1980, 1991, 1996, 20th Century Fox, 40th Anniversary, A galaxy far away, Baton Rouge, Boba Fett, Bon Marche Mall, Bon Marche Twin Cinema, Boris Vallejo, bounty hunter, C-3PO, carbonite, Cloud City, Coca Cola, Dagobah, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, era, Film, George Lucas, Han Solo, Hoth, Jabba the Hutt, John Williams, Lando Calrissian, Louisiana, Lucasfilm, Luke Skywalker, Millennium Falcon, Movie, Princess Leia Organa, Saga, Space Fantasy, Star Wars, Star Wars: Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, The London Symphony Orchestra, thrilling, Yoda
Even though I want as many people as possible to read this post, I must give fair warning. This post contains information that gives away important plot points from the Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back, commonly referred to these days as just Star Wars: Episode V. If you have never seen the film and intend to do so, then you may want to proceed with caution or skip this post altogether. On the other hand if you have seen it, then I hope that you will enjoy this little stroll down memory lane.
It was almost forty years ago to the day that I saw the greatest and most influential science fantasy film of my life…The Empire Strikes Back. As mentioned above, the more familiar title is now Star Wars: Episode V. I prefer the original title. I remember when first released, people laughed at the title. It didn’t sound dignified enough for the Star Wars series. Over time it grew on us. We got used to it. Decades later it seems to be the more appropriate title for the film. It is the original title after all.
There seems to be discrepancies in the exact date of the film’s release. I remember it being in late May of 1980. Supposedly, it had a limited release. I saw it about a week or so after it’s premiere at Bon Marche Twin Cinema behind the Bon Marche Mall in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where I was living at the time. The movie got a much wider nationwide release a month later in June. Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana, and as far as I remember only one theater in town was showing the film initially. I could be wrong about when it was released in Baton Rouge. I would be happy to hear from you in the comments below if you know something to the contrary. Also, chime in and let me know when the film premiered in your town.
Spring was blooming in May of 1980, and my family had relocated to Baton Rouge a couple of months before from our hometown an hour east. It was a clear, sunny and mild Saturday afternoon. I had just been released from…sorry…gotten out of…school for the year. My older brother and sister (I was the youngest) had seen the movie during its opening week. I had not seen it yet, even though I was the biggest S.W. fan in my family.