The Star Wars saga continued when The Empire Strikes Back was released in theaters on this day in 1980. pic.twitter.com/r95L0xaUEZ— New Beverly Cinema (@newbeverly) May 21, 2018
– Premiering on May 21, 1980 in US theaters, the sequel to the mega popular Star Wars film had a lot to live up to. It released to mixed reviews and a lower box office gross then the original before it eventually gained the legacy and respect it has today. The Empire Strikes Back defined countless movies tropes and trilogies to this very day, but also caused many sad people to compare every disputed piece of media they like to what happened specifically here, like that Reylo fic last December, The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, or season two of NBC's Timeless.
– The original draft by Leigh Bracket was much different. Including hostile, vanishing ice monsters on Hoth, a much more overt love triangle, Vader not being Luke's father and Leia not being Luke's sister, and Lando as a veteran clone from the fabled Clone Wars, Bracket established the skeleton plot that Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas would later go on to refine, but sadly she passed away from cancer in 1978, only a few weeks after turning in her first draft. Her work endured particularly in the Bespin scenes and most everything with Yoda. You can read it in full here, ft. notes and annotations.
– Lucas wanted to fund the film out of his own pocket, so as to prevent any future interference from Fox Studios. Lucas at the time was also establishing Lucasfilm (a curse on us all tbh) and further innovating film technology at Industrial Light and Magic. For this entry, he took a step back from writing and asked his former USC professor to direct, but stayed on of course for the story and as executive producer (a blessing on us all tbh).
– His original idea for Star Wars II can be seen in the novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye, where Luke and Leia crash land on a jungle planet and face off against Darth Vader in a race against time to find an ancient crystal. Other ideas for TESB that were developed later for the franchise include a city planet (Coruscant, The Phantom Menace), a water planet (Kamino, Attack of the Clones), and Darth Vader having his own castle (Mustafar, Rogue One).
The Sequels Highest in Quality Plus Strongest, Most Valid Reasons to Exist— Todd Vaziri (@tvaziri) May 21, 2018
🍿 The Godfather • The Godfather Part II
🍿 Star Wars • The Empire Strikes Back
🍿 Alien • Aliens
🍿 Paddington • Paddington 2
Happy 38th anniversary to THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, released on this day in theaters in 1980! Some of our favorite posters of the film from around the world: pic.twitter.com/tcSDjxCcvI— Nerdist (@nerdist) May 21, 2018
Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself), George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford behind the scenes of Irvin Kershner's STAR WARS: EPISODE V — THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, released today in 1980. pic.twitter.com/CcfG3SYo9G— Tribeca (@Tribeca) May 21, 2018
1. "The Empire Strikes Back" premiered today in 1980. Some behind-the-scenes pix, courtesy of @Sergiofordy:— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) May 21, 2018
Kenny Baker, @HamillHimself, and director Kershner on the Dagobah set.pic.twitter.com/EDypENyAFq
In between takes on the Falcon:pic.twitter.com/Gf7ZJN1Lvo— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) May 21, 2018
Ford on the Falconpic.twitter.com/AK0ebNZGE7— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) May 21, 2018
Ford and Kershner at the holochess board. pic.twitter.com/Mo6usQsiYo— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) May 21, 2018
Fisher and Danielspic.twitter.com/WdnWdepecF— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) May 21, 2018
in the medical baypic.twitter.com/oBkyGfqsqV— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) May 21, 2018
ONTD, are you a fan of high art? What are some early memories you have associated with this movie?
Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10