Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – what can you say that hasn’t already been written about a movie that is now 33 years old, but still stands as one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made?
It cost a respectable $32M to make, but pulled in a mind-blowing $538M at the box office worldwide. Whilst three years ago the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress decided that the movie should be preserved for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”
Today it’s regarded (rightly so) as the darkest of the original Star Wars movies – with the saw-saw battle between good and evil often tilted in favor of the dark side.
Luke Skywalker loses his right hand in a deadly duel with Darth Vader whilst Han Solo (after professing his love for Princess Leia) is bundled away and placed in a block of carbonite indefinitely.
Which makes these incredible images from the set of the movie all the more remarkable – they show a cast, director and producer thoroughly enjoying themselves and even having a little bit of fun on set – how could you not with a 7ft Wookie around?
All images © Lucasfilm Ltd
22. Producer George Lucas, David Prowse (Darth Vader), Director Irvin Kershner