It is extremely hard for me to believe but today marks the thirtieth anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. Yes, it was thirty years ago today that a countless numbers of kids, teenagers and adults crowded theaters across the world to see the follow-up film to, what was at that point, the biggest film of all-time. I had just turned seven and, like many kids my age, I was was an absolute Star Wars fanatic and The Empire Strikes Back haunted my dreams before and after I saw it.
I probably saw Empire at least 3 or 4 times on the big screen in that Summer of 1980 and my memories of the excited and awestruck little boy that I used to be stick with me.
The Empire Strikes Back remains far and away my favorite film of the Star Wars trilogy (I refuse to even acknowledge Lucas's dismal prequels) and one of my all-time favorite films in general. It's an astonishing film that is filled with more creativity, bravado and genius than almost any other American film before or since, with much of the credit going to Irvin Kirshner's startling direction of the film.
As The Empire Strikes Back is a major masterpiece and one of the key films of my youth, I couldn't let its anniversary slip by without offering up a tribute to it. I am extremely happy to include it in this series because it is indeed one of my favorite films and it remains one of the most triumphant pieces of pure cinema I have ever seen. The Empire Strikes Back is the most mesmerizing art-house blockbuster ever released and it is one film that will always burn...