Archive for Empire Strikes Back

Return of the Jedi: Special Edition was released 15 years ago today

Posted in movies, Star Wars with tags , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by Paxton

This one is really hard to believe for me, but the entire Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition release happened 15 years ago in early 1997. More specifically, Return of the Jedi: Special Edition was released 15 years ago TODAY.

SW: SpEd
ESB: SpEd
ROTJ: SpEd

It was originally planned to be released on March 7, and many posters actually reflect that date, but Lucasfilm delayed the release a week due to the popularity of the first two re-releases.

Here’s the 1997 trailer for the release of the entire trilogy.  I remember seeing it for the first time in front of Jingle All The Way.

For those that ventured out to see Return of the Jedi: Special Edition in theaters, it’s possible you received a free action figure.  Select theaters passed out free “Theater Edition” Jedi Luke action figures.

SE Luke
(Via X-Entertainment)

I however didn’t get one. I was in my last year of college when I saw this in the theater and saw it at a small place in Auburn, AL that didn’t have them. I would have to acquire mine several years later.

I’m not a fan of all the changes Lucas made in this “special edition” of the trilogy, but honestly, I enjoy many of the upgraded effects and new scenes. Especially some of the subtle stuff that was added to Empire Strikes Back.

To date, the changes I hate the most are Greedo shooting first and the new Jabba scene in A New Hope and the new musical number in Return of the Jedi.  And I’m baffled why they changed the Ewok celebration music.  I actually enjoyed that (even though the new one is actually pretty good, too).

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Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back turns 30 years old today

Posted in 80s, Empire Strikes Back, movies, pop culture, Star Wars with tags , , , , on May 21, 2010 by Paxton

SW: ESB poster E(via coografik)

The Empire Strikes Back, the first Star Wars sequel, was released on May 21, 1980, 30 years ago, today.  Empire was probably the best and most iconic movie in the entire Star Wars trilogy.  From this movie we get Yoda, Boba Fett and the bounty hunters, Lando Calrissian, Obi-Wan’s ghost, Vader is Luke’s father, Luke gets his hand chopped off, Han says “I know” when Leia says “I love you”, Han gets frozen in carbonite and, in a throw away line by Yoda, revelation that there is another Skywalker (breathe!).  It’s hard to believe that there is so much in this movie that defines the entire Star Wars saga and is what many fans identify with the series.  All in one movie, possibly the greatest sequel in cinema history.

Here’s the original trailer for Empire. Notice how everyone does the famous “turn to the camera” when their character name is called.

Here’s an awesome fan made trailer for Empire as if it would have been made in 1950 (via Official Star Wars Blog)

Star Wars.com is all gussied up for celebrating Empire’s 30th anniversary by skinning itself with a bad ass Hoth Vader image.

StarWars.com front

While at the official site, you can see a bunch of cool candid photos from the set of Empire, see rare poster artwork and read about the 30th anniversary Empire screening which included Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew and Billy Dee Williams.

Making of ESB

On October 12, Random House will release the long awaited book The Making of The Empire Strikes Back. It’s a sequel to the popular The Making of Star Wars released back in 2007.  The book is chock full of rare photos and stories about the actual filming of Empire Strikes back in 1979.  I haven’t bought the Star Wars one, but I would love to because it is awesome ($50 is a bit high for a hardback photo book, though).  I would love to thumb through this Empire book to see some of the pics (and eventually buy it on the cheap).

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