In 1980, Lucasfilm followed up the success of Star Wars with its sequel film The Empire Strikes Back. The film was noticeably darker in tone and saw our heroes from the first film in dire danger and on the run from the Galactic Empire. It wasn’t the same movie as the original and in many ways it’s better for not being a conventional sequel.
While George Lucas didn’t direct the film, Irvin Kershner took the series to a new height that could never be matched with any of the subsequent Star Wars movies. Even though The Empire Strikes Back is by far the darkest of all the Star Wars movies, you wouldn’t notice it just by looking at the behind-the-scene photos taken while the film was in production in 1979. The cast and crew seem to be very happy and excited to make a new Star Wars movie. Take a look at 65 images below:
Last month, a rare behind-the-scenes look at The Empire Strikes Back emerged on the Internet. It was a special documentary from French journalist Michel Parbot, who Lucasfilm commissioned to make in 1979. The footage for the documentary was later split into two segments, one for American TV and the other for Dutch TV. While the American section is readily available on the Star Wars Saga Blu-ray, the Dutch section was considered lost somewhere in the film archive at Lucasfilm.
Now that there is a new Star Wars movie in the works – the first in almost 10 years – let’s hope J.J. Abrams will take a look back at The Empire Strikes Back and make Star Wars: Episode VII with a well-mannered tone for mature audiences. The last thing a new Star Wars movie needs is more kid-friendly junk.