The Empire Strikes Back (Special Edition)
Sunday, Jul 9 at 3:00 pm
Location: Redstone Theater
Dir. Irvin Kershner. 1980, 124 mins. DCP. With Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Frank Oz. Arriving three summers after Star Wars permanently altered the trajectory of popular cinema (and remained profitably in circulation for several seasons thereafter), The Empire Strikes Back continued the saga and diversified the brand. George Lucas (no longer directing but clearly presiding) unveiled new landscapes (icy Hoth, swampy Dagobah, cloud-covered Bespin) and characters, such as Yoda (Oz), Lando Calrissian (Williams), and Boba Fett (voiced by an uncredited Jason Wingreen), who remain in the vernacular forty plus years later. Screenwriters Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan add welcome dashes of screwball comedy and Hollywood romance to a previously sexless milieu—with Ford and Fisher doing their best Gable and Colbert—while the mythological overtones of Skywalker (Hamill) vs. Vader (Prowse/Jones) crescendos spectacularly with a plot reveal for the ages. The Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best film in the entire ongoing Star Wars franchise, and its success suggested that summer blockbusters needn’t offer happy endings to win over audiences. (Released May 21, 1980)
Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.