Hard to believe it was thirty years ago today that Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was released. Was it really that long ago?
I remember being excited to see the continuing saga of our heros as they fought the evil empire. My young mind could not imagine the evil the empire was going to unfold upon Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy and our favorite Droids. With a title like the Empire Strikes Back, you know Darth was going to do some damage.
I also remember talking my mother into going that first day. We arrived for a mid morning showing at the Galaxy Theater, sadly the Galaxy is now another cinema, and Empire had already had a couple showings under it's belt that morning. The line was from the ticket office, across the front of the building and around the side for the showing we were to attend. We were practically at the back of the building. I have only been to the back of the theater when we had the chance as kids to exit through the screen side exits and run around to met our parents in the parking lot, so this was a big deal to me at the time. I do not think that to this day I have ever stood in a longer line for a movie, Batman in 1989 was pretty close and I remember the mob in the lobby for the Special Edition of Star Wars ( by the way both viewed at the Galaxy Theater), but never in a line that wrapped around the building.
When the line started to move it seemed that the buzz about the movie grew, people around us were speculating on what was about to happen. For the record, no one was even close. We had no idea about Hoth, Dagobah or Cloud City. I was busy trying to update my mother on where we last left off, it seems that she could not remember Star Wars as well as I could. She was a novice at only one showing. It is also told to me by my dad that he took me to my first showing of Star Wars so it was my mother's turn for Empire. We must have stood in line for close to three hours and I can say it was worth every minute. My mind was blown, and the ending, my mother could not get over how Han was just frozen and not saved and our heros were so uncertain of their future. Oh, and the spoiler, which by now if you haven't seen Empire Strikes Back, you deserve to have someone spoil it for you... Darth Vader is Luke's freaking father. Holy crap! I did not see that coming.
Thirty years ago today we learned that the galaxy far, far away was far form a nice place to live... it was an even more awesome place to live! In honor of this milestone I will be celebrating with a little "Empire Cooks Out" and a viewing of the sequel to set the bar for all sequels, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Oh, and an update from an earlier post, I will be enjoying some Star Wars Cookies thanks to my wife!