In 1978, the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back was penned by a writer named Leigh Brackett. She passed away shortly thereafter and the script underwent a number of changes, first by George Lucas, before Lawrence Kasdan developed the final and more well-known screenplay. Brackett's initial draft is available for download here. The blog at starwarz.com highlights some of the more notable changes, such as Darth Vader not being Luke's father (though Luke's father appears as a character as a ghost Jedi on Dagoba), and a distinct lack of Boba Fett and carbon freezing. (Empire recently on the Blue) [more inside]
IG-88: The Dancing Robot [slyt]
A documentary about Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, parts one and two, by Michel Parbot (fr.wikipedia), broadcast on Dutch TV in 1980 (so the first 30 seconds or so are in Dutch). [more inside]
Earlier this year, the people behind Star Wars Uncut presented a "final" version of their crowdsourced feature-length fan film, comprised of a continuous series of 15-second clips. After much anticipation, the Empire Strikes Back version is officially underway. [more inside]
Dad films his four year old son's reaction to 'Empire Strikes Back' reveal.
Star Wars Begins. Fan documentarian Jambe Davdar has completed has completed his third documentary about the original Star Wars trilogy. He's re-cut all three films, editing in alternate takes, deleted scenes, original audio, with quotes from various interviews and commentaries and recordings playing over the footage like the ultimate DVD commentary. [via] [more inside]
Irvin Kershner isn't a household name. Often incorrectly billed as Irving, Ervin, or Irwin, the director's filmography includes such films as the uninspiring sequel Robocop 2, the subpar "unofficial" James Bond film Never Say Never Again, and The Luck of Ginger Coffey, which, according to Kershner's site has in recent years become a cult film, but whose cult status is hardly evident elsewhere on the internet. So why should we care that Irvin Kershner has just died at age 78? Kershner directed the best of the Star Wars movies, and one of the best "second act" films ever, The Empire Strikes Back. Just before he died, Kershner spoke with Vanity Fair about the film, 30 years after its release in 1980.
Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the movie's release, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back chronicles the complete tale—from pre-release to blockbuster success — of what’s become the fan favorite of the Star Wars series. Vanity Fair presents an excerpt from the book: rarely seen photographs from the Empire Strikes Back set, annotated with behind-the-scenes details. They also have interviews with the book’s author, J. W. Rinzler, and the man behind Boba Fett’s mask, actor Jeremy Bulloch." On a lighter note, how about a Wampa Throw Rug, new from the folks at ThinkGeek?
In the months preceding the release of The Empire Strikes Back, a telephone hotline was set up to allow callers to dial in and hear teasers for the movie. In the years since the Bantha Tracks story, fans savvy to the existence of the "Empire Hotline" have sought out recordings of the messages, performed exclusively for the hotline by actors Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), and James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader). Thanks to Craig Miller, Lucasfilm's first director of fan relations, these long-lost recordings can now be heard and enjoyed for the first time in 30 years. [more inside]
Impressive. Most impressive. Thirty years ago today, one of the most popular films of all time was released to theatres. Often described as "dark" and "moving," it has had its own cultural impact from commonly-misquoted quotes to introducing an entire generation of moviegoers to the concept of a plot twist That film? The Shining. [more inside]
Cyberpal, i couldn't disagree more. ESB is actually the best of the 4 SW movies because the characters aren't encumbered with destroying the Death Star or flying back and forth to Naboo by way of Tatooine and Coruscant. A New Hope and Return end all happy with medals and Ewoks. i like the tougher ending of ESB, especially as i get older. it was a little depressing when i was a kid, but, hey, i'm not one anymore.