In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the GREATEST chapter in the Star Wars Saga:

30 years ago VHS tapes didn't exist. OK, they did, but certainly not in the capacity of home movie collections. I remember watching many a boring, dry as cracker juice VHS tapes at school about George Washington and the brutal winter spent at Valley Forge, Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and various other educational type biographies and dramatizations. I couldn't count the times I sat in Mr. Fox's Fifth grade class, bored out of my skull and wished that exciting stuff came on VHS tapes Like Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back... Little did I know what a few more years would bring....

In 1980 if you were a movie freak like me you went and watched a super awesome movie like Empire Strikes Back once or twice and then spent months on end trying to recreate your favorite movie moments at home. It was often a very loooooong wait for a movie to make the trip from silver screen to boob tube. Consequently, I spent way more time reliving the adventure through a multitude of other mediums.

This is my tribute to the Empire Strikes Back and the ways I found to relive the movie until I could watch it again at home.


Oh, how I love to read comic books! The comic adaptations of movies were generally very good, particularly in regards to the Star Wars movie adaptations. Each beat of the story was broken down to individual panels that you could read and re-read again. The art was always visually exciting. It was almost like having a collection of film frames. Or, at least it was when I was 10 years old. Reading the comic adaptations were my very favorite way to relieve The Empire Strikes Back. I still have my original collection of Star Wars comics. All 107 issues.



Building a collection of gum cards based on the movie was fun and exciting. Every pack included some cool scene from the movie, amazing movie facts, a movie summary, and even a few stickers to put on a notebook (although I never did that!). Each 25 cent pack brought me 10 cards closer to completing the entire set.  And complete it I did.  All 352 cards and 88 stickers. In fact, I built several sets. I kept one set and used the other sets to construct the puzzles on the backside of the cards and to share with friends. Does it surprise you to know that I have a complete mint set of Empire Strikes Back movie cards in plastic, in a special protective notebook in my closet.  No? I didn't think it would. haha.


  I can't say how many times I read the novelization to Empire Strikes Back.  I read the novel a handful of times and then I'd go back and read my favorite portions over and over and over. My favorite part in Empire Strikes Back was Luke's climactic fight with Darth Vader and the shocking revelation Vader makes at the end of the duel.


Back in the 70's and 80's having a record player was as close to recreating the movie experience as a kid could get! You got it all-actual dialogue, sound effects, and music from the movie. Sometimes the narration was a bit juvenile...even for juveniles but I gladly overlooked it to enjoy the recreation of my favorite Empire moments.


By the time EMPIRE STRIKES BACK came along I was a voracious Starlog reader. I devoured every article, every interview, every "preview" I could get my hands on.  I even had my aunts save me their rag mags like THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER, THE STAR, and other mucky muck rags you could get in the supermarket. Sometimes they had wonderful spy photos-even if their "exclusive" information turned out to be wildly off the mark most of the time.

THANKS for all of the memories, Empire!  You're STILL the GREATEST of ALL the STAR WARS films!

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Toni said...

Hey Charles! Love the inserted photos of comics, etc. Would not even want to guess the monetary value of those cards or that original collection of comics. You really ought to consider a fire proof safe or file cabinet. Expensive, yes, but as the years go by, the value of those items you have will only increase. Not to mention their sentimental value to you. Get a safe bub! Great blog..Luke Skywalker!

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