard Yoda's voice. After Degobah I could barely stay awake. For months I had dreams involving that giant snow beast, even though we saw so little of him then. I was being chased by him, and could hear the word "wampa wampa wampa wampa wampa" repeated in the background. Because I fell asleep, I asked my brother how the movie ended. In a manner that showed his true spirit as a crummy person, he joyously ruined the ending of the film the relationship between Sith Lord and young Jedi. My father glared at him in the rear view mirror. In 1985 my brother was at hockey camp for a week when my dad took me to see Return of the Jedi. It took 3 years for my dad to make up to me how my brother ruined that movie. I waited by the door for him to get home that afternoon, and shouted out before he had even put down his gym bag "Darth Vader throws the Emperor into the Death Star and kills him!" and then I ran like hell. Got the shit beat out of me for ruining it, but god that was sweet sweet revenge.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:19 p.m. CST

    One of the singular movie events of my life.

    by Nordling

    I remember vividly, how the audience was spoil-free and when the Big Reveal came on how we all gasped and yelled how it couldn't be true, Vader was lying through his facemask... I miss those spoil-free days.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:20 p.m. CST

    13 years old

    by Theprivateer

    The whole family travelled 180 miles to watch it in the best theater in the state. Totally spoiler free. Felt sick to my stomach when Vader spilled the news. Best expansion of a franchise universe in the history of film to this day. All the things hinted at in Star Wars came to life in Empire.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:20 p.m. CST

    So Empire pulled a grassy knoll on you Harry?

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

  • May 21, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST

    I saw it in Glasgow....

    by Arturo

    I was there man, well....the cinema in Glasgow Odeon, i was 6 yrs old...

  • May 21, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST

    30 Years Ago I Was Dead

    by Crow3711

    Technically. Because I'm only 23. But Empire still changed my life. I just didn't have to wait in line for it.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST

    I too remember it like it was yesterday.

    by islander

    I waited in line with many friends at the Cooper Theater in Denver for 4 hours to catch the 11 am show I. Celebrity Sports Center was within walking distance from the Cooper Theater so we waited in shifts. Good Times. :)

  • May 21, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Remember when Han cut open that TaunTaun...

    by Somerichs

    and stuck Luke inside to keep him warm? That fucking blew my 9 yr old mind at the time. They showed guts and everything fer cryin out loud...

  • May 21, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Saw it with my big brother

    by kwisatzhaderach

    in Edinburgh, mind-blowing and life-altering experience. <p> Happy days.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Saw it with my big brother

    by kwisatzhaderach

    in Edinburgh, mind-blowing and life-altering experience. <p> Happy days.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:25 p.m. CST

    So mind-blowing and life-altering

    by kwisatzhaderach

    my laptop decided to post it twice.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:25 p.m. CST

    True story... Empire was playing in a local

    by V'Shael

    cinema in Dublin, called "The Classic". I went there one Saturday with my brother and on the two screens playing were 1) The Empire Strikes Back and in screen 2) a cinematic cut of the pilot episode of The Incredible Hulk, starring Bill Bixby. <p> We were given the choice of what to see. Didn't have to think long at all. We went straight into see the Hulk. <p> I had never ever been particularly impressed with Star Wars. Even at a young age. <p> About half way through the Hulk, I had to go to the toilet. And coming back from the gents, I stuck my nose into Screen 1. I still remember what I saw. Half of C3P0 on the back of Chewbacca, acting like a frightened and annoying homosexual. <p> I went back to the Hulk. <p> I did eventually see Empire, and I think it's the best of the Star Wars movies. But they've never had the grip on me that they seem to have on some of my peers.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Thanks for that bit of nostalgia, Harry

    by SkinJob69

    You really took me back to when I was 11 years old and had skipped school with my two best friends to watch The Empire Strikes Back. Good times. <p> And if it makes you feel any better, some older kids who had seen the showing before ours spoiled Vader's mind blowing line for us too.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:28 p.m. CST

    I was dissapointed that. . .

    by Ingeld

    Luke wasn't going to get the girl. This dissapointment was compounded and made even creepier when I found out the girl was his sister. It was the first wrong turn for Lucas (the sister brother thing more than him not getting the girl). This wrong choice was the first of many; it was an omen of all the future poor script decisions which would spread like a cancer in the later movies.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:32 p.m. CST

    I did like that . . .

    by Ingeld

    the Bumble from Rudolph the Red Nose got a cameo. He had a lot of trouble finding work in the 70s and early 80s.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:33 p.m. CST

    the Cinerama Theater


    <p>All three Star Wars movies played the the great Cinerama Theater in Honolulu.</p> <p>Here is an article about the late lamented cinema:</p> I can still feel that air conditioning after coming in from standing outside on line for hours in the hot Hawaiian sun, and still smell the popcorn.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:36 p.m. CST

    MacGruber is a piece of shit movie

    by antonphd

    I have a hard time listening to love for Empire from a site that is pushing MacGruber as some return to comedic form for Val Kilmer. He wasn't playing comedic in MacGruber. Except for maybe 2 brief moments that weren't even funny. The movie itself is the WORST SNL to movie adaptation. It's like a shitty SNL skit that doesn't work but with a lot of swearing and a celery stalk up someone's ass. The way I just wrote about the celery stalk was funnier than the entire movie. It wasn't a funny parody. It wasn't funny. All of the praise this is getting from AICN is total fucking bullshit. It's the way they are selling the film, but there's no fucking way this movie is funny to anyone sober. No way. The theater I was in was dead quiet except for the FEW times that I laughed. I ALONE. Because I get some of the jokes in this film. NOBODY ELSE DID. And the only things honestly funny in this came from Ryan Phillippe. Not Will not Wiig not Val. Ryan. And he stopped being funny when he finally stuck a piece of celery up his ass. It was an embarrassing excuse of a movie. I'm pissed that Ryan and Val wasted their talent in this piece of shit. I'm pissed that some other movie that someone actually worked hard to develop was passed over for this. Not since EPISODE ONE have I seen such a waste of talent and money.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:36 p.m. CST

    The ESB, my all time favorite movie!!!

    by Thanos0145

    I was five years old when my mother took my brothers and me to go see it.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Wasn't alive then

    by The Guy Who Slept Through Everything.

    Saw it when I was 8 years old, however. Then I saw all the re-releases of the SPECIAL EDITIONS when they came out in theaters in '97 and cherished my VHS box set even more.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:37 p.m. CST

    I liked the Simpsons when they went to go see it...

    by The Dum Guy

    Homer leaving theatre passing a long line of people, "Boy! What an ending. Who would've thought Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's dad?"

  • May 21, 2010, 4:38 p.m. CST

    I remember the first time i saw ESB

    by PedroM

    I was just a kid, my father bought the VHS and we watched it together. After seeing A NEW HOPE - which was mind blowing by itself -, we put ESB on and i was once again blown away. I believe my father told me about Vader before me watching it, but i didnt mind it back then.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:42 p.m. CST

    My favortist Star Wars movie

    by donkingkong

    I was itty bitty guy of 4 years old when my dad took me to see it, saw Empire before Star Wars (New Hope). The movie pretty much blew my widdle mind. Empire and the first Superman movie had a profound effect on me as a kid, shucks they still do today!

  • May 21, 2010, 4:42 p.m. CST

    My mom is guilty

    by SmallLebowski

    She couldn´t find a sitter, so she took me to the cinema with her. I was three. Hadn´t seen the first one. Never been to any movie theater before. Then this fucker played with dismemberment and all. I was scared, fascinated and could all in all just not comprehend what the fuck just happened. How mind-bogglingly overwhelming an experience. Then for ten years I never saw it again. Just the first and the third. Always had the feeling something was missing. All these memories I had. Stupid kid. When I finally saw it again it was revelatory. It has never been that cool again at the movies. Never ever. Too bad it won´t ever be.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Another there for opening day

    by Harleyjts

    Star Wars opened the day my brother was born. Friends of my parents took me to see it at the Cinemas on Bardstown Road in Louisville, Ky while he was born. I was there on opening day for ESB at the drive-in in Georgetown, In. Still the best Drive-in in this part of the country. Tiered grass hills and gravel drives! Still my favorite Trilogy (yes, trilogy) ever.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:45 p.m. CST

    short and sweet

    by Bouncy X

    all i remember is seeing it at a drive-in, twas a double bill with star wars before it. thats how i first saw both technically. i was 3 so that explains the lack of memory and i say technically cuz my dad took me as a little baby to see star wars at some point.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    The projector broke when I saw it...

    by Lionel_Richies_Hipster_Frames

    I had cut school with my 2 best friends to go see it on opening day, which in of itself was a huge deal considering we were still in elementary school and we were considered to be the smart kids who wouldn't do something like that. We went to go see it at a time that we knew we could all go home after and our parents wouldn't know we cut school for it. We wait on line. Get in. Our minds are getting blown and then the goddamn projector broke in Cloud City. We had to choose between going home and not letting our parents know what we did or waiting for them to fix the projector to see the rest of the movie and then showing up at our houses at dinnertime. We all stuck it out and waited for the projector to be fixed and went home late and got our asses handed to us. I remember my father slamming his hand so hard on the kitchen table he almost broke it while yelling at me. How ridiculous he acted thinking about it now. The silver lining was we were given free tickets since the projector broke and once our punishments were over we went right back and saw it again for free. It was worth it.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Pac-Man turns 30 tomorrow

    by Chief Joseph

    Good times, thems was. I was too young to see ANH when in came out in '77, so TESB was my introduction to the franchise.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Front row right...

    by carlotta_valdes to the speaker...almost looking straight up on opening day. Sensory overload...and not in a good way. I came to appreciate the films qualities later on. We're coming up on a certain whip cracking adventurer's 3oth as well aren't we? Hope that anniversary gets 'the treatment' as well.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:47 p.m. CST


    by justwestofaustin

    I must have been seven, standing outside that shitty, rundown northern California theater. That first viewing for me, if I took anything away from those first of ten screenings (that week) was that if the orphaned Luke--who by most accounts was quite a dickhead--could survive abandonment and loss, then most of us kids like me could do just fine in life. That's not a glowing review, but I wasn't sold on it until EMPIRE. And then I rooted for Vader.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:47 p.m. CST

    The ESB...still haunting me

    by ratfarts

    I was also 8 when ESB came out. I had no idea of spoilers, so I went in as an innocent child with no idea of what was going to happen...and then Vader spoke those words...I'm still drinking whiskey to this day....the horror!

  • May 21, 2010, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Me Too!

    by LaserPants

    The big reveal, "No, I am your father" literally shook me to the very core of my 8 year old being. I still remember driving home with mom, dad, my lil brother and a friend, in the twilight, the clouds and sun vaguely reminiscent of Bespin, breathlessly chattering away about what was going to happen next and wasn't it the best movie ever and can't wait to see it again and lets play Star Wars when we get home and on and on and on... ah, what a nice time... before the Dark Times... before the Prequels...

  • May 21, 2010, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Was Only 3 When A New Hope Came Out

    by wampa_one

    So this is the first of the original trilogy I remember seeing. I miss that feeling of wonder seeing today's movies. There's something only made tangible with Star Wars onscreen - for me, even with the prequels. Thanks George.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Time for a 30 year old confession...

    by GeneralKael

    I was 10 years old. A friend of mine(who was kind of a dick) bought the comic book and told me a bunch of stuff. Luke loses his hand. Vader is his father. I said, "okay, maybe Luke loses his hand but there is no way Vader is his father". I don't quite remember all the details, but my brother(who has since passed away) took me to see the movie. All my friends from school were there and I went to sit with them(I still feel a bit guilty about not watching it with my brother - funny how you think when you are 10 - I'm not friends with any of these kids now but I would give just about anything to watch a movie with my brother again). I remember asking my friend when the walker is about to crush Luke's speeder "is this when Luke loses his hand?" - I said it a bit too loudly. Also, I don't really remember, but I may have asked at some point, also a bit too loudly, "is vader really his father?" I don't completely remember but I think I did give it away- I do remember a pretty teenage usher asking us to be quiet. Now, I believe in God and that I will be held accountable for my sins. I have a feeling the conversation about this part of my life is not going to go well...

  • May 21, 2010, 4:50 p.m. CST

    its also the 30th for pacman

    by therealrockinrolla

    just saying

  • May 21, 2010, 4:54 p.m. CST


    by DarthChunk

    I was a wee 6 years old but I didnt have to wait in a line to see it. My dad ran a movie theatre in Monticello New York. He had Vader in the lobby and my little chubbyness got to lightsaber duel with him before every show the first week the movie played I saw it like 21 times in the first week. I really understood the comment about ESB and SUPERMAN. I as a 5 year old had the entire Brando speech to the jury memorized. I was a party trick my dad brought out at parties for that one. My dad ran a theatre in Seneca Falls for Superman. I cried and walked the SUPERMAN print out of the theatre on its last night.We moved the following year to Monticello and will never forget the week I spent with Darth Vader(who at the time was unbeknowst to me a visiting relative!). I also during the first week sat next to kids recording the movie on audio tape and the front row. I still feel bad they were thrown out but my Dad did give them their money back so....When I got older my Dad ran a theatre again for the new triology, we did lightsaber fightsa in the front and everything. MY DAD passed away but I want to thank the site for posting this talkback and allowing me to share a memory For my pop!

  • May 21, 2010, 4:55 p.m. CST

    wow 30 years

    by Celtican

    I was 6 years old, went with my Dad to the Astra in Colwyn Bay. Sat unflinching for over 2 hours, went into denial about Vader being Luke's father.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Saw it at the drive in

    by classicgamenerd

    Had to sit through FUCKING HANGAR 18 FIRST.<p> Torture.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:56 p.m. CST

    I was 7 when ANH came out...

    by GeneralKael

    I have a very vivid memory of my parents in a department store discussing whether to take me to see it or not. They decided not to take me. BUT THEY BOUGHT ME THE LUNCHBOX???!?!?!?! WTF!?!?!

  • May 21, 2010, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Family brought along the retarded kid next door.

    by mjgtexas

    The teen vendor said the hot dogs were "50". David, the retarded kid, started freaking out because he thought hot dogs were fifty dollars. Aside from that, the film was cool. And the fact that hot dogs were 50 cents back then was a cool thing too.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Saw it...

    by SminkyPinky

    at the Edinburgh Odeon for my 8th birthday. Just the greatest film experience of my life that, due to the age I was at the time, I don't think will ever be topped. It's responsible for an awful lot in my life, one way or another and is, after all this time and all those movies, still my favourite movie of all time.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:58 p.m. CST

    The Empire Strikes Back...

    by KabutoKoji

    It's nice to see some love and respect for Lucas today on this site. The man is in one form or another responsible for THX 1138, American Graffiti, Star Wars, small portions of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, Battlestar Galactica, Happy Days, the revival of Star Trek in the late 70's, the great movie year of 1982 as every studio was trying a sci-fi angle to keep up with Star Wars after Empire, Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, countless outstanding software games, Dora the Explorer, which is sort of a female Indiana Jones for the younger set, even a little bit of Harry Potter borrows from Lucas' mold, and like about 50% of what constitues pop colture today.

  • May 21, 2010, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Agreed! I cut school and was in line at the Warner Theatre in P

    by calloway98

    It was an amazing day in an amazing theater that sadly is no longer there. I am watching the original trilogy now, and trying to find a way to get my hands on DVD copies of "Building Empire" and "Returning to Jedi" by Jambe Davdar! These are similar to the "Deleted Magic" disc that has been out for a while. Does anyone know where I might get DVD copies? Anyway... 30 years ago today WAS a good day!

  • May 21, 2010, 4:59 p.m. CST

    There was a projectionists strike ...

    by I_am_not_Henry_Silva the time in Ottawa but I was on a trip (by my 10-year-old self .... different times, eh?) to Sault-Ste-Marie so I got to see the film with my best friend (who had just moved away) two weeks before anybody back home saw it. I got to enjoy a week of being the only kid in the school who had seen it. I recall it being a GOOD feeling. That's my story. Hope you liked!

  • May 21, 2010, 4:59 p.m. CST


    by SminkyPinky

    Nope, it was my 7th birthday. See? I AM old now.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:01 p.m. CST

    ...Warner Theater in Pittsburgh!

    by calloway98

  • May 21, 2010, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Oh, and yep, some smart arse kid spoilt it...

    by SminkyPinky the dining hall at school, way before it came out in the UK. He had ALL the toys and was supposedly THE SW fan at school and blabbed, "Luke gets his hand cut off, Han Solo gets frozen and Darth Vader is..." yadda yadda yadda.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Question for the old timers

    by Anything But Tangerines

    What was this referred to as at the time? "Star Wars 2" "Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back" or just "the Empire Strikes Back"???

  • May 21, 2010, 5:03 p.m. CST

    I was 4 when it came out

    by xsi kal

    and living in Germany, which should have probably kept me from seeing it, but my dad took my brother (6) and I to a late night showing (I remember it as a midnight show, but at that age, 8pm might have felt like midnight) where they aired Star Wars and the new Empire Strikes Back back-to-back. I don't remember much from that age, but I remember that movie.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:05 p.m. CST


    by GreenOrb

    This was the first film I can remember seeing EVER at age 4 through the windshield of the family truckster.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:05 p.m. CST

    I'm The Guy That Pissed Himself.

    by DutchRudder

    Who do you think you are Harry!? It was only a little squirt of pee!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Hey Anything

    by DarthChunk

    It was called STAR WARS and later just EMPIRE, there was never all this jazz about EPISODE IV_VI. Unfortubately that came later as Lucas got more haughty!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST

    30 yrs ago - KB Cinema in Washington DC

    by Alfred_Packer

    While Star Wars and Jedi opened at the fabulous Uptown Theatre, Empire opened at the KB Cinema, which while it had no balcony, and a slighter smaller screen, it still seemed to have a better sound system at the time (though I still prefer the Uptown in every respect). It was an amazing time. The audience cheered like crazy when the first ATAT went down, including little 15-year old me. I must have gone back 10 times that year. Still have the poster book that they sold for like a 1.50 in theatres, and had a pullout poster of the Falcon/Star Destroyer shot.<p> After it's release, I would go into my Mom's work with her on the weekends, and while she did her thing, she parked me in front of terminal and I would spend hours reading and posting on the earliest of internet forums (arpanet? usenet? idea what is was called back then), reading and posting on who "There is another" really was, and the various theories on Vader's revelation, the cave, and so on. Bought the gatefold soundtrack album, played The Asteroid Field and Imperial March until the grooves wore through.<p> Star Wars may have been the beginning, but Empire sealed the deal and changed us all forever.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Let me guess about the MacGruber ending . . .

    by SkidMarkedUndies

    The film ends with him getting blown up just like the damn SNL skit. "MACGRUBER!"<br /> <br /> FIN.<br /> <br /> I know I'm right and I won't spend the money to confirm it.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Kids in line at the Cooper, Parents drunk at the Riv

    by FoyleSwore

    As my brother and I waited in line around the curved exterior of Denver's late, lamented Cooper Theater (an artifact of the Cinerama age), our parents - who took us out of school in Longmont, CO to see a matinee on Thursday, May 22 - got blitzed on margs at the Riviera...and were able hold their alcohol-laden bladders through the duration. Reading about Celebrity Sports Center in other posts brings back pleasant memories...

  • May 21, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Empire is indeed LEGENDARY.

    by Se7en

    ... 30 years ? Man. I'm old.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Chewy stole the film for me...

    by mr

    he showed his heart when putting C3PO back together, his courage when facing Vader, his frustration then emotion when Solo was put into carbonite, and his loyalty to search for his master and friend...central and powerful.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST

    "No. I am your father."

    by umbral_shadow_

    Thank God that wasn't spoiled for me. I had absolutely no idea there was going to be a big Vader-Luke reveal of any kind, and IT BLEW MY FUCKING MIND. I remember thinking feel really, really sorry for those of you who had that spoiled. Its a once-in-your-childhood moment and no generation before or after us will have anything like it again.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Saw it on opening day!

    by RPLocke

    Fantastic! Everyone was stoked for a new Star Wars movie. Everyone cheered when each of he characters came on the screen. I remember I got scared when the Wampa attacked Luke. And I loved Yoda.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:10 p.m. CST


    by utz_world

    Marquees read "The Empire Strikes Back." The official logo had "The Empire Strikes Back" surrounded by a square-ish bar with Star on the top left side & Wars on the bottom right side (all in Star Wars font, of course).

  • May 21, 2010, 5:10 p.m. CST

    1996 On VHS

    by DutchRudder

    Still my favorite Star Wars movie.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:13 p.m. CST



    About this time 30 years ago, I was graduating from high school...a fairly noteworthy event to be sure...but nowhere NEAR as cool as what came afterwards. My best friend Steve and I drove 360 miles from Fairbanks to Anchorage to see THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!!! STAR WARS had changed my life back in '77, but I cannot put into words how badly I wanted to see this film. I had already read the noveliztion by Don Glut, nd was completely enamored with it. But somehow I managed to turn off all I knew when those lights went down. I LIVED that adventure...and it just cemented my resolve to attend film school and work in the special effects industry. It took some work...but I got to live me dream. And most of that is due to STAR WARS and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. I don't give a hoot in hell what anybody else has to say about George Lucas...the man is a GENIUS, and an inspiration to many. He had the balls to take the leap...and carried us all along for the ride! Just think of all that we wouldn't be watching if it wasn't for him. Thanks George!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    And about fucking time too!

    by LordPorkington

    I have nothing more to say on the best movie ever made that I haven't already said in every other topic posted today. Better late than never I suppose...

  • May 21, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    See this, right here, is why I come to this site.

    by SoylentMean

    Sure Harry can't spell for shit, and his ability to self-edit apparently doesn't exist, but none of that matters because the dude loves film. He started this site because of that love. I just might have to throw in my dvd of Empire tonight, even if it's the so called "special edition" with all the added bells and whistles. <P> Thanks for sharing the good goddamned memory Harry!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:18 p.m. CST

    HELL YEAH!!!!


    THIS is what all these talkback should be like!!!!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Nice one, Harry. I was 8 as well. Great memories.

    by kevred

    And in reading this post and the talkback, I realize this is, in fact, my favorite film ever.<p>I hope that everyone has the kind of magical experience that this film, and all the wonder and build-up leading to it, created for a lot of us.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:19 p.m. CST

    I was 4....

    by Jobacca

    And already a life-long Star Wars fan. I spent all day laying on the floor staring at the full page newspaper ad for EMPIRE. Even though I was sick,I begged my mom to take me to the first showing. I had a huge coughing fit right at the beginning and she threatened to take me home if I couldnt be quiet. Somehow I managed to hold it in and make it all the way to the moviegoing experience of my life. Thanks mom!!!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Shame it was all downhill from there.

    by Human_Bean_Juice_

    Star Wars wise.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Go fuck off, AOTC was better!

    by darthwaz1

  • May 21, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    key part of the father thing back then was...

    by darwinmayflower

    nobody believed it. at least amongst my friends. we all thought Vader was just fucking with him. not until Jedi came out did anyone I knew believe the father shit.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    I'm an old fart..was 22 when Empire came out

    by skimn

    But saw it the first weekend. I had heard news reports on the radio that there was a big twist at the end, and it involved Darth Vader. So the big reveal wasn't such a shock...I kinda figured it out. But what widened my eyes...the flyover shot of the TaunTaun running. As a long time Harryhausen fan, that shot was impressive. The Hoth ATAT attack. Those elephantine machines were so fucking cool. And Luke's POV cockpit view of the speeder crashing in the And I smiled all throughout the scenes with Yoda. Yes, he was a souped up Muppet, but just as Chewbacca was a tall guy in a furry suit, he/it was presented in such a manner and given LIFE by action and dialogue that you bought it completely. The asteroid chase, inside the belly of the beast, Cloud City, Mr. Cool:Lando, Vader's fucked-up head (that little glimpse was more tellling than a full view would ever be), Han's.."I know", and the duel...the duel that was hinted at in Star Wars but played out in such drama and force. Williams' score with the now as iconic as Jaws Empire theme. I actually bought the cassette before viewing the movie so I practically knew the score by heart. It may have not have been as mind blowing as Star Wars, since there was nothing like that before, but Star Wars wetted our appetite to the possibility of Empire, and Lucas and company succeeded and then some.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Almost saw a disney movie on mistake

    by alpine

    I remember being 5 years old and super excited. My Mom took us to see Empire when the curtains opened and the previews started we discovered it was a Disney movie - I believe it was Snow White. Anyway, we made it in time for the beginning of Empire. But I vividly remember watching the movie and being blown away by it.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Saw it in Piccadilly Circus

    by Mostholy

    Spoiled rotten, due to the time lag. JEDI was even worse, I was in Belgium in 1983, and it came out months and months later. I spent all that time flipping through Starlogs and wondering what was up with the bears.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:26 p.m. CST

    saw it in theaters as a child....

    by iwasredempted

    just like everyone else, it blew my fucking mind. i wanted to be han solo ever since. i'm not eloquent enough to express how great the ending was. genius to just leave the audience hanging like that. obviously inspired by lucas' love for those old movie serials. i was too young to have been exposed to those serials so i was devastated by the ending.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Memphis Empire showing...

    by SifoDyasJr.

    ...was actually at the Park Theater, and there was a pretty big line for the opening 10am showing. Don't remember if it was sold out, but it was crowded. The most profound movie experience of my life (and to think I celebrated it today by having the exact opposite experience with MacGruber. Sigh...)

  • May 21, 2010, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Avco Westwood 1980

    by Benovite1

    I was ten, my brother took me to see it at the Avco theater in Westwood on Wilshire blvd which is still there and looks the same. I've lived in a lot of places around the world and in L.A. and for the past year I just so happen to practically live right around the corner from my beloved Avco in Westwood. The Empire Strikes Back? It was everything the first Star Wars movie wasn't. Snow instead of sand. It just looked different, I think even back then I knew it was because it was filmed differently by a different cinematographer. And that's not to say that I didn't like the first Star Wars movie so I wanted ESB to be different. No I loved the first Star Wars movie, saw it in Sydney, Australia when it was released. So it's of course a credit to Lucas and his crew that ESB was a different movie yet still a continuation of the story and it was, well.. the best sequel ever created.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:30 p.m. CST

    first time i found out what a 'sequel' is ...

    by caipirina

    Star Wars was a huge thing ... and after that ... stuff showed up in print magazines, that there is a sequel in the works ... i had no idea ... and i have also no recollection of when and how I watched ESB, but i must have been 13 / 14 by that time ...

  • May 21, 2010, 5:31 p.m. CST


    by Candy ass monkey suit

    I was 9 when Empire came out. i remember my parents taking me to a seaside town in the u.k for the day and all i wanted to do was to see Empire! They left me at the cinema whilst they went for lunch. I still remember clearly the experience of watching it,the marvel of the asteroid chase,lukes hand getting cut off and THAT REVELATION ! thing is if Empire was made now theres no fuckin way you could keep the Luke/Vader thing would get out..even if lucasfilm cut it from previews the script would have leaked etc..thankfully in those days we didnt have AICN or the internet and the sci fi mags were few and far between so all was safe till you watched it. Still my fave star wars film like so many of you out there.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Best ESB version ever is yet to come...

    by Cervantes

    ...just type in this - (the 'I's are capital 'i's by the way, as this is not a font-friendly site for links!)<P>This will take you to the awesome colour-corrected, spruced-up 'Empire:Revisited' trailer that wunderkind Adywan is currently working on.<P>If you have any problems with that, then type in this exactly instead - Adywan's Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - REVISITED Final Trailer If you are in any way an ESB fan, then you owe it to yourself to search this fanedit out when it's released at the end of the year!<P>You'll feel 8 again Harry.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Hell and Gone

    by Captain Papercut

    Empire was playing at the Fairview in Boise. My best friend and I had to take the bus to see it because it was hell and gone from our houses. Clear across town, farther than we'd ever been allowed to go alone by our 14-year-old selves. Waited in line for a while -- I was #52 in line. I was so ready for that movie, ready to be taken away by it. It's funny -- I remember being kicked in the ass by the Vader stuff, but my main memories are the collection of image burnt into my brain. The bright orange glow of Vader's star destroyer engines against Hoth. Feeling woozy as the snowspeeders dipped up and down over the mountains. Artoo in the rain. Princess Leia's face as Han is lowered into the pit. How damn real the Millenium Falcon looked as it blasted out of the hangar with Luke in the foreground. And the pure ballet of the asteroids, how the Falcon comes out of the canyon into the big crater and everything is perfect. And the gut-punch of the cliffhanger ending. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. My friend and I rode back home on the bus and I don't think we said anything other than "wow" for about 5 hours. The Fairview is long gone (home to memories of Superman, CE3K and Die Hard), and the car lot that replaced it is just another intersection in a much bigger town than Boise was in 30 years ago.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:35 p.m. CST

    How the hell does Harry remember everything?

    by HapaPapa72

    I love SW too, and I remember my mom taking me to see ESB on my 9th b-day with my little niece. All I remember was I was excited, it was a gloomy afternoon, and my niece peed in the backseat of my mom's car on the way home. Although I almost think that it was a special Muppet Show that night with Mark Hamill...but I could be and probably am wrong. Oh well. Enough babbling. Happy 30th, Empire. And THANK YOU IRWIN KERSHNER!!!!!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:35 p.m. CST

    80's kid

    by Candy ass monkey suit

    As a follow up to my last post. I feel so blessed like harry growing up in that age of cinema! We were the star wars kids..we were at the birth of the reveloution of modern cinema. All those classics we got to see for the first time up on the big screen not on shitty VHS on a small screen like so many kids back in the day..we got to see Indiana jones,star wars,superman,back to the future and many more..what glorious times they were!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Wow, I was 4 then.

    by Chief Joseph

    My mom must've really wanted to see it to take me there at that age. I don't know how much of the plot intricacies I could comprehend besides the overall good-vs-evil, but I fully absorbed the characters, spaceships, and imagery. I too thought Vader was lying and that it couldn't possibly be true. I don't recall being frightened or disturbed by any of it-- I think kids are tougher than people suspect. But with a child's imagination of that age, I did really feel like I was right there with Luke and Yoda on Dagobah, part of the adventure. And what a cliffhanger ending! Those three years in-between Empire and Jedi seemed like an eternity. I remember playing many "rescue Han" games with my action figures in those intermediate years, having Luke cut Han out of his carbonite (actually Play-Doh) with his lightsaber.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:39 p.m. CST

    30 years ago today in NYC

    by Valmont10E

    I was 15. A Freshman in High School. Saw it on Sunday at the 84th st. Loews on Broadway. It was me and my older brother. It was the first time I ever stood in line for a movie. 2 hours. Days before in History class a kid reading the novelization spilled the beans bout Vader to the whole class. It was my first time being spoiled and I hated it. The Loews had 2 screens. Both showing Empire. We sat on the left side aisle about five rows back from the screen. The lights went down and the movie started and for 2 hours everything fell away and it was magic. So if for nothing else thanks Lucas, Kershner, and the cast and crew for that great memory.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Harry, do you remember being born?

    by RPLocke

    I don't remember what I did yesterday.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Amen to that, Candy ass monkey suit.

    by HapaPapa72

    And it wasn't too hard to be spoiler free back then, huh? Damn, I remember sometimes the first glimpse of the movie being the lobby cards you saw on the way in. Although I remember Time magazine doing a piece on Empire Strikes Back(with the cool Barron Storey Darth Vader artwork on the cover), and I pored over those pages, trying to soak up every image.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Will we do this on the 30th anniversary of Episode I?

    by BoyNamedSue

    Cherish our memories of The Phantom Menace?

  • May 21, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    It's Irvin Kershner actually.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Happy 30th birthday to the best movie EVER!

    by LordPorkington

    Empire was the first ever movie I saw at the cinema and it remains my favourite movie of all time. Sure I haven't seen *every* movie *ever* made, but of the ones I've seen, ESB still comes out on top. I can still remember the bus ride to the cinema during a (rare) sunny day in England in 1980, a wasp tried to attack me on the top deck of the bus. My mother holding me up to the window to see inside the earlier screening of the movie and me freaking out at seeing Vader with no helmet on (albeit the back of his head only) and wanting to see it again right after the movie finished. Christmas of that year was easily my best ever. Tearing off the wrapping on the biggest present first and seeing it was an AT-AT. I still have that little guy (he came with me when I moved to the States in 2008). Empire will always be an important movie to me, and I'm sure it's important to quite a few of you out there too (as evidenced by the great stories on this talkback). Let's all raise a glass to Empire! Huzzah!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST

    I was 5

    by bingolong

    the thought that sticks out was how that night in bed I immediatly emulated the way Luke put his hands behind his right after Leia kissed it made me cool

  • May 21, 2010, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Cooper Theater-Denver, CO-Father's day

    by progrocktv

    The floor was sticky like a roach motel, but was a HELL of a movie theater! I had seen SW there 3 years before. We were first in line, camped out on a comforter and running next door to Celebrity Sports Center. Great times for a 10 year-old!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Pac Man and EMPIRE...

    by blackwood

    I need a fucking time machine. The now is crap.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:44 p.m. CST

    There should be a making of Empire book

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    Like they released the one for Wars on its 30 ann. Sure there isn't really that groundbreaking trailblazing feel of Wars making of but i think enough is there for reading about it since they had to make it the biggest movie of all time and struggled with a lot of thigns that could've ended up really bad easily.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:45 p.m. CST

    "I remember the day I was born..."

    by HapaPapa72

    "My mom was watching Sneak Previews when her water broke and I heard the faint sounds of my prenatal embryonic heroes, Siskel and Ebert as they discussed taxi Driver......"

  • May 21, 2010, 5:45 p.m. CST

    It sucks I can't possible recreate such an event with my kids...

    by Somerichs

    I don't mean all the fanfare and excitement that came with it being released the very first time. Rather, before I ever had kids I imagined how cool it would be to show them the original trilogy, in order, without them knowing a whole heck of a lot about the stories. Only now, between the prequels and the Clone Wars cartoon, it's just not possible. My 4 year old son thinks stormtroopers are good guys, for fuck sake! And he's pretty sure that Anakin Skywalker is also Darth Vader. He hasn't had much exposure to Luke and the rest of the original Star Wars characters, but I think he even has an inkling that Darth Vader is Luke's father. So much for introducing these movies (spoiler free, anyway), that were such a huge part of my childhood, to my own kids...

  • May 21, 2010, 5:46 p.m. CST

    possibly, that is...

    by Somerichs

  • May 21, 2010, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Like many others...

    by WeylandYutani

  • May 21, 2010, 5:47 p.m. CST

    RP Locke

    by HapaPapa72

    I thought before I posted it, "Maybe it's Irvin." Shoulda checked. Thanks, man.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Making of "Empire" book due out this Fall!

    by calloway98

  • May 21, 2010, 5:47 p.m. CST

    ESB is best sci-fi film ever.

    by Kontarsky

    And I wish I'd have been in that line 30 years ago, but shit, I wasn't even born until 5 years later! Had to be CRAZY AWESOME in that line, man.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:50 p.m. CST

    After the prequels

    by NippleEffect

    I can't watch the originals anymore<p> The prequels poisoned the well

  • May 21, 2010, 5:52 p.m. CST

    First move I saw

    by crimsoncinder

    I was 5 years old and recall this being the first movie I could actually remember seeing in the theatre. The snowspeeders racing across the snow and my first thought was, are these coming into the theatre to kill me? Yeah I was naieve, but when people talked about star wars, I assumed everyone was talking aboutEmpire Strikes Back. I didnt see Star Wars until later on and even then I was disappointed because when my father said we're seeing starwars, I always thought of Empire Strikes Back. To me, this was the first starwars movie.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:52 p.m. CST

    "Building Empire" and "Returning to Jedi" by Jambe Davdar

    by calloway98

    I am sorry to repeat myself, but I am desperate to find this guys stiff on DVD. I would appreciate any help. Here's an Amazon link for the Making of ESB book:

  • May 21, 2010, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Slow News Day?

    by onezeroone

  • May 21, 2010, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Same age as Harry when I saw it....

    by Gabba-UK

    Back in 1980 there were now spoilers, no-one knew the amazing twist. It wasn't in the papers, it hadn't been on the TV. It was the first performance on the day of release, the Odeon in Harrogate, Screen 1 was packed. The Lightsabre fight had been vicious, Luke defeated and deformed by Vader's blade. Then James Earl Jone's voice boomed out the line we all know. I will remember to my dying day what 500 people suddenly gasping in shock sounds like. It was awesome!!!!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:55 p.m. CST


    by HapaPapa72

    I'm hoping that my 5-year old twins forget that I tried showing them the prequels so I can start from scratch with the originals.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:56 p.m. CST

    I saw it in tv 15 years ago for the first time

    by ominus

    and i already knew that Vader was Luke's father.i hope i watch a new,as great as ESB,SW in cinema before i die.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:56 p.m. CST

    star wars blows away empire..

    by darthwaz1

    sorry fanboys, empire isn't a movie unto itself, it has no beginning, and no ending. it simply ties together parts 1 and 3, as I said before, go fuck off.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:56 p.m. CST

    I'm with Harry on this

    by WeLiveStill...OrNot

    I was 16 when EMPIRE came out. We waited in line for five hours at the Springfield Mall in Virginia on opening day. It's hard for anyone under the age of 30 to relate. Movies and music are meaningless to these generations... it's all there with the click of a mouse. now, now, NOW... with the attitude that anything that happened before they were born is of no consequence. You can't compare the memory of sitting in front of the HD flat screen playing MASS EFFECT 2 for twenty hours on the day it came out to being with your friends for HOURS waiting for Indiana Jones or ALIENS or THE WRATH OF KAHN on opening day. Sucks for you.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Making of "Empire" in the fall?!!

    by TakingScorpiosCalls


  • May 21, 2010, 5:57 p.m. CST

    I remember seeing it in a theater in London

    by schadenfreudian

    and I remember having my mind blown by the scene in the tree with Luke's face appearing in the vader mask, but thanks to copious amounts of drugs and alcohol in college, I don't remember much else.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Empire has been called a Noir remake of Wars

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    do u agree with this

  • May 21, 2010, 5:57 p.m. CST

    I thought this was going to be about Pac-Man!

    by killianx

    However I was 5 and got in free b/c i could sit on my parents lap. anyways it was at a "Twin" Movie theatre where both theatres were playing it. We had just moved from NY to backwater south however there si this theatre. We went there probably every weekend for a year just wathch ESB and play Pac-man! So even thought I went from teh city that never sleeps to the town that never woke up I miracuosly had an awesome year!

  • May 21, 2010, 5:57 p.m. CST


    by Dave Bowman

    Greetings from a fellow Binghamtonian. I don't know where you are now, but sadly, the Airport Drive In site is now a self-storage place. Good job with the revenge on your brother. As for me, I saw Empire on its opening day at some big fancy theater in DC along with hundreds of other science fiction fans. It made a big impression on us.

  • May 21, 2010, 5:59 p.m. CST

    The Best SW Film

    by tom7836

    Harry, thanks for your story about that huge day in your life as a kid seeing The Empire Strikes Back! Though I wasn't a kid when it came out, I do rememeber that movie event. I saw at the historic Centre theater (torn down in the 90s) in Salt Lake City. It was one of the 125+ showings of the film in 70MM. The film was so big, the city health dept had to close down the theater for a couple of hours so that the management could clean up the facility before the next viewing. Now that was a movie event! Unfortantly, I spoiled the Vader/Luke connnection by flipping through the novelzation of the movie a few weeks earlier at a book store. I wasn't reading it, but flipping the pages and towards the end I saw the word "father" and it just jumped out of the page and I was so pissed! A friend went with me, but I didn't tell him that spoiler. The film has stood the test of time as the best SW film. Irvin Kershner was able to get through the Lucas SB and movie special effects to make a great movie and get good performaces out of his cast. Too bad he didn't return to do Return of the Ewoks. Maybe Kershner would have had the balls to confront Lucus about the overkill of the teddybears???? we'll never know!

  • May 21, 2010, 6:01 p.m. CST


    by HapaPapa72

    I don't remember gasping, but I just remember thinking for a split second that it was some trick of Vader's, some kind of mind game, but then I do remember definitely thinking how eerie it was when Vader called to the ass-kicked and maimed Luke and Luke sitting up and replying, "Father..." Such a great film. So great that I'm sure I'll probably post 50 more times about some other random ESB memory.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Actually, I remember being pissed off at the ending

    by gun_will_travel

    Because I sure as hell didn't want to wait another 2 or 3 years for the end of the damn story.<p> Looking back at the trilogy years later, I came to appreciate its drama and its glorious absence of Ewoks. But at age 12, I was disappointed to be left hanging like that.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:05 p.m. CST

    the greatest SW and it was not even written and

    by ominus

    directed by George Lucas.the irony...

  • May 21, 2010, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Hey calloway98...

    by Cervantes far as getting a hold of those fanedits, search around

  • May 21, 2010, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Some serious selective memory bullshit with EMPIRE...

    by BurnHollywood

    As Harry mentioned, the novelization featuring Vader's big reveal was released quite a bit before the movie came out, so it was actually common knowledge that he was Luke's daddy.<p> It just sounds more dramatic to say you found out in the theater seat...any true SW fan had bought the book the moment it came out.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:08 p.m. CST

    I didnt see Ep. IV in theaters because I wasnt born yet, however

    by Deviant Apex

    I did see Episode IV with a cousin when I was about 10 back in 1999. Even though I had mixed feelings eabout Jar Jar and the Gungans in general, I thought it was pretty good. Then again, I was 10 at the time. But I have to say, I loved Episode IV especially the epic space battle at the beginning. It had slightly the same tone as the original trilogy only more emphasis on Anakins dark transformation. It had its share of problems, but it was definitely the best of the prequels. And even though I didnt get to see Ep. IV when it first came out, I did get a chance to see it in the theater last year at the Liberty City in Murphysboro, IL. Every year they play the original series and people come dressed up and everything. I saw the films hundreds of times before, but there is just something about seeing them on the big screen that blows you out of your fucking chair. I strongly recommend you come along for the next big showing if you want you want to see what it feels like to have your mind raped...

  • May 21, 2010, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Wow..that read just like his Phantom Menace review.

    by EddieMurphysLaugh

  • May 21, 2010, 6:10 p.m. CST

    It actually makes me kinda sad

    by lead_sharp

    looking at the shit it's turned into over the years.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:12 p.m. CST


    by HapaPapa72

    God, the waiting was the worst. 3 years?!?

  • May 21, 2010, 6:12 p.m. CST

    wish i was alive to see it in theaters

    by DioxholsterReturns

    shame, i was born in 1988, too late.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Hail Arrius!

    by Quintus_Arrius


  • May 21, 2010, 6:13 p.m. CST

    srry, I was drunk

    by Deviant Apex

    I meant *Liberty Theater in Murphysboro, IL, not "Liberty City." I guess I had GTA4 on the brain...

  • May 21, 2010, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Wasn't born, but speaking of long lines...


    I don't see that in theaters in my parts anymore. Probably because every fucking theater has 16 screens. At the old Tacoma Mall Twin where I worked, Jurassic Park had lines of 700 people to fill up the larger of the two auditoriums. Just thought I'd share....

  • May 21, 2010, 6:15 p.m. CST

    BurnHollywood---- why on earth would anyone read the book?

    by DioxholsterReturns

    and spoil it for themselves?

  • May 21, 2010, 6:17 p.m. CST

    I left the theater a broken child. Kicked my ass proper-like.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    And then to have to wait a few years for Jedi? Fuuuuuck. <p> Too bad Jedi shtank.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:19 p.m. CST

    I was there

    by disfigurehead

    I was 13 and my mother drove us to Orlando from St Pete because it wasn't playing there.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:20 p.m. CST

    I was three at the time, my parents say...

    by Sailor Rip

    ...they took me. I have no memories to share. I just have to say that this is about the greatest piece of movie making ever put to celluloid. <p> What a fucking epic.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:20 p.m. CST


    by WeLiveStill...OrNot

    THIS is exactly what I'm talking about.... that people like you have NO IDEA what you are talking about. I'm guessing you are well under tha age of 30... in any event... I was shocked sitting in my theater seat when Vader let the news fly. NEWS FLASH: Had no idea Spock was going to die in KAHN! And I had been watching Star Trek since I could open my eyes! News, information, music... all of it... was not like it is now. But that is of no consequence to cats like you... I LIKE being old because I don't like stupid.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:21 p.m. CST

    TESB - Saw it opening night at the 7-ish showtime

    by justmyluck

    Here's what I remember (I was 11): didn't know much except from the poster's artwork...e.g. knew nothing about the Darth Vader revelation. I knew about Boba Fett, since I mailed-in my Kenner action figure symbols for the advance Fett figure (WITHOUT firing rocket pack). Went to the opening night screening with a friend who's father dropped me, friend and his brother off at the theater (which was called "The Vogue"...single screen - now gone). The Vogue had a very large screen with heavy velvet curtains - one of THOSE theaters, From the screening of TESB in '80 I remember being amazed by the medium shot of Boba Fett on the Cloud City landing platform at sunset (I think I was waiting the whole time to see Boba Fett, actually). I remember the AT-AT exploding and the debris making little puffs of baking soda. I remember not liking the asteroid slug (seemed puppet-like to me, even then). I loved Vader's 'Exector'. After the screening, I remember being somewhat disappointed, since major threads were left unresolved. I saw TESB again a few weeks later and liked it better. I soon got deeply into the 2x12" John Williams soundtrack and grew to like TESB better than "Star Wars" and ROTJ as time went on. Well, I never got into ROTJ - it seemed derivative, even in '83. Overall, seeing TESB opening night is a good memory, and made up for the fact that I didn't get to see the original "Star Wars" until about a month after it opened.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:22 p.m. CST

    I remember standing in line...

    by Manaqua the UA150 in Seattle. What a day. Nuff Sed

  • May 21, 2010, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Burn Hollywood...

    by Captain Papercut

    You are right about the novel and comic adaptation being out weeks before the movie. I remember seeing both of them and flipping though the comic. I didn't look through it closely enough to have the Vader reveal spoiled, but I do remember being mighty confused that Yoda didn't look like the one coming up in the movie. But I think you need to remember most of us were in Junior High or younger when it came out. I don't remember having a lot of disposable income at the time. Lawn mowing season hadn't started yet, and Asteroids was claiming most of my allowance. And with comics priced at a whopping .35, I know I would have bought a lot more of those than spend five or six bucks on a novel. I may romanticize a lot about those times, but I know I went into the theatre that day without any preconceptions other than a belief that the movie will kick my ass. And fortunately, it did.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Yup, Vader schtupped Amidala

    by invisibo

    Though where the names Luke and Leia came from are still, yet another, unresolved mystery of The Island- I mean Star Wars.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:26 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    Uh, no, sorry, bullshit. The paperback novelization was out, and as another poster observed, so was the Marvel comics treatment. The big controversy with me and my elementary school pals was whether Vader was bullshitting Luke or not, because if he was telling the truth, Obi-wan was a liar.<p> Oh, and that other poster who mentioned the Cooper theater in Denver above? Where I saw it in '80. Only place in town, because that was WAY before multiplexes and tentpole releases...they MIGHT have released it at the other big theater, The Continental, but probably later.<p> Continental's still there, Cooper's long gone...Barnes And Noble at that spot now. How's your memory working out for you?

  • May 21, 2010, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Really Harry, they were smoking pot in line?

    by SithMenace

    I swear you constantly retcon your childhood so you can make you, your family and your friends sound way cooler than they actually were. You were 8 in 1980 and you knew they were smoking pot?<p>Great movie though.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:31 p.m. CST

    I was there! Saw it twice on opening day in Paramus NJ!

    by planetran_fan

  • May 21, 2010, 6:33 p.m. CST

    TakingScorpiosCalls: No. I'd say it is more in line

    by planetran_fan

    with German Expressionist cinema. Especially the carbon freezing chamber scenes.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Anybody else get 'Once Upon A Galaxy'?

    by kwisatzhaderach

    That was the first 'making of' book I ever read, and possibly the best. And, if anyone still doubts it, there is several interviews in the book where Lucas talks about his three trilogies, and about how Episodes VII - IX deal with the character that survives Episode VI and his adventures. Lucas changed his mind about making three trilogies and crammed everything into Return of the Jedi, and it kind of shows doesn't it? Never mind, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, two of the greatest films ever made. We will love them forever.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Okay, I was 7...

    by Lone Fox

    Star Wars was the first live action movie I saw on the big screen, aged 4. The 3 years between that and Empire felt like a lifetime. I was completely unspoiled, except for a couple of McQuarrie pre-production paintings in the '79 Star Wars annual (UK) showing a control room and C-3PO. I was obsessed, could not wait to see it. Then... I saw it, and I'd never been more disappointed in my life. Luke gets his hand cut off, Han steals his girl, Han gets frozen and delivered to Jabba, C-3PO ends up in pieces, and to cap it all off, we find out Darth Vader is ******** ........ I didn't watch it again til right before Jedi came out, at a friend's birthday party. I was 10, and that second viewing rocked.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Saw it with my dad...

    by Stale Elvis the long gone Astra cinema in Maghull, Liverpool when I was 6. Bugged him for months and months to take me. He finally caved in and took me. I remember something about snow then I fell asleep.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:37 p.m. CST

    All these testimonials...

    by Sailor Rip

    ...I hope you all realize what Lucas has given us. "Oh Kasdan/Kershner were the ones responsible." In a small part yes, but this was Lucas' baby. Pay the man some fucking respect. You can continue to bitch about your childhood being raped tomorrow. For now, today, give him his due credit.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Saw it at the Eric Twin, Fairless Hills Pa

    by SithMenace

    The line was around the theater, and ended at the box office. Three years later, the scene was repeated exactly for ROTJ.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Great Memories

    by Sillypuddy

    Star Drive Inn- 9 Mile and Ryan in Warren, MI. Saw both Star Wars and ESB at that drive inn...

  • May 21, 2010, 6:42 p.m. CST

    i wasnt even semen 30 years ago... ho yea!

    by yourSTEPDADDY

  • May 21, 2010, 6:44 p.m. CST


    by TehCreepyThinMan

  • May 21, 2010, 6:45 p.m. CST

    gee a postive Star Wars thread?

    by RPLocke


  • May 21, 2010, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Saw EP IV re-release double feature with Bambi

    by Jaka

    Never can remember what year that was. But that's the first time I saw Star Wars in the theater, I believe. It's also my first movie going memory, period. I remember both of them clearly. Great double feature for sure. I didn't see Empire in the theater. But I remember seeing it at my Scout Master's house, on BETA! lol Specifically, Beta. I was amazed by the tape because we didn't own any kind of VCR at that time. Then I saw Return of the Jedi in the theater opening weekend with some friends. One of the first things I remember doing without a parent being involved (Mom dropped us off, though). But it was Purple Rain the following year that really triggered my love of going to the movies, strangely.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:52 p.m. CST

    D&C VS LUCAS... who wins makin it up as it goes?

    by yourSTEPDADDY

  • May 21, 2010, 6:53 p.m. CST

    purple rain? i want a tb for that! RIGHT NOW!

    by yourSTEPDADDY

  • May 21, 2010, 6:55 p.m. CST

    One of my best Star Wars signed items is the ESB Magazine

    by RPLocke

    signed by Director Irvin Kershner. I sent the magazine to him a few years ago and he signed it for me.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Saw Empire on Laser Disc after watching ROTJ

    by shutupfanboy

    I went from A New Hope to Jedi. My friend told me that Vader was Luke's Father before I went to see Jedi, almost fainted and kept shaking me head all day. When I saw Empire, I didn't like it. Now, that I'm older, its my number one or two Star Wars film which makes it my number 1 or 2 film of all time. In honor of it I bought Star Wars pajama bottoms and watched the Family Guy DVDs. Wife thinks the pajamas are too long though.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:58 p.m. CST

    I was 4 when I saw it....and I remember...

    by SlimButNotreally

    I fell asleep in the theater. I mean I was 4. Back then if the lights go off you go off too. I missed the last part of the movie but it was somewhat boring for a 4 year old so I didn't care. Obviously now that I'm an adult I appreciate it as a masterpiece, but back then I just didn't care (and I was a HUGE Star Wars fan. even drew a life size Darth Vader in my closet wall)

  • May 21, 2010, 6:59 p.m. CST

    'Once Upon A Galaxy'!

    by Jaka

    Yeah, I think I had that at one time. I know for sure I once owned a making of book where I was absolutely positive Lucas himself explained how he was going to make nine films, three trilogies. Years later I'd make that claim to people and they called bullshit, but I couldn't remember where or what the information was in. Thanks, wisatzhaderach. I may try and find that one again just for the nostalgia factor. Because I don't actually know those people anymore.

  • May 21, 2010, 7 p.m. CST

    Actually, EMPIRE highlights what an asshole Lucas is...

    by BurnHollywood

    He had fans like us in the ticket line back in '77, and what did he do? He goes and makes a set of prequels targeting an 8-year-old to teeny-bopper demographic, instead of the people who were with him since the beginning. And don't give me that bullshit that the first two were "kid's movies", either.<p> No man's an island, no one achieves stardom on their own. And in his case, he had a hell of a lot of help from those of us who paid his way back in the 70s and early 80s. But he let his ego get in the way, and instead of ushering in the best writers and best directors to handle the prequels, he turned all of us into test subjects in his vain attempt to see if he still "had it" or not.<p> When the Blu-Rays come out and you're stuck with the "Special 'Greedo-shot-first' Editions" he foisted on us in the 90s, you'll see how much of a shit he cares about his original fans...

  • May 21, 2010, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Yeah, yourSTEPDADDY...

    by Jaka

    ...Purple Rain is great. It was cheesy and badly acted back then and not a damn thing has changed about it since. But for whatever reason (largely the music and the performances captured on film - which pale in comparison to seeing The Revolution live around that time) suck you in and you can't stop watching.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Was a 24 hr tailgate at Cinerama in San Diego

    by zacUpquark

  • May 21, 2010, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Blues Brothers came out two days later...

    by Ronald Raygun

    I wa pretty young at the time, but I remember Empire came out on a Wendnesday and Blues Brothers came out that Friday.And both, oddly enough, feature Carrie Fisher and Frank Oz.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:04 p.m. CST

    BurnHollywood, what are you talking about?

    by Jaka

    Like, I want to respond to what you just said but it's so all over the place that I'm not sure I even understand your point, if you had one.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:05 p.m. CST

    I caught the opening show...

    by Noddy93

    My dad and I rode down to Austin from Waco to see this opening day (we went with the owners of waco's Poppa Rollo's Pizza back when Mary and Roland were quite the stoners). It played Austin a week before coming to Waco.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Oh, the Bambi, EP IV double feature...

    by Jaka

    ...was sometime near the release of Empire, I believe. Just not sure exactly when it took place. And I'm pretty sure I saw those in Portland, OR. Maybe on vacation. Saw Empire at the Scout Master's in Anaheim, CA. Then definitely saw Jedi back in Portland. Heh. Fun to file through the memory banks.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:09 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    Revenge of the Sith was rated PG 13. The first SW movie to have a PG 13 rating, so there goes your theory.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Sailor Rip

    by HapaPapa72

    I for one, have never posted or uttered that Lucas raped my childhood. I guess I just appreciate PRE-prequel Lucas vs. the man now. Now he's like that old uncle you've got that thinks "oh, maybe the kids will like this," when in sad fact, they don't. But I give credit that he DID create this world and these characters. I know it's his baby. I just think Kershner did a damn good job of babysitting. And by the way, thanks to Ben Burtt, too. Not much of a world without all the nifty sounds. And John Williams...and Lawrence Kasdan... and...

  • May 21, 2010, 7:16 p.m. CST



    Leave it to some dickhead like Burn Hollywood to come onto this talkback and try to ruin it for eveyone. We are here remembering the good times, the days before scumbags like that popped up all of the time trying to wreck everyone else's good times! If he was even around back in 1980, he was probably one of those worthless fucks who stood in line and blew all of the big moments for everyone else. I hope I never come across a "movie fan" like him...the results would be DIRE!!!

  • May 21, 2010, 7:16 p.m. CST

    wtf. buncha old farts here.

    by alice133

    isnt it past ur bedtime?

  • May 21, 2010, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Watching Return of the Jedi in 1997 rerelease

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    was my greatest memory! too bad we had to leave before the end cause we all had to take a piss badly.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:21 p.m. CST

    I remember when the speeders were searching for Han and Luke--

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    The POV shot of Rogue 2's snowspeeder flying over mountains and snow drifts made my stomach flutter as if it were really happening. I have never felt something so physical from a movie since.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Kids today love the Clone wars cartoon

    by RPLocke

    So do any sane SW fans. It's a good show.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Tucson AZ

    by only1

    I was 5, I really don't remember the theater but I know it was my dad, my brother, my uncle, my cousins and myself. I remember the feeling of "HEY... this is the FIRST movie" when the screen crawl started and said STAR WARS first. I remember being awed that Darth Vader could be AN?ONE'S father... much less our hero, Luke's. I know the movie was ingrained into our head through HBO and VHS but there's still the thrill of seeing it in the theater.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Had a friend that was in to linguistics

    by PhilipMarlowe

    It was the first Star Wars movie he had seen. While we were standing in line he said "Darth Vader....sounds like it should be German for Dark Father."

  • May 21, 2010, 7:28 p.m. CST

    1980, Butte MT, the Fox Theater

    by thegrimreader

    Best thing ever. Then followed with arguments with a friends who were certain Vader was lying. He also always wanted to be Han, but after EMPIRE suddenly decided he'd rather be Lando... And when Xmas rolled around and I could go out in the actual snow with my snowtroopers and taun tauns,... *sigh*. There's still an AT-AT in my parents' garage I think...

  • May 21, 2010, 7:33 p.m. CST

    thegrimreader, there's got to be a doc in there...

    by Jaka

    ...somewhere. Something about all the home made props people have built over the years that are still around in garages and closets.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:33 p.m. CST

    follow up: Why the best ever?

    by thegrimreader

    Best Score EVER. Maybe no individual with a "best" performance, but as an ensemble: fantastic. Effects? Amazing (and still hold up well) Script, editing and direction? Truly EPIC. (And a sad reminder of what happens when George doesn't touch the dialogue or director's chair, let alone both.)

  • May 21, 2010, 7:37 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    Lol, I love the back handed compliments at George while praising ESB.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:44 p.m. CST

    I was -4 years old.

    by JuanSanchez

  • May 21, 2010, 7:45 p.m. CST

    I read the book first....

    by Powerring

    And then got to see the movie. There was so muchy about it that I liked differently, maybe better than a new hope. Snow speeders, the rebel base...aww's one of the ultimate movie experiances of all time. I can't just describe the feelings in a few words.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:51 p.m. CST

    Lines stretching around city blocks

    by juice willis

    I was barely five, but that whole day is seared into memory. Saw it at Metro in Phoenix. Thanks for the reminder, Harry.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:53 p.m. CST

    My best friend and I...

    by Marshal_Lannes

    ...cut class for this one and camped out for tickets. Saw the first screening in Roswell, GA at 12 noon. We did the same thing 3 years later when ROTJ came out. Same theater, same show time...

  • May 21, 2010, 7:54 p.m. CST

    yep, I read the book first too...

    by yubnubrocks

    I remember seeing the adaptation about a MONTH before in the book store. I grabbed it and read it in like one day (I was about 12). Talk about spoilers!!! hahaha

  • May 21, 2010, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Sound track

    by yubnubrocks

    Best sound track,hands down. I'm still wondering when GL will redo New Hope to include Vader's theme. Hell, all the tinkering he did on that, and he forgot to do that? Good God.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Thank you AICN

    by NoFatherIAmYourLuke

    For thirty years, I've doubted the veracity of one of my earliest and most vivid childhood memories. I distinctly remember sitting on the floor in the living room; leaning up against a cushion, reading the Marvel Comics adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back; yelling out to my mom, "Mom! Darth Vader is Luke's father!"; and my mom's scoffing. This couldn't be true, I thought, because there's no way the comic came out before the movie, right? And I would definitely have seen the movie on opening night, wouldn't I have? Now, thanks to this talkback, I now know that the comic *did* come out first! My faith in my memory is restored. Thanks dudes.

  • May 21, 2010, 7:58 p.m. CST

    wow, Harry

    by RefutetheHype

    and here you managed to say almost nothing about the movie. Sure, you mentioned a few characters. But wow, you really wrote a useless article here.

  • ...and they showed Empire first!<p> Sheeeeesh....<p> Anyhoo, George, where did you go wrong...<p><p><p>

  • May 21, 2010, 8:06 p.m. CST

    It was thirty years ago today...

    by Randy_of_AFTimes

    I was already a SW junkie; EMPIRE just brought me in hardcore! I'd already anticipating the movie based on an NBC special that started off buy just showing the beginning few minutes of the Asteriod attack. Then they constant perusal of the Kenner mini-catablog showing the new action figures that would be coming out. FINALLY THE DAY ARRIVED... My mom let me be "Sick" from school. Standing in line at the... Cheri 57? Charles Theater? in Boston with my Aunt Carol and her kids to see the 2nd showing of opening day. And that's all I remember, with the exception of seeing it many more times after that. A good moment in time.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:11 p.m. CST


    by Cervantes

    ...the incredible adywan version of 'A New Hope, called 'Star Wars:Revisited' included the Imperial March music, and is now fully up on YouTube in sections.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:12 p.m. CST

    30 years ago today people actually liked Star Wars

    by RPLocke

  • May 21, 2010, 8:14 p.m. CST

    The asteroid field....

    by Powerring

    Totally blew me away. One of the greatest scenes in any movie. It was like a real depiction of the video game. And the asteroids physically CGI.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Star Wars: Revisited!

    by yubnubrocks

    I'll have to check that out! Thank you!

  • May 21, 2010, 8:16 p.m. CST

    One of the best movies ever made...

    by SK229

    it's up there for me with The Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia, and Raging Bull. Some days I think it's better than all three for the ambition, the fucking dream-like phantasmagoria of the effects and ideas, and the level of commitment from ALL involved. <p>I don't really have my own story about seeing it... I was only 3 and don't even remember being taken... my early movie theater memories don't pick up until somewhere just before E.T. I do remember slowly watching it over and over and over again as I grew up, each time more impressed and noticing more depth in it than were in the others until finally realizing around age 11 one Christmas break with my first VHS trilogy set (the first tapes I had were either off of t.v. or bootlegs, can't remember) that this was, indeed, the best Star Wars movie. My appreciation for it only grows more as I cover the waterfront of Truffaut, Kurosawa, Godard, Ford, Cassavetes, Hawks, and all the rest. <p>Here's a recent Empire story for you though: My closest friend is an actor that can't really be bothered with fantasy or science fiction... AT ALL. His favorite films are those with the greatest performances, so if it doesn't have Brando, Pacino, Nicholson, Deniro, or Duvall, or the realism of directors like Friedkin... or it's not a filmed play featuring people like Malkovich at the top of their game... he's not really interested. Not that long ago I told him, 'Dude... I'm telling you, Empire is on another level. Star Wars is a classic on the level of Wizard of Oz, but Empire is something else... the older I get, the more I realize this, no bullshit.' A week later, I get a phone call after he'd caught it one night on t.v. - "You were right."

  • May 21, 2010, 8:17 p.m. CST

    ESB is near perfect...

    by yubnubrocks

    not just as a SW movie, but just as a movie. The direction, art direction, the sets, music, characters, etc. Damn! If Lucas did the Hoth battle now, it would be a fucking mess. I love the simplicity of it - snowspeeders and walkers - that's pretty much it. Contrast it with the final battle in AOTC - holy fuck - what an ungodly mess that is!

  • May 21, 2010, 8:19 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    If Lucas hadn't done Star Wars you wouldn't even have an ESB, dumbass.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:20 p.m. CST


    by yubnubrocks

    haha kind of a similar thing here. My wife and I saw the special editions at the theater back in '97. After New Hope, she wasn't that enthused to see ESB. I said "trust me, this one is completely different - can't even compare." After seeing it she totally agreed!

  • May 21, 2010, 8:21 p.m. CST


    by yubnubrocks

    What are you talking about?

  • May 21, 2010, 8:22 p.m. CST

    My favorite movie of all time.......

    by Darth_Kaos

    Best sequel ever...<br> Best score ever...(com' on the Imperial March is the Bomb!'s my ringtone!)<br> Best twist ever....(thank god the internet wasn't there!)<br> Best...Movie...Ever!<br> FUCK AVATAR, and all the retards who love that piece of shit.<br> PEACE!

  • May 21, 2010, 8:24 p.m. CST


    by Cervantes

    ...I meant to say that it's been put up in widescreen by someone called startanica.<P>Look for part 1 of 13 to begin.<P>Adywan's eventual Empire:R and Jedi:R are going to be equally overhauled, and he's got big plans to do something to the Prequels afterwards!

  • May 21, 2010, 8:24 p.m. CST

    Empire is the best movie I ever saw

    by gantoo

    And probably ever will see. The first time I saw it I was a small boy. My mother had just been killed in a freak gun accident. My dad had his niece take me to the movies, because I needed a distraction. And what a distraction it was. Seeing a movie like Empire as a small boy is so mesmerizing. Seeing great movies today is great, sure, but they just don't have the same impact as they do when you are a kid.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:26 p.m. CST


    by yubnubrocks

    Damn - the prequels even? That sounds exhausting.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:27 p.m. CST

    My 14th Birthday present

    by Moviegimp

    In five days I'll celebrate my 44th. Saw it at The Quad, now called the Saginaw 12, it's still the biggest screen in town. Ever since the first Star Wars every year one came out it was the only thing I cared about for my birthday. I was so sheltered back then I knew absolutely nothing about the movie outside the trailers on tv. Pretty long line at the theater, say a few hundred, but nothing like some of you guys in big cities. Every scene better than the last and when Vader spoke those words the gasp in that theater was the loudest I've ever heard. There has never been a better cliff hanger movie than Empire. So many things were left unanswered it drove me nuts. In the age of spoilers there will never be film like it. Thanks for the memories Harry.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:28 p.m. CST

    The Andywan things are decent

    by RPLocke

    but wow he really overloads scenes with more effects than Lucas ever did.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:29 p.m. CST


    by BetaRayBill07

    In all 6 films...all the trooper designs...the coolest.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Best score ever,

    by redteeb

    it still sends shivers up my spine, it's maximum epicness. And the turns the story took, my god, I mean, Han with Leia, after A new Hope you think Luke and Leia MUST be together, then THAT happens, and it works brilliantly and convincingly, beautiful. SIGH, and then all that romantic and dramatic tension gets wiped away when Lucas took the cheap way out by making Leia his sister. That was NOT the case when Empire was being made, but he made that decision when writing Jedi. Luke's sister was supposed to be someone who hadn't been introduced yet. It's certainly a decision which impacted Empire negatively, as it completely nullifies the magnificent sense of tension between the 3 characters. What could have been heartbreaking ends up...nothing. It's one of the reasons I don't count Jedi as canon. I just forget about it, and Empire becomes even MORE the greatest film of all time!!

  • May 21, 2010, 8:34 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    Um, what are you talking about?

  • May 21, 2010, 8:35 p.m. CST


    by yubnubrocks

    Yea, I agree with the whole sister thing. It would be interesting to see Jedi remade today....

  • May 21, 2010, 8:36 p.m. CST


    by gantoo

    I have the Imperial March as my bosses ring tone.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Wow. Good post

    by Star Hump

  • I hate to sound potentially trite or to give in to bloated hyperbole, but going to the movies as a child in the 80's was a magical thing. Fortunately, my parents LOVED taking me to the movies. But I go now and it sucks to say that as much as sites like this let us get together and celebrate and discuss our love of movies, they've also spoiled a bit of the magic going in with only a few photos from a magazine and some vague trailers as a primer. Not to mention, going to the movies is a "21st Century Experience" in all of the worse ways... people texting, nobody giving a shit about other people, shit all over the place, people talking, the theater not giving a shit about the presentation (although that one is getting better), 300 screens... socially, it's a fucking exhausting experience that I either was able to zone out of as a kid or something has actually changed and people were just more relaxed and considerate back then. Occasionally, though, I get a good experience like seeing 'Alien' at the Egyptian theater last October... just a pure, perfect, movie-going experience... a big part of it thanks to the cinema loving subdued yet excited to be there crowd.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:42 p.m. CST

    I still remember seeing the ESB trailer...

    by yubnubrocks

    My dad and I went to see "1941" in December of 1979 - classic movie! But wow, that trailer came out of nowhere. And you couldn't tell WHAT was going on. Asteroids, snow, Vader...

  • May 21, 2010, 8:47 p.m. CST

    i still dont know which is better: ANH or ESB

    by DioxholsterReturns

    both of them are the best thing that happened to cinema.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:47 p.m. CST


    by LT Weezie

    Having a friend who owned the best big-screen theatre in Indiana was awesome...when he called and said he had THE film in his hot little hands and to bring a carload of friends over so he would get the film set up for viewing by the general public, which included showing the film several times, I made four fast phone calls and off we went to Indianapolis 100 miles away. Amazing doesn't cover it! Just the six of us in the huge 60-foot screen theatre, unlimited popcorn and drinks, and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK! We didn't get home til very early in the AM, and had already seen the film three times, a week before it was released! We drove back to attend the "OFFICIAL" opening. The best STAR WARS film ever and since! How cool is that??!!

  • May 21, 2010, 8:49 p.m. CST

    The Special Edition hurt empire

    by gantoo

    I like what they did with the wampa creature, that is fine. But the whole part of having darth vader return to his star destroyer was totally unnecesary and hurt the pacing of the end of the movie. Luke is hanging from cloud city, his hand cut off by his just realized father. He has really hit rock bottom. Ben is no help to him, so he calls to Leia. Leia hears him and goes to get him despite Lando's objections. They retrieve Luke just as he is about to fall. By this time, all the emotion that has been built up in the third act has you in tears. But the special edition they are cutting this scene up with Vader going up to his ship, WHY???

  • May 21, 2010, 8:49 p.m. CST

    re: The comics spoliering

    by Chief Joseph

    The issue of the Marvel comic in which Vader reveals his identity to Luke is issue 44 with a publication date of February 1981. (see So no, the thing BurnHollywood said about kids already being spoiled by the comics is false. Though he is is correct that spoilers did exist back then (the novel, asshole kids at school), they weren't as prevalent as they are today.<br>For example in 1999 I remember some numbnuts crossposted a thread in Usenet over dozens of newsgroups (not just Star Wars ones) with the title "Darth Maul Kills Qui-Gon Jinn!" and "Then, Obi-Wan Kills Darth Maul"

  • May 21, 2010, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Menlo Park, NJ Cinema

    by filmakr1

    30 years ago, my friends and I were in line, overnight. The third spot in line. For anyone else there that night and day, we were the ones with the cooler and throwing the football ... three years before we spent the whole summer at Menlo Park watching Star Wars 20 times. Three years later, we were there opening day for Jedi.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:51 p.m. CST


    by yubnubrocks

    I agree. Vader returning to his star destroyer - and they used footage from JEDI?? It was so obvious, too!

  • May 21, 2010, 8:51 p.m. CST

    The reason we are here...

    by Koji_Kabuto

    Pretty much after the first one came out I probably knew that I wanted to probably be in the business, after EMPIRE came out, I KNEW this was the career for me, and no other would cross my mind to this day. It all goes back to 30 years ago. Thank you Mr. Lucas(the one from 1980 please)

  • May 21, 2010, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Star Wars

    by spectacles

    Is ruined. Not to be a bitter nerd, but it's true. I don't think I've had a real conversation about Star Wars with anyone in 10 years... the mystery, magic, the mythos... it just isn't there anymore. Star Wars was once something special, now it's just another franchise, like Iron Man or Pokemon.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:58 p.m. CST

    this was the first movie that made me truely cry!

    by DioxholsterReturns

    i was like WTF happening to me?!!!!!! i didnt understand my emotional reaction to the Empire movie as a kid. i was totally lost.

  • May 21, 2010, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Anyone who bought the action figures

    by RPLocke

    already knew a lot about the story because we saw all the pics of the new figures. And Boba Fett was in the cartoon a year before.

  • May 21, 2010, 9 p.m. CST

    ESB FTW!

    by Gungan Slayer

    Hell yeah!!!!

  • May 21, 2010, 9:03 p.m. CST

    (SPOILER!!!)-Darth Maul Kills Qui-Gon Jinn!!!!!!!!

    by DioxholsterReturns

    sorry for spoiling the future of Star Wars guys!

  • May 21, 2010, 9:05 p.m. CST

    (SPOILER!!!)-Darth Maul Kills Qui-Gon Jinn!!!!!!!!

    by DioxholsterReturns

    sorry for spoiling the future of Star Wars guys!

  • May 21, 2010, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Great fucking post.

    by theneonsamurai

    Greatest movie ever. Well, tied for first with Star Wars. Most mindblowingly awesome film. Great romance too. Han Solo taught me everything I needed to know about being a man.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Best day of my life

    by fswalt

    I was nine years old; I remember not having to go to school that day because my dad was taking me to see Empire. Went to the 163rd Street Theater in Miami. Not really a line that early. Got tickets, got an iron-on star wars t-shirt book from the bookstore, got the perfect seats. I agree that the screen was never that big again (in this case it was a deeply curved Cinerama screen). I try to get to the Uptown in DC whenever I can, since it reminds me of that old Wometco in Miami. No spoilers at all back then; jaw on the floor when Vader tells Luke...we we really not sure it was true until we saw Jedi three years later. Funny thing is...I still remember a scene being a little different than it is today...the part where the Falcon is about to leave Hoth...there was an extra second or two of the Falcon was only in the 70mm prints and I never saw it again...anyone else remember that?

  • May 21, 2010, 9:07 p.m. CST

    by durka_durka

    I'm 36, and I will never forget when I saw this movie opening weekend. I didn't even know what a sequel was, and when I saw the opening crawl, I thought I was seeing episode IV all over again; boy was I wrong. To this day, it is still the GREATEST film I have ever seen. I distinctly remember the gasp I heard from the audience when baser uttered the greatest reveal in movie history; and honestly, that is what made the prequels hurt so bad. KNOWING that star wars could be so incredible, and yet for two full movies get completely shit on as an audience( really 3 counting Jedi, but the emperor/vader/Luke scenes MADE that film) and finally when we get to the good stuff in sith, it feels like were rushed through the whole film. I guess it goes to show that kirsh was a helluva director, and that lucas' first best destiny was as a producer and an idea man...

  • May 21, 2010, 9:17 p.m. CST

    gantoo: special ed.

    by thegrimreader

    The reason is because someone (George) forgot that audiences aren't stupid. If Vader's on cloud city, and a bunch of action happens and time passes, then Vader's on the Executor, we accept he traveled up there. (George, I know you're not reading this, but we really didn't need to see it to know it happened.) Now the music and pacing are out of whack. Thankfully they started releasing the non-adulterated versions. The other atrocity: Luke screaming, even though he CHOSE to sacrifice himself (thankfully removed). Don't get me started on ANH... Dear Lord, did Boba really need to stop and do a take straight to camera? Please let the originals be cleaned up and available on Blu Ray! Who do I need to #$%& to make that happen?

  • May 21, 2010, 9:19 p.m. CST



    '75 gave us JAWS. '77 gave us STAR WARS. '78-BATTLESTAR GALACTICA AND SUPERMAN. '79-ALIEN, MOONRAKER, STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE and THE BLACK HOLE. Then, in 1980...THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK...oh, and BATTLE BAYOND THE STARS. And I was there in ther theater for all of them...and all of the subsequent movies that came afterwards. For me, it all began with thr PLANET OF THE APES movies, and snowballed from there, but the REAL moment came in 1977, and from then on out it has been a non-stop cinematic thrill ride. No matter what all the naysayers spew, I feel priviledged to have been here for all of this. Now I'm staring 50 in the face, and I still get a rush when I see these kinds of films at the theater. Oh yeah, and my home theater ain't too bad either!

  • May 21, 2010, 9:21 p.m. CST

    I talked to Adywan about restoring...

    by Chief Joseph

    ...the original pacing and cutting Vader's Special Edition shuttle ride. This was at least a year or two ago (before he became a geek celebrity), but at that time he said he was indeed going to restore it to its 1980 pacing. I also requested he return Luke's "You're lucky you don't taste very good" line because that line tickled me so when I was a kid.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:22 p.m. CST

    30 years ago today, I was 11 days old!!!

    by F-18

    I saw Empire Strikes Back on video, I think when I was 5 or six years old.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:22 p.m. CST

    @ DioxholsterReturns

    by Chief Joseph


  • May 21, 2010, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Adywan's cuts are kind of a joke

    by RPLocke

    He cuts everything back to the original movie but adds stuff the movie doesn't need like the ESB in Star Wars makes NO fucking sense.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:26 p.m. CST

    And sometimes when people watch Andywa's cuts

    by RPLocke

    They say, "Why couldn't Lucas do this." Uh, Lucas didn't HAVE CGI computers back in 1977. Everything was done with a motion control camera. Idiots.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Saw it at the Malco theater opening day

    by Snookeroo

    Took my girlfriend (who I ended up marrying) to see it. Got in a fight with her stalker ex-boyfriend after the movie. Which, needless to say, put a bit of a damper on the evening.<br>I was twenty years old at the time. I remember not being surprised at the Vader reveal (kind of figured he, but Luke getting his hand severed just blew me away.<br><br>They tore that theater down just last year -- was very sad to see it go, because it was the main theater in town -- the one where I'd taken my wife on our first date; the one where I'd seen Superman, Star Wars and Indiana Jones.<br><br>And, the one where I took my kids to see their first movie.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Norwich, England

    by godhelpus

    Saw it in Norwich, England in huge theater, don't know the name. Didn't believe Vader when he told Luke he was his father, I thought it was a lie to trick him.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Funky Town

    by corvette63

    I remember that song being hugely popular and for whatever reason I thought the lyrics were "Pumpkin Town." Good times. Still have the Empire poster my dad bought for me from the theater lobby.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Stood on line early morning at Loew's Astor Plaza

    by Ricky Retardo

    in Manhatten. Got to see the very first general audience showing in NYC. Was so impressed, sat through it twice. What a great film.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Empire was the first movie I ever saw in a Theater

    by bigbadbua

    At least that's what I'm told. I was barely three months old when it came out, but my parents took me when they went to see it. They say I never cried or made a sound the whole movie. I just sat there and watched one of the greatest movies ever. I think somehow being there made me love it even more.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:46 p.m. CST

    I saw ESB like three times opening week.

    by RPLocke

    It was awesome.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:48 p.m. CST

    hey i went to menlo park mall , nj, not 1rst day though


    i was like 2 and a half. chewbacca was my god.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:52 p.m. CST

    and after 30years some old middle-age guys will say:

    by ominus

    I WAS THERE,when New Moon was premiered in cinema. <p>jesus...

  • May 21, 2010, 9:53 p.m. CST


    by Cervantes

    ...Adywan's efforts are far from a joke, and nothing short of phenomenal.<P>Compared to the 'special edition' of A New Hope we ended up with, the quality he's added by way of colour-correction, enhanced effects, and complete overhaul of the soundtrack is wonderful to see and hear.<P>His aim is not to replicate the originals exactly, but to achieve his own idealised version of the 'special editions'. His 'creative choices' are usually excellent, and from what I've seen of his 'Empire:Revisited' version, it's going to be like seeing the movie for the first time again!

  • May 21, 2010, 9:55 p.m. CST

    That should have been RPLocke of course...

    by Cervantes

    ...I hate typos.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:01 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    Andy says that he doesn't want to replace the originals, but fans who watch Andy's remake already have.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:04 p.m. CST

    I was there too Harry

    by MasterShake

    The Americana was awesome. It made the current IMAX's look small. I was there for the first feature of ESB too. Got there at 7am. The line was just as you described it. I lived about a 3 miles from the Americana in the 70's and until it closed in the 80's. The first movie I saw there was 2001, and the last was Robocop. What a place to see a movie. Capitol Plaza cinema was almost as large. Saw Star Wars, Close Encounters and Alien there. Austin was blessed with some awesome movie theaters when I grew up. Too bad they turned the Americana into a library, I bet it would make money today as a theater again.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:04 p.m. CST

    "The best day of my life"

    by BumLove

    Said one of the talkbackers. Really? Watching Empire Strikes Back was the best day of your life? Not kissing a girl, or having sex with a girl, or getting married, or having kids? Watching a movie was the best day of your life? <p> That's all kinds of depressing....

  • May 21, 2010, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by Captain Papercut

    "upside down ghost image of those robots" -- great line. Thanks for the laugh. And good job on your career. Pretty obvious that Empire has made a huge impact on the career choices of many young people, myself included.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Still the longest lines...

    by Cagliostro

    I've ever seen for a film. Went around the block like 4 or 5 times. Had to try a couple of days in a row to get in.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:12 p.m. CST

    I had a different experience than the rest of you

    by ChristmasCameLate

    I cannot remember ever NOT knowing that Vader was Luke's father--I'm "only" 30, was born the year it came out. Loved SW my whole life, and for some reason had ANH and ROTJ on VHS growing up, but never had Empire. Finally saw it on TV when I was like 14 years old, after already having the other two memorized right down to the ululations of Chewie. I had my mind blown in an entirely different way--Empire Strikes Back almost doesn't FEEL anything like the other SW movies, the textures, the tone, the spirituality and the way that the main characters are SPLIT UP for most of the movie (they would never dare separate screen icons, even for the sake of story, in this day and age, they MUST interact to have constant witty banter and/or arguments). I have a projector now, and I watch TESB pretty much by itself, hardly ever watch ANH or ROTJ anymore--and I will not even speak of the sequels to anyone. That's no exaggeration, ESB set the bar too high for me, and there is no return.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:12 p.m. CST

    8 as well

    by thepoohguy

    I saw it at the Mai Kai theatre in Livonia, Michigan which is no longer standing. No one wanted to see it with me. My older brothers hated Star Wars and just weren't into it. My parents didn't want to go either. So my mom drove me to the theatre, bought me a ticket and left me 8! I went in, sat in the very back row by the door to be safe, got my mind blown away, walked out of the theater and my mom was waiting for me. To this day, I can't believe my parents did that, but am forever grateful for being able to see it on the big screen.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:13 p.m. CST

    BumLove hehehe thats why i am reading this talkback

    by ominus

    just reading such comments is fucking hilarious. <p>its the definition of that Robot Chicken sketch with the nerd who was telling to his kid the story when he saved GL from some fanboys in a SW convention and that it was his happiest day in his life. <p>and then his kid says: but Dad i thought when i was born,it has the happiest day in your life. <p>and the nerd replies: not even close. <p>haha what a bunch of lifeless losers those hardcore SW fanboys must be.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Harry... Your Writing

    by Autodidact

    I liked this little article Harry. Still can't give up your damn site. Keep doing what you do man.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:17 p.m. CST

    I was 1 year old when this came out

    by BadMrWonka

    so, not surprisingly, I didn't see it in the theaters. but Return of the Jedi was the first movie I ever saw in a theater, 3 years later. The Cinerama, in downtown Seattle. I saw Phantom Menace at the same theater, all those years later, but, well, we won't talk about that. <p>I know it's cool to hate on RotJ, and I agree it's not as good as Empire, but man, it still holds a special place in my heart for being the first movie I ever saw in a theater, and for really shoving me full force into Star Wars obsession. hell, I LOVE the Ewoks! screw you guys! ;o)

  • May 21, 2010, 10:19 p.m. CST

    ESB Memories

    by Autodidact

    One of my earliest memories is of my mom telling me that if I really wanted to see it my uncle would proabably take me to see ESB when it was in the 2nd or 3rd re-release in the run-up to Jedi's release. I remember feeling like it was too much to ask him, even though knowing him now I bet he would have loved it. Didn't see Empire until a couple years later on VHS at my 8th birthday party. Come to think of it, I think I saw Jedi in theatres before I ever saw Empire. Shit, never realized that!

  • May 21, 2010, 10:20 p.m. CST

    TESB Comic Paperback

    by Coordinate_System

    <P>My copy has a publication date of May 1980. The adaptation in Marvel's SW series followed later in the year. Don't know when exactly the paperback hit store shelves, but it may just have very well been before the movie.</P> <P>Used to have the Marvel Star Wars paperback (from '77), but lost that one long ago...</P> <P>Good times...</P>

  • May 21, 2010, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Lucas didn't rape my childhood...

    by cgh123

    ... but with this movie, he fucked my 5 year-old eyeballs again and again!

  • May 21, 2010, 10:24 p.m. CST

    There's no such thing as "waiting in line" anymore

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    One of the things I sort of miss about the "event" aspect of moviegoing was waiting in line...but now with every big movie released on eleventy-billion screens on opening weekend, the idea of a line stretching OUT THE DOOR and AROUND THE BLOCK has ceased to exist.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:27 p.m. CST

    The Yoda in the Marvel Paperback was different

    by RPLocke

    from the Yoda when Marvel decided to incorporate the ESB story into their comics because when the paperback was done, they were going by concept work and they didn't see the finished Yoda.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Saw it in Boulder, CO

    by freedunit01

    I can't imagine it was opening weekend, because we had no problem getting tickets. My best friend at the time & I had just finished a 2-day bike ride from our home town of Loveland to Boulder and my legs were so sunburned I could barely sit down when we walked into the theatre. I remember this well because 10 minutes into the movie I don't remember my legs hurting anymore . . . My buddy had either already seen it once or his parents had gone cause he hinted at the Vader reveal before we saw it; Ironically I thought it made good sense and he - having already known about the big reveal -- still had a hard time believing it. Loved it so much I went to see it again, then read the novelization, then went to see it again on a double bill with Star Wars (it will always be just that) at our local drive-in. Good times all around and still a great flick!

  • May 21, 2010, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Man, alot of people have some interesting stories about the day

    by Deviant Apex

    Makes me wonder if were all cosmically brought together for some reason. Thats it! We were put on this earth simply to see this film and nothing else! Ok, Im just being sarcastic here, but seriously though it was a pretty kickass film. Btw, I guess I really was fuckin drunk earlier because I noticed on my last post I referred both Episode I and Episode III as "Episode IV." I guess I also had Episode IV on the brain...

  • May 21, 2010, 10:33 p.m. CST


    by Chief Joseph

    I'll have to track down this "early Yoda" paperback version. I know Jabba looked weird in the Star Wars adaptation.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:33 p.m. CST

    1980, Monroe LA

    by utfluke

    My mom and my friend Billy King's mom took us to the Plaza Twin in Monroe to see it. Our moms drove us over 40 miles that day to go see Empire. Before the movie though, we went to Kern's Kiddie Land, and we were each bought one STAR WARS book. I got the storybook, Billy got the making of magazine. When we got back into the car, and "No Luke..." ringing in our ears, I traded Billy for the making of magazine. Until Harry wrote this article, I had never put it together, but a great deal of my movie love had to do with that screening and that magazine. The STARLOG issue with Mark Hamil and Yoda on Dagobah had even more to do with it. Thanks Harry. It's a great day for film history, and a better day for me.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Star Wars and Empire

    by quentintarantado

    I was visiting New York from the Philippines when I saw TV ads of a scary-looking scifi movie called Star Wars. I had no idea what it was and it blew the top of my head off when I watched it in a Manhattan theater. Years later, I saw Empire in a local Philippine cinema. I knew from Cinefantastique that there was a TIE fighter that blows up and you can see the pilot fly out during the asteroid field chase scene. So I wasn't totally cherry any more. I liked happy endings and the "I'm your father" revelation disturbed me as a kid. Took me years to appreciate the movie and its cliffhanger ending.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Parts VII, VIII, IX

    by Kirbymanly

    I may be remembering this wrong but I'm pretty sure that quote about making another series of films that would take place after Jedi was from a Lucas Rolling Stone interview back in the mid-80's.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:37 p.m. CST

    We arrived 70 minutes early for Avatar...

    by Jaka

    ...and there was already a line out the door. They had been there since before the showing we were waiting through started. Like, six and half hours. Granted, this was IMAX 3D - not as many of those screens. And they didn't NEED to do it, necessarily. But everyone if front of us had better seats than us. The only reason we stayed was because nobody used the seats around the handicapped area. Which actually turned out to kick ass because you could stretch your legs out as far as you wanted. Also had lines for nearly every Harry Potter movie opening night, all three LOTR movies and The Dark Knight. But still, I feel what you're saying. It's not the same as when you had a two screen (at most) theater in town. Now you just drive over to the nearest cineplex showing the newest releases on 2-4 screens.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Interesting structure

    by gantoo

    I think what really made Empire such a great movie was its structure. It gave its big epic battle which it had to have in the beginning, which really is a good place. Giving the cheese at the end can detach the characters from the audience. Often the epic battle has too much going on and people can get lost in the spectacle.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:37 p.m. CST

    I actually figured out the "I am your father" thing in advance

    by OutsideChance

    I don't know how. I just knew there was a big twist and my gut told me that was it. Of course it didn't hurt that "Vader" (the spelling not the pronounciation) is Dutch for "father."

  • May 21, 2010, 10:38 p.m. CST

    I've waited in lines today despite having ordered

    by RPLocke

    tickets before. The last big line I waited in was for Avatar, and before that Transformers 2.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:39 p.m. CST

    TESB Paperback

    by Coordinate_System

    <P>Chief: the ISBN is 0-9604146-0-6</P> <P>You can also see the development of Yoda's appearance in the "Art of The Empire Strikes Back." ISBN: 0-345-28833-5.</P>

  • May 21, 2010, 10:41 p.m. CST

    The First Star Wars Film Which Blew My Mind

    by PTSDPete

    Was 'Return of the Jedi'.</p>This has to be properly contextualized. Prior to this, I thought 'Star Wars' was that Ewoks flick. I was 12. </p>

  • May 21, 2010, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Lines and Midnight Screenings

    by Autodidact

    Lines used to be something else, before multiplexes took over. Before the time of clone multiplexes, a huge line for a movie invaded the common retail or public space. It was a clear signal of a movie's incredible popularity when the line would be this massive thing screwing up foot traffic in the mall on Friday afternoon. It meant the movie was a presence even to people who weren't seeing it at the time. They'd see the line, or have to cut through it to get to a shop on the other side, or just drive by, and be aware. Now it's all sealed plastic watertight, man. <p>[bong hit] <p> I was into midnight screenings from 1995-2005. Judge Dredd. Batman Forever. Matrix Reloaded. Episode II, Episode III. Now I've developed the patience/disinterest to wait for a matinee in any case where there's a midnight screening.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:55 p.m. CST


    by Chief Joseph

    Thanks. I've just placed a hold on the Art book at my local library.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:57 p.m. CST

    That's true about walking through the lines...

    by Jaka get to a shop and people taking notice driving by. I'd kind of forgotten about stuff like that. The Avatar line did go outside, but it just went into the parking lot of the theater. Didn't look out of place or bring attention to itself at all.

  • May 21, 2010, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Midnight screenings, though

    by Jaka

    I still like 'em. No matter how old I get, if it's a movie that's part of the geek culture I still belong to, I want to experience it with the most hard of the hard core. This has especially been fun for the Harry Potter movies as it's moved over from buying the books at midnight on the night of release to seeing the movies the same way.

  • May 21, 2010, 11 p.m. CST

    Damn We are getting old.....

    by Cigar2

    ....Aren't we???? I saw Empire at the same place I saw Star Wars (first movie watching experience) at the three theathre that was in are local mall Honey Creek Mall. It's no longer than its a Garfields now. I saw Return at another theatre in another mall Towne South and its gone too. Both replaced by to big multiplex's now. MAN, I'm Getting OLD.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:01 p.m. CST

    Older hopefully just means...

    by Jaka

    ...wiser and more experienced (notice I didn't say more mature, lol). The world is going to keep changing whether or not I find the fountain of youth. So I'm cool with it. : )

  • May 21, 2010, 11:03 p.m. CST

    30 years ago I saw this before it was released!

    by Dr Lizardo

    Ah, the perks of being a film school student at USC in the late 70's/early 80's. (Aren't I special?) We got to see the first 70mm print on a huge screen before it was even color corrected. I still think this is the best of the series, and the fact that Lucas thinks it's the worst just confirms that he's become a bitter, talentless douche.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Uncomfortable Seats

    by Autodidact

    What about back then, when most theatre seats were REALLY uncomfortable on the ass after two hours? The easy sign of a good movie was it could make you forget about your ass pain. These days the seats are not bad. I noticed this trend towards more comfortable seating really took off in the late-mid 90s, 96-97 all these multiplexes with shitty screens and comfortable seats popped up.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:06 p.m. CST

    I think Avatar deserves more props.

    by Deviant Apex

    I know it had a somewhat simplistic plot, but it also had amazing special effects and immersed you in a world completely different from the one you know. So I actually think its about equal to A New Hope in those regards. Heres hoping the sequel to Avatar will achieve the success Empire had back in the day. (Deep down, I personally dont think it will, but one can always hope, right?)

  • May 21, 2010, 11:07 p.m. CST

    The Empire Strikes Back: The high watermark in cinematic history

    by drdoom_v

    Has it been 30 years already?.......30 years since we first met Boba Fett in all his live action coolness? 30 years since Yoda bestowed his great wisdom upon us? 30 years since we saw Vader as the major Badass that he was? 30 years since Han and leia finally kissed? 30 years since the sheer awesomness of the ATAT's, the asteroid field, The executioner, and of course the great reveal "I am your father!"? Where has the time gone my friends? Thankyou Lucas, Kershner, Kasdan, Bracket, Williams and everyone else! (Now lets get these same people to make 7 8 and 9 but without Lucas!!! Sorry George that was a cheap shot---- You don't deserve that.. not today---Empire is a masterpiece It's hard for me to hate you for fucking up the Star Wars Universe when I think of Empire---- There was a time when you really got it right! Brilliant indeed! Hats off to you sir and Thank you!)

  • May 21, 2010, 11:07 p.m. CST

    Didn't get to see it opening day

    by Volstaff

    Can't remember real well now, but I think everybody screwed around so much, and we didn't go early. By the time we got to the theatre the line was literally around Lowes Theatre and out around the parking lot. Goddamn, I still remember being heartbroken over it. All that went away when my younger brother, my sister and good ol' Dad took us that following Sunday, and we got there 2 hours early, and still had about 100 peeps ahead of us. I remember some older kid ask the guy directly ahead of us if he could cut in line ( this was about a half hour before the doors were supposed to open) for 10 bucks and the guy just kind of snorted and waved him off.That guy was our hero that day lemme tell ya. We didn't get the best seats that day ( 8 rows back, dead in the middle ) but we didn't care. when the lights went down, everything else just went away. I couldn't believe Empire could possibly be better than Star Wars, but Goddamn it was.The only thing I didn't like was Harrison Ford's over-acting, but the movie was so awesome I just kind of ignored it.he did redeem himself with the famous "I know" line though. I still remember the Big revelation by Vader, and the rersponse was a huge collective gasp from the whole audience. I remember getting choked up myself watching Luke's reaction. Even though the cliffhanger ending was sort of a downer, we all applauded wildly when the lights came up, and we were already wishing it were 3 years in the future so we could find out how the hell it all turned out. Like you Harry, I started reading Starlog religiously after that as well. I still remember reading about the goofy feud between Mark Hamill and Harlan Ellison when Hamill called him the Don rickles of Sci Fi, but that Ellison he'd actually like Empire. What a great day that was to be a kid.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:09 p.m. CST

    I also

    by durka_durka

  • May 21, 2010, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Empire on Blue-ray

    by Anakinredsabre

    I dont understand why everyone wants the movies on Blu-ray. Its my experience that all fans do is bitch and complain about SW anymore. Its not enough to just have the movies, its never good enough for you all.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:14 p.m. CST

    I also remember....

    by durka_durka

    In Jedi when i found our vader WAS lukes father, knowing my childhood had slipped away....... That SW was not cookie cutter good vs bad..... something changed In me that day and I kinda grew up

  • May 21, 2010, 11:15 p.m. CST

    Top 5 Greatest Filmgoing Experiences Ever.....

    by IHaveSeenEveryEpisodeOfPrisonBreak

    Right behind Star Wars (Better known to those under 30 as EP IV or A New Hope). Empire is the better film no doubt, but Star Wars was first, and I still love it. Others in my top 5 are Raider of the Lost Ark, Jaws, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:16 p.m. CST

    i was 3 when i saw this

    by VonThunderballs

    and it forever warped my mind. thanks alot lucas. in true nerd fashion i get teary eyed when i watch the movies. they all bring back such awesome memories.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:16 p.m. CST

    I like it when the theater lets you in early

    by RPLocke

    and you all just sit there talking about nerd stuff. At Iron Man, my friend and I were talking to these people we don't even know about Iron Man. It was cool.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:17 p.m. CST


    by verbalintercourse

    Man, some days I feel old, since I'm 32, but just reading these recounts of being at an age where you remember seeing Empire at the theater, jesus, you fuckers are old. Get off the computer and spend time with your kids or your pet snakes. Just kidding. I'm just bitter I wasn't of the age to see the greatest movie of all time in a theater.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:18 p.m. CST

    ESB- best movie of all time !!!

    by geodesigns

    I saw it in NYC- blew my mind too, Harry. Movies like this come once in a lifetime.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Deviant, if Avatar2's ending is about Neytiri

    by ominus

    getting imprisoned by the Terran army and sent back to Earth as a war prize and Jake left, presumably,as dead in a half-destroyed Pandora,then yeah the sequel will be a lot greater than the first Avatar. <p>But i dont think the King is going to turn his sequels darker and more tragic.anyway time will tell.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:22 p.m. CST

    I was 14 going on

    by martinh65

    What a time to be growing up. 'Empire' left us asking some serious questions for the next three years, or at least until TWOK came out and distracted us. It was the beginnig of a whole new world for us, where electronics started becoming commonplace and not just something that the 'rich neighbors' had.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:27 p.m. CST

    I remember right after leaving the theater....

    by IHaveSeenEveryEpisodeOfPrisonBreak

    My mom took me to Jamesway department store and bought be Luke in Dagobah figure and a Snow Trooper. I actually remember the figures I got that day an am not really sure what I had for dinner last night. Twas a great day!

  • May 21, 2010, 11:27 p.m. CST

    I remember right after leaving the theater....

    by IHaveSeenEveryEpisodeOfPrisonBreak

    My mom took me to Jamesway department store and bought be Luke in Dagobah figure and a Snow Trooper. I actually remember the figures I got that day an am not really sure what I had for dinner last night. Twas a great day!

  • May 21, 2010, 11:27 p.m. CST

    A box of Snowtroopers, all the standees, every copy of Starlog &

    by BiggusDickus

    Spoilt little shit, were'nt you?

  • May 21, 2010, 11:28 p.m. CST

    I was a 10 year old girl

    by Grendy

    ...When I first saw EMPIRE. Was at Tyrone Mall in St. Petersburg. Went with my older brother and his pal from Hong Kong. They were 15. We saw the first show and came out to see a line all down the mall. Ran into my brother's pal Rickey and he got bullied by him into giving us $10 so we could see it again, and let us cut in line with him. So we did. I had a theory that maybe Lando's man with the radiohead would get Chewie and Leia free faster and they could save Han from Boba Fett. Or that Chewbacca would actually just kill him. It was like if I saw it differently the second time it would change. We got out of the second showing and raced home to tell our mom how we'd seen the best movie ever. Got her to come back to the mall (younger brother was outta town, too bad for him) to get tix for the 6:30 show. Got a pizza while waiting in line to get in and the manager decided to seat people early. He even let us take a whole pizza in the theatre with us. We made friends by sharing it. It's always been a weird kind of pride that I saw EMPIRE three times on opening day. Girls don't get it, generally, but guys give me some respect on that. Thanks for posting this, Harry, and giving us all a chance to share what it meant to us as kids to see this piece of cinema history.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Lando´s man with the radiohead

    by PedroM

    that bald man, right? I always thought it was Vader "disguised" somehow, haha. Good times.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:33 p.m. CST

    30 years and it STILL looks amazing

    by SifoDyasJr.

    When you watch it now, you never really think of it as being made in 1980. It looks timeless and probably always will.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Pleeease give us both versions on Blu!!

    by darthwaz1

    the original and whatever cgi Yoda upgrade version Lucas wants.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:39 p.m. CST

    PedroM & BiggusDickus

    by Grendy

    It's killin' me that I can't think of his name. And I don't wanna wiki or IMDB it. Ah well... can't have everything. And BD... you're an asshat. Don't be a jerk about what Harry had. I was lucky to get the extra action figs that my brother had dupes of. No one bought the girl the G.I. Joes or Star Wars figs.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:47 p.m. CST

    I had to look it up...

    by PedroM

    On imdb he´s listed as Lando´s Aide.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:48 p.m. CST

    PedroM and Grendy

    by BiggusDickus

    PedroM - it was 'Lobot'<p>Grendy - We were poor in our house. B&W TV until '85. There was a kid at school like Harry, whose father bought him everything. He used to bring all the toys in to show off. He ended up doing shit in his exams and getting an 'executive' job at his Dad's firm when he left school. Saw him a few months back. He drives a Lotus. Git.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:49 p.m. CST


    by classicgamenerd

    His name is "Lobot" at least that's what the figure was called

  • May 21, 2010, 11:49 p.m. CST

    When Luke just fell back and took a fall down, down, downwn

    by m00kiedood

    That's the big moment for me, after the father reveal and the hand chop.<p> What does Luke do? Does he climb back up and start fighting? Or look for a hug?<p> No.The guy just closes his eyes and finds some kind of recently obtained Jedi peace, and tumbles backward and gives himself up to gravity.<p> And then he falls and falls and falls, and ends up hanging from his knees a mile above the planet. And then slips further .. and then hangs on again ...<p> Only to drop himself down onto the top of the freaking Millennium Falcon, where Lando rises up with balls of steel on top of the bloody world. I mean:<p> HOLY CRAP. Seriously. That and "I know", and the look at his robot hand, and the distance shot of the galaxy.<p> I defy you, Hollywood. Go ahead and make something that powerful again today, for a 12 year old boy.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Lobot, huh?

    by PedroM

    Still Vader disguised to me, hehe.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Ahhhh yes!

    by BlueHawaiiSurfer

    I was also 8 and remember this very well. Back then we didn't get the midnight showings, we had to wait until 10am that day. I was dropped off early with a friend and waited in line for hours. Someone handed out free posters, which I still have. I remember that being one of the most packed, loudest, most vocal audiences I've ever been a part of. What a great way to see such a great movie. Probably the most fun I've ever had at the movies. GOOD TIMES!!!

  • May 21, 2010, 11:55 p.m. CST

    no ESB is not looking amazing today

    by ominus

    because that fat lard GL is not willing to make a proper transfer of the ORIGINAL film into the Bluyray or even Dvd format.the guy has the biggest sfx company in the world and i still have the original trilogy into avi files because i am still waiting for the perfect technical release of the original films.jesus.

  • May 21, 2010, 11:56 p.m. CST

    I was 14 when ESB came out...

    by Blanket-Man

    ...and I couldn't have cared less. I hadn't even seen Star Wars at that point. I was a huge comic book geek, but sci-fi bored me. The first time I saw ESB was about a week before Jedi came out - I watched a lousy bootleg copy on VHS. I started to realize what I was missing...!

  • May 21, 2010, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Best. Birthday. Ever.

    by Turd Furgeson

    Parents took me to see this on my 5th birthday, May 21st, 1980.. It was EPIC! I remember it like it was yesterday.. Now today I turn 35 and I would like to go back and experience that 2 hours all over again..

  • May 22, 2010, 12:03 a.m. CST

    I still watch my original VHS boxset

    by Jaka

    That black one. Remember that one? I have that. And I have the silver widescreen VHS box set and the silver widescreen DVD box set (that came with a bonus materials disc). .... damn you George Lucas!! lol

  • May 22, 2010, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Vaders Pumpkin Head

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    Totally freaked me the fuck out!!! Though I can't remember if I saw it in the theater or not...I was only five, but already smokin the reefer. Loved to listen to the soundtrack LP with my homies and get all crazy to that Cantina Band track. I also remember totally mangling my Vader lightsaber blade from battling it out with my neighbor like a couple of badasses. Those days were golden I tells ya.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:21 a.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    "WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN!!!"<p> I dunno...maybe because you have your nose so far up Lucas's ass, that when it's even briefly removed, you immediately go into postpartum depression?<p> I'll be seeing you around, bitch.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Only Star Wars and Empire are canon...

    by darthwaz1

    Jedi, prequels, cartoons, holiday special, books/comics can go fuck themselves, they only serve to rape my childhood...

  • May 22, 2010, 12:21 a.m. CST

    I have that letterbox VHS boxed set.

    by RPLocke

    It came with a book and some certificate and the From Star Wars to Jedi special. I have a really old VHS tape that has the Making of Star Wars and Making of ESB on it.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:22 a.m. CST

    The Vader as father reveal wasn't spoiled for me...

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    But that next Christmas was, cause my big brother had found where my parents had stashed our gifts in the trunk of the family station wagon. There was no Santa, but I got me a Hoth playset and a bitchin Snowspeeder anyway.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:28 a.m. CST

    This is the only GREAT StarWars film.

    by billybigbollocks

    The script is spot on and the direction fantastic. A tight, well constructed film, that stands head and shoulders above ALL the others. If only the director had made the 3rd one too! Because he is the determainingly different factor, so it must be down to him.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:29 a.m. CST


    by Sedani

    still to this day best starwars land or space battle. HOTH!

  • May 22, 2010, 12:31 a.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    "BurnHollywood, what are you talking about?"<p> Long story short, ESB is the best of the movies because it was the only one where Lucas recognized his role as creator and producer and left most of the heavy lifting to others. Had he pursued the same approach to the Prequels, we would probably have a total of six movies to celebrate.<p> I'm starting to see some individuals on this TB take that "Don't you DARE say anything about Lucas on this most hallowed of anniversaries!" Sorry, but I'll say whatever the fuck I like...don't get bitchy with me, fanboy.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Stanley Kubrick'sThe Shining turns 30 on Sunday

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    Please please please do a talkback for that one too. That'd be fantastic to hear everybody's thoughts on that one as well. Two very important films for me celebrating their anniversary on the same weekend. Thank Jebus Kubrick never prequelized that one!

  • May 22, 2010, 12:35 a.m. CST

    I saw the VHS twice in 24hrs, in 1986

    by billybigbollocks

    Rented on a visit to releatives since we had no video player and never went to the cinema.That was my first time, I also PAID to watch the re-issue at the cinema in the 90's I just remembered. I'm tempted time and again by this movie, but after watching it it just lulls me into a false sense of security and I sometimes make the horrible mistake of watching ROTJ, utterly awful. See that whole director issue!

  • May 22, 2010, 12:37 a.m. CST

    Biggus and 'childhood rape'

    by Grendy

    Biggus... I was not rich either, dude. Single mom, three kids. Power and phone off more times then I can remember. My point is that it didn't make me a prick with a chip on my shoulder. There have been times in these last 8 years where I have had up to FIVE paying jobs at any given time. This has nothing to do with my love of Star Wars, but I wanted to tell you to get a grip and stop whining. ... And for those with the 'raped my childhood' fetish... get over yourselves, too. A: it's poor phrasing and makes you seem like the nerdiest fanboys that everyone else makes fun of and B: you know what...? Patton Oswalt has already dealt with it, can't you? His theory is that if he had a Delorean that he'd go back in time and smack Lucas with a shovel for Eps I-III. We get it. And JEDI didn't 'rape' your childhood. You probably thought the Ewoks were cool when you first saw them, and it's only now that you're a bitter asshat of a grown-up that you try to make that feeling of WOW and the wonder of those first 3 films seem childish and petty so that you're cooler in other peoples' eyes. FUCK THAT. Yes...the Ewoks were originally supposed to be Wookies, and that would have been cool. But I am okay with them being short furry dudes with a secret vengeful streak. Plus w/o Ewoks for Wookies we'd have never seen the CGI Wookies in SITH. Oh wait... damn. I just made my own point. Where's Oswalt and his shovel when you need 'em?

  • May 22, 2010, 12:38 a.m. CST


    by Jaka

    The post I questioned was a bunch of fragmented sentences that made no sense the way you put them together as paragraphs. If you'd written what you did just now the first time there would have been no need for me to question you. And if you're going to try and be a tough guy then do it right. Don't apologize for saying whatever the fuck you want. At least I could respect that. Starting your tough guy act with "I'm sorry" makes the proclamation that follows a joke. And you called me a fanboy. Ooooo! How shall I ever recover from that!? lol

  • May 22, 2010, 12:38 a.m. CST

    I remember people seriously getting into that duel...

    by BurnHollywood

    When Luke gets that one shot in, and Vader goes "Gawwwrrrr!", this big whoop and cheer echoed around the theater.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Harry's AOTC and TPM reviews are fucking hilarious!

    by Ganymede3001

    I can't believe I was actually conned into believing those movies were going to be good. I figured, if Harry liked it, i'd like it. That's why Harry's reviews are to never be trusted.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:44 a.m. CST

    Actually, I always hated Ewoks

    by Jaka

    Even when I was a 11. I thought it was really obvious they were people (although I though kids at the time) in teddy bear suits. It really disappointed me because everything else in the entire trilogy was so real that the suspension of disbelief was effortless. <P>Always thought the "raped my childhood" line was pretty ridiculous. The reality of the situation is that people allow him to affect their memories of those times. Just, ya know, don't. This thread is proof enough that most of us have great memories of the original trilogy. Just hold on to those.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:50 a.m. CST

    re: Pac-Man 30th

    by Chief Joseph

    Go check out

  • May 22, 2010, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Jaka, is English your first language?!

    by BurnHollywood

    Seriously...if you're having to translate from another language, maybe I can understand your confusion. Otherwise, you're on your own...I don't feel like using smaller words and shorter sentences. I'm not apologizing for shit...that's sarcasm. And I'm using the word "fanboy" rhetorically, not directed at you specifically.<p> I should think my meaning in my earlier message was pretty clear...Lucas is an egotistical asshole who thinks he did it all on his own, as if the fans who went nuts for his original trilogy and made him a star were just witnesses to his greatness, and didn't collaborate in his success by giving him their money again and again. That's why we're stuck with the "improved" "Special Editions" instead of the originals we fell in love with, and why shit like Jar Jar Binks and "Lil' Anakin" was foisted on us.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Actually prequel storylines are better....

    by darthwaz1

    the movies just aren't executed as well as the OT

  • May 22, 2010, 12:54 a.m. CST


    by Rocco Curioso

    Are you referring to the 1995 THX digitally-remastered letterbox VHS box set? I have that too. Saw it at Blockbuster and paid $55 for it without hesitation. Worth every penny.<P>I was 7 years old when I saw ESB in the theatre. Totally blown away by the grandeur of it. Fast forward to 1997, and saw it again in its Special Edition rerelease (in a theatre completely empty except for me, wearing a huge grin as the music thundered over the opening crawl). As a purely technical achievement, IMO it has few equals. The editing is perhaps the best of ANY movie, and as pure immersive entertainment it is rivaled only by "Raiders Of The Lost Ark". Not just the best Star Wars movie, but also one of the top 10-20 movies ever made.<P>I think (then as now) that Lucas wasn't pissed at Irwin Kershner so much for going over budget, but rather that he'd surpassed the first movie in every way (no small feat).

  • May 22, 2010, 12:55 a.m. CST

    I was only 3

    by Kyller_Miller

    But I remember seeing it that first time. Sort of. My parents were pretty young when I was born. My father was only 21 when empire came out and was excited to see another star wars movie after he loved the first one so much 3 years earlier. My earliest film memories are this movie. The scrolling titles of Empire, being terrified of most of the rest of it! Not knowing a damn thing that was going on. Somehow still loving it and stopping off at the Zellars (I was living in Canada at the time) to get some toys on the way home. 3 years later, when I was six, I had seen the first 2 countless times, knew everything about it, and was just as excited as my father to go see it. So my love of films started with empire.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:56 a.m. CST

    So Harry, how about no more spoilers from YOU??!!

    by Droogie Alex

    You do it all the time (Iron Man) and it's not fair. I refuse to read any of you posts until after I've seen whatever film you're about to ruin. Think about your 10 year old self, perhaps.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:57 a.m. CST


    by DarthChunk

    This is a good post and I think you should work on doing this more often All the best everybody! I LOVE YOU! I KNOW best Star WArs moment ever!

  • May 22, 2010, 1 a.m. CST


    by uberman

    I must be a teeny minority, even then, cause I went expecting to be blown away. Whay I got was fakey bad guys who fell down on cue to weapons that didnt even scratch their very plastic looking armor; Boredom; A totally fake man in a suit cantina scene; a truly wimpy leading man; my next door neighbors spaceship models looking like what they were; campy kitsch, etc. Now, that being said, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK totally redeemed the series and I competely bought it. Anyways, glad ya'll had a good time. Good movie experiances are rare, so cherish it!

  • May 22, 2010, 1:10 a.m. CST

    I was 10 and some friends spoiled it for me, too!

    by Zardoz

    Two friends at school saw it before I did and they told me Vader was Luke's Daddy, but "That's impossible!", so I didn't believe them: I thought they were making it up. It was doubly horrifying in the theater when I saw it for myself. (I searched my feelings and knew it to be true!) At the time, I was blown away by the movie, but I didn't like it quite as much as Star Wars, or Episode IV, as it had fairly recently been re-titled. (I went to the re-release of that film the year prior for the exclusive trailer for Empire) While the SFX were mind-blowing and we finally got to see Luke fighting Vader with a lightsaber, the movie was very dark, especially for a young kid. (No happy ending and Han Solo frozen in carbonite? Waah!) It was only with time and maturity that I eventually recognized Empire as the truly great film that it was. (and one of the best film sequels ever made. Period!) Happy anniversary "Empire Strikes Back": the Force is strong with this one!

  • May 22, 2010, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Rocco Curioso

    by RPLocke

    Hell Yeah. I think I paid 100 bucks for it when it first came out. VHS tapes were way expensive back then so getting four for 100 was considered cheap. It was letterbox, but not anamorphic, so the picture was about as big as a dollar bill, lol.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:16 a.m. CST

    Rocco Curioso

    by RPLocke

    Actually, this is set came out in 1992. It came in a nice box with a SW hologram on the front and it was the very first time all the movies were together letterboxed.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:18 a.m. CST

    Alas, I was only 1 year old at the time...

    by Double M

    but ROTJ... at 4 years old that was the be all end all pinnacle of movie-going. First movie my old man took me to with 3 older brothers. I loved those furry fucking Ewoks. Still do. You get that kind of nostalgia and there is no amount of bad-mouthing that can sway my mind. Jedi was AWESOME!!

  • May 22, 2010, 1:20 a.m. CST

    That fucking novelization!

    by nowitsdark

    I, too, had the twist spoiled. D. Pascuzzi, I've never forgiven you!

  • May 22, 2010, 1:20 a.m. CST

    i was only one so....

    by billyhitchcock1 all the star wars films my introduction was tv in mid-80's. still remember the excitement.

  • Seeing the Falcon in the asteroids hooked me right away (even without color).

  • May 22, 2010, 1:25 a.m. CST

    I thought my VHS set was older than 92

    by Jaka

    But I just tried to look it up and that's the oldest one I found. So I guess that's it. Not sure the covers are right, though. ....damn you George Lucas!

  • May 22, 2010, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Second showing of Empire

    by Sumatran_Rat_Monkey

    on opening day. Third in line with my little brother and Mom. Mind blowing. I couldn't see the 20th Century logo open and music without getting goosebumps after that.

  • Great vision. Great direction. Great script. Great cinematography. Leia: I love you. Han: I know. Need I say more?

  • May 22, 2010, 1:31 a.m. CST

    Varsity Theater, Davis California

    by ScienceMan

    I was six. What I remember most was the drive home from the theater. It was near midnight, which was huge, our parents letting us stay up that late, which helped to cement just what a Big Deal the movie was, even to grown-ups. My best friend at the time, Tom Schrupp, rode home in the "trunk" of my mom's crappy Toyota hatchback so that we could pretend to be turret gunners on the Millennium Falcon shooting at the cars behind us (even though ESB didn't feature any turret scenes, it's what we wanted to do). I have never been so jazzed after seeing any movie ever since. Tom and I stayed up all night talking about what we had just seen, and debating if Vader was really Luke's father (I didn't buy it, thought it was a phony ploy to bring him to the dark side). I miss Tom Schrupp, but I refuse to submit to the tyranny of Facebook to look him up. That's something else I remember about those 80s days, that's only possible in retrospect. There was a certain immediacy and import to being with actual friends, standing in lines for movies, anticipating them and speculating on them, without any internet or "social media" to mediate. Guess I'm an old (36) fogey who just doesn't get it, but I think that Facebook and Twitter and all that bullshit is somehow doing us more of a disservice than a favor. If I could go back to an 80s world, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Yoda, Frank Oz

    by VibroCount

    I was nearly thirty when Empire first showed. We (first wife, 9 year old son, 4 year old daughter & I) went to see it at the newly divided in half Century Theatre (which originally opened to the widescreen version of Gone with the Wind). The audience was nearly silent when Yoda shows up in the swamp. He asks Luke about needing some help and my daughter says (quite loudly in this quiet theater) "It's Grover wearing a mask!" The audience laughed for minutes, blocking the next bits of dialog. Throughout the rest of the movie, people would laugh every time Yoda spoke. "Yup, Grover." "Sounds just like him."

  • May 22, 2010, 1:35 a.m. CST

    As for the Jedi and other haters...

    by Jobacca

    As a kid,I never knew ANYONE who hated on Jedi...or the Ewoks. Same for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Its only been in recent years,and only on the internet,have I ever heard people bitch about those two films. And even if you are one of those joyless bastards who whine about Ewoks,you have to admit that BOTH those movies are a damn sight better than what passes for cinema today.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:39 a.m. CST

    My story is similar to many of you...

    by WeylandYutani

    Star Wars and Empire are among my earliest recollections. <P> I was five years old when my father bought advanced tickets that looked more like concert or baseball tickets rather than standard movie tickets - this was an event, not just a summer movie. Actually, he did this for me with all of the Lucas and Spielberg films, until I was old enough to go with friends and it is one of the kindest things he ever did for me because my father has never been much of a fantasy/SF fan. He did it because he knew how much I enjoyed the stories and I think he had fun watching me in a state of pure, unrefined glee. <P> We went to the long gone University Theatre at Bloor St and Avenue Rd in Toronto. The line was huge! This truly was busting the city block and even though we had tickets, I was very concerned we would not get in. In the end we got seats on the balcony (the University Theatre near UofT was a throwback to another era of cinema, when movie houses had huge 70mm screens with vaulted ceiling and gold painted banisters and faux red velvet seats). <P> I remember everyone was having a great time in the theatre. Some older kids (they seemed like grown ups at the time, but I am sure they were only 16 or 18 years old in retrospect) were tossing fleets of paper airplanes off the balcony. The thing is, everyone was enjoying it and cheering! The people on the lower level were chanting "more planes! more planes!" and when their collective wish was granted, they cheered even louder! Everyone there understood that this was a place and moment where everyone let their hair down and just had a good time. It was a cultural phenomenon not seen until Titanic some 16 years later. <P> I did not have much information about Empire going in... there was no interweb in those days to spoil. I knew Han Solo got frozen, which I assumed would happen on the ice planet. I knew 3PO was damaged because I saw him on Chewbacca's back - There were pics of Ford in his Hoth gear and 3PO’s scattered state in the local newspaper a few days before which I studied and read obsessively for days. Also, I knew that Luke had a brown/tan suit because I already had that action figure and was the star of my kindergarten class during show and tell that week. And... I had preordered, with proofs of purchase, the mail in Boba Fett, who I was desperate to know more about, because of course, that Kenner action figure looked so bad ass, even before I knew what "Bad Ass" was. <P> I have to admit, at five years old, Empire was a bit intense… specifically the carbon freeze scene and Luke’s final duel with Vader. But THE revelation at the end boggled the mind. My little five year old head could hardly comprehend it and this seeded months of school yard debate as to Vader’s assertion and if it was true… we would have to wait three years. <P> After the screening, my father asked if I wanted to see it again and of course I said “yes” even though I could not really understand what I had just seen – the Rebel Alliance had just gotten their asses handed to them… where was the happy ending? Why didn’t the heroes defeat Vader again and live happily ever after, at least until Revenge of the Jedi? So we snuck into the next screening after going out to the lobby to buy the novelty oversized Marvel comic adaptation and snacks. A douche move in retrospect, but it was worth it. The first screening was SO overwhelming to me, so intense, so visually sweeping and add to that that I was excited beyond belief made the second viewing help me begin to grasp what Empire was all about. The next day, a kid in my neighbourhood told me he thought Empire was “boring” and asked what I thought. I was not sure, but I knew I liked it and that this was not a “bigger and better” carbon copy of Star Wars. While Star Wars was a fairy tale mixed with an epic Greek poem, Empire was a dark fever dream that does not relent. But in the end, like many of Spielberg’s films, it was like Lucas took our hands and said “OK… I am going to tell you a story… there will be robots and knights and princesses and spaceships and even monsters – it will be scary, but it will also be fun.” <P> For the rest of the summer and into the winter we no longer played “Star Wars” and started to play “Empire”. Canadian winters are the perfect substitute for the ice planet Hoth and we endlessly reenacted the Rebel struggle against the Galactic Empire. That Christmas was a Empire Strikes Back bonanza! Action figures, playsets, vehicles, even a 12 inch Boba Fett! It was enough for any kid to live on until the summer of ’83 and the next windfall of Star Wars tie-ins. <P> In the end, Empire it one of my top three films of all time and I have to thank Uncle George for that. He may have screwed the pooch on the prequels, but Empire has stood the test of time. To this day, Frank Oz’s comic and soulful performance makes me believe that that latex Yoda puppet was some freaky little green little person Lucas found and cast, he is THAT convincing even today. The film’s impact on my life is immeasurable: I went to film school. I worked in the industry for a few years before shifting my focus to TV journalism and documentaries – but the essence of telling a story with visual grammar is still there and Star Wars and later Empire was a huge component of that. <P> Happy 30th Empire, you don’t look a day over 10. <P>

  • May 22, 2010, 1:39 a.m. CST

    Hey wait now, I didn't say I hate Jedi

    by Jaka

    I said I hate Ewoks, and I always have. And although I love the cycle chase through the trees, I've never been particularly fond of most of the outdoor Endor scenes, either. These are things I've been discussing with my friends in the real world since very early in my teenage years (a long time ago). But I still love Jedi. I love the entire original trilogy. Jedi is just my least favorite of the three. <P>I'm also a very open fan of The Last Crusade AND Temple of Doom. They're my two favorite of the Indy movies I choose to admit exist (the first three). I've walked through more than one verbal beat down on these talkbacks for expressing my love of Temple and Crusade.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:40 a.m. CST


    by Jaka

    Awesome story. Frank Oz rules... or, ruled.. I guess.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Glad to see Harry bring back the essence of AICN.

    by CodeName

  • May 22, 2010, 1:44 a.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    Thanks fucking John Williams.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:48 a.m. CST

    Thought Vader was lying

    by obriensg1

    When I was like 7 or 8 my dad said 'You've never seen the Star Wars films. Now its time'. This was circa 1994 or 1995. Our apartment was not far from a video store and every Friday night was 'camp out'. Mom would go out with her gal pals and Dad and I stayed in. We would rent a movie from the corner store, and eat pizza or spaghetti, followed by various junk foods. Then we might build some sort of ten with a big blanket and the couches and I would sleep there till like 11 AM Saturday. Well anyway, he rented the first film for one of those nights. I was already familiar with Star Trek films 1-6, and a few episodes of TOS, which were hard to come by back then. Well 'Star Wars' blew my mind. When Dad said there were 2 more, I was like 'Let's rent them for this weekend!' He said 'Nope, we're going to wait'. So the following Friday we rented 'ESB' and I was left with that horrible cliffhanger. As a kid though, I assumed Vader was lying. It took Yoda confirming the awful news one week later in 'ROTJ' for be to believe it. Seeing the film inspired me to hook my best friends (who were all in the same family) on it, much to their parent's chagrin. The oldest girl is now obsessed with it, even at 24.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Never thought Vader was lying because of the...

    by Jaka

    ..."Trust your instincts, you know this to be true", followed by the scream and fall. But thinking about it now I can definitely see why so many people though that was the case.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Saw them totally out of order

    by darthvedder81

    ROTJ first on NBC, then ANH on the Disney Channel (of all places), finally a friend's VHS copy of ESB. ESB is great but it's not my favorite Star Wars (probably tied for 3rd). I appreciate it more now then I did as a kid but frankly it was then one I watched the least.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:58 a.m. CST


    by darthvedder81

    You are totally right. I never knew I was supposed to hate Ewoks and Crusade until internet message boards. Both the Indy and Star Wars trilogies were viewed as the pinnacle of cinematic entertainment among most of my peers. I kind of long for those pre-Internet days when we didn't spoil ourselves by reading 715 reviews before actually seeing the movie and then spend the next 5 weeks arguing about it afterwards.

  • May 22, 2010, 2 a.m. CST

    Frank Oz deserved on Oscar

    by darthvedder81

    You have to give mad props to GL for trying to get him nominated at least. The Academy told him that "puppetry wasn't acting" which made Lucas furious as some of the earliest forms of acting was done with puppetry.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:03 a.m. CST

    I was seven years old.

    by Ironhelix

    We didn't go to see it on opening night, but the secret stayed unspoiled until I DID see it. For a little kid like me, It was a big deal. However, for me, the REAL shit was when Vader throws the Emperor down the shaft in Return of the Jedi. I will NEVER forget the elation, and the sense of soaring joy I felt when he saves his son's life. The whole audience cheered, and I was a changed little boy. I wanted nothing more than for Vader to get better, and fly around the galaxy with his son at his side. My heart heart broke when he died. Ahhhh... to be a kid again.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:06 a.m. CST

    I didn't really buy into the Vader father thing

    by RPLocke

    I thought Vader was trying to trick Luke to kill him, so when Yoda said that he was his dad I was like, "Wow!" I don't diss ROJ at all because when the Emperor was killing Luke and Vader was just standing there people in the theater were freaking out that Vader wouldn't save Luke.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Harry is right...

    by getsomefilm

    Where the fuck is my blu-ray George Lucas? Do I really have to celebrate this momentous anniversay watching star wars in 480 lines of resolution? I love how Lucasfilm said they refused to release on dvd for years because they wanted to wait for hi def, now blu-ray is 4 years old and we are crossing our fingers on getting it in 2 years. I thought you liked money George?

  • May 22, 2010, 2:09 a.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    In Chicago a few weeks ago, Steve Sansweet said they're working on the Blue Rays. It will be a big set with all the deleted scenes and both versions of the movies.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:12 a.m. CST

    Hey, but now he's converting them to 3D

    by Jaka

    So maybe we'll have to wait for that before he releases the Blu-Ray sets. Siiiiigh. And... damn you George Lucas!

  • May 22, 2010, 2:15 a.m. CST

    What i remember is the trailer

    by hallmitchell

    Seeing chewie's head come over the icebank. I also remember hearing they cut open a creature's stomach and Luke hides in it. I was grossed yet fascinated.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:18 a.m. CST

    The other scene that blew me away

    by hallmitchell

    Was that bounty hunter line up scene. I got every single one of those as toys/action figures. IG-88 etc.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:26 a.m. CST

    i was 5 years old harry...cherry popped!

    by deadraiser

    holy shit,i just popped my cherry!this is my first log in and talkback post! saw it opening night at the chief theatre in downtown pueblo colorado.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:35 a.m. CST

    I watched it on the glass in front of the projector:

    by Playkins

    For some reason I was fascinated by how it looked as streaks of light projected through the glass. I spent the movie turned around watching it up behind the crowd. I was a weird kid.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:35 a.m. CST

    I was raised knowing Vader was Luke's father... :(

    by George Newman

    Born in '84. Parents had ROTJ on VHS which I watched religiously from years 3 to 6. I had tiny memories of imagery from ANH and Empire, but ROTJ was what I really knew. So tragically I never got to experience the surprise of the reveal. I just always knew that Vader was his father. <p> Nowadays I try to simulate a first-viewing experience, but alas, I will never truly know. *blows brains out*

  • May 22, 2010, 2:36 a.m. CST

    I watched ROTJ so much parents made me wear headphones

    by George Newman

    I watched ROTJ so much my parents made me wear headphones

  • May 22, 2010, 2:38 a.m. CST

    redtom-Know what you mean..

    by steverogers5

    My cinema when showing a double bill of Die Hard I & II on II's opening night, showed the sequel first then the original(!) Since they thought some people were just wanting to see the advanced screening of Die Hard II and would leave afterwards. Idiots! So I can see how that might have happened to you with Empire. <p> Thankfully though, I never had that problem with Empire because my old theatre had the good sense to show them in the right order.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:39 a.m. CST


    by CodeName


  • May 22, 2010, 2:47 a.m. CST

    ANH was the very first movie broadcast on the sci fi channel

    by RPLocke

    Back when it came on in the 90s. Now of course, the channel can't even afford to air it.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:47 a.m. CST

    For those who haven't already read it:

    by Rocco Curioso

    I recommend "The Secret History Of Star Wars". Google it as "the secret history of star wars pdf" to download it in that format, or you can buy it in print at Amazon.<P>Fascinating stuff, particularly the alternate ending to ROTJ. A must-read for any Star Wars fan.<P>@getsomefilm--- fuckin' A right, bud. The OT on Blu-Ray would be amazing, and line Uncle George's pockets with even more green (his favorite color). A win-win scenario, to be sure.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:53 a.m. CST

    in the OC the saturday after it opened

    by heroic_duo

    I remember the trailer for Blues Brothers beforehand. A stunner of a film experience. I was 11, my daughter's current age. I remember thinking "I have to wait three years?"

  • May 22, 2010, 3:08 a.m. CST

    As for my experiences with Empire:-

    by steverogers5

    Saw it when I was six years old in the old East Kilbride cinema 9 miles outside of Glasgow. My mom, who would sadly pass away 3 years later, dropped me off in the cinema to see a double bill of both Star Wars and Empire. (God Bless you Mom!) I'd only just seen Star Wars on it's tv premiere not long before this, (Though my Dad says he took me to a showing of it at a drive in in America when we were on holiday, I don't remember that. Because unlike some folks here I can't really remember anything before I was 4 years old!)<p> Like most folks here I was blown away by the shock of the events in the film. (I don't know how the hell I managed it, given I did pick up the comic quite often but some how I hadn't read the revelation scene)But in the 3 years afterward, I think I sort of strted to resent the film because it meant Han wasn't in the comic strips, being replaced by Lando, who I felt didn't deserve to fill his shoes. <p> My dad took us to see Jedi in Glasgow I think to try and cheer us up after what happened to my mum, and my one big memory of it is that my little brother who is now built like Schwarzenegger, and as tough as nails, wept like a little girl when seeing Luke being electrocuted by the Emperor. (Which of course he denies to this very day.) <p> Then it seemed like it was about 4 or 5 years before they brought both Empire & Jedi out on video to rent. (During which time neither was on tv) and I remember renting Jedi out, and then as almost an afterthought taking Empire to the counter as well, (because I'd started to remember it as the one with the disappointing ending) I though that over that weekend I'd only watch Empire once and Jedi the rest of the two days I had it, but instead ended up being totally blown by Empire and being slightly disappointed by Jedi, to the extent that I hardly ever watched it instead playing Empire over and over again, before I had to take it back. (Back then buying a rented video cassette cost something like between £60 to £80!)<p> When the special editions came out of course I went to see them, and agree with what many of the posters have said above..(yeah the vader going to the shuttle does annoying break up the pace..)though Empire thankfully didn't have enough done to it to ruin it like Star Wars had. (Though I'm glad that, thanks to Hamill, they've since gotton rid of that scream!) This time I remember seeing Empire on the biggest screen in Scotland. (The old 52ft screen on Sauchiehall street) and sat down the front row just to be totally immersed in it. And to this day I don't think I've ever enjoyed a cinema experience more than that visit, as I think I was finally old enough to really appreciate waht a true masterpiece that film was. I honestly don't think we'll ever have a sci fi/fantasy film that great ever again. It's near flawless. (The only thing that ever bothered me, and it doesn't irk me that much, is that I wished Harrison Ford had played the 'I know' line a little differently. i.e If he'd given her a little lopsided Han Solo smirk as he said the line, and then went all serious, I think the scene would have been truly perfect. But it's still good as..<p> Wow, this has been a real trip down memory lane..Thanks Harry! (Oh and Sorry you had the twist spoiled for you. I would have ripped your friend a new one for doing that to me! LOL!)

  • May 22, 2010, 3:18 a.m. CST

    The reason Vader told Luke

    by gantoo

    that he was his father was becuase he wanted Luke to kill the Emperor. The Emperor had foreseen this. Then Luke and Vader could rule the galaxy as father and son. Vader wanted to end the war and bring order to the galaxy, he was a complex villain, not completely bad. He just had his own vision of how things should be, and he was damn good at getting things done. Yoda and Obi One had taught Luke to hate Vader. They both had a beef with Vader and wanted Luke to share in their hatred. So tell me, who was the real true villain? Removing myself as a Star Wars fan, I must say that Vader was the best Villain in movie history.

  • May 22, 2010, 3:32 a.m. CST

    3 Trilogies...

    by killianx

    I can say I remember that as well! in fact i want to say i remember actually seeing an interview with Lucas On TV where he said that.

  • May 22, 2010, 3:40 a.m. CST


    by McDylbot

    I was actually in utero when my parents went to see this. Apparantly I was kicking like crazy all the way through. Seems fitting it's now one of my favourite films...

  • May 22, 2010, 3:42 a.m. CST


    by windomearle39

    Well you can tell from the amount of responses on here how fondly Empire is remembered. I saw it with my family in Leicester Square, London and was blown away with it's quality and story arc. In hindsight now - yes I still do love it and it is one of my favourite films ever but it does make me wonder how the hell did they get all the prequels so wrong?

  • May 22, 2010, 3:49 a.m. CST

    I was living in Alaska at the time...

    by vettebro

    Back then Alaska didn't get new releases immediately. The one theater in town (3 screens) would get "new releases" about 1 year after everyone else. I did have "BC cable" so I was exposed to new trailers. So there I was watching TV one day and bam! Empire Strikes Back trailer! I was sooooo excited, but sad at the sametime. I would have to wait about a year for it to show at my local theater! Fuck that! I ended up arranging a visit to Vegas to see my aunt and uncle. It was a a ruse. I just wanted to see ESB. The day after I landed I made sure we saw it. ESB is still my favorite movie of the series.

  • May 22, 2010, 4:07 a.m. CST

    By far the most fucking awesome STAR WARS movie ever!!!

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Don't get me started on the horrible prequel trilogy...

  • May 22, 2010, 4:08 a.m. CST

    please stop reminding me how old i am

    by brabon300

    fuckin wasted youth

  • May 22, 2010, 4:09 a.m. CST


    by Rocco Curioso

    Your indignation is well played, sir.<P>Note to Uncle George: Just give us the OT on Blu-Ray in its pristine (rather than its Special Edition bastard son) form... and we shall all be happy campers, and make you another few $$$ as well.

  • May 22, 2010, 4:56 a.m. CST

    Nice Stories

    by barnaby jones

    I was still hanging around in my old man's undies at the time, but watching the video was still unFUCKINGbelievable

  • May 22, 2010, 5:01 a.m. CST

    "I am your father..."

    by Baryonyx

    "...and in the next film you'll find out that Princess Leia is your sister, so I guess Han will be your brother-in-law once they get hitched. And I hope you don't mind that the guys who hid you away from me (when I became evil) decided to put your sister within a frickin' royal family whilst you got dumped in that desert shit-hole I originally came from. Hey, come to think of it, ain't it weird that I never thought of looking for you back at my old place?"

  • May 22, 2010, 5:20 a.m. CST

    I was 3.

    by fatjesuschrysler

    But I still saw it in the theater! Of course I barely remember seeing in the theater, at least I can say I was there. One of the greatest movies ever made. Period.<P> Sometimes I throw in my old VHS version (original- not special edition!) just to watch the lightsabre dual in the carbon chamber with the silhouetted Vader and Luke and the contrasting warm/cold smoke in the background (as if I really had to explain the scene)-FUCKING BEAUTIFUL! That one scene is INFINTELY better than anything else combined in any movie... EVER!!!

  • May 22, 2010, 5:41 a.m. CST

    I love my original trilogy stereo DVDs

    by L. Ron Bumquist

    I don't want any matte lines erasing digitally thank you very much.

  • May 22, 2010, 6 a.m. CST

    Sandusky Mall Cinemas, Sandusky, OH.

    by Flint420

    Me & my Dad. All was right with the world.

  • May 22, 2010, 6:01 a.m. CST

    "I am your father..."

    by Baryonyx

    That line of dialogue. Every Star Wars fan says how that's the most devastating line in the series. And I agree, it IS devastating: because this is where the rot set in. Some Hollywood-types love to make things personal in their scripts. I can imagine the script meeting: "I know! Let's make Darth Luke's lad - that'll make it more personal!" But this makes the important plot point in the first movie (okay, it's 'part 4' now) look really far-fetched: basically, in Star Wars, Luke's life is changed when he stumbles accidentally across the hologram message hidden within R2D2. This sends him off on his adventure. But the 'I am your father' revelation in Empire Strikes Back means that, in Star Wars, not only did Luke accidentally come across the hologram message, he also just happens to be the son of the evil dude the rebels are trying to bring down in that message. Talk about against-all-the-odds coincidences! I do like THe Empire Strikes Back, though I do think that all the best set pieces take place in the first half of the film.

  • May 22, 2010, 6:06 a.m. CST

    "I am your mother..."

    by BumLove

    "My what?" <p> "No, uh, your father...I'm your father..."

  • May 22, 2010, 6:20 a.m. CST

    Those were the golden days of film!

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    When all you had was a trailer and maybe a newspaper/magazine article or two. It was also a time when these big films were rare -- maybe 2 or 3 of them a year. Which made them special. These days, it's a new FX blockbuster every week, and you've seen half the movie on the internet already and discussed its plot and characters on message boards for a year or more. There's just no magic in anticipating a new film these days, not like it was 30 years ago.

  • May 22, 2010, 6:21 a.m. CST

    I remember Empire fondly

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    My mum worked in a cinema, so I got to see it for free, my babysitter a big screen with Dolby surround! XD

  • May 22, 2010, 6:25 a.m. CST

    We were also too poor to buy action figures

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    My dream was to own Boba Fett. My friends at school had him, but my parents were so poor, all we could afford was Pig-man from the bargain bin. While my friends were playing with their AT-ATs and Millennium Falcons and snowspeeders and Taun-Tauns, all I had to play with was Pig-Man. That's what I remember from 30 years ago.

  • May 22, 2010, 6:31 a.m. CST

    the americana

    by austin1

    mastershake and harry, I too remember the Americana fondly. Grew up in Austin in the 70's and saw a lot of great movies on that huge screen. Star Wars was the best though. Was 16 when it came out and was the first movie I ever went to see multiple times. Six in all. The best seats at the Americana were closest to the screen as the picture just swallowed you up. As for ESB I had to watch it on a crap screen thousands of miles away. Didn't detract from the overall experience though, and somehow managed to stay spoiler free until the big reveal. That would be impossible today.

  • May 22, 2010, 6:39 a.m. CST


    by ominus

    fuck off

  • May 22, 2010, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Awesome Harry!

    by NeverTalksBack

    Best story I've heard about this day and of course Harry Knowles lived it. I wasn't even 5 years old when I saw Empire, it had (perhaps sadly) a profound effect on me. It was the 1st time I felt betrayed, seriously betrayed by something I loved. Yeah, I had a pretty good life as a kid. I think Harry wrote about similar feelings before. Empire just turned my little world upside down! I'll never forget that feeling, watching Empire for the 1st time. Still my favorite movie of all time. Oh and thanks George for giving us the damn original movie on DVD so I don't have to listen to the worst Boba Fett line readings (Special special DVD Editions) EVER! :D

  • May 22, 2010, 6:48 a.m. CST

    "I am your father.."

    by ominus

    "wtf are you talking about man? my mother was a whore,she had slept with half the galaxy.even Greedo could have been my father,for what i know"

  • May 22, 2010, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Showcase Cinemas, Louisville Ky, Screen #4

    by Kentucky Colonel

    and it breaks my fucking heart that the theater property sits there empty. All those movies, from Star Wars up to the last, godawful TNG Star Trek movie...all seen on one of the three wonderfully huge screens at the Showcase on Bardstown Road. ---sigh---

  • May 22, 2010, 6:57 a.m. CST

    I still remember the MAD Magazine parody of Return Of The Jedi

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    "Hey Leia, guess what? You're my sister and Darth Vader's my dad and Han's my brother and Chewie's my dog and Artoo's my old Hoover vaccumn cleaner and..."

  • May 22, 2010, 7:01 a.m. CST

    So Darth Vader just called in

    by ominus

    and he said that he is my

  • May 22, 2010, 7:17 a.m. CST

    I remember seeing this at the Cooper in Denver as well...

    by Dranem

    But aside from the walker sequence, don't remember much about it ( I was only 4, how some of you have vivid memories at that age is beyond me :) ). Honestly, my love for Empire grew as I did. When I was a kid I thought the Yoda parts were kind of boring and the original Star Wars and Return of the Jedi were my favorites. It wasn't until I was about 14 did I truly appeciate Empire for what it was.

  • May 22, 2010, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Showcase Cinemas East, Monroeville, Pa..

    by ZaphodBeeblerox

    I was so pumped up to see this movie. I was a sophomore in high school and had the nerve to ask a really cute senior if she wanted to go with me. She said sure and to giver her a call, her number's in the book. Problem was, her last name was pretty common and there was roughly 1/2 page of possible numbers that could be hers since I didnt know her address. Undaunted by something so trivial, I started calling asking for her. After calling about 2 dozen wrong numbers, I finally got the right one and set it up so that we would double date with a friend of mine. Problem was, neither my or I were old enough to drive at the time, so my mother drove us all to the movies. I can remember Jill sitting next to me close enough to feel her warmth and she rested her hand on my thigh as we drove. I was in geek heaven. We arrived at the theater early, got our tickets and picked out our seats, dead center in the theater. Once that 20th Century Fox fanfare started, everyone in that theater seemed to become one entity. Everyone cringed as Han sliced open the Tauntaun to keep Luke warm, we laughed at 'Laugh it up fuzzball' moment in the infirmary, gasped at Han's date with carbonite and recoiled in much the same way Luke did at Vader's revelation. It was a unique experience in a time before spoiler knowledge before going into a movie was so common to have so many people audibly reacting to what they saw on screen as one. Personally, the visuals effects put my jaw on the floor having been raised on Star Trek TOS, Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon and at the time, Buck Rogers. I wondered how questions that were raised, would be answered. Who is the 'other' that Yoda spoke of? What would become of Han? Was Vader telling the truth? Would 3PO ever be less annoying? It was the first time that I saw a movie that left so many threads hanging and questions unanswered. I left the theater with my mind a jumble of images and dialogue, wanting immediately to see it again to see if I may have missed some clues hidden that might answer my questions. When I saw Star Wars in the same theater a few years before, I left the theater thinking that it was a pretty cool movie. After Empire, I left the theater caring about the characters and the situations that they all found themselves in. I only hoped that they would make another one to resolve all of those plot points. The second time my friends and I went to see it that weekend, we dressed as characters from the films with me as Han and it was funny to see others doing the same in pockets of the theater as well. I think it still stands up as one of the best sci-fi films made to date and one that really has to be seen in a theater to be fully appreciated. At least by the time 'Jedi' came out 3 years later I was able to drive my date there myself...

  • May 22, 2010, 7:37 a.m. CST

    May 21 2010

    by kabxray

    Last night i had a out door screening of Empire. I had 30 friends and family over for a BBQ , some Pixar short films then on too Empire. My 8 year old daughter told everyone why we were watching the film which mad everyone laugh as they knew she was my daughter. The film looked great projected on my large inflatable screen. Great time by all brought me back to the summer of 1980. Hard to believe it has been that long. Thanks for the great memories Empire both old and new

  • May 22, 2010, 7:48 a.m. CST

    I'm finally getting to the point where the prequels...

    by rbatty024

    don't enter into the equation when I watch the original trilogy. I can finally appreciate how damn good those films were on their own terms.

  • and saw it twice that day. The lines were insane but we were there at about 7:30 am and bought tickets for two shows right off the bat. <P> I saw the film 14 times in the theater. Another 20 on Video. I pretty much know the script front to back. <P> When Episode 4 came out, I was on my way home from Baseball practice to ask my mom to take me and I got run over by a car with two stoned chicks driving it. They destroyed my bike and were unable to reach my mom. so I stayed at their place for about an hour and a hlf until Mom got home. <P> Turned out her and her boyfriend were at the opening of the film while I was getting run over.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Inflatable screen?

    by Autodidact


  • May 22, 2010, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Attack of the Clones was better...

    by neodelrio

  • May 22, 2010, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Guess I am more of a drunk

    by PhilipMarlowe

    than a geek. When I read ESB I think Extra Special Bitters

  • May 22, 2010, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Kevin Smith & Clerks got Empire respect it deserved

    by neodelrio

    Until Clerks came out ALOT of people favored Stars Wars or Jedi. It was actually insightful of Kevin Smith at the time Clerks came out. A lot of people did not like how dark Empire was and the first (and often copied)Cliffhanger ending. Just kidding about Attack of the Clones.... :)

  • May 22, 2010, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Wasn't in line for EST, but was 1st for "Jedi"

    by jawsfan

    Portsmouth, VA. I was in line for 4 hours before anyone else showed up. Some kid came to the line when I had sneaked off to take a pee. Had to convince kid and his mom that they weren't first in line after all. Was ready to fight if I had to. Theater had a "ReVENGE of the Jedi" poster in the lobby.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:41 a.m. CST

    All three prequels sucked, by the way

    by jawsfan

    Don't let anyone try to tell you any different. That's not opinion. It's a scientific fact.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Weird Empire story

    by Kizeesh

    I grew up watching Star wars a lot, on tv, also had the videos released in 92, the Special editions as well saw them hundreds of times. <p> Then when I was a student, hadn't seen them in a year or two, I stuck on Empire, watched it lying in my room, and somehow...somehow I gasped with shock when Luke's hand got cut off. <p> I'd forgotten.<p> I had a moment of complete shock. It was incredible. To this day I don't understand how I could have forgotten that, a pivotal event in a movie I'd lived and breathed dozens of times.<p> It was awesome.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Those were great days

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Heading over to friends houses and playing with all the figures and toys, getting the magazines and records, trading stickers. Shit, happy days. No wonder Lucas is a billionaire.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:47 a.m. CST


    by Ingeld

    Are we ever told how and when Vader learns the truth about Luke being his son?

  • May 22, 2010, 8:50 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    No. During the trench run Vader says "The Force is strong with this one." so he doesn't know about Luke then, but by the start of Empire Vader is tracking him down so I guess he sussed it out between ANH and ESB.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Return of the Jedi

    by elsewhere

    This film gets too much hate. Yes it has it's silly moments, we all know what they are, but those are easily overlooked by the Battle of Endor (the best space battle ever put on film as far as I'm concerned) and the banter scenes between Luke, Vader and the Emperor. A great end to the trilogy in my opinion. However...<p>THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK IS STILL THE BEST.<p>Because it set the watermark so high, I think every filmmaker today and probably far into the future will be conscious of Empire when making a sequel.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:51 a.m. CST

    I'm gonna sound like a youngling for typing this but....

    by Father

    ....The first time i saw the empire strikes back from start to finish was the when it was re-released in 1997 as the special edition. And you know what? It was amazing!Exciting, suspenseful, funny and totally compelling all the way through. And even though I saw countless parodies of the "I'm your father" bit before watching empire, seeing the line in context for the first time was really a powerful moment.Classic. Also,I've heard that The empire strikes back is George Lucas's least favorite star wars film- If that is true

  • May 22, 2010, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Question? by Ingeld

    by neodelrio

    Well, good question but they did both have the same last name and knew about the force...I would assume during the first movie...

  • May 22, 2010, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Question? by Ingeld

    by neodelrio

    Well, good question but they did both have the same last name and knew about the force...I would assume during the first movie...

  • May 22, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST

    30 years ago I was 16

    by billF

    I remember seeing Empire Strikes Back but it didn't have the emotional impact of the first movie did when I saw it at the age of 13.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST

    30 years ago I was 16

    by billF

    I remember seeing Empire Strikes Back but it didn't have the emotional impact of the first movie did when I saw it at the age of 13.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Thanks Harry. Wish I could remember it, but I can't.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • May 22, 2010, 8:57 a.m. CST

    I saw it.

    by Phineas_Flavel

    I was a 10 year old kid. Back then there was only one Harkins Cine Capri theater. it was this great birthday cake looking building that was a landmark in Arizona. It had a massive curved screen that immersed you in the viewing experience. It even had red velvet curtains that would draw back when the film started. A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back were exclusives here and people would stand in line all day to see it, and they would have smiles on their faces. This kind of experience is gone now. The multiplex has killed it. No film again is ever going to inspire any kid to beg his dad to drive across town to a little toy store because they have the last Yoda action figure in the city. The times have changed and not for the better.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Jedi's "more powerful" death star

    by neodelrio

    This has bugged me for a while, and yes, I know it sounds more threatening....but the first death star could destroy friggin planets...what did the new death star one do? Destroy planets and run Flash simultaneously without excessive power drain?

  • May 22, 2010, 9:01 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Yep, the multiplex killed the cinemagoing experience for me too. Smaller screens, box-like rooms instead of grand auditoriums, shrinking the screens to play cinemascope 2.35:1 films (WTF? - Talk about defeating the purpose!) and no queueing round the block. <p> Sad.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:09 a.m. CST

    RE: Question by Ingeld

    by Ingeld

    Thanks to those who responded--very quickly too. Interesting that he never "sensed" it with Leia especially since he probed her mind in the first movie. I know it is a big galaxy, but you think they would have given him a different last name--especially if they are going to hide him on Vader's home planet/town. As I mentioned earlier in the TB, it always bothered me that Leia and Luke were siblings. It creeped out the love triangle, which was interesting. It is funny as another TB pointed out, that Leia gets to be royalty while Luke becomes a desert farm hand.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Ah... the memories...

    by barsoom44

    In 1979 I was on a NATO deployment. To relax one day in Tromso, Norway, myself and an officer off the German warship Karlsrue decided to do some skiing on the glacier. An hour of skiing later, just as we reached the glacier proper, we were stopped by a barrier and someone told us we couldn't go any further. The Glacier was closed because, "They're shootin' some space flic, 'The Empire Fights Back' or some such." Just then we were overflown by a Helo that was shooting the ice-planet Hoth scenes. Cool

  • May 22, 2010, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Memories Part 2

    by barsoom44

    When I visited Toronto on leave from the Navy, I heard there was going to be a special showing of the new "Star Wars" sequel at the University theatre. They would be opening the doors at 8:15 am and the movie would start at 9:30 am. This was unheard of in that day and age. When I arrived at 7:00 am, there was already a line around the block... but I still made it in to the first Canadian showing of the movie. Just after I got back off leave to my home-port of Halifax, I met a pretty young girl. She invited me to see this new film "The Empire Strikes Back" and I agreed. When the climatic revelation occurred, she caught me watching her and I had to confess that I had seen the movie before. We were married the next year. This year we will be celebrating our 29th anniversary (thirty years together) on a beach in Hawaii. Unfortunately there won't be a new "Star Wars" movie to see, but we'll make do somehow...

  • May 22, 2010, 9:24 a.m. CST

    In my opinion, this article is what made AICN so special...

    by Kirbymanly

    It's been a long time since we've had a total love fest on this site. Please write more articles like this, Harry!

  • May 22, 2010, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Had to leave the theater.

    by Cwazola

    My Dad took me to see it when I was 3 years old. I was fine up until Luke was attacked by the Wampa, at which point I lost it. The thing scared the crap out of me. My Dad made me stay long enough to see that Luke got out alive, then took me out of the theater. It remains my favorite movie of all time.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:33 a.m. CST


    by Wrath4771

    I was nine when Empire came out and was spolier free going into the movie. The things I remember; Vader was the bad guy in the first movie, but he was so much scarier in this one. The Empire wasn't playing around at all. How cool was Boba Fett? - He caught Han Solo! He caught...Han Solo! (yes with a big assist) and I just remember how sad I was at the end. One, the movie was over and two, things just seemed so bleak. I didn't see how Luke oculd ever defeat Vader.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:33 a.m. CST


    by Wrath4771

    I was nine when Empire came out and was spolier free going into the movie. The things I remember; Vader was the bad guy in the first movie, but he was so much scarier in this one. The Empire wasn't playing around at all. How cool was Boba Fett? - He caught Han Solo! He caught...Han Solo! (yes with a big assist) and I just remember how sad I was at the end. One, the movie was over and two, things just seemed so bleak. I didn't see how Luke oculd ever defeat Vader.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:39 a.m. CST

    m00kiedood....about the falling

    by BumLove

    I have to agree....there was something about watching that scene where Luke just lets go and falls, and falls and falls...and then he's walking for a bit in one of those eerie halls, and then falls again, and just hangs upside down outside an orange and pink sky...for a kid, that desolate feeling, it was very powerful. All of Empire, the way it ends on a down note, Han getting captured, Luke getting his hand chopped off, the bit on Degobah where he has a vision and beheads Vader only to see his own face...all those things were so great to see in a major fantasy film like this...but that falling...something about it really resonated. Very dream-like, yet very real.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Really liked EMPIRE, but loved JEDI...

    by ninpobugei

    Honestly, mostly because at my age (9 in 1980, 12 in 1983), EMPIRE was kind of dark for a kid at the age of 9, but JEDI had Princess Leia in a killer dancing girl bikini that totally resonated with me and still rocks my world today at the age of 39.</p><p>While I respect EMPIRE as the better overall film in terms of iconography and the most cinematic cliffhanger in movie history, I still love JEDI. I particularly love the ending. It was a sci-fi fairytale with a truly happy ending. At the end, when the fireworks are going off, the music is playing, and the various worlds are shown in celebration of the rebel victory, I find that to be my favorite moment of STAR WARS. I think it's especially poignant if you read the novels and witness the years of grief and unrest that follow, especially for Luke.</p><p>Great post, Harry and thanks for the memories! THIS type of posting, IMO, is when AIC is at its coolest.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:43 a.m. CST

    I think part of the reason Empire is so great....

    by BumLove because it prepared us for what the world is really like. For example, the reason Han got captured at the end was because he was betrayed by his friend...that shit is real, son.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:45 a.m. CST

    No love for Jedi

    by barnaby jones

    Only from star wars geeks. Everyone else loves it.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:50 a.m. CST


    by ZaphodBeeblerox

    I great preferred the original Empire ending that didnt flash to Couruscant, Tattooine, etc for the celebrations, but just stuck with the characters we knew and had followed for 3 films. I also prefer the original ending with Sebastian Shaw appearing as ghostly Anakin. To me the older Anakin appearing meant that through his sacrifice he was redeemed because of his son. The 'revised' ending with young Anakin appearing makes no sense to me whatsoever...

  • May 22, 2010, 9:52 a.m. CST


    by ZaphodBeeblerox

    Meant original Jedi ending...damn coffee hasnt kicked in yet...

  • May 22, 2010, 9:53 a.m. CST

    This is one of the greatest talkbacks ever.

    by BurnedNotice_Dude

    Great memories from everyone. Thanks for sharing. <p> Remember my mom and stepdad taking my two brothers and me to see it. Remember sitting there in silence. One of the few times I didn't go to the restroom during a movie.Others include: Superman and Star Trek II. I was 13 years old. The magic of movies. Damn. Those were the days.

  • May 22, 2010, 10:29 a.m. CST


    by Lemure_v2

    30 years ago today I was the reason my Mum couldn't wear normal clothes, and cinema seats were right out. I felt the same going into Transformers 2. Sue me.

  • May 22, 2010, 10:40 a.m. CST


    by Bileranter

    me too man

  • May 22, 2010, 10:41 a.m. CST

    I watched Empire with Kershner!!! Writhe in jealousy, you bastar

    by farmercotton

    Three years ago I got to sit in Kersh's house, in his living room, right next to the MAN and watch Empire as he gave me my very own personal director's commentary! I might be the only person alive on the planet who has had this remarkable experience (besides his own sons), and many of you will read this post and be sick with envy and disbelief. But it's all true. I was shooting some interviews with Kersh for his family (this was right before the big Star Wars convention at Staples). I told Kersh my sad Empire tale (see below) and he gave me this amazing gift. Imagine a twelve year old boy's room, circa 1980. His walls are covered with Star Wars posters, Ralph Mcquarrie portfolio paintings, and a dozen Star Wars models hanging from the ceiling by fishing line. I even had a picture of Kersh (torn from the pages of Starlog) taped to the wall above my desk. I had waited in agony for three excruciating years for the arrival of Empire. It was my life. The only joy in a sad and lonely little boy's miserable existence. My dad had gotten tickets for the first showing of Empire at the Cinerama in Seattle. We lived in Eastern Washington at the time and on May 18th Mount Saint Helens erupted. The ash cloud completely covered our town, turned day to night, destroyed our car engines, and trapped us in our town like some kind of Twilight Zone episode. The mountain passes were closed for weeks. We couldn't get to Seattle. So I missed the premiere. Rage boiled inside me. I actually cried so hard I vomited. I had already experienced many cruelties of life by this age, but this seemed to hit me especially hard. I'd been thwarted by a fucking volcano. So, flash forward to my private screening with Kersh over 25 years later and I was like the proverbial Geek Pig In Shit. Harry, I thought of you at that moment and I figured you'd be the only person in the world who would have enjoyed the experience as much as me. Kersh, by the way, is one of the coolest, sweetest, funniest men on the planet. And I know secrets about Empire that very few people know. And I will keep those secrets in my heart and only reveal them to my own son someday when he's old enough to appreciate them.

  • May 22, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Writhe in jealousy you BASTARDS!

    by farmercotton

    Subject line typo correction!

  • May 22, 2010, 10:48 a.m. CST


    by BumLove

    I'm not jealous...but you do seem like a prick.

  • May 22, 2010, 10:50 a.m. CST

    memories of swinging my light saber...

    by LittleManFromAnotherPlace

    ... in the back garden afterwards. I didn't actually have a toy light saber yet so I just used an invisible one. It was getting dark at the time. Must have been 6 or 7. Its a shame the series failed to consistently maintain the level of quality after this but I'd still take post-Gary Kurtz Star Wars over post-Scott & Cameron Alien or post-Cameron Terminator any day. Despite its' flaws, Star Wars is one of the greatest film series' ever & Empire - the best episode of that series - has to be listed amongst the greatest films of all time. If Lucas & Kurtz had remained a team then all 6 films could have been masterpieces. Its' a shame they fell-out. I wonder if they've ever spoken since?...

  • May 22, 2010, 10:56 a.m. CST


    by ninpobugei

    While I disagree re: the new JEDI ending showing the celebration on the various planets (I liked both the rising music as well as the various images that now tie all 6 films together and, IMO, gave a much grander feeling to the victory and put it into more galactic perspective), I fully agree with your idea that seeing a young Anakin made no sense whatsoever.</p><p>Now, if Luke looked back and saw the older versions of all three and THEN looked again and saw the younger versions of all three, that might be something else entirely. I thought it really odd seeing young Anakin next to old Kenobi. A REALLY bad choice that merely pandered to the prequels and added nothing meaningful to the film, cinematically speaking.

  • May 22, 2010, 11 a.m. CST

    I Was 14 When Star Wars Came Out...

    by Rebeck2

    And, strange as it may sound, I've always felt that I was "too old" to have the same love for it that a generation younger than me has had for 33 years. I enjoyed it enough but it seemed too much of a kiddie movie for me to really get excited about. I wasn't a big sci-fi geek, more James Bond. (The second highest grossing movie in '77 was THE SPY WHO LOVED ME - my idea of cinematic heaven) I had also just recently discovered the joy of pussy. That may be a big cut-off point for childhood imagination. So when ESB came out I didn't expect much. It absolutely blew me away. I walked out of the theatre with that wonderful drunken feeling of having been taken on the world's greatest roller coaster ride. It was cooler, darker, funnier, ten times as exciting, more adult, more complex, with great character development and of course the visuals were jaw-dropping. I loved it so much, I waited anxiously for sucked. The visuals were still good, but almost everything else was a huge disappointment. Especially the fact that Leia was "the other" and Luke's sister. Really???? How boring. Or if that's the case then give her a great scene that reveals her powerful ability with the force. And don't get me started with the old bald guy in the Darth Vader suit... Really??? Thus ended my love for Star Wars. I love exactly one Star Wars movie from beginning to end, and everything that came before and after holds no interest for me. In my book, Lucas got it right exactly ONCE! And to hear him tell it, it was an accident, when he wasn't paying attention. It's a fucking shame he never ever made the epic series we were all hoping for. But that's real life I guess...the next thing you discover after pussy, when your first love breaks your heart.

  • May 22, 2010, 11:02 a.m. CST

    30 Years Ago at Seattle's UA150 Theater

    by Ryan K.

    The Seattle Film Festival arranged the first midnight screening of "Empire" at the late, great UA150 theater in downtown Seattle (the one that had played the original "Star Wars" for over a year). My friends and I got in line before dark, maybe 50 people from the front. I had memorized all the dialog from "Star Wars" from pirated recordings and for two hours entertained my friends by verbally recreating the entire movie while we waited. During the movie, by the time the Great Revelation occurred, my mind was blown. I got to bed at 3AM that morning and had to be at work at 8. I woke up the next day and thought it might have all been a dream! I rang a friend of mine to confirm that all we had seen was real. What a great night!

  • May 22, 2010, 11:11 a.m. CST


    by Rebeck2

    That's a helluva' story alright! Congrats. That's very cool. But c'mon, give us some of the things he shared with you... How did he feel about Lucas, then and now? Did he have any juicy scoop on the actors? Was he completely happy with the movie or were there any regrets on his part? C'mon, dude, you can't tease a bunch of geeks like that. Give us the lowdown. We won't tell anybody, we promise. ;)

  • May 22, 2010, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Best experience

    by dbanas7

    A friend of mine and I drove 2 1/2 hours to the Peachtree Mall in Atlanta, Georgia to see it. She brought a picnic basket with wine, bread, and cheese. We actually enjoyed waiting 5 hours in line to see it, but was it ever worth the wait!!! We were the first people in our small southern city to see it.

  • May 22, 2010, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Never thought a talkback could bring tears to my eyes

    by revelshade

    11 when I saw SW: perfect age for black and white space opera. 14 when ESB came out: perfect age for darker story, bad boy/princess romance. 17 for RotJ: old enough to despise Ewoks, too young to appreciate the redemption of Vader (shallow me just wanted the fucker to die! die! die! - now Vader's funeral pyre scene brings tears to my eyes). Anyway, ESB. I remember knowing, not "believing", knowing that Vader was lying about being Luke's father. Then the movie continued and no one was denying it... and then Luke and Vader made psychic contact briefly as the Falcon escaped... and it started to sink in. Gut-shot. Violated. Compromised. Horrified. Christ, I don't know how to describe the sick feeling I carried out of that theatre. I didn't know a movie could stick a knife into you like that. The oceans of coolness (Yoda, Lando, etc.) that surrounded that moment made ESB the Best. Movie. Ever.

  • May 22, 2010, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Can we talk about how much movie-going sucks now?

    by SK229

    I brought it up in a previous post and ScienceMan kind of did too, but seriously... I'm probably going to have kids within the next year or so and it really blows thinking that taking them to the movies will be a miserable experience shared with a bunch of inconsiderate douche nozzles. For instance, I've noticed if you have kids now and bring them to the movies, the parents bring all their fucking toys, the double-wide stroller, and then parents always look harried and they stand around talking to other parents while trying to make sure the kids don't run off and get lost amid the 28 theaters and thousands of people standing around. When my dad would take me, the theater only had two screens, we'd talk to pretty much nobody except the guy at the snack counter, I didn't bring any toys or even a fucking stroller cause he made it almost feel, even at the age of 7 (seeing Temple of Doom, remember that one clearly) that we were like two adults going to see it and it was between the two of us. Speaking of Temple of Doom, I didn't know shit about the movie, only that it was Indiana Jones and I remember the program my father bought me having an image of Indy holding a sword standing on the rope bridge. I don't remember anything interfering with that experience. Also, I agree with ScienceMan in that I really believe the earnestness and human interaction of those days has been replaced by the snarkiness of twitter, facebook, smart phones and blogging. We're too sophisticated for our own good... but like I said in that last post, it IS possible under the right circumstances... a revival of Alien that made me feel like a kid again... Moon at the Arclight in Hollywood last year... hell, even District 9 blew the doors off the back of the theater in a way I didn't expect. So there's hope, at least...

  • May 22, 2010, 11:35 a.m. CST


    by Raschied

    I don't have distinct memories of ESB like I do seeing SW and ROTJ. With Star Wars, my first time was ruined by some prankster setting off a stink bomb in the theatre just before it started, and I had to wait another 5 days to see it. ROTJ came out on the week we were leaving for a family vacation in the Nevada desert, and I was considered ungrateful for wanting to stay home and watch the movie instead of going. Inevitably I broke my arm on that trip, and couldn't see it for another 2 weeks, when I finally had a permanent cast. For Empire, I'm drawing a huge blank. We were ALL huge Star Wars geeks at that time, too. I was 9 when ESB came out, and I do remember seeing it like a dozen times in 70mm at the local Century theatre. But, I can't remember the first time. I'm pretty sure it was a matinee showing after school let out, though.

  • May 22, 2010, 11:36 a.m. CST

    On Vacation in Hawaii

    by DontKnowJacK

    Made my dad take me to see it at the only theater playing the movie on Maui. You just don't forget the first time you saw Empire...

  • May 22, 2010, 11:47 a.m. CST

    There's Han Solo...then everything else.

    by TangledHangers

    'Nuff Said.

  • May 22, 2010, 11:52 a.m. CST

    I was 5, going on 6 . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    Saw it in LaGrange, GA. I remember we were given some puzzle where you put together square stickers to form a scene from the movie. Mine was one of the main characters in the cockpit of the falcon. My mind was blown the second I saw the damn Wampa! My dad asked if I was scared and I gave him the 5 year old verson of "FUCKIN' A YEAH!!!" What else can I say? It was Empire for the first damn time ever . . .

  • May 22, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST

    The Continent Cinema in Columbus OH

    by Bones

    (I wrote this yesterday morning)<p> Today, May 21 2010 is the Thirtieth Anniversary of the wide release of The Empire Strikes Back. To say it was the seminal movie experience of my young life is putting it mildly. The original Star Wars was the foundation of everything in my imagination, but I was four years old. Empire came out when I was six going on seven--and was the first film I truly experienced anticipation (bordering on madness) to see. <p> I had of course been primed, mostly in the pages of Starlog magazine, for this very moment. Issues 34 and 35 of that publication are perhaps the most dog-eared of any in my collection, and among the few images from the film that were released in those two issues, a few images took on mythic status in my mind before the film’s release. The shot of Snow troopers entering the Hoth base, some falling in battle, some pressing forward is indelible. The shot of Boba Fett standing next to Darth Vader in the red and amber light of the Bespin Carbon Freezing Chamber is almost like a religious icon in my mind. I had spent months bringing those magazines with me to school, staring at the pictures, trying to find some mental way to either jump into the pages or speed up time until it was finally Memorial Day Weekend. I daydreamed so much in fact that my grades at school suffered and after rigorous testing to see if I had a learning disability (!), they found it was quite the opposite and I was separated, given a more challenging curriculum. It didn’t help with the daydreaming though--I was always going to be in a galaxy far, far away. <p> Actually, now as I think about it, those two issues of Starlog are among the most important visual elements in my young life--introducing me to Tom Baker as Doctor Who, getting me ready for The Martian Chronicles mini-series (which introduced me to my favorite book of all time), introduced me (and many people outside of Burbank) to the wonderful world of Bob Burns, as well as George McGinnis, the Imagineer who designed the robots of The Black Hole (as well as many attractions at the Disney Parks), Brian Johnson, whose work special effects work on Space: 1999, Alien and Empire is amazing, Greg Jein who is one of the greatest model makers of all time, and was my first introduction to Star Blazers. And only a few issues before I was introduced to the amazing work of Andrew Probert, whose designs for Star Trek The Motion Picture are permanent fixture of my brain. It was heady times and my brain was a sponge, sucking in as much information and influence as it could. --Just wait until I finally got my hands on The Art of The Empire Strikes Back when my brother got it as a gift. I would be totally undone. <p> But back to that Memorial Day weekend in 1980. It was early Saturday, May 22 1980. The film had just opened the day before. My father was heading down from his house in Shelby, Ohio to our mother’s home in Columbus. The drive, with the speed limit of the time being 55 miles per hour took an hour and a half.--and every second of every minute between when my Dad left and when he finally would arrive ticked by like an eternity. It was approaching noon and I was sure I was going out of my mind. Couldn’t the world understand that today was the most important day of all time? <p> My dad arrived as the Channel 10 noon news droned on. There was the usual cacophony of my mom and dad talking with my brother and I and then I heard the news people mention Star Wars and in my shrill voice I yelled “WAIT” and listened as they mentioned The New Star Wars Film that was opening to box office records and they had a quick clip. My eyes widened. All sound in the apartment ceased as I saw Luke Skywalker, bathed in blue and orange light walking in some unknown environment stop and look at the dark silhouette of Darth Vader, who said ominously “The Force is with you, Young Skywalker--but you are not a Jedi yet.” I went insane. I was screeching in some hypersonic language of pure excitement that is only known to Almost-Seven-Year-Olds. I was hopping around the room, clutching the Time Magazine with the almost abstract painting of Darth Vader on the cover. We had to go as soon as possible. But no one was worried. It didn’t start until 1:00 PM. Nevertheless, we piled into my Dad’s car and jaunted the ten minutes it took to the theater. I even remember the songs on the radio: Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty, Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders and One Way or Another by Blondie. This is how concrete these memories are for me. <p> In this day and age of multiplex theaters it’s hard for young people to imagine that there was a time when you could only see a film in one of only a few theaters, but The Empire Strikes Back was only being shown in it’s full 70mm, six-track stereophonic glory in one theater (later expanded to two) in Columbus, and that theater was the newly renovated Continent Cinemas. They were located at The Continent, which was a swanky, upscale European-style community with apartments and shops built around winding thoroughfares and the large communal French Market shopping area. Now they might be seen as slightly rundown or small in comparison to the giant Easton Town Center which adopted it’s ideas on a grand scale, but back then The Continent was one of The Places to see movies. It was also unfinished. As the Cinema had recently expanded from Three theaters to (I think) six or seven, the addition required them to lay out a new parking area and when we got there, the asphalt was new, the concrete berms seemed fresh and there were dried mud and construction vehicles in one end of the lot. Instead of grass there was mud…and there was a line of people wrapped around the building…twice. <p> I am sure I said something to the effect of “We should have left earlier.” Almost-Seven-Year-Olds LOVE to state the obvious. <p> But, in the end, that was a joy. We got inside and bought our tickets for the next showing, as well as the Official Collector Magazine for me and the Marvel Super Special adaptation for my brother. As we waited in line and read, we talked to other people in line, we discussed theories and the merits/foibles of The Holiday Special, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, how awesome Boba Fett was (I had toys of him for a year at this point, remember) and wondered what was up with the little green guy I kept seeing pictures of. <p> The sun beat down on us in line, but we didn’t really care. And finally, three hours after we got there we were able to get inside, the line wrapping around the concession stand, with the platform in the smoky lobby with the projectors working overtime, the walls barely able to contain the sound of the films within. It was fantastic. <p> And when we sat in our seats with popcorn and candy, with whatever music was playing as we all jockeyed for good seats, the excitement built up in me again. <p> And then Darkness.<p> And the 20th Century-Fox logo.<p> And the familiar blue words: a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… <p> And that was it. It was over--I was transported out of my body for two hours and fifteen minutes and was never the same. It’s difficult to remember actually watching the movie the first time--I have seen it so many times, but it’s easily my favorite film of all time. <p> Whereas Luke Skywalker might have enthralled me in the first film, Han Solo easily was my favorite thing about Empire--and Yoda of course. No one (except maybe George Lucas and Jim Henson) could have expected that an incredibly well-sculpted hand puppet could become such a beloved and well-rounded character--and there are moments where Yoda just lives. Even today, it’s an amazing gamble--and it works so beautifully. <p> You would have thought that the darker tone would have put me off--but it only enthralled me more. Empire shows that if you are invested in characters, you can put them in real jeopardy--and often, the more beaten and bruised they are, the more we feel for them. <p> Lando Calrissian was a welcome addition to the Star Wars world as it became less of a white, British monoculture. And it’s important to mention that--the British policies on casting extras on the original Star Wars were the reason that there were so few if any people of color in the original film--it wasn’t a conscious choice by Lucas, who was so busy trying to get everything else in frame that he missed making his universe more diverse, realistic and interesting. By the time Empire rolled around, there were a number of different human cultures represented in the backgrounds of all the locations. <p> Bespin seemed like a really great place to live. Well, until the Empire messed everything up. <p> And Princess Leia was so beautiful, so strong and so amazing. I remember my heart leaping out of my chest at that one shot of her immense brown eyes as Luke is calling out to her using the Force. If there was any doubt about who my first crush was on, it quickly evaporated. That was probably the other reason that I thought Han Solo was THE MAN. He was the cocky poor Pirate who used his charm and daring-do to win the heart of the most eligible woman in the galaxy. And has there ever been a more perfect “ I love you” than Han’s “I know”? He doesn’t need to tell Leia that he loves her. Every action he has done all through the movie lets everyone know how he feels--his message to her was that he always knew who she really was, even when she didn’t know herself. And with that, everyone who saw the film swooned for different reasons.<p> After that moment, I never wanted to be a Jedi again.<p> Much like the way that Batman is cooler than Superman for NOT having super powers and by getting ahead by being the smartest person in the room, Han Solo survives by being instinctive and just plain awesome. Shatner’s Captain Kirk is the same way. <p> After seeing the movie, I kept my love of it alive through the usual methods. There were all the toys, The record albums of the music and story and the books--and I drew from them constantly. And I thought it would last forever. But new loves found their way into my heart, and I found myself finding joy in other films and franchises--and the ever present distraction of girls. By the time Return of the Jedi rolled around three years later my interest was waning. Where I saw the original Star Wars nine times in the theater and Empire five times, I would only see Jedi three times. And after that we only had Ewoks films and the Droids/Ewoks cartoons to tide us over...and then it was gone.<p> Kenner Toys stopped making Star Wars toys in 1985.<p> The last Lucasfilm Star Wars project was Ewoks: The Battle for Endor in 1985<p> The Marvel Comics line ended in 1986.<p> And in 1987 the only Star Wars you could get was in the form of the Role Playing Game or heading to a Disney park to ride Star Tours... <p> So, as I grew up I grew into Star Trek, into reading classic Science Fiction novels and stories, into Dune, into Ray Bradbury, Tolkien, into the various sources that all inspired Star Wars itself. There were years when I didn't draw a single Star Wars image.<p> And then in the late 1980s I had a strange dream. <p> I imagined myself in a massive toy store, surrounded by Star Wars toys--but they weren't toys of the old movies--they were new toys of new characters or older versions of the classic characters--and when I woke up, I started drawing them. And I started drawing my own characters and worlds as well. In 1991, Star Wars came back in the form of three novels by Timothy Zahn and a comic book series from Dark Horse comics--and people began to fall in love with it again. <p> And in 1993, after the success of Jurassic Park, Lucas announced his intention to make new Star Wars films--and I began drawing Star Wars again in earnest, hoping to make my mark on the universe that gave me so much as a child. Seventeen years later--ten years after getting my first break as a professional illustrator, drawing (of course) Star Wars illustrations--I can say with conviction that I will never be done with Star Wars. <p> It isn't my only love anymore. And that love isn't the love I had for it as a child. I have my own ideas now, my own stories to tell--and someday (hopefully soon) I will be able to start sharing those with others the way that Star Wars was shared with me.<p> But Star Wars will always be a part of my makeup, the same way that my parent's chromosomes are part of my makeup--it will always be the foundation upon which I have built my imagination. And as I grow and see more of the world, more of it's art, more of the greatest films every made, I know one thing: <p> The Empire Strikes back will always be my Favorite...<p>

  • May 22, 2010, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Anyone who likes Jedi CAN'T hate the Prequels!

    by darthwaz1

    are you fucking kidding me! it's the same thing as the prequels, your nostalgia tells you differently, but if Jedi came out today you'd be shitting all over it, the same way you fanbooy fucks hate the prequels!

  • May 22, 2010, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Prequels you say? How 'bout Premakes?

    by GreenSkinFlatHead

  • May 22, 2010, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Vader's bombshell (Special Edition version)

    by BurnHollywood

  • May 22, 2010, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Seriously putting in this DVD right now...

    by Turd Furgeson

    From my post last night about seeing this on my 5th birthday, the day it came out, to it being my birthday again yesterday, I have to watch it again now..

  • May 22, 2010, 12:49 p.m. CST


    by SuperXY

    First movie I ever saw in a theater. I was 4. I still remember the whole thing, and credit it with causing my love of movies.

  • May 22, 2010, 12:49 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    "In this day and age of multiplex theaters it’s hard for young people to imagine that there was a time when you could only see a film in one of only a few theaters, but The Empire Strikes Back was only being shown in it’s full 70mm, six-track stereophonic glory in one theater (later expanded to two) in Columbus, and that theater was the newly renovated Continent Cinemas."<p> Yep...they didn't know squat about how to market movies in those days. This made for some bizarre situations that would be unheard of in this the way our theater (The Cooper in Denver, CO) actually ran the original STAR WARS for an entire year. The run went so long, in fact, that a new set of posters was released the following year...

  • May 22, 2010, 12:54 p.m. CST

    I remember watiing on line with my dad when I was 5

    by clupula

    I had seen the original in the theatre when it first came out, but didn't remember most of it (since I was 2). Most of my memories came from seeing it a little bit before Empire. I guess they must've had showings of it leading up to the sequel, somewhere in Manhattan. <BR><BR>As for Empire, I remember I loved it, even if it was only bits and pieces that are really clear memories. It's one of those movies that I liked a lot, but didn't remember all of it until I later got it on VHS. The giant worm creature that the Millennium Falcon is in, for example, I didn't remember seeing that in the theatre. I also could swear there was a second opening crawl somewhere in the middle of the film. Probably just the fuzzy memories of a 5 year old.<BR><BR>But I loved that and I even loved Jedi. As an 8 year old, the Ewoks didn't bother me. I remember wishing, the whole time, it'd go back to what was happening in the new Death Star, but I was never actually upset they were there. It was interesting, though, because I remember my cousin and my dad having a conversation about what they added for different audiences, after we saw Jedi.

  • May 22, 2010, 1 p.m. CST

    I wanted to like the prequels

    by clupula

    Trust me. I went in there expecting to feel like a little kid again. I came out thinking, "Well, Jar Jar wasn't as annoying as all my friends said he was, but that wasn't anywhere near as good as the first three."<BR><BR>I can tell you the best part of the prequels: It's the last half hour of "Sith." Once Samuel L. Jackson flies out that window, the movie actually stops being about robots making goofy sounds and plans that don't make sense and actually has some tension, actually has some emotion to it. Then, of course, Vader goes "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" and it totally ruins what they did before, but that half hour actually captured the feeling I had missed for the previous five and a half.<BR><BR> There is no defending the prequels, except as I said, for that last half hour. I thought they were crap way before I ever had access to the internet.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Saw it at 5

    by alienindisguise

    It was the first thing I did when I moved from New York to Raleigh NC. I saw it at Mission Valley theater and remember kids and adults alike throwing out all sorts of "what if's" about what we're going to see. The line was crazy long wrapping around buildings but thankfully no spoiler shitheads were around. Luke getting smacked by the Wampa scared the shit out of me as did Han getting frozen in Carbonite. The duel between Luke and Vader is what inspired me to become a concept artists which I am today. The cale, colors and angles used in that fight are still as perfect as they were then. I'll never forget the collective gasp that filled the whole room when the revelation came, even out of my Mom and Dad and I never saw them react to a movie like that. This was when even a big event movie could have the spirit and heart to move everyone who sees it in some way. It brings tears of joy to me thinking back to the excitement of that day but it brings me even greater sadness to know I'll never experience that again.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Springfield, Illinois - The Esquire Theater

    by Half-Baked-Goggle-Box-Do-Gooder

    Some boob was in a full Vader costume, walking back and forth on the sidewalk and taunting people standing in line, hands on his hips and laughing menacingly - <p>Until somebody yelled "YOU EVIL FUCK!!!" and threw a mostly-full can of PBR directly at his head from about five feet away. <p>He disappeared after that, although I did see him stumbling around in the parking lot afterwards. Oh,m and - The ONLY one of the SW films worth a shit.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Harry, here's a TB Topic....

    by crankyoldguy

    I'm sure always...gets a ton of response. Has the Internet, plus Twitter, IMs, emails, etc. made movie-going less enjoyable, since spoilers are everywhere? Think of the things that really surprised to many of us "older" folks: The End of Planet of the Apes. Darth Vader's revelation and Luke's hand at end of Empire, along with Han' fate. What happened in Superman and Superman II. And I could go on. While there was TV and radio and word-of-mouth 30 or so years ago, your odds of knowing too much about what you'd see in a film was less. Who misses that or who, younger, wishes they didn't get hit with spoilers and much. Just a thought.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:27 p.m. CST

    we should have a nolstagic tb every week

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    do one on Pulp Fiction, JP, Blade even, and ESPECIALLY the Faculty... AND PURPLE RAIN

  • May 22, 2010, 1:29 p.m. CST


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  • May 22, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    I think you mean Jedi. Jedi was the one that had all the planets.

  • May 22, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST


    by crankyoldguy

    you owe harry an ad placemet fee now

  • May 22, 2010, 1:37 p.m. CST

    saw an advance screening at USC's Norris Theatre

    by Wirraway

    and then spoiled it for everyone

  • May 22, 2010, 1:41 p.m. CST

    30 years ago tonight..a night...just like this night..

    by EddieMurphysLaugh

    Tell Them Large Harry Knowles sent you..BWAHAHha..

  • May 22, 2010, 2:03 p.m. CST


    by TehCreepyThinMan

  • May 22, 2010, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Many a Sat morn, this 8yr old would start to hike...

    by Billyeveryteen

    With his 2 older friends. A good hour walk though cemeteries and hostile neighborhoods, to our local plex. After 5 viewings of Star Wars(1 legit, 4 stolen), we'd trudge home, furiously debating what's next.<p>At 11, those same assholes showed me the comic adaptation of ESB. In one close up panel of Vader, my whole world collapsed.<p>It couldn't be true...<p>I kept repeating it to myself 30 years ago today. No it can't be true. Comics can lie. This must just be some shitty journalism.<p>Still thunderstruck, still heartbreaking, I found out the same as all of you.<p>And thus, the debate continued, many a Sat morn.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:21 p.m. CST


    by elsewhere

    Don't go there. I love ROTJ and fucking despise the prequels. FUCKING DESPISE. As much as I hate the fucking Ewoks, I can tolerate them more than anything the prequels has to offer.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:21 p.m. CST


    by Pikaroth76

    I figure I would throw my two cents in and at least add something to this historical moment. I was one year old when Star Wars came out, and my parents say that, yes, I did see it in the theater (EVERYONE did back then). Sadly, I have no memory of that, but from there on out, memories start to form. <P> The Empire Strikes Back, though, is a different story. It's strange because I have only very, very vague memories of seeing the film, but I DO remember that directly after it was over, we left the theater, my dad and I, and stopped by a store where he purchased me some Empire figures. I actually wondered if that was some type of false memory, so I called him before I posted this, asked him about seeing it, and he told me we were in line for two hours and after it was over we went to a toy store in the mall across the street because I just HAD to have some toys. We had never talked about it before, so it was awesome to know my memory, as vague and hazy as it is, was true. <P> Jedi, though, I remember vividly. Not because it was the best film ever or anything, but I now remember being in line, being excited, and, most importantly, during the speeder bike scene the film RIPPED. Yes, no joke, the film stopped, screen went white, and there was almost a riot. They got it going again about 15 minutes later, but, yes, Day One of Jedi at the small cinema in Lacey, WA, and the film ripped. Good stuff. =) <P> Anyway, Happy Birthday to The Empire Strikes Back! Best Star Wars film of all time (easily), and, really, one of the best films of all time!

  • May 22, 2010, 2:27 p.m. CST

    You're not "dead" before you're born

    by Thunderbolt Ross


  • May 22, 2010, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Return of the Jedi is great too!

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    dont forget!

  • May 22, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    "Front Row Center"

    by Titus05

    who sits in the Front Row, Center?...that's the worst fuckin seat in the whole theatre...way too gotta go to the Middle Row Center or at the most Middle Front Center...sitting in the Front Row your head would constantly be moving from side to side and the picture would not be as crisp

  • May 22, 2010, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Was 3 so I don't remember all of it...

    by skycrapper

    But I do remember it scaring the shit out of me when Vader stood up at that table and Han couldn't shoot him cause Vader is too bad ass. Still my favorite movie.

  • May 22, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Chewbacca is my co pilot

    by I_shot_Cyrus

  • May 22, 2010, 2:57 p.m. CST

    The best Star Wars movie EVER

    by SmokingRobot

    Is the one George Lucas had the LEAST to do with. GL has absolute power = Jar Jar.

  • May 22, 2010, 3:15 p.m. CST


    by darthwaz1

  • May 22, 2010, 3:18 p.m. CST


    by darthwaz1

    What about when Luke goes "NOOOOOO!" in ESB? that's not as bad as Vader saying it? HAHAHA! and "Elsewhere" I will go there, becuz it's your nostalgia that makes you think Jedi is a flawless film, if you were the same age during TPM that you were when ROTJ came out, you'd like TPM as much as you do's FUCKING NOSTALGIA! don't worry, I'm guilty of it too!

  • May 22, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST


    by elsewhere

    I'm not saying Jedi is a flawless film, but even with it's flaws it's sure as shit better than all 3 of the prequels. Stop fucking defending the prequels. They are TRASH. Get over it.

  • May 22, 2010, 3:38 p.m. CST

    30 yrs ago TODAY...something truly revolutionary happened

    by conspiracy

    Pac-Man was released in Japan.</p><p>1980 was a good saw the release of the Best acted, best scripted, most adult Star Wars movie made; and Pac-Man signaled the beginning of the Golden Age of video gaming. Good times for a kid.

  • May 22, 2010, 3:55 p.m. CST

    I was four so I don't remember it very well

    by cylon_conspiracy

    <p>But by the time ROTJ came out I was completely obsessed with SW. Still am now.</p> <p>One thing I do remember is my mom taking me to some home store and there was a room with ESB wallpaper and I wanted it, it had photos of Yoda and Dagobah and I begged for it but my Mom said it would make the room too "dark". That, and I remember having an ESB box of Puffs.

  • May 22, 2010, 4:22 p.m. CST

    I already knew the whole movie before I even got to see it.

    by Triple_J_72

    I was 8 years old. The movie played for one weekend only at our local theater, and for some reason we couldn't make it. I heard just about the whole story from my classmates and family's friends who already saw it, and I was like, "No way!" I then wanted anything about "Empire" that I could get my hands on. I had the novel, the trading cards, the comic books, the storybook, action figures, even the MAD Magazine & Cracked Magazine satires. I knew EVERYTHING about the movie and hadn't even seen it in the theater! I kept bugging and bugging my mom to take me, but the closest place that was playing it was the mall, which was like a 45-minute drive. Conserving gas was a pretty big deal back then. Finally, on the very last weekend it was playing, my mom caved in, and we took the trip, with a few friends. Finally, the whole story that I could only imagine before, came to life on the big screen. It was fantastic, but sort of tainted. I only wish I could have seen it spoiler-free. I can't even imagine what my reaction to the BIG REVEAL would've been.

  • May 22, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Hamill and Billy Dee Coked up in Sydney

    by smackaddictfromhell

    In Sydney Australia, we got hold of some tickets to see Empire, to benefit some childrens hospital. With a special appearence by Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams, It was so cool seeing Hamill stumble onto stage and slur some words. Then out the front we were really close and yelled out to Mark Hamill who looked at us with glazed up eyes and smiled, before he jumped in his car. Just knowing that the Stars of the film were sitting front and center made the packed theater give more emotion and the experience was hella cool for a 14yo geek. The wait was agonizing for Jedi, which till this day, was my most anticipated film of ALL time and even those unblinking Ewoks didn't spoil it, but did fuck it up a bit.

  • May 22, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    don't need to defend prequels...

    by darthwaz1

    they (in my opinion)have equal positive and negative things about them, they don't bother me. the ewoks bother me however, the few of them defeating the empire makes no sense. If Lucas goes back and cgi's THOUSANDS of ewoks attacking the imperials, then I'd buy it. As it is now it's a few midgets in suits.

  • May 22, 2010, 5 p.m. CST

    A New Hope was categorically better

    by Heckles

    No debate. Fact.

  • May 22, 2010, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Just watched it again this morning

    by Fineus Fog

    Endlessly watchable - still get goosebumps at the big reveal and I am 32 fucking years old

  • May 22, 2010, 5:21 p.m. CST

    My introduction to Empire

    by Robstar

    Was on VHS. We had the first edition VHS copies of the trilogy. Only dad decided to use the Empire tape to record his company picnic's softball game. So for years, I was well versed in A new hope and Jedi...but as for Empire....well I could tell you what happened up until the falcon lands on the asteroid. Then a bunch of guys play softball for 45 minutes. Then Han is frozen in carbonite. Yup. That was my only window into Star Wars.

  • May 22, 2010, 6:11 p.m. CST

    ANH and ESB and ROTS

    by RPLocke

    Three great Star Wars movies. The rest are watchable, but not classics.

  • May 22, 2010, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Hehe Nice Harry!

    by JAGUART

    That was fun!

  • May 22, 2010, 6:20 p.m. CST

    The buffet line?

    by AllPowerfulWizardOfOz

    Just fuckin with ya Harry lol. I was in the same line ;-)

  • May 22, 2010, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Every SW movie, INCLUDING Empire, has plot holes..

    by darthwaz1

    when I watch the Plikett 7 part Attack on Attack of the Clones and he keeps calling Empire perfect and flawless I'm yelling at my computer screen.

  • May 22, 2010, 7 p.m. CST

    "Empire was a sort of accident."

    by Inexplicable_Nuclear_Balls

    "It was never supposed to turn out the way it did--Kershner stole the film from Lucas, Kasdan was on the same page as Kershner, and Kurtz allowed them to get away with it all." Read the whole thing at (start at "The Post-Star Wars Years" headline)

  • May 22, 2010, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Awesome job Harry!

    by Darth Thoth

    What a great writeup. Empire is tied for my second favorite film of all time and probably the most influential film in my life. Love it love it love it!

  • May 22, 2010, 7:47 p.m. CST

    I, too, remember that day...

    by tubbyhodges24

    While I don't remember it as vividly as you do, Harry, I do remember the line...damn, it was long! I was only 3 and a half, the age of my youngest son now. I remember the snow, Chewy firing on the Imperial Probe Droid, thinking that I needed a lightsaber, and believing for sure that Han was dead. Thanks for bringing back the memories!

  • May 22, 2010, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Incredible cinematography by Peter Suschitzky

    by Koborover

    The use of lighting is amazing throughout ESB, they really put the higher budget to perfect use.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:10 p.m. CST

    I call BS on this whole story!!!

    by dingleberryjerry

    Fuck you Harry! There is no way your crazy hippie parents let you stand in line overnight to see a fucking movie! If they DID, then you deserve to be the illiterate dickwad that you turned out to be. You were 8 years old!! I was barely able to be out after dark in the summer in my own driveway.!! I call bullshit on the whole story!!

  • May 22, 2010, 8:24 p.m. CST

    Every SW movie has plot holes? Hell, life has plot holes.

    by Ingeld

    That why there are so many conspiracy theories.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Watching the making of special was depressing

    by RPLocke

    Knowing that the massive AT AT walkers were omly a few meters high.

  • May 22, 2010, 8:51 p.m. CST

    Fuck yeah, just found my PIGMAN ACTION FIGURE!

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Still has the plastic cape, too! My Indiana Jones action figure is missing his thumbs/whip/pistol though, and looks more like fat Elvis than Ford. :-( But damn, I found my PIGMAN! XD

  • May 22, 2010, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Hang on, Harry was 8 years old?!

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Then how did he get to stand in line overnight with friends?

  • May 22, 2010, 9:16 p.m. CST

    My ESB experience

    by Shubniggorath

    I was 6 at the time, and already a huge a huge SW nut. One day while parents were at work, the sitter took me to see it in our town's dingy little theater and it was GLORIOUS!

  • May 22, 2010, 9:18 p.m. CST

    RE: Harry was 8

    by Riff_Randell

    All of Harry's stories are full of shit. Remember when he talked about I mean, he went to see The Runaways with his parents when he was about 6 or 7 years old? Puh-leeze. I know he does it to make the stories about the movies he plugs eh, reviews, more interesting, but we're not impressed.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Sucks that..

    by darthwaz1

    All the old school SW fans are so down on the prequels/clone wars. They really are pretty good and I think the positives outweigh the negatives. Kinda feel bad for Lucas, he prob feels betrayed by his fans. Regardless, check out this AMAZING AVP fan-film.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:50 p.m. CST

    I'm 37 Harry. I experienced a similar line...

    by Orionsangels

    but it was in Ridgefield NJ. I was 7. Unfortunately I wasn't spoiler free, some dumb ass kid in my neighborhood, spoiled the movie. He told us Luke got his hand cut off and Darth Vader was Luke's father, to this day I hate this person with the fury of Tatooine's twin suns!

  • May 22, 2010, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Empire was and still is the best one

    by imajedi4ever

    Its amazing that still to this day, no one can seem to capture the magic of Empire Strikes Back. I'm talking about the story, drama, pace, musical score, you name it. Empire had and still has it.

  • May 22, 2010, 9:57 p.m. CST

    I would go so far as to say ROTS was 'zokay...

    by BurnHollywood

    My advice to a newbie SW fan is...see episodes 4, 5 and 6, then 3 alone. Skip 1 and 2...unless you've got OCD and desperately need backstory. You're better off delving into the EU at that point...

  • May 22, 2010, 10:02 p.m. CST

    TESB raped my childhood...

    by workshed

    ...and I went back for seconds! Saw it at the Skegness Tower Theatre on the very first day of release. It was amazing but in no way compares to the experience I had as a six year old, going to see JAWS with my dad.

  • May 22, 2010, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Empire was the first SW film I saw

    by ricarleite2

    I recall as a small child noticing SW was on during a xmas night, and some relatives stopping everything to watch it, but I fell asleep in the first few minutes. I knew what it was about, but didnt care too much. I watched TESB in about 1989, on the same day I watched BTTF part 2 (and was blown away by it) - so that was QUITE a day. I recall vividly watching it on a saturday afternoon on the TV, laying down on my parents bed. I remember being confused by LUke finding Vader on Dagobah, covering my eyes when Vader's face appears, and when I noticed it was Luke's, I was even more confused. The Vader revelation didn't bring to me as a shock, I think I already knew, or I didn't think it was a plot twist.

  • May 22, 2010, 10:14 p.m. CST

    This is...

    by ComSamVimes

    ...the sweetest talk back ever! I was still a year or so away from being born wen this came out, but I remember these movies being a big part of me growing up. Also...they way all you guys are talking about it makes me know how I want to introduce star wars to my kids one day. :)

  • May 22, 2010, 10:16 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    Excellent link, interesting assessment. My own pet theory is that it was Brackett who hashed out the epic sweep of the next two movies (Vader's paternal relationship to Luke, his seduction by the dark side, Leia being his sister, Vader redeeming himself, etc) given her background in pulp SF.

  • May 22, 2010, 10:18 p.m. CST

    oh by the way...

    by ComSamVimes

    ...does anyone remember that book "Splinter of the Minds Eye" was the sequel to Star Wars before Empire was made...kind of funny to read with how it all turned out...worth trying to find if you can.

  • May 22, 2010, 10:25 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    The story I've always heard about SPLINTER was that if SW had been a middling success, that would have been the sequel. The presumption was that Harrison Ford wouldn't return, and the budget would be much more limited (the entire story takes place on one planet). What I heard, anyway.<p> Very un-Star Wars-like story, I remember from when I read it in the late 70s...especially that scene where an Imperial officer literally kicks Leia's ass...

  • May 22, 2010, 10:29 p.m. CST


    by ComSamVimes

    Yeah...I just remember hearing about it and going to some old used bookstores to try an find it..I finally's kind of a fun Star Wars Novelty. It is VERY un-star wars like.

  • May 22, 2010, 10:44 p.m. CST

    V'Shael I think you just outed yourself

    by MurderMostFowl

    That is the sadest story I've ever heard. ESB was pure magic.

  • May 22, 2010, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Scariest parts for me as a kid...

    by MurderMostFowl

    I was only 6, and the scariest parts for me was: <BR><BR>1. Luke cutting off Vader's head in the cave. This blew my mind. At first I did not understand the symbolism or anything. I thought he had literally killed a clone of himself or something. <BR><BR> 2. The "furnace" in Cloud city where C3PO was being dumped. I was actually afraid for him. <BR><BR> 3. Han Solo getting tortured in Cloud city... those screams freaked me out. I thought they had killed him for a second. <BR><BR>4. And probably most upsetting for me was Vader slowly, quietly "chasing" luke through the passageways. The tension was so high I could hardly take it.

  • May 23, 2010, midnight CST

    Murder same here

    by ominus

    no1 and no3 were the scariest parts for me too

  • May 23, 2010, 12:08 a.m. CST

    What is your biding my Master?

    by ominus

    I bid 20 bucks that Mourinio will win the Champions League.

  • May 23, 2010, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Leia - "I love you" Han - "I know"

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Anyone see behind the scenes footage of this scene? Ford was meant to say "I love you too", but he refused to and Lucas was going apeshit. I think Empire turned out so well because Kasdan and co didn't listen to Lucas and made their own Star Wars film.

  • May 23, 2010, 12:26 a.m. CST

    Egyptian Theatre - Hollywood

    by thound007 18 years old 3am show opening day.<br> From the experiences camping out in line over night with good friends, to the sheer anticipation of the film itself, it was just an incredibly iconic experience that is forever looked back upon with the fondness and innocence of the young.

  • May 23, 2010, 12:42 a.m. CST

    He did a good job with ESB but Kersh was a hack

    by darthvedder81

    I give him credit for not dropping the ball with the first SW sequel but let's face it people, what else did Kershner do besides "Robocop 2" and that really bad "Amazing Stories" about the sentient toupee?

  • May 23, 2010, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Lucas went apeshit?

    by darthvedder81

    You're right that the "I know" line wasn't scripted but where is the evidence that GL went "apeshit"? Lucas has never had any problem with people improvising. American Graffiti was full of improvising as was ANH and even the prequels.

  • May 23, 2010, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Lol, Lucas went apeshit

    by RPLocke

    Gotta love the Lucas bashers. They'll praise Star Wars till the end of the world, but never give credit that without Lucas this thread wouldn't even exist. =

  • May 23, 2010, 12:53 a.m. CST

    I'm a "Prequel Apologist"

    by darthwaz1

    Suck it.

  • May 23, 2010, 1:08 a.m. CST

    I'm not a prequel apologist

    by RPLocke

    but I can't understand why I have to like one set of films and hate another set of films? Can't I like both? What's wrong with that?

  • May 23, 2010, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Agreed RPLocke...

    by darthwaz1

    Fanboys piss me off, I grew up w/the originals, but I also like the prequels and clone wars. The "fans" in these talkbacks make me crazy.

  • May 23, 2010, 2:06 a.m. CST

    ESP sucked and still sucks

    by Rupee88

    I saw it on that first day too at age the first one too

  • May 23, 2010, 2:06 a.m. CST

    ESP sucked and still sucks

    by Rupee88

    I saw it on that first day too at age the first one too

  • May 23, 2010, 2:13 a.m. CST

    It was THIRTY years ago? Where'd my life go?

    by RobinP

    I was 20, I had to go via train on a training course and I read the novelization on the journey. I remember vividly trying to visualize what was being described on the pages and being convinced that the last chapter had been left out, because no WAY would a Star Wars movie have a downbeat ending. I spent one of my first evenings in a theater watching that film incredulous that they could do THAT to my favourite, coolest character. The approaching Cloud City sequences are among my favourite bits of the whole. Although Star Wars is my favourite movie of all time, there's no denying Empire was the best made.

  • May 23, 2010, 2:54 a.m. CST

    I actually saw SW & ROTJ before I saw ESB..

    by Ganymede3001

    To make a long story short, for some reason my father didn't take me to see it. So I had to wait until it came on HBO, it kinda sucked for me since everyone told me OMFG, VADER IS LUKES FATHER. However, it didn't matter, once I finally saw ESB it was a magic moment. I was in complete movie heaven.

  • May 23, 2010, 3:10 a.m. CST

    RPLocke its simple

    by ominus

    the one set of movies is atrocious.the other set is great despite its flaws. <p>or look it like this: <p>you are hungry and you want to east something to satisfy your have to choose between two options: a pile of shit and a buffet offering a lot of tasteful dishes and a few tasteless ones.what option would you choose and support?

  • May 23, 2010, 3:14 a.m. CST

    Were there not hints in ANP that vader was

    by ominus

    Luke's father? or i am confusing it with the special edition that came later and added those hints?

  • May 23, 2010, 3:17 a.m. CST



    I'm sorry you've led such an empty life apparently. My parents took me to everything. All over North & South America throughout my childhood years. They threw conventions & film festivals, did Light Shows for clubs & music festivals - and they were artists that set up at Rennie faires. They never ever had a normal job - and as a result, I never had a "Normal" childhood - just the one I was born into. Shit - there's a photo of me at age 4 dancing naked on a table at the Armadillo World Headquarters as a band played in the background. At age 9 I was atop the pyramids of Tikal trying to find the rebel base. At 5 I was babysat by Johnny Weismuller. Just happens to be true. You know what else is true? You're an ass for calling lies on someone that only tells the truth. Cuz true story, I'm an Eagle Scout - and that all meant something to me, that still holds true to today. Again, I'm sorry if you've grown up cynical about everything. Must suck to be you.

  • May 23, 2010, 3:45 a.m. CST



    Cool parents.

  • May 23, 2010, 3:58 a.m. CST

    ominus hints

    by 7-zark-7

    The references to Luke's father in the first STAR WARS film are all rather vague. <p>"He was the best star pilot in the galaxy." Well, yes, Vader was an excellent pilot -- but then, so was Han Solo. <p>"Luke has too much of his father in him -- that's what I'm afraid of." At the time, that was mostly taken to mean that Owen didn't want Luke to leave, which could have been for any number of reasons. <p>"Darth Vader betrayed and murdered your father." When that was all you knew (seeing as how the other films were years away at the time), that line led you to eliminate Vader as a suspect.

  • May 23, 2010, 4:16 a.m. CST

    er nowhere in the ANH mentions that Han Solo

    by ominus

    was the best pilot in the galaxy.besides we have a whole sequence where Vader personally gets out to fight the rebels with his Tie-fighter,showing clearly that this was his game.I dont know about you guys,but when i first show ANH i got the impression that Vader was Luke's father precisely from that scene alone and what his uncle had told him earlier.especially the "thats what i am afraid of" line.

  • May 23, 2010, 4:22 a.m. CST

    Cheers HEADGEEK!

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    1977 - 1982 were the best years of my life! Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Superman, Smokey & The Bandit, Star Trek, Close Encounters, Every Which Way But Loose, Blues Brothers, Airplane, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET... good god, I was the most envied kid at school! On the downside, I also had to watch Grease, Xanadu, and Can't Stop The Music a zillion times. I have fond memories of the Last Flight Of Noah's Ark too for some strange reason.

  • May 23, 2010, 4:31 a.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    "I'm not a prequel apologist but I can't understand why I have to like one set of films and hate another set of films? Can't I like both? What's wrong with that?"<p> Please point out the post where ANYONE said you "have to like one set of films and hate another set of films". I seriously doubt anyone ever "instructed" you to do so.<p> No, what I think you're actually trying to say is "I don't care if you have a list as long as your arm about what's wrong with the Prequels...I liked them, so your right to free speech is hereby rescinded and you need to shut the fuck up because you're making me unhappy."<p> Depressingly common attitude on the internet these days, chiefly among people who can't mount an efficient defense of their causes and beliefs and have to fall back on bullying and epithets...

  • May 23, 2010, 4:40 a.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    "There's a photo of me at age 4 dancing naked on a table at the Armadillo World Headquarters as a band played in the background."<p> Okay, I think we need to conduct a sit-down strike until that photo surfaces...everybody hold hands...<p> "We shall overcom-m-m-me..."

  • May 23, 2010, 4:47 a.m. CST

    the deification of EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

    by AsimovLives

    Yes, it's a good movie. Yes, it's the best of the Star Wars series. But the best movie ever? Even among the very good movies list, it would feature pretty low compared to many other very good movies. Really, this deification of EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is just... dude,s there's a difference between populism and quality. ESB has both, but there's far better movies.<br><br>As for the spoiler, my story is different: i read the novelization before i watched the movie. It was in the mid/late 80s, there wasn't easily available VHS players and tapes back then, and i was cusious to know what all this Star Wars busienss was about (i missed the original theatrical run back in the day), and i learned it from reading a book. I only got to watch the whole early saga when i was already in my 17. By then, and not beign a small children already, the SW mvoies didn't had the same impact that it might had had to many of you who saw it at a much younger impressionable age. Such is what happened with me.

  • May 23, 2010, 5:01 a.m. CST

    13 Years Old

    by THX1968

    Saturday matinee at the Har Mar 1 & 2 in Roseville, MN. Inexplicably, the showing was not sold out, so my buddy and I sat through it a second time, needing an immediate fix after the first hit. Yoda made the biggest impression on me at the time, along with Fett. The whole world of "Star Wars" grew enormously that day, becoming a much richer place to get lost in.

  • May 23, 2010, 5:07 a.m. CST

    The HS Cartoon Was Very Cool

    by THX1968

    Check it out!

  • May 23, 2010, 5:18 a.m. CST

    ESB is Fuller's finest ale

    by BiggusDickus

    Do you guys think it stands for something else then?

  • May 23, 2010, 6:30 a.m. CST

    well 'goody' for you, ominus ..

    by 7-zark-7

    .. here's a cookie. :p

  • May 23, 2010, 7:07 a.m. CST

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  • May 23, 2010, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Too bad Jedi almost ruined it

    by MandrakeRoot

    Harry - you seriously need an editor. Some of your commentaries would be decent if they made sense.

  • May 23, 2010, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Rupee88...change your name to Rupee67

    by BumLove

  • May 23, 2010, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Mai Kai and QuoVadis

    by TiNSeLToWN TeRRoR

    Stood in line at the Mai Kai in Livonia, Michigan opening day and the next day went to the Quo Vadis in Westland, Michigan and stood in another long line! I was 11 and in movie heaven!!!!

  • May 23, 2010, 10:16 a.m. CST

    I enjoy all 6...

    by darthwaz1

    Agree that Empire is the most well-made, and has the best character development. Kershner knew what to do with Lucas' story and characters. But even though I'm violating my sworn duty as a fanboy to hate the prequels/clone wars, I do enjoy them.

  • May 23, 2010, 10:37 a.m. CST

    13 Years Old; Showcase Cinemas, Bardstown Rd, Louisville

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    Ah, I remember being 13 years old, which I still consider the apex of the Geek age. Even if I was starting to get interested in girls, they certainly weren't interested in me in my awkward, not yet fully developed state. I read Starlog faithfully, and I'd seen pics of the AT-ATs, but that's about all I'd seen. I had just picked up the giant sized Marvel adaption of the film by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson the day before the movie opened. I stared at the cover all day trying to resist spoiling anything by peeking inside. Okay, I peeked a little. I saw asteriods, Wampas and Boba Fett! I could hardly contain my excitement, and this was a lifetime spoiling of an experience, because nothing I'd ever get this excited about would ever actually live up to my expectations ever again. The line wrapped around the building. Would we get in? I had a bad experience with a sold out "Close Encounters" screening and was afraid to repeat it. We got in, I got some hot buttered popcorn and the show began (along with my lifelong obsession with Hoth). Does anyone else remember the rollercoaster feeling in your stomach during the POV shot of the snowspeeder searching for Luke? This was a living rollercoaster, and one of the best experiences I've ever had in a theater.

  • May 23, 2010, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Secret History of Star Wars

    by SK229

    is so fucking bloated and full of flowery attempts at erudite sounding prose, that I can barely make it through a sentence. I'd love to get some new information from it, but I just can't get through any of it... it's worse than the worst of Harry's reviews.

  • May 23, 2010, 11:04 a.m. CST


    by alcester

    Never did like Yoda, thought ok here come the muppets.

  • May 23, 2010, 11:49 a.m. CST

    RPLocke, I agree and I've said it many times

    by Jaka

    I like the prequels. No geek joy involved in that statement. I like the prequels like I like literally thousands of other movies. But I LOVE the OT! A statement FILLED with geek joy! And even if you love the prequels, it's not something you should feel the need to defend. To each his own.

  • May 23, 2010, 12:45 p.m. CST

    2 years old!

    by manuk666

    My father was so pumped from the first movie he couldnt help it and took me to watch ESB even tho I was a toddler. I distincly recall being scared shitless of vader, and the horror of that shot of him without the helmet. Thanks for this Harry!

  • May 23, 2010, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Star Wars Memories

    by OwenOfAlaska

    I was 9,mind blowing is a good description. I remember the bizarre christmas special too. I remember waiting for "Jedi" , it was at least ten years between movies (seemed like it)!

  • May 23, 2010, 1:07 p.m. CST

    7 years old, saw it at one of the theaters near

    by Dingbatty

    the mall in Jonesboro, Georgia. I don't recall any other details of the day. Was really fascinated by Yoda. The tiny tiny figure with the cloth robe, orange neck snake, and walking stick was a fave of mine for years to come. Took that thing with me everywhere.

  • May 23, 2010, 1:47 p.m. CST

    A few lost memories recovered

    by Chief Joseph

    I think the storybook may also have been released before the film. These storybooks had big pics in them, often including deleted scenes. (The Star Wars one had the Biggs scene, for example.)<br> Anyways, I remember my mom getting me the book before I went to the movie. On the first page it had pics of all the characters and little blurbs under each pic that described all the characters. That plus the fact that I think I had some of the toys must have enabled me to understand what was going on in the film without having seen Star Wars first.<br> I also remember a cereal (Cheerios?) having some sort of contest or something where you voted if you believed if Vader was Luke's father or not. I voted no. I remember my mom saying she thought he was telling the truth. It seems really obvious that it was true in retrospect. (The whole telepathic connection thing at the end kinda clinches it.) I guess at 4 I couldn't wrap my head around the concept of the black metal man being someone's dad.

  • May 23, 2010, 2:13 p.m. CST

    I was in that same line!

    by DocPoison

    Harry, I wondered if you would post anything about that day. I got a job at the Americana just so I could see Empire a day early. AND I camped out that night to get in the next day too. No mention of me in the list though- what's the deal? ;-) I definitely remember the buzz about who Boba Fett was, and the whispers about Darth being Luke's father. The comic adaptation was out prior to this, but I don't think a lot of people read them, at least there seemed to be genuine disagreement about the Darth-Luke thing. Oh, the guy who spoke to the audience was Cleland Early, the theater manager. That was a great summer, maybe not as awesome as the summer of 77, when I saw Star Wars the first day and worked at Comic Book John's comic shop and dragged my dad's lawn mower to Jay's house to mow the yard in trade for comics, but it was pretty damn spectacular. Seeing Empire for the first time was absolutely amazing. Few films have ever come close in terms of getting every thing right. Some movies have better effects these days, but very few achieve the same well-rounded greatness of ESB. Like Star Wars, Empire really inspired me. I took up modelbuilding and sculpting, and have made my living as a GI Joe designer, sculptor, painter, and photographer for over 20 years. Who says being a geek doesn't pay? I saw that film dozens of times, not counting when I would go hang out in the back of the theater to watch the snow battle, asteroid scene, and the very end (while waiting to go clean up after the slobs who seemed unable to throw out their own trash). I even got you and Jay in free once or twice if I recall. Man, that was a great summer! Nothing compares to it now. Maybe it because I was 17 at the time and everything else looks different too, but that was a truly special time. The Americana was the largest theater in Austin (it's now a library). I remember working line control in the baking sun, getting thousands of people to wrap all the way around this huge building, trying to keep them out of the way of cars, keeping the line orderly, and so on. That move sold out EVERY SINGLE SHOW for over two months. It's probably still some kind of record. In a sort-of-related story, a few weeks after the movie started, there was an attack on the theater. Some pissed-off projectionists (from the union in Dallas I was told later) came down to protest the replacement of the older switch-the-reels projectors that required skilled projectionists to operate, with the newest (at the time) platter projectors, where all the reels are spliced together and laid flat on one giant platter. These don't take as much skill to operate, but their primary objection was that one operator could run dozens of films at once, where before it would require one projectionist for every 2 or 3 films to switch from one reel to the next. Okay, so these guys came down, and in the middle of a showing of Empire, lit off smoke bombs, squirted ink on the screen, and then slashed the screen as they ran out. What assholes! Everyone in the audience got a pass for another show of course, but all the employees were called in to help change the screen. That was an epic undertaking on a screen that size! We got it changed and were open for business the next day. Anyone remember this? I ended up with a couple of those theater standees, but not Boba Fett. I got Darth Vader (yeah! score!) and Chewbacca (half-hearted yeah.) But I did get the address of the company that sold them and just ordered some directly. This was waaaaaay before the internet, so even finding a company's contact info could be a challenge, much less ordering something that is supposed to be shipped only to a theater. My dad (also a photographer) put together some bogus letter explaining that he needed them for some photos shoot, sent it off with a company check (I had to pay him for it of course), and a few weeks later- one of each standee showed up! What a geek-gasm! I got Darth, Boba Fett (the two coolest ones by far) , along with Chewie, R2 and 3PO. They didn't have Han, Luke or Leia. I always wondered why, but maybe because none of those 5 showed an actor's face, so anybody could have posed for the shots. Anyway, it was totally cool to have one each, I kept them in my room for a while until I realized that girls thought it was dorky. So alas, away with the Star Wars stuff, but hello girs! I guess that was a turning point in a lot of ways. Well, that's my diatribe. I'd be interested to see if anyone else was in that actual line or remembers the angry projectionists...

  • May 23, 2010, 2:27 p.m. CST

    The greatest sequel of all time

    by Seth Gecko

    A masterpiece full stop. Dark, moving and exciting. Mum took me to see it twice and I was utterly mesmerised by this incredible film. I have watched this more than any other Star Wars film as it is so much better than any of the others. It is regarded as one of the greatest 100 films of all time. I would say top 10 easy. Perfect on every level. Kirshner hit this one out of the ball park.

  • May 23, 2010, 2:39 p.m. CST

    ESB Made Me Confront My Own Immature Geekery

    by Buzz Maverik

    Took my 9 year old son and his best friend at the time to Legoland on STAR WARS day when all those guys who dress up as Stormtroopers were there. I forget the exact argument I got into with my kid's friend about Boba Fett but the little shit was pretty adamant and I found myself saying, "Hey, I was there opening day 1980, man!"

  • May 23, 2010, 2:42 p.m. CST

    FX Better Than CGI

    by Buzz Maverik

    Look at the asteroid field in ESB, then look at one Obi Wan flew through in AOTC (if you even remember that Obi Wan flew through an asteroid field in AOTC). Of course, ESB didn't have real asteroids, but the little models were at least REAL. They physically existed in the world. The prequels looked like flat home screen wall paper.

  • May 23, 2010, 2:53 p.m. CST

    "I love you" "really? oh wow! cool! heh heh!"

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    that would have been far doper.

  • May 23, 2010, 2:54 p.m. CST

    no cgi

    by alcester

    Why don't some young film maker make a retro sc/fi movie using just models and inventiveness .I hate that fake looking eye candy.

  • May 23, 2010, 2:54 p.m. CST

    ANH Alluding To Vader Being Luke's Father

    by Buzz Maverik

    Guys, we have to accept that despite what our idol George Walton Lucas Jr. believes about himself and what he tells the press and what we all would love to believe, he makes this stuff pretty much as he goes along. He didn't have the whole series in his brain in one burst. He shitcanned lots of drafts, edited lots of footage, and at one time was humble enough to listen to the opinions of friends, family, actors, other writers, directors and producers (although he was never stupid enough to listen to fans, thank God!).<p>Sequels were not a given, even to a successful film, in 1977. In earlier drafts, Luke and Leia were brother and sister, Luke Starkiller had an evil father named Kane Starkiller, etc. But what got on screen was that a young Jedi named Darth Vader betrayed and murdered Luke Skywalker's unnamed father and in both ANH and ESB, Luke and Leia had an attraction to each other that isn't natural for siblings, except in certain Red States.<p>The whole "from my point of view" thing was a bad cop out. That's like "I didn't embezzle that money ... from my point of view, since you're a bad person it's not stealing from you" etc.<p>I have trouble with Anakin getting off the hook since he took part in genocide by destroying Alderan. Now, prior to the release of ROTS, George hinted in interviews that Anakin was sort of possessed but that never made it to the screen either and the whole "why'd he do it and how was he redeemed" stuff was a great cinematic, ball dropping mess.

  • May 23, 2010, 2:54 p.m. CST

    I wonder what Billy Dee Williams thinks of Cable Guy

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    Specifically the scene where Jim Carrey puts his nipple against the glasa and says "oh Billy!!!"

  • May 23, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST

    If Empire was made in the 1930s

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

  • May 23, 2010, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Never Stand In Line For More Than An HourTo See A Movie

    by Buzz Maverik

    Chances are if you get there at a reasonable time, having slept in your bed and had a nice shower, that you can sit in the same showing as the guy who camped out for a month. Three weeks later, you can see it in a nearly empty theater, and a few months later you can own, rent, hold the puppy in your hand.

  • May 23, 2010, 3:10 p.m. CST


    by WeylandYutani

    Great story! <P> Out of my own curiosity, which GI Joes did you sculpt?

  • May 23, 2010, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Prequels look like xbox 360 games which makes me feel

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    like some hotshot 30 year old mod-stoner guys working in a dark room on glowing screens while having their porn sites on close. Meanwhile even the crappier effects in the OT have a lovable charm to them like "aw at least they tried" and makes me feel of gentle guys with hippy hair and plaid shirts putting their childhood dreams of puppetry to the test with plenty of glue and staples , probably doodling little cartoons like they used to as kids on the inside of the latex and cardboard or having a break lunch inside the jabba suit eating a nice hamburger and drinking a coca-cola can where the drinking hole thing completely pulls off.

  • May 23, 2010, 3:42 p.m. CST

    I guess ESB did make Obi-Wan a liar

    by Chief Joseph

    I always hoped the prequels would redeem him of that. I imagined that perhaps King Organa would order Obi-Wan to never reveal the horrible truth. But George forgot to make Bail Organa a king and forgot to make Obi-Wan his knight, let alone fix the liar mess.

  • May 23, 2010, 3:51 p.m. CST

    the deification of EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is eyes rolling!!

    by AsimovLives

    Best sequel of all time? Ladies and gentleman, geekry at it's most hyperbolic self-indulgency! Because like, cinema and science fiction starts and stops at Star Wars, isn't it?

  • May 23, 2010, 4:07 p.m. CST

    ESB for me...

    by David_Lynch_Wears_Socks_In_The_Shower

    I too saw ESB at the Showcase Cinemas in Louisville, KY. I was eight years old, and had not seen Star Wars, but I knew all of the characters' names due to the action figures that my friends had. I remember really liking it, especially the duel between Luke and Vader in Bespin. I saw lots of movies at the Showcase (Superman, Back to the Future, The Black Cauldron, among others) Too bad that theater is long gone. It was a very sad day for me when I was in Louisville and realized it had been torn down.

  • May 23, 2010, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Why did Lucas make Ben a liar...

    by Dead_Kate_Moss

    when he could have just made him mistaken? He never says he saw Vader kill Luke's father with his own eyes...

  • May 23, 2010, 4:41 p.m. CST

    The Empire Strikes Back

    by ayaryura

    I remember seeing it here in the Dominican Republic, but fever pitch reached for me with ROJ, saw it last night, I have to say that its near perfect...Lawrence kasdan did a fantastic job humanizing the characters.

  • May 23, 2010, 5:27 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    They do. It's called Dr. Who.

  • May 23, 2010, 5:29 p.m. CST

    I didn't see it opening day

    by FlyingToupee

    In fact, I didn't get to see it until later that summer. Unfortunately, my family weren't Star Wars fans, of fans of sci-fi in general. And a friend of mine who did see it spoiled the big surprise for me. But, when I finally did see it, I didn't care. It was a great movie, even better than the first, and made me a Star Wars fan forever. P.S. Even though my family wasn't into Star Wars, they really loved Superman and later Raiders of the Lost Ark. So I got to see those films on their opening weekends. Summer of '81 was a blast!

  • May 23, 2010, 5:31 p.m. CST


    by FlyingToupee

    and I did get to see ROTJ on opening night, because by that time I had a friend in high school who was into all of the same geeky stuff that I was. So we were there the night it came out, standing in a line two miles long. What a blast!

  • May 23, 2010, 5:34 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    What do you like seriously?

  • May 23, 2010, 5:35 p.m. CST


    by FlyingToupee

    Saw both ESB and ROTJ at the Bucks Colonial Twin in Feasterville, Pa. Most of my other geek flicks were seen at the Eric Feasterville(including Raiders on the gigantic screen with six track Dolby surround ) and the Budco Orleans(where I saw Superman II opening night in '81 and was blown away, despite the flaws, and Wrath of Khan a year later).

  • May 23, 2010, 5:43 p.m. CST

    the three best episodes of the simpsons...

    by emeraldboy

    1.the simpsons go into witness protection </p> 2. the one with house of burlesq. </P> 3. the drone wars episode. the highlight is where homer and marge get drunk and toss around george randall aka george lucas.

  • May 23, 2010, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Um, it's a metaphor re: Ben talking about Vader

    by BumLove

    "Vader murdered and destroyed your father." It's a metaphor for him destroying the good man within himself. Even if it wasn't planned that way, that's what it means. It doesn't need any cleansing of Ben Kenobi's "lie". It's fine as it stands, just like Greedo doesn't need to shoot first.

  • May 23, 2010, 5:52 p.m. CST


    by FlyingToupee

    "Maybe Kershner would have had the balls to confront Lucus about the overkill of the teddybears????" It's hard to say how Kersh would have handled JEDI. On the one hand, he made a masterpiece with ESB. But he also did NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN and ROBOCOP 2, which are train wrecks. Maybe he and George need each other. Together they made one of the best fantasy films ever made. Seperately, they haven't fared as well(though I think ROTS and parts of AOTC are pretty good, though not as great as they could have been).

  • May 23, 2010, 5:55 p.m. CST

    My deification is for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    i see others here spilling their heart and soul at Empire, which is good... but when GBU gets its own 50th anniversary on 1016 i'm going to be locked in a love of GOLD harmony to on these talkbacks.

  • May 23, 2010, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Never Say Never Again is awesome

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

  • May 23, 2010, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Random thing about Alec Guinness...

    by ChristmasCameLate

    Somebody up above said that Guinness did NOT hate his run on SW, but from this, his own words, it sounds like he VERY MUCH did not like his run on SW. I just read this in an article talking about ESB anniversary. From his own autobiography, Guinness spoke on an encounter with a young fan, who he spoke to pretty hurtfully about his SW love: "The young man walked up and asked for me for my autograph, and said that he'd seen Star Wars a hundred times. "Well," I said, "do you think you could promise never to see Star Wars again?" He burst into tears. His mother drew herself up to an immense height. "What a dreadful thing to say to a child!" she barked, and dragged the poor kid away. Maybe she was right but I just hope the lad, now in his thirties, is not living in a fantasy world of secondhand, childish banalities." - Alec Guinness, from his book A POSITIVELY FINAL APPEARANCE. He goes on to say that he appreciated the paycheck, that it allowed him to live his already modest lifestyle for the rest of his days, and to accept or decline whatever parts he wished. What's weird is, he was a DEVOUT Catholic after converting from his plans to become an Anglican priest--the man believed in a bearded sorcerer who lives in the sky, donated much money to his church for a magical creature he believed in wholeheartedly sight unseen...and he gave a CHILD grief about loving a series of films that demonstrates the triumph of good over evil. Unbelievable! Anyways...ESB rocks.

  • May 23, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST


    by ChristmasCameLate

    GBU, ESB, and SS (Seven Samurai) are my all-time faves--but if I had to pick one, it'd be "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."

  • May 23, 2010, 6:20 p.m. CST


    by BumLove

    Sounds like the Shatner "Get a Life" sketch from SNL, and really, after being approached by countless fans, if a child approached someone and claimed they watched the film 100 times, perhaps honesty got the best of him at that moment, but his advice isn't all that bad. When you look at the countless "Lucas raped my childhood" talkbacks at this website, some honest stern advice from Guiness himself to a child telling him to please not watch the film for the 101st time, in the hope that the child might perhaps live a more productive and less isolated's really kind of compassionate when you think about it.

  • May 23, 2010, 6:39 p.m. CST


    by FlyingToupee

    NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN was a missed opportunity. Sure, it's great to see Connery back in action as 007, and Barbara Carrera looks yummy. But the pacing is terrible, the music sounds like it was performed by some doped up lounge performers in an after hours bar in Atlantic City, and the film goes on and on. Even Kersh admits that it's a disaster, rent the DVD and listen to his commentary. He hates the film, as does Connery.

  • May 23, 2010, 6:46 p.m. CST


    by DocPoison

    Glad somebody read it. I ran a toy company called Tripwire Toys from 93 to 02, making custom 1/6 scale uniforms for GI Joe. I later sold most of my designs to 21st Century Toys, though some were used by other companies. CNN contacted me for comments about the (then) upcoming GI Joe movie, and I ended up writing an article about my toy business on iReports. You can read it here: I was never actually an employee of Hasbro but many of my sculptures made their way into the toy aisles in the late 90s and early 2000s. Things like M16s, helmets, pouches, canteens, and so on. Hey, somebody has to sculpt the first one before it can be mass produced! I did not sculpt any of the "character" Joes, the 3 3/4" ones, more of the realistic military gear for the 12" guys. Anyway, that's the story.

  • May 23, 2010, 7:21 p.m. CST

    slave labor

    by samuel_l_bronkowitz

    I was 12 at the time. My best friend's mother promised to take us all to the opening weekend if we worked on the rental she owned across the street from their house. We must have done 8 hours of strenuous labor just to stand in line for another 3 or 4 hours. But it was worth it. Still the best of all the films, and the only one that was actually a good movie, and not just an excuse for great special-effects. Also the only one where Lucas didn't direct or heavily influence the directing. Coincidence?

  • May 23, 2010, 7:29 p.m. CST


    by samuel_l_bronkowitz

    ..and, I have to say, ROJ sucked ass. Except for the giant lobster admiral exclaiming "It's a trap!". Didn't appreciate the irony of the joke until I got a bit older. Other than that, too many god-damned Ewoks, too much shitty dialog attempting to be "deep". I hear Yoda asked to be killed off early so he wouldn't be associated too heavily with that flaming piece of shit.

  • May 23, 2010, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Guinness did NOT hate Star Wars...

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    The oft-told anecdotes he gave out in later years were completely misleading. A few years ago there was the publication of private correspondence between him and his family and friends that dated around the time that Star Wars was filming and then had just come out, that reveal conclusively what he thought of the movie, and his impression was in fact very positive. <p>It was only later, confronted with growing fan hysteria that soured him on the whole thing, and he played up his disdain for the series for effect in many later interviews. Vis-a-vis, even going so far as to claim that the famous story of Lucas deciding that Obi Wan should die half way through the story much to Guinness' displeasure, was in fact a lie, and that Guinness himself suggested to Lucas that the character be killed, which Guinness claimed was a skillful ploy to get him out of the sequels so he didn't have to keep on speaking the 'mumbo jumbo' forever. This was total crap, and the original version of events was actually the true one.<p>And what will really put to rest that he hated SW was the report that he actually saw Phantom Menace before he died and enjoyed it, apparently being particularly impressed at McGregor's mimickry of his vocal inflections.

  • May 23, 2010, 7:39 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives, maybe so...

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    However, it is no less 'eye-rolling' than the deification of 'The Dark Knight' amongst the geek set, and as someone who has professed complete adulation of that movie in the past, particularly when others have criticized it, I ask what is the difference? I'm not taking the piss; I sincerely want to know.

  • May 23, 2010, 7:43 p.m. CST

    To clarify...

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    I mean you when I say 'someone who has professed complete adulation' of TDK, not myself (I think it's an excellent film, but grotesquely overrated). Is TDK the genre equivalent of Empire for the 00's?

  • May 23, 2010, 7:44 p.m. CST

    @Alcester re: no cgi

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Duncan Jones, Moon. ;-)

  • May 23, 2010, 7:47 p.m. CST


    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Admiral Ackbar's scenes in Jedi are even better when you turn up the sound to peak volume, and can hear someone shouting 'DIE DICKHEADS!!!' in the background when the Executor is taken down.

  • May 23, 2010, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Irvin Kershner is not a good director and is no comparison

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    to Lucas. Lucas directed THX1138, American Grafitti, and A New Hope, all masterpieces. Kershner directed the atrocious Robocop 2 and one of the worst Bond films, the unofficial Never Say Never Again. Yes, he did a fantastic job on Empire, bringing a lot of humorous banter out of the actors, and wringing a lot of finesse and nuance out of the script, but that was a one-off, and just polish on top of what Lucas and Kasdan had already laid down. He was a former USC teacher turned hack director - even in the case of the aforementioned atrocities he was simply a last-minute replacement for previous departed directors.<p> Fanboys need to wake up and stop denying the once very real talent that Lucas possessed, seemingly out of exaggerated spite and rampant ignorance. Lucas was arguably the most talented of the movie brats, and certainly the most radical. Lucas was once a visionary, now a mogul and businessman, but once a genius no less. Kersh was at best, a competent journeyman, and at worst, a hack. Anyway, he was offered the helm of Jedi, which he turned down. His loss.

  • May 23, 2010, 8:03 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    "What do you like seriously?"<p> I said it above...the OT (minus Boba Fett's punk-ass demise...I guess I can live with the Ewoks) and Episode 3 (minus "Noooo!" and Amidala dying of a broken heart or whatever). Find a way to restore Han Solo shooting first and Sebastian Shaw as the redeemed Anakin, and I guess I can even live with the "Special Editions".<p> Don't think I'm some Gawddamn fanboy, either...same as with any movie, I'm more interested in how the story hangs together, which is where Episodes 1 and 2 failed miserably.

  • May 23, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST


    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    For me it's GBU, For a Few Dollars More and Predator.

  • May 23, 2010, 8:07 p.m. CST


    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    I think theyre just being real modest. NSNA has crappy music i agree but the performances have Kerhsner's usual energy and devotion.

  • May 23, 2010, 8:07 p.m. CST

    and the badguy

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    was psycho smashin the record player. real cray badguy.

  • May 23, 2010, 8:53 p.m. CST

    All the cool SW characters have helmets.

    by RPLocke

  • May 23, 2010, 9:01 p.m. CST

    ESB is Lucas' least favourite SW movie

    by SimonDunkle

    Heard from an interview with a FX guy who worked on Star Wars. Can you believe that? "Too dark" thought Lucas. He was out of touch even in 1980.

  • May 23, 2010, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Is Kershner the Stormtrooper

    by Chief Joseph

    that says, "Who are you?" to C-3PO?<br> It sounds like its either him or Frank Oz, and Kershner makes more sense.

  • May 23, 2010, 9:08 p.m. CST

    ESB is Lucas' least favourite SW movie??

    by darthwaz1

    How can that be? he wrote and produced the fucker!!

  • May 23, 2010, 9:30 p.m. CST


    by SimonDunkle

    I guess Lucas didn't have the amount of control over Kershner - who gave it a gloomier tone - than he would have liked. Lucas also bitched at Kershner regarding running time and cost during the production. He seemed generally unhappy with Kershner's choices. What a silly bitch.

  • May 23, 2010, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Wow didn't know that...

    by darthwaz1

    It surprises me that Lucas himself would go many shades darker in "Sith"

  • May 23, 2010, 9:51 p.m. CST

    Hey, Phineas_Flavel all hail Cine Capri

    by The_Breeze

    I saw Star Wars at the legendary Cine Capri in '78. Saw Titanic there at the end in '97. Saw Empire at the Kachina in Scottsdale- which was second only to the Cine Capri in terms of grandeur and history. Nice to know someone else out there remembers the old-school classic Arizona theatres.

  • May 23, 2010, 9:58 p.m. CST

    ESB is Lucas's least fave because he had least control

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    He couldn't control Ford from changing lines ("the script was awful" re: the infamous I love you/I know brouhaha), and Kershner/Kasdan made the movie they, and Star Wars fans, wanted, not what Lucas wanted. Hence we got Ewoks instead of Wookies in RotJ.

  • May 24, 2010, 3:54 a.m. CST

    Lucas explains Ewoks instead of Wookies...

    by darthwaz1

    As being necessary because He wanted primitives and they'd already shown Wookies were advanced, could pilot ships ect. The whole Ewok thing is unbelievable because there are so few of them. It's my least favorite aspect of the 6 films (Jar Jar included). If Lucas goes back and cgi's HUNDREDS of ewoks into the battle, then it would be more believable and I'd probably like it.

  • May 24, 2010, 5:35 a.m. CST


    by elsewhere

    And yet with all it's primitive special effects by todays standards, the Battle of Endor in ROTJ is still more realistic, thrilling and entertaining than every space battle in the prequels. Imagine that.

  • May 24, 2010, 6:29 a.m. CST

    A once in a lifetime experence

    by Charles_Corkey_Thatcher

    I was three when this movie came out. One of my first memories is sitting on my grandfather's knee and watching this in the theater. Of course I don't remember the actual film and all that, just the experience itself. Apparently I shreeked "Yikes it's Darth Vader, I'm getting out of here!" and ran up the isle upon Vader's first apparence in the film. Like so many things, perhaps we attach too much importance to the first two Star Wars films. However, I will always have a special place in my heart for them.

  • May 24, 2010, 7:31 a.m. CST

    Why was Lando wearing Han's clothes...

    by PROF IKAMONO the end?

  • May 24, 2010, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Lando did NOT have time to pack a suitcase!!!!!

    by Mel Garga

    As we all know, Lando and company left Cloud City in a major rush. No suitcase, fresh underwear, toothbrush, etc. He was obviously forced to raid Han's closet and scrape together a new wardrobe. What you don't see in the final shot of the Falcon's cockpit is that Lando is sitting in an old pair of boxer shorts.

  • May 24, 2010, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Great anecdote, by the way.

    by Mel Garga

    I was a little too young to remember ESB but have fond memories of waiting for hours to see Jedi. My initial memories of ESB involve the book that came with the mini-record. I must have played that a thousand times.

  • May 24, 2010, 8:10 a.m. CST

    i am going to rewatch OT back to back

    by ominus

    the hard part is to find the original theatrical versions in decent quality.

  • May 24, 2010, 9:45 a.m. CST

    I was 8 years old....

    by DangerDave

    I went to see it with my mom, and I was so excited. I had watched Star Wars 5 times before this. <P> It remains the greatest time I have ever had in a movie theater. The hype and the effect meet in the middle and were perfect. It remains the standard for a good movie. <P> Raiders of the lost Arc and this.

  • May 24, 2010, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Opening night

    by niccageshairpiece

    Saw it in Boston. I was 10 years old. They had people dressed as Vader,CP3O and Fett in the lobby. My Dad and Uncle took me to the swanky( At the time) Charles River Cinema. I was blown away. My Uncle worked for MIT and got all sorts of cool Space Related stuff. I remember being 11 and going to a computer lab and racing a car against someone in California. Wild for 1981. But the ESB event was the best.

  • May 24, 2010, 9:59 a.m. CST

    30 years... damn!

    by Sonny_Williams

    I remember that day at the Americana too, Harry. Unfortunately, workday realities prevented me from seeing EMPIRE until that evening. My bud and I got there an hour before the next screening, and of course it was already sold out. We snagged 2 tickets to the next showing (around 9pm maybe?) and joined that endless line surrounding the Americana. After forever and a day we were finally seated, ready to be blown away by the awesomeness that departing crowds guaranteed us was awaiting. Then, not more than a half hour into the film, disaster struck - the sound level dropped to a low murmur, virtually incomprehensible! We all waited, far beyond impatient, for the problem to be corrected. And waited. And waited. One after the other, dozens of fans arose to find someone in charge and find out WHAT THE FUCK was wrong! The screening eventually stopped while management tried to figure out the problem. A huge cheer went up when the screen lit up again, quickly turning to boos and cursing when we realized the sound was still FUBARed. After well over 30 minutes of low mumbling the sound came roaring back to normal levels, and the problem was forgotten for the moment as EMPIRE once again swept us far far away. We left the auditorium happy campers, thinking we'd be getting free passes to a future showing once the Americana received a new print to replace the defective one. WRONG!!! Management decreed that there would be no refund or passes for anyone who stayed for the entire botched screening. I and many many others vowed never to set foot there again - but of course we did return, paying our dime once again to hopefully see AND HEAR the entire movie this time. So EMPIRE holds the unique distinction of being at the top of my personal lists for best AND worst movie-going experiences of my life!

  • May 24, 2010, 10:41 a.m. CST

    The Best Ever!!!!!

    by wastherewhenitbeganmay1977

    My sister took me the Saturday after it opened. It was not playing at all theaters like a blockbuster would today. Theaters had "exclusive" showings in many towns that lasted for weeks. We were on line forever. Then the manager comes out and says "I have 20 seats". He starts couting and we are 18 and 19. I sit in the third row and am completly blown away by each and every frame. It was the most fun I ever had in a movie theater. I was 14 at the time and it was and is the pinnacle of my movie going experience. It took something that was already amazing in my mind and raised it to a new level. A level I did not believe was possible. Every choice in that film was perfect. There were no mistakes. I have seen better movies, but none that were as much fun. It was such a unique time in that nothing of this magnitude will ever happen again. The biggest movie of all time being continued with an even greater film? With smashing surprises that almost no one knew about? With an ending that left us wondering if there was another real that we weren't shown? Alas, there wasn't. It was and remains the high water mark for the Star Wars Saga. Maybe when the Lucas estate sells the rights to this, someone will capture that world again with imagination, drama, excitement, humor and surprises. Until then, I bask in the memory.

  • May 24, 2010, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Midland Theater, Kansas City, MO. 1980

    by Alabama Smith

    I was 6 years old and my family went to go see "The Empire Strikes Back" on one of the biggest screens I had ever seen. I had seen "Star Wars" only at the Twin Drive In and the experience was incredible. But to see "ESB" in a theater on this screen was a spectacle. I remember sitting in the balcony and watching the opening sequence on Hoth. My parents from time to time would glance over at my brother and I and mentioned something along the lines on "The two of you never even blinked during the whole movie". I just remember it being so surreal and never wanting that experience to go. The same could be said a year later when "Raiders of the Lost Ark came out. But this was, and still is in my own experience, the "Coming of age movie". Luke starts to grow up. Hand and Leia start to have "feelings" for each other. Darth even shows his soft side. But this was that movie that set the stage for ever other piece of junk that is out there. Star Wars was great, but Empire upped the ante. Try to create a second film just as great if not better. Lucas gets alot of flack these days. But he knew what he was doing when he put this team together to create this movie. Happy 30th Empire, and hopefully the rest of Hollywood will take a cue from what you have accomplished!

  • May 24, 2010, 11:14 a.m. CST

    30 Years Ago

    by samwisethegreen

    I remember seeing Silver Steak and since I'm a trailer geek I saw something I'd never forget...a new movie called Star Wars. It was something that changed my life! And, that was just the trailer! Three years, I since got married. My wife agreed that when we have kids, we'll take them to all 9 episodes of Star Wars and won't it be fun. My first hint of Episode V was from another geek friend who said, "you're gonna love Yoda." Yes, I remember standing in a long...long line at Valley View in Dallas.

  • May 24, 2010, 11:15 a.m. CST

    I too read the novelization before opening night

    by Beezbo

    At 11, I was just too excited to wait. I remember laughing out loud every time Yoda spoke.

  • May 24, 2010, 11:15 a.m. CST

    I would have only been 6 1/2

    by Chewbacca_Khan

    and the weird thing is, even though I know which theater I saw the movie in, because there was only one theater in town at that point, I don't remember actually going to see the movie. All I remember was all summer long seeing it over and over in my mind, being absolutely in love with Hoth (because Kentucky in the summer is fucking awful hot and I hated hot weather), thinking that Bossk was just the most mindblowing thing I'd seen. And, being absolutely and totally freaked out by the site of Vader's helmet-less head. Cloud City...Lando...Boba Fett...I remembered all of those but the actual experience of seeing the film, the theater or popcorn, aren't there for me. I suspect because I was too young. But the impact on me the rest of that year is definitely there. All the way down to Christmas that year when my mother, in an effort to keep my brothers and me from knowing which presents were ours, put numbers instead of names on all the tags and kept a list of how they corresponded. Except, predictably, she lost the list by Christmas morning, and my grandmother ended up opening my Taun-taun. I still have that Taun-taun.

  • May 24, 2010, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Post Empire, the suceeding SW films were lackluster.

    by Stalkeye

    ..minus a few exceptions in ROTJ in which Vader turns on the Emporer unexpectingly as well as the Death Star-under construction dogfight scene.But Ewoks?!? Leia who kissed Luke in ESB is now revealed to be his sister?!!? And Solo's character feels out of place. WTF, was Ford just slumming for a paycheck or was it bad direction?<p>the prequels were shitty but I did like some parts of Revenge of the Sith.let's hope Georgie doesnt decide to go out and do another sequel or reboot. dont beat the dead horse, fucker.

  • May 24, 2010, 11:42 a.m. CST

    ESB: Luke and Leia sitting on a Tree..

    by Stalkeye


  • May 24, 2010, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Great Times

    by wrx

    I had a little note book that i used to keep track of the number of times i saw movies that i liked. I saw Empire 36 times, with every relative i had. I actually saw ESB before i saw A New Hope and as a consequence, never liked it as much as most people. Just picked up the laserdisc for kicks yesterday.

  • May 24, 2010, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Empire Strikes Back Periodic Table of Elements

    by REDD

  • May 24, 2010, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Ironic how time sways things....

    by LLcruize2

    I remember when I saw Empire opening day; it was electric. I was 13, the perfect age to enjoy and REMEMBER the event. Reason I say "remember" is that time seems to have skewed how this film was received. It was not a critical darling; many critics didn't quite understand the massive change in tone. By no means was it panned by critics, but many were taken aback by the stark change in tone where they were expecting another fun space romp. RT's (Rotten Tomatoes) used to have the original 1980 reviews listed for Empire, but has since replaced those with the much more favorable Re-release reviews. The original reviews still had it rated "fresh", but it was not close to the 90% that the re-release reviews are. I remember leaving the theater and many fans were left scratching their heads. Gone was the fun filled space fantasy, here, we had a dark, adult story. This really took many by surprise. I remember many fans walking out and being absolutely horrified by what they had just seen. Where was the fun and adventure? Who the hell is this complicated love/family story doing in my Star Wars movie? I loved the film, my dad, sisters and I talked about it on the way home and through the night. Those of us who actually enjoyed the darkness were far and few, though to hear everyone today, the whole fan base felt that way, which in fact it didn't. That discord is seen obviously in the 100 million drop in gross (New Hope earned 307 million, Empire maxed at 209 million). I remember defending Empire many times over, before the creation of blogs or discussion boards. I just find it funny that many here seem to forget that Empire was not universally accepted when it came out and it has only been through the course of time that it has gained the deserved recognition as the best of all the films.

  • May 24, 2010, 12:56 p.m. CST

    people hate the prequels...

    by emeraldboy

    on all levels. but the cinematography on all three were beautiful. yeah the acting was wooden. tpm opened the same time as matrix. I dont see anybody rushing to to put the matrix movies in cinema as 3d. star wars in 3d is a much better bet. I while be there on opening day to see that event. lucas got what he wanted for the prequels. complete and utter control. he wrote, directed and produced all three. In that doc Empire of dreams that was lucas's biggest regret, that he didnt have a bigger say in the star wars sequels.

  • May 24, 2010, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Bad people lie

    by Jergy

    I remember seeing this at a birthday party for a classmate. And I clearly remember sitting in the back of his station wagon coming home from the theater and discussing what we just saw. I firmly believed Vader was lying about his relationship to Luke. Being a innocent 5-year-old I simply couldn't believe it. Vader was lying. Simple as that.

  • May 24, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    I tried cutting in line as a kid...

    by ufoclub1977

    the "Empire" line was around the entire mall. But some man looked at me meanly and said "You better go find your folks." So I left to back to where my friends were joining the line.

  • May 24, 2010, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Even Lucas knows Empire was the best of all 6

    by impossibledreamers

    Notice how little he messed with for the DVD's? Star Wars (a ton of FXs and the Han Didnt Shoot First crap), Jedi's re-done ending... etc. But, Empire stayed almost entirely intact. That's because it was well-written and well-directed. Tip to you George, let others write and direct your movies.

  • May 24, 2010, 3:29 p.m. CST

    I made a freaking bootleg audio tape of it...

    by rollermonkey

    It was the first film I'd ever anticipated, waited in line for, saw 20+ times at the theater, bought merchandise for, and yes.."bootlegged" the audio on a cassette recorder to listen to at night in bed and envision the film in my head while looking at the "art of" books. In short, the film that made me the geek I am today

  • May 24, 2010, 4 p.m. CST

    What the prequels did...

    by Dan Halen

    Was turn Star Wars into Star Trek in the culture. The first Star Wars films were great MOVIES. Everyone and anyone went to see them and loved them. I remember in college running into someone in my dorm who hadn't seen them... "Are you kidding?!" Then the prequels came out and all the nerds dressing up and dragging the film down into Trek Con territory. No longer did Star Wars belong to the people. You could actually talk to a girl about Star Wars once. Now?

  • May 24, 2010, 4:29 p.m. CST

    The prequels can be tweaked...

    by darthwaz1

    for sure, if Lucas wants, he can use alternate takes, re-edit or even re-shoot some stuff. I'm hoping he considers this for the ultimate/bluray. Also, he needs to cgi hundreds of ewoks into the final battle to make that scene believable...

  • May 24, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Lucas needs to leave the OT alone.

    by elsewhere

    He's done enough damage already.

  • May 24, 2010, 5 p.m. CST


    by happyboy

    If you were anywhere between 7-35, male and American in 1980 the experience of ESB will NEVER be duplicated. It's not hyperbole, but the experience of that seminal event is pretty much what codified modern Geek culture. I doubt this site would exist without ESB and the hysteria and previously unexperienced camaraderie by young men about a mythology on film. There's really not much you can say about it... you assholes born after 81... too bad for you you missed out

  • May 24, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST

    re the Ewok debate...

    by WeylandYutani

    Yes, the wookiees would have been a better choice, but the ewoks, while overly cutified, never bothered me that much. As a kid, I remember reading a book about the Zulu Wars just before the release of Return of the Jedi. During the wars, the British Army got its ass kicked on many occasions even though they had superior fire power. Now I get that the disparity of technology between the ewoks and imperials if far greater, but to my 9 year old mind it made sense. <P> In contrast, my "pet peeve" in the Star Wars universe are those "roger roger" droids. When I first heard about the idea a few months before TPM was released, I thought it made sense, otherwise the Jedi, would wave their hand at humanoid troops and say hypnotically "you do not want to fight this war." So I assumed these "battle droids" would be a mix between a Terminator and a Cylon or a Nexus 6 with all the killing gadgets of a Predator - I kinda assumed the Jedi would be next to impossible to kill unless you unleashed something so fast, agile, terrifying and armed to the teeth that the dudes with the glowing swords wouldn't have a chance. <P> Instead we got a craptastic looking "Roger Roger" robots. WTF?!

  • May 24, 2010, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Re: Ewoks

    by Viewer 3

    I never minded the whole Ewok thing. I've heard all sides of the endless arguments against them, but ultimately I think it's just overreaction. As for ROTJ as a whole, I still think it contains the greatest scene in the entire saga (yes, even topping the "big reveal").<p><p>The moment that Luke tosses his lightsaber aside and finally succeeds where his father failed, to me, is the single most significant moment in all of Star Wars. All 6 movies lead to that one moment, where Luke faces the same decision as Anakin. And having all major players (Anakin, the Emperor) there to witness it, after all those years, is the true climax of the series.

  • May 24, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST


    by darthwaz1

    I like the idea that a bunch of small primitive creatures can overthrow a superior army, but there aren't enough of them. Lucas needs to add more. He should add whatever else he wants as long as we get the original versions as well on blu ray!

  • May 24, 2010, 6:25 p.m. CST

    33 years ago tomorrow the best SW movie came out

    by RPLocke

    the first one. Suck it.

  • May 24, 2010, 6:47 p.m. CST

    and all the nerds dressing up and dragging the film down into Tr

    by FlyingToupee

    Very true. The prequels made STAR WARS uncool and nerdy. Hell, they were still considered cool movies in '97 when the Special Editions were released.

  • May 24, 2010, 6:59 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    The prequels didn't make Star Wars uncool. It's the whiny fanboys that can't accept anything new.

  • May 24, 2010, 7:08 p.m. CST

    I agree; it was the fanboys

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    and whiny internet culture that ruined Star Wars, not the prequels. The prequels' quality is debatable, but the fanboys and geeks, with their disgusting sense of entitlement, hyperbolic faux-outrage, and never-ending negativity, dragged the whole thing into the gutter from which Star Wars' public perception has never quite recovered. SW fans became the new Trekkies and the butt of all jokes. Ironically, Abram's Star Trek has made Trek somewhat cool and culturally acceptable again, although hardly on the scale of Star Wars pre-'99.

  • May 24, 2010, 7:18 p.m. CST


    by taff

    Saw Empire at the first showing, at Showcase Cinema in Cincinnati, Ohio on the only 70 mm screen in the area. Amazing! When the speeders went over those hills in the snow, my stomach went with them! Same theater where I saw Star Wars. Unfortunately by Jedi the 70mm screen was gone. They just needed an additional small theater. For all the current blockbusters making more money than the Star Wars movies, none of them have played for a year in one theater like the first two movies!

  • May 24, 2010, 7:18 p.m. CST

    You guys are probably right

    by FlyingToupee

    The perception of the prequels would have probably fared better-and Star Wars fandom would have been healthier-without the constant nitpicking of the internet and message forums. Heck, JEDI is loved by the mass audience, despite the flaws.

  • May 24, 2010, 7:21 p.m. CST


    by FlyingToupee

    My 10 year old godson loves the prequels as much as the original trilogy, so he and other children his age may grow up seeing the PT with loads of starry enthusiasm and nostalgia.

  • May 24, 2010, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Clone wars Cartoon

    by RPLocke

    Very cool show. Get the DVD sets. You won't be dissapointed.

  • May 24, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Correction RPLocke...

    by darthwaz1

    Get the BLU RAY set!!

  • May 24, 2010, 8:14 p.m. CST

    FlyingToupee your godson is a douche

    by happyboy

    he also loves WWE and Kobe Bryant. kids are stupid. the point of ESB is how well it stacks up 30 years after the fact. saying stupid shit like how the prequels would have fared better if not for Star Wars fandom is like talking how hard a life blue eyed blondes with huge tits have .... the Prequels had the most incredible hype machine and good will in the history of modern cinema and pissed it away. if not for the original movies, the prequels would already have been forgotten and the second movie wouldn't even have been greenlit. they're simply really really bad movies

  • May 24, 2010, 8:25 p.m. CST

    Actually prequels on their own are not bad.

    by darthwaz1

    Even if the OT never existed, Episode 1 was still a different kind of movie altogether. The cool thing is that after 20+ years of people ripping off star wars, Lucas still came out with something different and fresh. I think that's why most "fans" hate the PT, because they wanted carbon copies of Empire.

  • May 24, 2010, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Happy Boy

    by WeylandYutani

    'Common man... He's a "douche" because he's a little kid who enjoys Star Wars? Really? That is the most creative thing you can come up with... really? <P> Actually, back in 1980 ESB was not very well received by critics and was considered a fairly average followup. Only after some time did it rise in stature. <P> Yes, ESB is an excellent film, while the prequels were pretty average, and that is why Episode V has stood the test of time, where my guess is the prequels will not, but dude, there is no need for the personal attacks.

  • May 24, 2010, 9:30 p.m. CST

    Greatest talkback ever!

    by Darth Thoth

    I literally read every single comment. Thank you Harry! And thank you everyone who shared a great ESB memory. Earlier I made the mistake of saying that Empire was tied for tied for my SECOND favorite movie of all time. I meant tied for first. I love this movie with my entire being and it felt so good reading about you all's memories as well. Thanks!

  • May 24, 2010, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Iron Man 2 worse than all 3 prequels...

    by darthwaz1

    There's no genuine ideas in that film!! but people praise it!

  • May 24, 2010, 9:35 p.m. CST

    The Prequels are just fine....

    by ZodNotGod

    Being the resident Star Wars expert here, let me take you to school. Vicent Canby hated Empire calling it "too dark," and Pauline Kael was her typical dour self. People do love the prequels! Quality is for you yourself to decide, but seriously they are loved. Not by the worthless critics nor the message board trollers or those child murderers at, but real, honest to goodness, Star Wars fans like me and several here on these boards. The prequels have already spoken, unless they were forced into seeing them, box-office performance says they were enjoyed and continue to be so. Not sure why people will watch shit like Shrek and give the prequels guff. No matter how what you feel, big Daddy Lucas raped you boring childhood, the movies ALL of them will stand the test time. You can't have one without the rest, (unless your some deranged sack of shit who picks and chooses) and that's the way it should be. The Two Towers is one of the worst films ever made considering how good the first film was in comparison. Empire blew my little mind too for the obvious reasons- it fucking rawks!

  • May 24, 2010, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Empire on television? How sad!!!!!!

    by ZodNotGod

    I feel sorry for any poor bastard who had to see on television for the first time. I thank Christ everyday for my age, 38 as I've been able to see all of the great modern classics during their original releases, with the exception of JAWS and The Godfather.

  • May 24, 2010, 9:45 p.m. CST

    JEDI rawks the house off too!

    by ZodNotGod

    And to anyone who saw JEDI back in 83, (I was 11) that says they did not have their asses rocked off is either a liar or a worthless cynical piece of shit. The Ewoks have never been an issue because the people bitching about them are fucking retarded. They did not beat the Imperial Forces, they merely provided a distraction for the Rebels to kick the Empires ass. READ IT, LEARN IT, LIVE IT.

  • May 24, 2010, 9:50 p.m. CST

    23 years ago, I was in the best line ever...

    by JonQuixote

    They called me "Baby." Somebody wanted to put me in a corner. Enter a young heartthrob with a dancer's build and the hair of a lion... the rest, was history.

  • May 24, 2010, 9:55 p.m. CST


    by EmperorPalpatine

    I was six when A New Hope came out, and remember it vividly. I remember the hype before ROTJ premiered in '83 like it was yesterday. But I cant't remember much about seeing Empire back in '80.

  • May 24, 2010, 9:57 p.m. CST


    by WeylandYutani

    LOL... you win this talkback hands down.

  • May 24, 2010, 10 p.m. CST

    Guiness DID NOT hate Star Wars....

    by ZodNotGod

    He just hated that he was remembered for one role only. Since Star Wars gave him so much, he'd have to be a bitter, nasty queen to dislike something that gave him his freedom. Guinness was quoted as saying that the royalties he obtained from working on the films gave him "no complaints; let me leave it by saying I can live for the rest of my life in the reasonably modest way I am now used to, that I have no debts and I can afford to refuse work that doesn't appeal to me." In his autobiography, Blessings In Disguise, Guinness tells an imaginary interviewer "Blessed be Star Wars!".

  • May 24, 2010, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    exactly. Namaste.

  • May 24, 2010, 10:27 p.m. CST

    30 years ago in a galaxy far far away

    by soloaj

    30 years and even with the "old age" creeping in I still remember standing in lines for HOURS at the Best and Only HUGE movie theater in NJ - the now extinct-route 4 10plex. We all went - Mom/Dad (of course :), friends, family etc. and played Frisbee while we counted down to a time when we may get near the front and get tickets. No Online tickets, no pre-sale, just the manager yelling ever few hours that the next showing was sold out and getting more and more anxious we may NEVER get in to see the next star wars movie. Than they made an announcement late in the evening when we were very near the front they only had a few seats left but we would all have to sit in separate seats if we wanted to get in so we made a mad dash (I think we knocked over a nice older lady to get in- not the Jedi way for sure ;) and made it! The lights came down and the music blared- my little 8-9 year old mind was blown away - Han cutting the creature and stuffing Luke in to save him (UGH), HUGE AT-AT destroying the rebels, the asteroid chase, Yoda!, Lando's betrayal, Han's quick draw as Vader just waved away the shots, Han's farewell to Leia, and the duel= Luke failing and falling while I was still trying to understand how the most EVIL movie character I ever knew could be Luke's Father!?!? (please no no no-but of course it was true), and the good guys losing/barely escaping with their lives. It was just so much -it was overload but I had to go see it again and boy did I- many many times. Sadly, a movie may never spark the imagination/excitement as this one did but at least some of the memories will never fade

  • May 24, 2010, 10:55 p.m. CST

    30 years later...

    by darthwaz1

    And the brother and sister kissing scene still grosses me out!

  • May 25, 2010, 12:11 a.m. CST


    by one9deuce

    You're the "resident Star Wars expert"? Don't confuse knowing a massive amount of trivia with knowing the films. You certainly aren't an expert on filmmaking or screenwriting because the Prequels are empirically substandard. I guarantee that they won't stand the test of time. You use box office as a testament to the popularity of the Prequel Trilogy, then in the very next sentence you wonder why people flock to films like SHREK. I'll tell you why, because if something has a built in audience and more importantly is properly promoted........ it will make money. With very few exceptions. It doesn't matter if it's not a good movie. Case in point: ALICE IN WONDERLAND is a huge piece of shit and it just made a billion dollars. Box office means nothing. And the box office for the Prequel Trilogy isn't even all that impressive. STAR WARS was a cultural phenomenon and made similar box office to the Prequels. In 1977 dollars! AVATAR is the kind of box office juggernaut that the original STAR WARS was, not the Prequels.

  • May 25, 2010, 5:33 a.m. CST


    by Darth Scourge

    Awesome. I was there back in '80, in line too, as a kid. That was a truly unforgettable summer, as I saw the movie about another 20 times during its initial run. 30 years ago...

  • May 25, 2010, 6:56 a.m. CST

    well guys i just bought this sweet ESB poster

    by ominus

    check it out:<br /><P>

  • May 25, 2010, 6:57 a.m. CST

    just remove the space from the above link

    by ominus

  • May 25, 2010, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Saw it in NYC

    by Phimseto the Ziegfeld. I was five, and it was a mindblowing experience.

  • May 25, 2010, 8:03 a.m. CST

    The "good old days" really were in this case

    by SmokeMuncher

    Age 14, Sioux Falls, SD. Yes, there was a movie theater there - it even had indoor toilets. In line for 3 hours for the first showing on that afternoon after school and it represented the first (and maybe only) time I ever went to a movie by myself, social critter that I am. But my story began three weeks before, when I wandered past the bookstore and saw the display for the novelization with only four books left on it. The guy behind the desk told me that it was anyone's guess when the next batch would be delivered, so I laid out the precious few bucks I had in my pocket and ran home. For the next three weeks, that book , unopened, mocked me with the siren song that shredded my psyche and tested my will in ways that have never been matched in the last 30 years. My willpower to go into it unspoiled won through, and what a delicious reward. Still my favorite of all time, still brings back the 14-year-old kid in me, still brings chills when I hear that pounding bass of the AT-AT attack or the massive crashing brass of the first sight of the Executor. Only a few movies have come close since then; but "the true episode two" stands as my favorite theater experience of all time.

  • May 25, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Happy Boy

    by FlyingToupee

    I probably shouldn't feed the troll, but you're the douche in this case. And my godson doesn't like WWE or a lot of the crap some kids today like. He's intelligent, enjoys reading and loves Star Wars, LOTR, Narnia, Indiana Jones(he went out for Halloween as Indy two years ago), Spider-Man and lots of other things that appeal to both mass audiences and fanboys. So go soak your hateful head in your toilet.

  • May 25, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Sweet poster

    by orcus

    Orcus ordered one too

  • May 25, 2010, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Phimseto, TESB was at the Loews Astor Plaza in 1980

    by orcus

    Orcus does not recall being at the Zeigfeld. The NT was. Now LAP is the Nokia theater. Orcus recalls that the last movie playing there was "The Village" since that was the last sign posted before it was gutted although there was some debate that it was Spiderman2.

  • May 25, 2010, 9:24 a.m. CST

    I was there

    by thrak1138

    Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth!! We lined up for the 11:00 showing, and there were so many of us lined up early, that they let us in for an advance screening at 8:30. Mind was blown.

  • May 25, 2010, 9:46 a.m. CST

    I had to laugh at the line....

    by Madmarek

    ....It was perhaps my very best film screening experience in my life, up to that time. You were 8 dude lol!

  • May 25, 2010, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Bumlove. Agree about Guiness.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    It was actually a pretty decent bit of 'tough love' when you think about it. Cool guy.

  • May 25, 2010, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Ah, the good ol' days!

    by fanboy71

    I was 8 as well (I see a pattern forming here) and between this and the Superman films, Jaws, etc, it was a great time to be a kid. I too thought that Vader was lying to Luke just to screw with his head. But in ROTJ when we found out he was telling the truth, THAT was when it hit home. But, then we found out Leiah was Lukes Sister (which I thought was total bad writing.. hadn't they been making out in the last one?) and had to endure the Ewoks. BUT, TESB was the shit, and always will be... no matter how bad this series was raped later

  • May 25, 2010, 12:52 p.m. CST

    In rural Scotland

    by colin smith

    ESB premiered 25 May 2008 but I remember it like it was yesterday, was going steady with Morag the village prize ewe and she let me finger fuck her in the back row, afterwards we shared a bucket of haggis popcorn - can't wait for the Avatar premiere in 2028

  • May 25, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Ewoks represent the power of alliances

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    how working together will make you win wars better than just going it alone. that is good strategical info.

  • May 25, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Guiness unreateful?

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    That sounds really dumb, maybe he shouldnt of appeared in maybe all 3 then if he hated it so much. Ungrateful snobby pricks. Mark Hammill isn't even mad that all he's known for is SW, he loves it.

  • May 25, 2010, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Star Wars...

    by REDD

    Or Episode IV: A New Hope is 33 today.

  • May 25, 2010, 3:57 p.m. CST

    My earliest memory ever

    by Rhinosaur

    ...was sitting in a theater waiting for Star Wars to start. And I remember like yesterday standing outside the theatre in Victoria, TX and looking up at the ESB poster, the one featuring Solo and Leia.

  • May 25, 2010, 4 p.m. CST

    Thanks for this posting

    by zombiegeek

    You really took me back to the day that i saw Empire. Like you, I was totally impressionable and understood then that Star Wars was something bigger, something more powerful than just a movie. I had tears in my eyes when Han was frozen and I remember being crushed that there wasn't a happy ending. I sat with my collection of Star Wars figures trying to figure out who would rescue Han and how they would find him...and what the hell was a Hutt? 30 years later I am still blown away by the film. Like you, it kindled a love of FMoF magazine and Starlog that has never left me. Now I'm a high school principal, former Mathematics teacher, and I have my core group of kids, geeks and free thinkers, who gather in the cafeteria on Friday nights to watch the films of the past and experience the joy and wonder that their peers have never known. Last Friday, the 21st, was Empire and they sat in awe of it. Some had never seen it and non had seen it projected on the big screen. They cheered and applauded at the end, but I didnt see...I was turned away...I still had a tear in my eye for Han.

  • May 25, 2010, 5:44 p.m. CST

    While I can't agree that the prequels are good

    by I_Sharted

    just because of box office numbers, I will say that RoTJ did rock when I was 9 years old. I didn't have a problem with it at all. But honestly people saying the prequels are good because of BO numbers is a logical fallacy. There are bad movies that make lots of money. It happens every summer.

  • May 25, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Harry loves hype

    by gun_will_travel

    Even at age 8, it was about the anticipation rathje

  • May 25, 2010, 6:08 p.m. CST


    by gun_will_travel

    ...the anticipation, rather than the film itself. Every kid I knew agreed: great film, but the ending sucked.

  • May 25, 2010, 7:10 p.m. CST

    I am 33.

    by clustercuss

    I don't remimber the frist time i saw it. But i saw it with my grand mother. A few weeks later and It is the frist great cinematic adventure of my life. If only every day could be as good.

  • May 25, 2010, 8:07 p.m. CST

    It Had Been Out for a Few Weeks When I Saw It


    I had heard the spoilers. The signficance with which the spoilers were shared was so dramatic and reverent--like revealing a critical secret of the universe, almost--that I don't mind that I went in spoiled. The hushed horror when we were told this previously uncontemplated twist . . . I remember that with a fondness that perhaps effects my nonchalance to being spoilt, even today.<br><br>But yes, and awesome movie, in a time of awesome movies. I will be forever grateful that my formative years were in the 80s. Especially when it comes to cinema. Empire, Poltergeist, ET, Raiders . . . the list goes on and on.

  • May 25, 2010, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Return of the Jedi is still my favorite Star Wars Film


    I know I'm in the minority there. But the final battle between Luke and Vader just wins me over, every time. It's just epic. Bigger than anything in Empire or the Prequels.<br><br> "Sister!"<br><br>Mark Hamill sold that battle. He was such the perfect actor for that part. What happened with the casting in the prequels? Ah, never mind. Love me some original trilogy.<br><br>"There's only on Return, and it ain't of the King. It's of the Jedi."

  • May 25, 2010, 8:13 p.m. CST

    30 Years ago, I was 11


    It makes all the difference in the world. While there are movies I absolutely love, I don't think any cinema has had the impact on me that the movies I saw in that 10-to-20 year old decade. Maybe T2. Almost. It's like the mind because more difficult to melt, the older you get. Which is sad, really.

  • May 25, 2010, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Drive In

    by lb_12

    I saw Empire at a drive -in they played it back to back. No one left after the 1st show, every car there stayed to watch it again.

  • May 25, 2010, 10:45 p.m. CST

    AOTC is the best soundtrack

    by darthwaz1

    I'm listening to it now. I almost enjoy the cheesy love scenes because of Williams music.

  • May 26, 2010, 12:18 a.m. CST

    AVATAR was a box office Juggernaut

    by MajorFrontbum

    because it was hyped for months with the "3D" as the major selling point. If it was released only in 2D, nobody would have given a fuck. It still looks fake, 2D or 3D. It's just the power of marketing in 2010, not because it was a good film. It was actually a below average and uninteresting film, with some blue shiny people in a forest. Big fucking deal!

  • May 26, 2010, 1:42 a.m. CST

    I was 13 when I saw it...

    by CeejayNightwing

    And had pretty much the same experience as Harry! This was the film that made me want to know how they made movies, it blew my mind to pieces! I had read the novelization which back then included photographs of the film in the mid-section. I couldn't in all reality imagine how they could make it as it was in the book, and even with all the pre knowledge of what was to come, the movie still blew me away and erased all memory of what I had read. The Asteroid sequence in particular to this very day still marks an Apex in the entire Star Wars saga as the greatest thing ever. The Millennium Falcon had become a character, a Star, a Legend overnight! John Williams's music was something you couldn't get out of your head for the entire summer and why would you want to, it remains a teleportation device to that period no matter how many times you hear it, it's like I can almost smell the time! TESB may not be the best film ever made, but it is the most favoured in my life and always will be!

  • May 26, 2010, 1:51 a.m. CST

    thirty years ago today I was in

    by VikkiMarsdale

    "If you think I'm sexy and you want my body, come on sugar let me know." <br /> Best line... EVER!<br /> Hey, it got me laid.<br />

  • May 26, 2010, 2:17 a.m. CST


    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    i agree Return of the Jedi is tied with TESB for me. it is the only one of the OT i viewed in theaters (in 97) and by that it sticks. I do remember trying to pick which 1 and i figure i'd go with the more action packed one and Jedi was the one!

  • May 26, 2010, 6:44 a.m. CST

    Just to lord it all over y'all...

    by DarkHawke

    ...(in an oddball way), the closest I came to the line for the first PUBLIC showing of Empire was seeing it as I left an invitation-only showing the evening before. True! In one of the few positive acts my (now thankfully deceased) old man ever did for me, I got one of the rare "golden tickets" to an advance press/big-wig showing of TESB, plus a t-shirt.<P> [Actually, the ticket had some of the great artwork done for the movie poster on it. Still have it, too, someplace. No idea where the t-shirt went.]<P> Naturally, it blew my mind, especially with how they just left it hanging at the end. I was in complete denial that Vader was Luke's father; figured it was a ploy or, in fact, Vader was actually a *clone* of Luke's father. Which had some justification, given that all we knew then about "The Clone Wars" was the name and that Obi-Wan and (the then un-named) Anakin fought in it. I still debate whether TESB is better than ANH, but sadly, Empire was too good a build-up to the sad let-down that was ROTJ. ROTS was worse, but Return Of The Jedi was a serious pooch-screw after the stunning A New Hope and the masterful The Empire Strikes Back. <P> Still, harkening back to those heady days of 1980, that was truly prime-time for Star Wars fandom. None of the slick, exotic things like replica lightsabers and all we have today. Back then you measured your fannish devotion by how many times you saw the movies, which was easier than these days 'cause both ANH and TESB ran for over a YEAR in one of the best local houses (it's what we did before home video, kiddies)! I've seen some fantastic cinematic spectacles since then, but that early summer and for a LONG time after, Empire was the king. Good times, great memories!

  • May 26, 2010, 7:18 a.m. CST

    A Long Time Ago...

    by SonOfChiba

    Can't believe it's 30 years! Saw it in a double-bill in Hull, UK, in 1982 with Star Wars. I was 8, wore shorts and was in agony throughout the running times. The fact that I didn't cry or complain is testament to what graet films SW & ESB are. Now I only seem to return to ESB, it just seems so big, impressive, and the feeling of being inside a universe is still remarkable. For me, only Blade Runner comes close to creating that. Thanks to Harry and all you guys for some wonderful stories!

  • May 26, 2010, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Isn't it a pity...

    by ZodNotGod

    It's amazing how bitter the anti-prequels kids still are after all this time. they just won't let the hate go and accept the truth they are for the most part, dead-fucking-wrong. SUCKS to be them! Long Live Star Wars!

  • May 26, 2010, 7:18 a.m. CST

    A Long Time Ago...

    by SonOfChiba

    Can't believe it's 30 years! Saw it in a double-bill in Hull, UK, in 1982 with Star Wars. I was 8, wore shorts and was in agony throughout the running times. The fact that I didn't cry or complain is testament to what graet films SW & ESB are. Now I only seem to return to ESB, it just seems so big, impressive, and the feeling of being inside a universe is still remarkable. For me, only Blade Runner comes close to creating that. Thanks to Harry and all you guys for some wonderful stories!

  • May 26, 2010, 7:18 a.m. CST

    A Long Time Ago...

    by SonOfChiba

    Can't believe it's 30 years! Saw it in a double-bill in Hull, UK, in 1982 with Star Wars. I was 8, wore shorts and was in agony throughout the running times. The fact that I didn't cry or complain is testament to what graet films SW & ESB are. Now I only seem to return to ESB, it just seems so big, impressive, and the feeling of being inside a universe is still remarkable. For me, only Blade Runner comes close to creating that. Thanks to Harry and all you guys for some wonderful stories!

  • May 26, 2010, 8:06 a.m. CST

    1980 in England

    by asxz

    I was at school summer camp near Eype in Dorset on the South coast of England. I was 11. I had never seen Star Wars in the cinema but I knew every line. For whatever reason the teachers took us out of the camp and into the village to the cinema and bought us tickets to TESB. I loved every minute, but my overriding memory, rather than Vader being Luke's Dad, was that I worked out that Leia was Luke's sister. Something the ghost Obi Wan said to Yoda about there being "another" and then Leia forcing Lando to turn the Falcon back because she sensed Luke hanging off the bottom of Cloud City. I was positive that I had seen something no one else had and I told everyone I knew. Three years later I spent all day at the cinema watching Jedi and Superman III back to back. As we walked out of Jedi, one of my friends noted out loud that I had called the Leia/Luke relationship years before and I don't believe I have felt that good since.

  • May 26, 2010, 8:26 a.m. CST


    by FlyingToupee

    The "Across the Stars" music in AOTC is one of my favorite pieces of film music, and sells the last scene of the flick. No dialogue in the wedding scene. If George would have pared back his sophomoric love talk during the romantic scenes, the film would have been so much better. Just have Anakin and Padme look at each other, say a couple of things, and kiss. None of that "I truly, deeply love you" crap. It screws up an otherwise ok film(seriously, the stuff in the arena minus Threepio and the clone planet are pretty cool elements of the SW universe).

  • May 26, 2010, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Crawley - England - 1980

    by RCQEL

    Wow, is it really 30 years? M Mum and Dad had split years earlier and Dad had visitation rights once a Month. Before he came down he had asked me what I wanted to do this weekend and I told him I wanted to go and see the new Star Wars movie. Well, my Dad was not into Sci-fi in the slightest and I could hear the tone in his voice as he reluctantly agreed. The weekend came and we went down to the local cinema and stood in what was going to be a BIG line. Time must have slowed to a stand still as we seemed to be there all day. Finally the doors opened to a cheer and the line surged forward. It wasn't until we got inside that we were told this was going to be a double feature with NO BREAKS! I couldn't believe it. The BEST day of my life ever and I was going to spend it with my Dad. How cool was that? I don't think my Dad was so impressed to be honest. This was the first time I had been to a screening where people were cheering, booing and crying and it felt so surreal. Well, several hours passed and my heart was pounding. Darth Vader is who? Luke isn't the last Jedi? Han captured..... I couldn't take it anymore and when the credits rolled the roar of cheers shook me back to reality, sort of. 30 years on and I still get chills about that day. Oh, and my Dad? He's been hooked on Sci-fi ever since. Thanks George for making this the best Father-Son bonding experience any kid could wish for.

  • May 26, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST


    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    I'm sorry you didn't like Avatar, I really am. The fact of the matter is that it was a box office juggernaut, and continues to be a dvd/blu-ray success, because people liked it. So it was all months of hype now? Hahaha - but I thought you haters were crowing that it was going to be a box-office bomb pre-release when it was getting all this 'hype'? <P>Come out of the closet, cunt features. It's time for you and the rest of your ilk to stop backpeddling in a sea of half-baked backwards rationalized excuses and lies. Get set for Avatar 2 - which, in the spirit of this thread, is going to be a sequel of Empire proportions.

  • May 26, 2010, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Oh, lest I forget....

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    "If it was released in 2D no one would give a fuck".<p>Yes, that'll be why the home releases in 2D have become the biggest sellings DVD/Blu's ever, won't it? Not doing too good there, are we, bucko?

  • May 26, 2010, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Back when Darth Vader was actually scary

    by disfigurehead

    Now he is just a clown playing lightsabers with kids at a theme park.

  • May 26, 2010, 7:06 p.m. CST

    by REDD

  • May 26, 2010, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Avatar was awesome! But then again I loved Return of The Jedi!

    by HerbDean

    But I was 4 when I saw it at the time! Haters be damned!!!

  • May 26, 2010, 8:33 p.m. CST


    by REDD

    That scene from The Cable Guy is a reference to Midnight Express.

  • May 26, 2010, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Dead_Kate_Moss and others are you nuts?

    by MurderMostFowl

    He lies to Luke to "protect" him as he sees it. Even before the prequels were made, we're told that the Anakin that Kenobi knew was long gone, and taken over by the dark side.<BR><BR The only thing we didn't know that the prequels reveal is that Obiwan is the one who actually caused his physical damage to make his physical form end up the way it was. <BR><BR> I think that Obiwan truly believed that he was beyond reach.. I mean the guy was taking over the galaxy and slaughtering millions for 20 years ( whatever the timeline is ) . Do you wrong Obiwan for thinking the guy was unreachable and effectively dead?

  • May 27, 2010, 2:51 a.m. CST

    Return of the Jedi>Anal fissures>Avatar

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    Ah i see REDD, good to know.

  • May 27, 2010, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Happy Boy, go back to slurping cock in a dark corner

    by orcus

    Attacking someones 10 year old godson like that you pussy assed bitch

  • May 28, 2010, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Re: "Once Upon a Galaxy"

    by Darth Scourge

    Yeah, that's one of the best making of books ever. Apparently portions of it will be referenced in Rinzler's Making of Empire book out later this year.

  • May 28, 2010, 12:08 p.m. CST

    I remember watching it

    by Wookie_1995

    on VHS, I totally loved it and still love it to this day! HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMPIRE!

  • May 28, 2010, 12:08 p.m. CST

    I remember watching it

    by Wookie_1995

    on VHS, I totally loved it and still love it to this day! HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMPIRE!

  • May 28, 2010, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Those were the DAYS!

    by blue meanie

    I was an 18yo high school senior about to graduate. Me and my 3 pals were planning our week long graduation vacation in LA and in the interim, we had a plan to see THREE movies a day that summer! When ESB opened, we stood in line at 6am opening day and waited there, baking in the hot sun for hours until the theater opened it's air conditioned doors and we poured in. Watching it with the excitement of that crowd was indescribable! Our stomachs dropped when the snow speeder dipped up and down in search of Han and Luke! Yoda totally blew us away: how could a Fricking muppet convince us that he was real moving and breathing Jedi Master?! Our jaws simultaneously dropped in total disbelief when Vader broke the news to Luke! And we were so bummed when Han was frozen and taken away by a bounty hunter named Fett and left Luke and Leia standing by the window of a space ship, wondering how long they would make us wait for the next and conclusive chapter! What an experience! We were so blown away afterward that we had to show up later that night and catch a second showing! During that summer, I saw ESB 10 separate times. It was simply one of the greatest summers of my life. Simply one of the greatest Sci-Fi movies ever made...

  • May 29, 2010, 3:25 p.m. CST


    by A G

    Officially the stupidest thing I have ever read on this site since it started way back when. Damnable noobs

  • May 30, 2010, 1:06 a.m. CST

    One of the best days of my life.

    by namasteandgoodluck

    Ordinarily I'd have more to say but that sums it up. Thank you Irving Kirschner.

  • May 30, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Obi-Wan's lie might have seemed a wise move on Tatooine

    by Dead_Kate_Moss

    Before he quite knew how soon and often Luke and Vader would be in the same room together. <p>Obi-Wan "That boy is our only hope... say, do you think we should have told him that Vader is his dad? Because now that I think of it there's a big fucking chance that Darth won't keep his mouth shut on the matter - which'll make us look like liars." <p>Yoda "No... There is another." <p>Obi-Wan "Hmmm, maybe we should've told her too, before she got captured by her dad... let's hope they don't mind too much that we manipulated them into killing their own father and allowing their incestuous relationship to develop..."<p>Yoda "In deep shit could we be. Wonder it is not that the Jedi practically wiped out are, eh?"

  • May 31, 2010, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Five years old

    by alanmoore

    I remember I was five years old, and with my mom when I saw it. What is more, my little ADD ass sat there the whole movie and didn't even blink, for fear of missing any of teh awesomeness which was Empire.

  • May 31, 2010, 6:21 a.m. CST

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  • May 31, 2010, 9:58 p.m. CST

    I was six.

    by AmbroseChaseWillRise

    I saw with my dad in New York City on 44th Street. I can't remember the name of the theater, but its the Nokia theater now. 1980 was a great year. It is (in my book) the best of the entire Star Wars saga, and my all time favorite movie.

  • June 1, 2010, 3:59 a.m. CST

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  • June 1, 2010, 8:11 a.m. CST


    by orcus

  • June 1, 2010, 8:12 a.m. CST


    by orcus

    It was the Loews Astor Plaza

  • June 1, 2010, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Funny now - then, not so much

    by Corellian

    I was seven. My friend's mom brought us. We were so excited. A few minutes to the back of Vader's helmet. The film sticks and melts!!!! All of us were sent home with refunds. I don't think I did a lot of crying at seven, but I did that day! I got another chance the following week, but at seven that may as well have been a year. My mom got me an Obi-Wan card to express her condolences for my "loss." Good memories!

  • June 3, 2010, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Thank you for this observance

    by Assume_the_Opposite

    I deeply appreciate all this sincere praise for ESB. I am linking this page to the links page on my own site to encourage more visitors and readership. I start out by affirming that I am neither a mass audience nor a "fangirl." I am a radical activist, especially a radical anesthetic reformist, first. I am a writer second, a musician third, and a S/F fan fourth. That being said, ESB is the single greatest influence of my life. I was 14, en route to 9th grade, and a Trekker when I first saw SW-ANH. While I enjoyed it, found it original and innovative, and read Lucas' own novelization several times, it did NOT change my life. I concluded that had he lived in an earlier era, he would've been a major novelist who illustrated his work. It wasn't till 3 years later that my life would change forever. In 1980, my father worked in a college bookstore. On May 20, a salesman gave him the ticket for 2 admissions to the Dallas premiere of ESB that evening in the same giant Northpark I where we had seen the original. I distinctly remember the Mt. St. Helen's eruption alluded to above. When I walked into that theater, I was a teen. When I walked out a little over 2 hours later, I was rapidly becoming an adult. Seeing that film was literally my coming of age, because it was SW coming of age; SW for adults. ESB can be remade in many times and places in history and current times, with all fantastic elements removed, and would be absolutely riveting. A favorite setting for me would be the Albigensian Crusade, possibly the worst medieval European genocide. This is how seriously I take ESB. This reality, which many critics have noted, is because ESB is the only S/F film that is based on a true story. A substantial number of the rich symbols that saturate ESB are the silent screams of its REAL tragic hero: a 17-year-old anesthetized patient named George W. Lucas, Jr., the victim of a terrible car wreck. This poor soul literally came of age under anesthesia. Brain damage from this tragedy is why he did his best work when helped by others, e.g. Kershner, Brackett, Kasdan, Spielberg. It is my longheld view that ALL anesthetized patients need special care and guidance from others for the rest of their lives. Please visit my site On the home page is a picture and a description of my own observance of this historic date. On the powerpoint page, half way down, is a powerpoint detailing my provocative perspective of ESB, followed by a postscript. Please follow the step-by-step instructions in order to hear the shattering Tchaikovsky soundtrack. In the wake of this anniversary and all of your comments, I am now compelled to write a postscript to the postscript, and hope to have it done within the next several days or weeks. The anesthesia reform page on my site owes its existence to ESB. As noted in my powerpoint, my dream is for ESB to become a grand opera written by a major composer or a collaboration of two, with Lucas' personal tragedy as a frame story. ESB deserves to become classical music, and classical music deserves to have ESB become part of its standard operatic repertoire.