Friday, May 21, 2010
Empire Strikes Back - 30 Year Anniversary
ChronSnob reminds me its been 30 years since the release of Empire Strikes Back.
Arguably the best of the 6 Star Wars movies and the best 2 hours or so of the infinite amount of Star Wars expanded universe stuff out there, the movie was released, apparently, shortly after I turned 5.
I do remember seeing this movie in the theater. I'd seen Star Wars at least twice prior, had the figures, the wall paper, the bed spread, the storybooks, etc... Star Wars was very much a part of my daily life. It was also the first movie I'd seen that was set up for a sequel, and on an oddly positive note for a movie where a hero had just been frozen and sold, another dismembered and where Billy Dee Williams had just lost his job.
It also featured Princess Leia at her most fetching in her snow bunny suit, trading barbs with Han Solo in the guts of a worm. If my expectations of how I might meet the right girl were a bit off, there's one more thing you can blame on Lucas.
Oh, to be trapped in the belly of a terrifying giant space worm with Princess Leia...
I am not as hard on Lucas for Return of the Jedi as my colleagues. As a 2nd grader, I really liked the Ewoks, but even then I knew that Empire was somehow the better movie, and certainly the one most concerned with character. Not to mention the set pieces were just cooler, from Hoth to Dagobah to Bespin. And somehow, at age 5, the lightsaber battle on the weather vane, Luke's rescue and the escape of our heroes seemed positively transcendent when I first saw the movie. It was one hell of a ride.
At this point, I have no idea how many dozen times I've seen Empire (as we cool kids called it), but like all of my generation, I raise a toast to the mightiest of all the Star Wars films, and to all the awesome toys it brought to my toybox when I was 5.
I totally had the probe droid playset with ion cannon, the wampa and my own tauntaun. The action figure of Leia never did her justice.