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THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Celebrates its 30th Anniversary

Just how is it like Sin City and Kick-Ass, exactly?

You might know that today marks the 30 anniversary of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK’s release. Gee… what more is there to be said about one of the highest-grossing blockbusters of all-time (even when adjusted for inflation)? I could write about it how it took the series in a darker direction, how it’s often regarded as one of the few sequels that surpasses the original, how rad Boba Fett was… but that’s all been covered. At length.

What fascinates me the most about ESB is what it represents in regard to the individual artist’s vision. A lot of people forget that George Lucas is an independent filmmaker (the most successful in the world, to be sure) and ESB was his first foray into independent production. He financed it through loans and his own earnings from A NEW HOPE - - which anybody in entertainment will tell you is an absurd risk to take. It paid off, of course, solidifying possibly the only blockbuster, multi-media empire that’s directed by an individual artist - - the original creator, no less.
 == TEASER ==
What I love about indy comics is how personal the creations are, how closely you can associate the work with the artist. HELLBOY is Mike Mignola, SIN CITY is Frank Miller, MADMAN is Mike Allred, for example.  You can see them in their work, and watch as they change with time. The decisions behind most all blockbuster-size movie you see, however, are made by a corporate committees and they’re notorious for nixing ideas. I’m sure if EMPIRE STRIKES BACK had been produced in such a fashion, it probably wouldn’t have the “downer” ending, for example, that it’s so famous for.  

Believe it or not, ESB's production has similarities to KICK-ASS's, too. Millar and Vaughn went the indy route and raised their own funding (and let’s always emphasize how risky that is) because no studio was going to approve of, well… Hit Girl. That was their vision, not a committee’s.  And that’s what I’ve always found so appealing about the STAR WARS “empire” that followed the success of ESB.  Whether fans love or hate where the series has gone since, all the decisions were Lucas’ alone. The whole thing’s as personal to him as KICK-ASS is to Millar, as HELLBOY is to Mignola, as SIN CITY is to Miller.

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Studios and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Pre-order the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover now on Amazon.com.

30 Comments
Edited by xerox_kitty

Empire is 30?? Empire's not allowed to be 30!!  Ugh, I'm starting to feel old... 
 
But it's definitely been an influence on story telling in both comics & films.  Long live Empire!

Posted by Caligula

Empire was the best.

Posted by AirDave817

Maybe that's why some fans - like me - are slightly disappointed or let down (I said slightly) by the prequel trilogy. The original trilogy is such sheer GENIUS. As far as the story, it holds up so much better than a committe produced movie, except for maybe Iron Man. Maybe DC should hire him as a consultant... 

Posted by Caligula
@AirDave817 said:
" Maybe that's why some fans - like me - are slightly disappointed or let down (I said slightly) by the prequel trilogy. The original trilogy is such sheer GENIUS. As far as the story, it holds up so much better than a committe produced movie, except for maybe Iron Man. Maybe DC should hire him as a consultant...  "
if you are talking about Lucas... hell no. Lucas has lost it.
 
if anyone should be a DC consultant it should be Christopher Nolan, that man knows how to tell a story.
Posted by Caligula
@AirDave817: but Marvel needs better writers more than DC does, i mean have you read siege it's awful.
Posted by Decept-O

Nicely written article.   It is easy to forget that ESB is Lucas' "baby" in more ways than one.  You make good connections with examples of the Indie comics you cited.   Kudos on a good article. 
 
Posted by Moomin123

 

This is my favourite Star Wars film, Happy Anniverasary!!!!

It's also the 30th Anniversary of Pac-Man too. 
 
         

Posted by The Devil Tiger

Yup ! The better Star Wars Movie EVER...
Posted by Dracade102


 

Best. Movie. EVAR!!!

Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy

i surely love me sum 'Wars,

Posted by goldenkey
@The Devil Tiger said:
"Yup ! The better Star Wars Movie EVER... "

the bestest
Posted by Omega Ray Jay

No word or phrase and illustrate just how much I love this film, All hail the empire.

Posted by Skayrkro
Posted by Lustwish

plain and simple, its not lol.

Posted by Nova`Prime`
@Caligula said:
" @AirDave817: but Marvel needs better writers more than DC does, i mean have you read siege it's awful. "
They don't need better writers for movies, Marvel has been spanking them in that department recently.
 
Happy Anniversary ESB! I hate how the little things in life remind me how old I am getting.
Posted by Darth Coleslaw
@Dracade102 said:
"


 

Best. Movie. EVAR!!!

"

Posted by Icon
@Caligula said:
" Empire was the best. "
Totally
Posted by .Mistress Redhead.

Happy Birthday best of the three! 

Posted by Theodore

Happy Birthday to my favorite film.

Posted by ecto123

I have the film on DvD. And to me, it's till a great movie.

Posted by Mbecks14

juust watched it! my fave star wars movie

Edited by Dr. Maxwell
  • Shouldnt the title be "How is Sin City and Kick-Ass like it" ? Since this movie came out much before the others you would have to reference the newer to the older
Posted by GeorgeXinos

we love Star Wars!

Posted by Kid_Zombie

Empire was by far the best one! LOVE YOU STAR WARS!

Posted by HaloKing343

Star wars just rocks
Posted by logan48227
@xerox-kitty:
I saw all of the original trilogy in the theaters on the first day. Standing in line for Star Wars is one of my earliest memories. So I know exactly what you mean about feeling old.
Posted by 4Essence

 

Whether fans love or hate where the series has gone since, all the decisions were Lucas’ alone.

 

   I am not really a star wars fan at all, but this is what I admire most about the films.

Posted by Punisher Knight

 My backpack's got jets
Well I'm Boba the Fett
Well I bounty hunt for Jabba Hutt
To finance my 'Vette
 lols mc chris is great
 but definately V is the best Star Wars as well as the best film ever! 

Posted by dondasch

The Empire Strikes Back was definitely my favorite of the original trilogy.  Contrary to popular belief, Lucas was able to get strong character driven performances out of the actors/actresses within the entire Star Wars original trilogy.  I actually had the joy of watching it again on Spike this weekend and am still impressed by how much emotion is on display in those movies in contrast to how poor the new trilogy is.
 
Luke, I am your father......
 
One of the best revelations ever and wonderfully done.

Posted by Gothic Storm

Entertainment Weekly had a great story on this a few weeks back!