In May of 1980, the second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back, hit theaters. As impossible as it may seem from today’s point of view, the film was considered risky at the time and there was no guarantee that it would be the sensation that its predecessor was. After all, how could it be? The original Star Wars came seemingly out of nowhere to completely change the shape of pop culture. Due to this, expectations for any follow up were huge, and people were bound to be let down by the second chapter in this saga.
While some fans were initially disappointed by the Han Solo storyline and thrown off-kilter by Darth Vader‘s big parentage reveal at the time, the subsequent 40 years have proven that The Empire Strikes Back is not only the best Star Wars installment, but also one of the greatest films of all time on its own merits.
Due to the incredible, at times bleak storytelling, perfect direction from Irvin Kershner and a cast who delivers stunning performances across the board, the film remains a cinematic masterpiece.
For this milestone anniversary, we want to hear your thoughts about The Empire Strikes Back. What are your memories of seeing the film in the theater for the first time? Where do you think it stands along side of the other various Star Wars films? Why do you think it has become so beloved over the decades? Do you have any merchandise from the film? Consider the comments section a place to discuss all things related to The Empire Strikes Back!