I didn’t realize this earlier (if I had, this entry would have been posted yesterday, instead of today), but yesterday, May 21, 2010 was the 30th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back.
Now I feel old.
I was born in ’77, the year Star Wars came out. I don’t have exact memories, but I have flashes of memories of seeing Star Wars in the theaters (and back then, it was in the theaters for years, not weeks like the movies of today) a few different times. I was hugely into Star Wars as a kid. But for some reason it took me a while to see Empire. But unlike with Episode IV, I do remember the first time I saw Empire.
It was actually a few years after it came out- sometime in April or May of ’83, right before Return of the Jedi (which I saw on its opening night in a drive in, but that’s another story). In that spring of ’83, I was five and after seeing several commercials for Jedi, my father knew that I needed to see Empire before seeing Jedi.
Or else I would have been spoiled big-time.
So King Classic found a theater somewhere in North Jersey that was having a double feature of Star Wars and Empire back to back. And it was on a Friday. So my father took me out of kindergarten that day, sat through Star Wars for yet another time with me and then also sat through Empire with me.
As a five-year-old, the movie blew my mind. And it still continues to do so, probably because I gotten it more as I’ve aged. I have to say that Star Wars and Empire are tied for first on my favorite movie list (followed closely by UHF), but I do have a better story for the first time I saw Empire. And maybe because I saw it two years after it came out, I shouldn’t feel so old.