Oh…Lucas, Lucas, Lucas…you thought I wouldn’t uncover that Empire Strikes Back wasn’t an original movie. As the matter of fact, it got released back in 1950 as a B-Level space movie. Don’t deny it! I’ve got video proof!
Regardless, many Star Warriors feel that the Empire Strikes Back is far superior to the original Star Wars both in action, scope and plot. You’ve got enough unexpected double-crosses and plot twists that you’d think you’re watching an episode of Jersey Shore. (Random unfounded Fact: It’s no coincidence that Snookie and Wookie rhyme.)
Sure, you could argue that Family Guy made a far superior spoof pointing out some obvious flaws (such as why does Lando Calrissian wear the exact same clothes as Hans Solo when he’s flying the Millenium Falcon?). Or my own question: why does Lando’s co-pilot, Nien Nunb, echo another 1970’s character from Fat Albert, Dumb Donald? Was this a shout out to Cosby? Did Lucas even know how much Nunb’s make-up looked like Dumb’s?
In any case, let me hit you up with some Rank stats on Empire Strikes Back:
- Released in 1980 and directed by Irvin Kershner (Robocop 2).
- Composer of the original Star Wars, John Williams, used the London Symphony Orchestra for the score.
- John Ratzenberger (Cliff Claven from Cheers if you’re over 35…Hamm, the piggy bank in Toy Story if you’re under) appears in a small part as Major Bren Drelin.
- The original Emperor was voiced by New Zealand actor, Clive Revill, in the original 1980 release of this movie. When it was re-released in 1997, his voice was replaced by Ian McDiarmid (who played the Emperor in the new trilogy) for continuity’s sake. I like Ian’s take better.
- Yoda was voiced by Frank Oz, of Muppets fame. Yoda’s face was based on Albert Einstein.
- Mark Hamill had a car accident between Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back resulting in Luke appearing more scarred from one film to the other.
- The scene where Luke escapes the Wampa cave was actually filmed during one of the worst snowstorms in Norwegian history. When he stumbles out of the cave, in reality, he stumbled out of the hotel’s front door where the crew had been staying at.
- The famous ending where Darth Vader revealed that he was Luke’s father was buried in so much secrecy that the actors where given a script where Vader’s line was “Obi-Wan killed your father.” Before the premiere, the only people in the cast who knew the actual line was James Earl-Jones (who did Vader’s voice-over), Mark Hamill, George Lucas and Irvin Kershner.
- The line “Luke, I am your father” never is uttered in the movie. The actual line is “No, I am your father”.
- Awards? An Oscar for Best Sound and Special Acheivement for Visual Effects. A Grammy and Golden Globe for best original movie music.
- In 1983, a radio adaptation of the movie was done for National Public Radio with Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels reprising their roles as Luke, Lando and C3PO. John Lithgow voiced Yoda…I’m not making this up.
I’ll leave it at that. Will the Empire truly strike back or will the Rankatron strike back at the Empire? Stay tuned!
Alright Beastie Boys…let’s hype up this mofo like Lando Calrissian. Take us out!