21
May
10

may 21st 2010, the 30th anniversary of George Lucas’s & Irvin Kershner’s “the empire strikes back”


This is one anniversary that I find totally impossible to believe!!!! It literally seems like yesterday that this movie was in the theaters!!! Man I’m old, HAAA! Anyways  it is now 30!!!!! 1980 was my senior year at Thunderbird High school in Phoenix Arizona and we had a week to go before we graduated. The 21st was on a Wednesday (the middle of the school week) and we were heavy into finals, and all I wanted to do was to sneak out to see the “Empire” on opening day. The anticipation for this movie was major and it was an unsettling feeling that school and work had to come first,,, In Phoenix there was a grand theater called the Cine Capri and it had the exclusive rights to be the only theater in town to show the movie,, the same was true with Star Wars three years earlier with lines of people wrapping around the building for months, this was a normal site as you would drive past the Capri. No different with the opening of the “The Empire”. It to had just as many folks camping out for days before the release. While at school the news was on in one of our classes and the hot story was the massive crowd in line around the theater. The news camera stopped on three high school students studying, Haaaa! or at least acting like they were because of the cameras, Getting a good look at their faces it was obvious that the three were from our class!!!! OOOOW-WAAAH it was like being friends with Neil Armstrong and watching him walk on the moon!!! Our boys had breached the line and were going to be in the first show!!! Tim Ray was one of the guys there and I can’t recall who the others were but we were all screaming and laughing as we saw them on the tube!!! After school which was about 1:00 my friend Mark Zainer and I ran down to the theater and waited in line for like six hours to find out that every show was sold out except for a couple of seats at the midnight show,,,,,we grabbed em and then had to hang out close to the Capri for the next 5 hours until it was midnight.  We discovered a mall about a block or two away called the Town and Country and found an awesome Philly Cheese Steak sandwich place, we ate under this really cool metal and stone sculpture of the Phoenix Bird (the very same sculpture that was used for the logo on the Phoenix warp ship from Star Trek First Contact)  Time drug ever so slowly and every two hours or so we would listen to the cheers, applause and excitement as the crowds would flow out of the exits of the theaters!!!! Finally our time came and as you walked thru the lobby the walls were covered with these beautiful prints of all the Ralph McQuarrie art from the film, I so wanted to jump line and go get a closer look but I wasn’t going to let go of my spot in line. Once in we were making our way down the long rows of seats and we wound up in the third row center.  What was nice about the Capri was that every seat was great as we would soon find out…. The front row had at least 20 feet before you got to the screen and the screen itself was curved to accommodate those big surround films of the 60’s. all the seats had a high back that your head fit in and the slope of the floor gave you an almost totally unobscured view of the screen.. It was almost 12:30 before the lights went down and the big curtains opened,,,, The hiss and pop of the analog speakers started up and the crowd was screaming!!!!  Daaaaaa Da Da,,,,, Daaaaaa Da Da,,,, the fox theme started to roll then the silent frame hit the screen,   A Long time ago in a galaxy far far away,,,,,,,,,,,, BOOOOM the mighty John Williams score took over as the big Star Wars logo zoomed out into space followed by,,,,,,, WHAT!!!!!!  Episode V!!!!!!!!! Everyone was looking around  and babbling to each other trying to figure out what that meant and how did we all miss episodes 2,3, and 4,,,, the mystery was quickly dismissed as the words scrolled on by,,, the lone Star destroyer entered the frame launching little probes in all directions and in that first couple of shots you could tell the models and VFX had come to a new level of detail and perfection. For the next two hours We all screamed, laughed and were in awe at what we saw on the screen….The Tauntans  running across the frozen waists,,,the motion sickness that came with the the snow speeder’s POV following the snowy terrain looking for Solo and SkyWalker, the wonder as the Falcon Turns space into a 360 degree arena to fly in as he try’s to escape the Empire… The incredibly dizzying ride thru the asteroid field,,, and the countless other magical moments!!!! The city in the clouds, the introduction of Boba Fett, and his ship the Slave One, the romantic moments of Leia and Solo all surrounded by one of John Williams finest scores… The movie was opening up all these new doors and so many under stories were going on at the same time that I didn’t want it to ever end,,, I was gearing up for what was going to happen next. The crowd was all blown away with the Vader being Luke’s dad and the slicing off of his hand with a saber!!! Holly Cow this movie is SO out of control,,,in a good way that is…… We were all watching the medical frigate pass by , catching our breaths and gearing up for what was going to happen next. the big ship starts to turn away from the camera and boom the ending credits hit the screen!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! I screamed like my own hand had been cut off!!! NOOOOOOO, IT CANT END HERE!!!! the crowd was all a mix of hoops and hollers and I wanted to watch it again that moment! My Buddy Mark and I talked about it for hours,,  and we went back quite a few more times to see it again and again.. after a while Mark burned out so I turned to my buddy  from art class Linda Gurney who was a huge fan herself, we defiantly had a good time and boy did she jump when the Mineocks flew by the window of the Falcon,,I did nothing to add to that scary moment,,, like a little slap to her arm, HEEEEE-HEEE- HAWWWW what fun memories!!!! To this day TESB is still my favorite of all SCI FI films and personally I think it is a perfect film…. Irvin Kershner’s storytelling magic is what brought all the elements together to make a motion picture Masterpiece… Rarely to never is part two as good as the original let alone better but In my personal opinion “The Empire Strikes Back”, “The Road Warrior”, “Star Trek II the Wrath of Kahn”and “The Dark Knight” are the only three movies that soar high above the originals. The Empire played at the Capri solid for close to a year and and I can’t even remember how many times I went,,, Sitting in that theater that first night I had my destiny set and walking out I knew I had to work in the movies,,, many films added to that encouragement for the next five years but the Empire was the one that took the dream out of the idea box and made it a passion. I owe a great deal to George Lucas, Irwin Kirshner, and especially Joe Johnson, Nilo Rodis, Ralph McQuarrie and all the rest of those incredibly talented folks, (many of which are now friends which I still find amazing)  It was a magical time for movies to be sure, and my thoughts often go back to the summer of 1980. on a side note I met Kersh when we were making the pilot of SeaQuest, Irvin was brought on as the director and I was there to help flesh out the story into drawings along with Richard Lewis, and Jim Lima. One day He brought in his 35mm copy of “Empire”and we all watched it at the Amblin theater and it is one of my fondest experiences working in Hollywood having Kershner talk over his own film!!!!! On top of his directorial talents Kersh is a very funny man and it was always fun to go over to his flat when he had some ideas to be drawn up or to fix his stop motion puppet from Robocop II. I’ll have to drop him a line today to wish him a happy 30th!!!! Well with all that said here are some pics snagged from the internet!!! I just upgraded my mac with snow leopard and am finding out that a LOT of programs no longer work with the upgrade…. I just found out tonight that DVD capture no longer works so all the pics I wanted to pull or not going to be a part of todays story!!! AH-HMMMMMM! So now that that unhappy moment has been discussed, the pictures you are going to see first are of the two posters for “Empire”, the US theatrical release one sheet, and the Australian poster, I love both of them and find it hard to pick a fav so here they are. Next is a picture or two of the Cine Capri followed by the Phoenix bird and then a few grabs from the film,, The final picture is of an awesome young lady  who took Wonderfest by storm!!! I was sitting at my table at Wonderfest and across the room strolls a female bounty hunter in a very custom & cool modified Bobba Fett outfit… I ran over got a couple of pictures, and out from under the helmet came a gal named Jessie…. Jes is obviously a big fan of Star Wars, so much so that she created her own version of  the infamous bounty hunter with some generous nods to Bobba Fett while making this outfit completely here own. Jes has really done an awesome job at creating her own character, not only in appearance but also in her motions and gestures….  She packs a mighty big blaster and is a master with some very sharp blades,,, After the Fest was over on Sunday night we did a quick photo shoot in the convention room so stay tuned for lots more.  Jessie had her best friend with her to keep everything together with pins,velcro & tape,  I found out later that her dad was also cruising the show in his very own home made HALO suit,, what a cool and uniquely fun family!!!  OK then time to sign off so ENJOY all the pictures  and Happy 30th to “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK”

the poster US

Cine Capri

That awesome Capri screen

the Phoenix from Town and Country

This was the first piece of McQuarrie art we saw in the lobby

wow what a huge and cool set

one of those awesome speeder shots

those way cool walkers

Vader at his best!

were going in closer to one of the big ones

the cockpit

Yoda

every geek had a big crush on Carrie Fisher, She had two big movies out in the summer of 80 and looked gorgeous in both,,, the other one was the Blues Brothers

interview the bounty hunters,,, Fett stood out even in this scene,, everyone wanted to Fett to be the best

approaching Bespin

models and paintings,, looks awfully darned real to me!!!

next to the Falcon this is the greatest space ship design ever

and we end with the coolest of the bad guys

jessie-Fett

Jessie and company!


106 Responses to “may 21st 2010, the 30th anniversary of George Lucas’s & Irvin Kershner’s “the empire strikes back””


  1. 1 Barrie Suddery
    May 21, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Oh, man you’re making me feel old with these anniversary posts.

    Awesome film though and easily, in my opinion, the best of the Star Wars saga (although Revenge of the Sith comes close).

    • 2 johneaves
      May 21, 2010 at 2:56 am

      Yes Barrie we are old,, but only on the outside!!!

      • May 23, 2010 at 1:27 am

        I’m a little younger but I got to see a few dozen movies at the cine capri! In fact, I was skating around 24th street and camelback in some parking garages and realized that I was standing in the spot of where cine capri used to be! Kind of brings a tear to your eye…

  2. May 21, 2010 at 5:11 am

    The Cine Capri is where I saw my first theater movie at age six: Star Wars. Thus began a life-long obsession with things which could not be contained by a single planet. Wish I had seen Empire there as well, but alas it was at the drive-in in Sierra Vista I had that pleasure, and the projector was broken so the left six feet of screen was projected on the right.

    Empire remains a classic of modern cinema regardless of what anyone thinks may have happened to the series since then. It was my introduction to the idea that the good guys don’t always win. Wonderful film.

    Thanks for the old Cine Capri pics!

  3. 7 Robert Vancel
    May 21, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Simply amazing how well this movie has withstood the test of time.

    Can’t belive it’s been 30 years but…. wow. just. wow.

    Used to be a morning tv show on WGN before bozo. They ‘sneak peeked’ some footage from this one. And even that made me go O_O

    Thanks for sharing, John.

    Oh, and Jessie’s cute.🙂

    • 8 johneaves
      May 21, 2010 at 7:08 am

      WOW we didn’t get Bozo in PHX,, we did have Captain Kangaroo and we had the best show for kids ever the Wallace and Ladmo show!!!! Great times and memories and Wonderfest was awesome and it was cool to meet Jessie as well as so many other fellow fans!!!

      • 9 Robert Vancel
        May 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm

        and I didn’t realize it until after the fact, but I was wearing the same shirt as last year…
        O_o

    • May 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm

      I believe the show you are thinking about is Ray Rayner. I can still remember some of the segments they showed. Just a little side note. Ray Rayner was one of the guys who helped plan the escape shown in the movie The Great Escape. Unfortunately he was moved to another camp before it happened.

  4. 11 Richard Knapp
    May 21, 2010 at 5:54 am

    One of the best movies of all time! I had just started college when this one came out and I remember the anticipation. Way back then, the only place to get information was from Starlog so you really went in to the movie not knowing what to expect. Thanks for posting these pictures and jogging a fond memory.

    I hope all is well.

    Best regards,
    Richard

  5. 13 christine eaves-lorenz
    May 21, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Brother John! I remember seeing this film with YOU at the Cine-Capri when we were kids and we had to sit in the very front row, way over to the right of the theatre, with that concave screen….when the scene took place where the ships were flying over the snow looking for Luke and Han, we practically threw up. But it was AWESOME!!! I loved going to the Cine-Capri to see movies with you….we saw so many good ones there and at Chris-Town, not too far away. Only thing I hated about going to the movies with you, was the predictable farts you’d leave and then openly blame on me so everyone in the near vicinity was angry at me by the time the movie was half way over! Othere great films I remember seeing with you in great theatres: Jaws, Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark (6 times!)….the list is so long. Let’s go see a movie together soon.

  6. 15 Terry
    May 21, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I was only 9 going on 10, a the time, and this movie along with ST:TMP were some of my earliest movie memories, I also remember all the Starlog articles about what every scene in Empire meant and then having to wait forever until Jedi came out.

    I bet Jessie was surprised that John Eaves wanted her picture.

    Terry

    • 16 johneaves
      May 21, 2010 at 7:04 am

      I had all those mags and bought them as they came out but refused to look at anything passed the cover before the movie came out so as not to spoil anything!!!,,, HAAAAA !!!!! JESSIE

  7. 17 the bluesman
    May 21, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Great stuff, John. Jessies coutume rocks! Carrie Fisher was cute in the Star Wars movies, but she was really hot in the Blues Brothers with an M16!

    I’ll agree that the 2 coolest ships are the Falcon and Slave 1…and the best part, both are cargo ships!

    Looking forward to the Wonderfest coverage

  8. 20 doubleofive
    May 21, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I never got to see the original version in theaters (I’m a youngin!), but Empire grew to be my favorite movie ever. It has everything in perfect balance. I wish we could get a decent release of the original version in decent quality, but I guess we have to make do with what we have.

    Is it alright if I link to a petition for the Blu-rays to have the theatrical versions included?

    • 21 johneaves
      May 21, 2010 at 7:11 am

      I have one transferred from my unhybrid laserdisc copy!!!! it’s the only version I watch!!!! the original!

      • 22 Robert Vancel
        May 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm

        I still have an RCA CED version of ANH and ESB.

        For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s vinyl just like a record but plays video.

        Odd but neat.

  9. 23 Jay
    May 21, 2010 at 7:50 am

    This was easily the best movie-going experience of my life. I had just turned 7 the month before, I had seen Star Wars in ’77 and during the ’79 re-release, and I was steeped in all things Star Wars, so to have the good fortune to be the right age and to have the movie be that good really cemented me as a sci-fi nerd for the rest of my life. And my Mom, God bless her, took me to see it three times over the course of that summer. What a trouper. And I totally ate, slept, and breathed Star Wars that whole year, much to the joy of George Lucas’s accountant, I’m sure – the toys, the trading cards, the fold-out poster magazine, the sheets, I had the Luke Skywalker “Bespin Fatigues” jacket, the notebooks and Trapper Keeper, the “Force” lightsaber with the air holes that went “whoosh whoosh” when you swung it around, the whole magilla. What a great time to be a kid. I don’t know how much was my age and how much was Irvin Kirshner or Leigh Brackett or Larry Kasdan, or Stuart Freeborn, or whoever, but Star Wars was never as good as it was in 1980. That was the peak for me. My Star Wars enthusiasm has been coasting on those fumes for thirty years, which i guess means they were pretty good fumes!

    And I was so disappointed that I didn’t get a picture with Pocket Fett at Wonderfest! I saw her a couple of times but never when I had a camera ready! What a great costume though! And she was so tiny, not much bigger than action figure sized herself. Some great cosplay people at Wonderfest. I assume you saw the Iron Man guy, John? That was an impressive suit!

    • 24 johneaves
      May 21, 2010 at 10:19 am

      I was to old but I wanted all the toys!!!! I bought all the art of books instead!!!!,, cool story Jay and glad you were around in the magical years of SCI-FI movies

      • 25 Jay
        May 21, 2010 at 11:06 am

        Here’s an Empire teaser trailer from ’79 with lots of great McQuarrie production artwork!

      • 26 johneaves
        May 21, 2010 at 11:25 am

        WOW I had never seen that one!!! I just added the first trailer that I saw for the Empire,, it was the header to the theatrical re release of Star Wars in 1979. I had no idea they were making a sequel so this was one high adrenaline surprise!!!

    • 27 Jessi
      May 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      I certainly can say that I’ve never been called “Pocket Fett” before. That’s a good one! Ha!

      • 28 johneaves
        May 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm

        HAAAAA pocket fett that is funny

      • 29 Jay
        May 22, 2010 at 6:58 am

        Believe me, young lady, its said with affection and admiration. My friends especially are huge Boba Fett fans and we were completely impressed with you and your excellent costume. My friend Shawn especially thought you were the bee’s knees😉

      • 30 Jessi
        May 22, 2010 at 7:38 pm

        Thank you very much, it was my first build and first trooping. It was a lot of fun and you can bet I’ll be there again next year. I might even have a fem-Spartan costume to wear as well. We’ll see how the year goes. ^.^

  10. May 21, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I was 1 year, 3 months and 8 days old on May 21st 1980 (now who feels old? ;))

    Anywho, I obviously didn’t get to see it in the theater back in the day but I’ve more than made up for it with the hundreds of times I’ve watched the original trilogy on VHS and now DVD. Empire is the best, my favorite in the series and definitely one of my favorite films of all time. I love the action, the romance, the shocker of Vader being Luke’s father (though they turned him from a true villain into a Frankenstein-monster-ish tragic character in Jedi) it’s all great. Plus, it doesn’t have a happy ending. The bad guys win. It happens sometimes. Also, this film marks the entrance of my personal favorite character, Master Yoda. He’s so friggin’ cool. He’s 2 feet tall and one of the greatest Jedi Masters of all time. What could be cooler? 😀😀 (I was cheering like a schoolgirl in Episode II when he finally kicked some a$$ with his lightsaber) I also like Boba Fett and Lando Calrissian. They’re both great characters that added a lot to the movies and Lando was also a central character in the later books, though I’ve only read a handful of them.

    Thanks for the great post and sharing with us your story. It was interesting hearing what you guys went through back in the day to see this movie.

    • 32 johneaves
      May 21, 2010 at 10:26 am

      good time s to be sure!!! Sure miss those big movie days,,, I miss that you knew nothing about a movie except for what you could see in the trailers or in little snippets from Stalog,, the surprise is gone now because nothing is secret about any movie or show and then what is being put out now is far from original

      • May 21, 2010 at 10:51 am

        Yeah, you’re right. I try to avoid finding out about movies prior to their release but it’s hard to do with the internet. I can remember as a kid being thoroughly surprised (good or bad) by movies for which I’d only seen 30-second commercial spots. Now I can’t even check my e-mail without the latest buzz about whatever is coming soon being plastered all over Yahoo’s homepage. It’s hard to not look. Then my ultimate favorite is when I’m looking forward to a movie and some (insert profane adjective) who has already seen it decides that they don’t know how to use spoiler tags on a forum and they give me information that I didn’t want to know before seeing the movie.

        That’s one reason I have huge respect directors like George Lucas and JJ Abrams and some of the others. They try to keep their movies under lock & key until the release (or at least until promoting time arises) so that people don’t know what will happen until they see it.

      • 34 Jay
        May 21, 2010 at 10:54 am

        ” … what is being put out now is far from original”

        You are a master of understatement, sir. I have recently been diagnosed with CRF – Chronic Remake Fatigue – and I am accepting donations🙂

      • 35 Barrie Suddery
        May 22, 2010 at 4:14 am

        You ain’t lyin!

        Why in God’s name are they even bothering with a Nightmare on Elm Street remake? You can’t beat Robert Englund as Freddy Kruger!

      • May 22, 2010 at 11:32 am

        $$$

        Remakes and sequels are almost guaranteed to make money. Original stories are gambles, especially big budget ones. However, remakes and sequels will always put butts in the seats and money on someone’s pocket.

  11. 37 Matt Boardman
    May 21, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Oh man! I suppose it really has been that long? I guess with movies this great and timeless, they just never really age. Being the ripe age of 1 year old at the time this movie came out, I didn’t get to see it’s original run in the theater, but I quickly made up for it shortly afterward. 😀 I used to watch this and the other movies on almost every weekend growing up. In fact there were nights when I would have trouble sleeping and the only way to get my mind to calm down to fall asleep would be to play the trilogy in my head. The next night, I’d pickup where I remembered being at the night before.

    How ironic that my son should give me Lego Star Wars for my birthday last week! We’ve been playing the game and it’s put a huge smile on my face to see him enjoying this classic story as much as I have over the years!

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience John! You told it so well, I felt like I was there with you!

    • 38 Matt Boardman
      May 21, 2010 at 10:39 am

      Forgot to mention that one of my favorite exchanges in the movie is:

      Leia: I love you!

      Han: I know.

      Don’t know what it is about that but everytime, I think that Solo character is one cool dude! 😀

  12. 41 doubleofive
    May 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I don’t mean to make you all feel old, but I wasn’t even conceived in 1980. My mom was pregnant with me when she went to see Return of the Jedi on opening day.😉

    • 42 johneaves
      May 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      wow your mom is probably my age!!!! thanks now i am feeling really old!!!! haaa!!! Opening day hmmm she must have enhanced your love for Sci-Fi by exposing you to cool stuff thru the womb!!!

  13. May 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Man I miss movie posters like those. I’m so tired of the bad photoshopped crap. I was 10 when this came out and thought like everyone else what a cool movie and it still effects me the same way today. I still think the astroid chase in this movie is sbetter than the one done in Attack Of The Clones, although that one is pretty cool to. Everything about this movie just works perfectly. And as for sequels that are far better than the original I would add The Godfather part 2. As great as the first one is the second is so much better.

    • 45 johneaves
      May 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      hey I have never seen the Godfather films!!! i’ll have to see them one day!!! I agree with you! that asteroid chase is still to awesome for words!!

      • 46 JNG
        May 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm

        John, the Godfather films are very much worth seeing (at least the first two), but you may want to read the original novel. It’s a hell of a book.

        As for the larger topic, thanks for the Empire Strikes Back memories. This is among the three films that I have seen the most times in my life (and it’s probably the least embarrassing of the three). I like the prequels a lot more than some people do, and overall am a big fan of the Star Wars films, but this one was really firing on all cylinders.

      • 47 johneaves
        May 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm

        I liked the prequels especially the under stories particularly in revenge setting the ground work for the original Star Wars.. my favs are the original and Empire,, don’t have a lot to say about return of the Jedi though!!!!

    • 48 Terry
      May 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      However the sound weapon that Jango fires at Obi-wan was extremely cool, but I agree and there was not the same sense of imminent danger like the Falcon chase.

      Terry

      • May 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm

        Or the lack of sound weapon he used. That is great and I always turn up the surround sound for that.
        Haven’t seen the Godfather films, hum. Ok lets say Toy Story 2 is way better than Toy Story. You have seen that haven’t ya?😀

  14. May 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Also I always thought it was funny how popular Fett became and most people don’t realize he was first seen in the animated segment of the Christmas Special. I also had a small paperback sized comic book of the movie that came out first and had a completley different looking Yoda.

    • 51 johneaves
      May 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      I didn’t even know that!!! coolio

    • 52 JNG
      May 25, 2010 at 2:13 am

      Say, can you put up a scan of the “alternate Yoda?” I’m really curious about that!

      • 53 Jay
        May 25, 2010 at 8:17 am

        I’ve spent a good ten minutes trying to google image a pic from the actual comic already online that I could link to and haven’t found anything, but the “alternate Yoda” was the McQuarrie concept Yoda that you can see here:

        My understanding is that Lucasfilm was eager to keep Yoda’s appearance under wraps and thus Al Williamson, who drew the Empire adaptation, only had McQuarrie’s pre-production version to go from, and that’s what he drew. That Yoda only appeared in early printings and was redrawn to look like the film version in subsequent reprintings.

  15. May 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Wow.. 30 years. Alot has happened since I was 14 and cut school to go see this movie. Since then I have met and worked with several VFX personnel involved with it. This movie was definitely a milestone for me and when I noticed many of the same people working on Return of the Jedi, I began to realize there might be some sort of career here . . . . hopefully without having to work at the supermarket too much!

    Thanks for the big tribute. Very cool to see all of this again. I think I will try and watch the movie when I get home.

    • 55 johneaves
      May 21, 2010 at 1:35 pm

      i always forget,, where are you working at now!!

      • May 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm

        ICO VFX! North Hollywood. I am compositing. What a commute from/to LAX-area . . . .

        Looking for some Union camera work too if anyone knows of any (union hours = benefits!!)

        Haven’t yet gotten over to see the Nostromo yet, but hope to do so maybe next week (if they’ll let me in the door1)

      • 57 johneaves
        May 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm

        ahhh Im deep in the San Fernado Valley,, I’ll keep my ears open for ya!

  16. May 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Ah yes, I remember the day well. The best “film” in the series, IMO. And the most anticipated by me. Next to ST: TMP, the film I most looked forward to in my life. Saw it 20+ times at the Esquire Theater in Chicago (man I miss that place as just a single classic theater). And Yoda quite literally changed my life and how I look at life, and set me on the Path I still walk to this day, and most likely always will.

    Thanks for a great post for a great film, brother!😉

    peace & bananas | deg

    PS. Hey ya nut, go confirm me as a friend on facebook, Johnny, or I’ll punch you in to arm w/out even offerin’ up a circle to look at.

    • 59 johneaves
      May 22, 2010 at 8:19 pm

      DEG it was a hoot to hang out with you and Greg again!!!! were getting to be a pretty good team!!! had a lot of fun and miss you guys!!! see ya again in a year!!!

  17. 60 Scott
    May 22, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Wow, I wasn’t even born for another nine years after The Empire Strikes Back came out, not to try and make you feel old or anything😉 Even so, that has not stopped it from easily becoming one of my favorite movies of all time. I actually just happened to watch it again about 2 weeks ago, not realizing that it was coming up on its anniversary. I totally agree with you that Slave One is one heckuva cool ship. I always loved the way that it flew with its ‘forward’ direction being in a direction that you really didn’t expect (or at least I didn’t). I always thought it was such a disappointing end to the awesomeness that was Boba Fett to have him just get accidentally knocked into the Sarlac’s mouth in Return of the Jedi.

    • 61 johneaves
      May 22, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      well you did succeed in making me and few others here very old!!! HAAA Happy 21 to you Scott,, in my mind I have never gotten older that 23 and only when I see a picture or look in the mirror does the old man show!!!!!

      • 62 johneaves
        May 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm

        PS can’t wait to get to the retirement home cause I have some awfully naughty pranks ready for my fellow elderly friends

  18. May 22, 2010 at 2:41 am

    From the orignal Trilogy, this was the last one I saw. It was not shown at all on TV, when I was growing and no one I knew had it on VHS and if they did they would not let it out of their sight. LOL
    It was not untill the early 90’s untill I fianlly saw this one. Though I did get to see it on the big screen when the trilogy was re-realised in SE forum in the late 90’s.

    As for sequals that are better than the original, I can’t believe you forgot about Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan.

    • 64 johneaves
      May 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm

      Holly cow thats the one!!! I knew I was forgetting one and now I’m embarrassed!!! HAAA I fixed it in the text thanks to you!!!

  19. 65 Robert Minnes
    May 22, 2010 at 5:47 am

    I’ve always enjoyed Star Wars as much as I’ve enjoyed Star Trek; It’s been mystifying to me why fans of both franchises fought each other tooth and nail, shouldn’t there be enough room in the realms of imagination for both, nay even more? Anyways, The Empire Strikes Back is by far my favorite, it is the one where characters were the most explored and it had a wonderfully brooding atmosphere…

  20. 67 Lou
    May 22, 2010 at 11:51 am

    John,
    Thanks for the memories! I was lucky enoughto win tickets from a radio contest for a premier showing like a day or two before the general opening when I was going to art school in Pittsburgh.

    All the local celebs were there and I remember sitting about three rows behind Tom Savini. He had an arm in a cast (no doubt from a stunt gone wrong) , but he was grinning and shoveling popcorn in his face just like the rest of us.

    Good to see you again at the ‘fest. I really dug your Nostromo presentation

    Cheers!
    Lou

  21. 69 the bluesman
    May 22, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    It seesm approporiate that the Star Wars concert was in my town today for 2 sold out shows.

    I had other commitments so I could not attend, but I hear it is quite an experience.

    • 70 johneaves
      May 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

      My little one and I have tickets to see it next Sunday!!! we barly got in and our seats are also appropriate.. Far far away!!!

  22. 71 Max
    May 22, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I grew up in that part of Phoenix.

    The good old long gone Cine-Capri. I remember when SW was playing there for more than a year, and when ever I was driven by(I was only 10), there was a line around the place. Of course I saw Empire there as well, the summer before that I spent a Saturday watching SW at the UA theaters in Chris-town just so I could see the Empire previews. All of the big theaters are gone from Phoenix, I miss the experience of going to such grand facilities. Something that all of the new facilities around here can’t match. The last movie I saw there was Starship Troopers, it was disappointing because I miss the shows when the curtains would open completely.

    Didn’t the Phoenix Wax museum have a SW exhibit? And I remember seeing Lea on display at the CC.

    A couple of sides, there was a lot of talk of preserving the Cine-Capri’s screen. But it wasn’t worth it, because they no longer make projectors powerful enough. I know this because a friend of mine was working for the architectural firm that did a lot of Mr. Harkin’s theaters.

    Another one is the Phoenix Bird at Town and Country. I used to have a friend(lost touch) who’s dad made it.
    Those guys were real blacksmiths, my friends dad looked like Walt Disney and could curse up a storm.
    I miss the fire they had on the bird but that was a really long time ago.

    • May 23, 2010 at 1:39 am

      I too saw starship troopers at the cine capri! Another random memory I have of the cine cap ri was when I went to see top gun. I was only like 6 at the time but I remember they had model jets hanging from the ceiling with missiles coming off the wings had cotton balls on the back end to simulate smoke lol . Also, they played a trailer for ALIENS before top gun and it scared the crap out of me! lol

    • 73 johneaves
      May 23, 2010 at 6:51 pm

      Cool story Max!!!reading yours and Nathan’s, post really are making me homesick!!! lets keep in touch and next time I am home we’ll go get Wallace and have a big lunch together!!

  23. May 23, 2010 at 1:31 am

    I was on Wallace and Ladmo twice with my scout troop! I totally won a huge tootsie roll container!

    • 76 Max
      May 23, 2010 at 10:04 am

      I was on once with my Cub Scout troop. But I have won 2 Ladmo Bags.

      One summer the C-C had a matinee every Saturday they showed everything from Don Knots films to Gerry Andersen’s, “Journey to the far side of the sun”.

      I can’t help but wonder if I knew some of you guys.
      I went to Madison Park Elementary, and lived in the area of Central and Missouri back in the 70’s.

      • 77 johneaves
        May 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm

        Holly cow you won TWO LADMO BAGS!!!!your the king in my eyes!!! I bow to your super ladmo-ness!!! Im sure we probably crossed paths at the Hobby Bench or in the movies somewhere!!! About ten years ago I met Wallace and since then we have become good friends!!! I was very sad that I didn’t get to meet Ladmo! you lived where I wanted to!! I love Missouri and wanted to be between 7th Ave. and 16th street East on Missouri, loved those big yards and equestrian walkways along Central… Hey is the hamburger works still around!!!!

    • 78 johneaves
      May 23, 2010 at 6:47 pm

      Wow Top Gun was my first movie and I drove all the way home to see it opening night at the Capri!!! I tried to do that with all the movies I worked on,, it was the best way to see them,,, I so remember those big Tootsie rolls they gave away!!! I never made it to the show but I did become friends with Wallace about 10 years ago. What a great man!!!thanks for the stories and memories of AZ

      • 79 Max
        May 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

        I spent my early years in one of those equestrian homes. My grandfather built the home when that part of Phoenix was a rural area. My mother used to ride her horse up central.
        It wasn’t on Missouri, it was on 4th street south of Missouri.

        Do you remember the huge RC Vulcan on the ceiling of Hobby Bench?
        Do you remember Websters Hobby shop?

      • 80 johneaves
        May 24, 2010 at 10:20 am

        yes I remember both Websters and the RC Vulcn, Is websters gone????

      • May 24, 2010 at 10:21 am

        I would go to Hobby Bench every weekend! Usually the PV mall location. Their front window display was always super cool and about the best thing in the mall. I remember one time they had a full sized ALIEN warrior from ALIENS along with a face hugger! I still go to the Phoenix location to get model paints and of course look at all the cool star trek and airplane models.

      • 82 Max
        May 24, 2010 at 4:49 pm

        Websters has been gone since the 80’s. They moved from Town and Country to Cinema park(the old drive in, now a small shopping center).

        One I wish was still around was Tower Hobbies(at Tower Plaza, if you remember that). That was one of the most impressive hobby stores I’ve ever seen.

        But the Hobby Bench is still there(as far as I know, I haven’t been to that side of town for a while).

      • 83 johneaves
        May 25, 2010 at 7:08 am

        OOOOOOH I am coming home soon!!! we”ll all defiantly meet up then

      • May 25, 2010 at 8:15 am

        That’d be a blast to meet up!

      • May 28, 2010 at 8:40 pm

        Would love to meet up when you ever come into town, here’s my contact info:

        nathannelsonross@yahoo.com
        nathannelsonross.com

  24. 86 Mark A.C.
    May 23, 2010 at 8:44 am

    WoW !
    Thanks for this great post John.
    I not only agree with so many of yours (and others) thoughts and sentiments about this “seminal” sci-fi film, (and definatley better than the first) but you have taken me right back to my early childhood. Ha Ha

    I was 4 (nearly 5) when Empire was released, had not seen Star Wars, but was taken along for one of my first cinema outings. It was to the huge 500-seat Hoyts Regent cinema in little old Adelaide, Australia, during May, the end of our Autumn that my older brother (who was 15) and my sister (who was 12), both big fans of Star Wars, took me along with a bunch of their friends to see the long awaited sequel. Lord knows why my parents let me go, there is no way I would have let either of my daughters when they were 4 (my youngest is 5 now) go see any film like this at the cinema, especially without adults !!! But hey, it was the 70’s, and times were different, no matter how similar fashions get.

    Well as anyone here can imagine, Empire left a huge impression on my 4 year-old brain !! In fact, the celluloid fantasy seared onto my brain that day still has scars remaining, but all in a good way…it’s fueled my sci-fi geekiness ever since. I think alot of it went over my head, especially as I had not seen Star wars, but I remember being obsessed by the “cool” stormtroopers and having a big crush on Carrie Fisher. As a little kid it was a blast, I collected heaps of toys, and books on Star Wars, and pestered my brother alot. As Jay posted, 1980 was a great time to be a little kid in love with sci-fi. And I kept up the enthusiasm, right up to when I finally saw Star wars in 1982 (during a cinema re-realse…remember this was before VCRs and DVDs, as I like to tell my own kids !) which I loved, and onto seeing ROTJ in 1983 at the ripe old age of 7 (and being the first & only kid in my class at school to see it on opening weekend).

    Anyway, sorry for going on, but John you just hit a cord with this post baby. I still love The Empire Stikes Back, and am greatful to Irvin Kershner and George Lucas for giving us such a wonderfully told story, full of fantasy but also so much about our human condition. And it still remains my favourite Star Wars film, as well as one of my favourite sci-fi films.

    Oh, and John, thanks for posting the Aussie film poster, I had that one as a kid, haven’t seen it in years, what happy memories..

    May the Force Be With Us.

    Mark

    • 87 Mark A.C.
      May 23, 2010 at 8:49 am

      Also, it’s so weird to be reading this post as I flick back to the live NASA streaming of Shuttle Mission STS-132, watching and waiting for Atlantis to undock from the ISS, wow some sci-fi just becomes reality.

    • 88 johneaves
      May 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm

      Howdy Mark from down under!!! what an awesome story, and glad you were able to sneak in at such a young age!!! if thats your calling and your exposed to the right things at the right age & time, the possibilities are endless! you know all about the age of electronics and life before they existed!!! haaa!!! I’m sure thats why movies lasted in the theaters as long as they did and were often rereleased because at that time you only had once short chance to see them! Are you a part of the Star Trek fan club based in Adelaide????? Stuart Blair is the press and man do they have a lot of cool sc-ifi stuff they do,, also do you go to Terra Nova???? one day I plan on coming to visit your town and am going to take a long drive up to Broken Hill to go and see all the filming locations from Mad Max 2, below are some blog links on the Trek club down your way!!! Thanks for sharing the great story!

      https://johneaves.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/trekking-with-stuart-blair/

      https://johneaves.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/trekking-with-stuart-blair

      • 89 Mark A.C.
        May 28, 2010 at 7:33 am

        Hi John,
        Sorry for the late response, and you certainly are right about being exposed to things early having a lasting effect.

        I don’t go to Terra Nova, but am familiar with it and have chatted with Stuart a couple of times around town over the years. Good of you helping with networking between sci-fi fans, you’re a class act. Stuart’s a nice guy, and I remember your post from last April about you designing the USS Mawson. I love this design and it was a spin-out to discover the guys blog I was reading from the other side of the world (and designer of the Ent E !!) had designed the logo vessel for the Star Trek fan club in my home town! Just CRAZY!! The internet has made the world an even smaller place.

        And John, just let me know when you plan on heading Down Under to Adelaide and we’ll meet up mate. I do alot of photograghy myself and we have some great locales for shoots (Even our local tourism commercial doing the rounds at cinemas has just been converted to 3d by Peter Jackson). Hey, and we’ve got the best Roller Derby league in the country, which I’m taking my girls to tomorrow night. Broken Hill is a loooonnng drive from here (I remember doing it myself) and although a desolate place, the Mad Max fan in you will love it.

        Cheers
        Mark

      • 90 johneaves
        May 29, 2010 at 7:21 am

        How cool your from Adelaide,,, yeah from the google earth Broken hill does look way far!!! I love roller Derby too,, we have to meet up when I finally get down your way!

  25. 91 JC
    May 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Not meaning to change the subject but I thought everyone would like to know that Star Trek III: The Search For Spock Complete Score is available for preorder from Film Score Monthly/Screen Archives Entertainment. It is a 2 disc set featuring the complete film score ( including the film versions of ” Klingons ” and ” Stealing the Enterprise “. Disc 2 is the fully remastered album version of the score released in 84′.

  26. May 25, 2010 at 5:40 am

    I love your blog~ but please use paragraphs haha ^^; some of the posts are quite hard to read

  27. May 25, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I enjoy a wide variety of science-fiction films and television… 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, BLADE RUNNER, FORBIDDEN PLANET, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, the 1930s FLASH GORDON serials, DARK STAR, STAR TREK, BABYLON 5, and much, much more… but it was STAR WARS that first piqued my interest in things science-fictional. Happy anniversary, TESB!

  28. 96 Geckoman
    May 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I had seen the trailer for Empire Strikes Back at the end of the re-release of Star Wars. My girlfriend and I had stayed through the end credits and were walking out when the new trailer started. I don’t think I’d ever been so excited for a trailer! We told our friends about it but when they went to go look for it, for some reason, they had quit showing it…

    When Empire was released, for some odd reason, it wasn’t coming to my hometown of Mobile, Alabama for nearly two weeks! All our friends drove over to New Orleans to watch it and a week or so later, we sneaked out of town with one of my girlfriend’s friends to drive over to New Orleans to watch it. It was magical! And afterward, there was the classic moment when they were discussing the ‘Luke, I am your FATHER’ bit and people within earshot were snapping their heads like ‘OMG! SPOILERS!!’

    Years later, I bought a 35mm print of that trailer, just to prove I’d seen it. (There were a couple of bits that didn’t make it to the final cut…like the Wampa room.) Now, if I can only find a definitive website that can tell me when exactly Lucas added the episode numbers to the films…I swear, it’s like trying to find a definitive history of Russian Cosmonauts…

    • 97 johneaves
      May 29, 2010 at 7:18 am

      YOUR RIGHT!!! I forgot about those cuts and extras that were not in the final film!!! how cool you found the old 35 trailer,,, I remember when you would go to a con and there would be boxes of trailers for everything and they were only a couple of bucks,, I bought something from Empire but it was 70 MM and pulled all the effects stuff out.

  29. May 28, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    ..if I could sum this movie up in 1 word it would be that..MAGIC. There was just something about this movie that surpasses words, its a feeling, a mood..so many emotions from dark to light. Those moments in the jungle with Yoda are so special..its a freekin MUPPET but evokes incredible magic and it exudes thru out the whole film. Never felt it since and I doubt we’ll see that kinda thing for a long time yet. Too bad.

    Neo

    http://www.vimeo.com/4648516

  30. 100 Buckaroohawk
    May 28, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Okay…first a confession. The main reason I’m writing this is because my entry will be the 95th on this thread and I’d really like to see it reach 100. We’ll need just 5 more after this so I’m hoping others will respond or chime in and take it all the way to the end zone.

    Now to the movie stuff. The first “Star Wars” film was a transformative experience for me. I came out of the theater a different person than when I went in. I was only 10 years old, but that movie changed me in ways that still affect me to this very day.

    Then “Empire” came along and transformed me again. I was 13, entering puberty, and just beginning to learn that life wasn’t as orderly and well-defined as I thought it was. “Empire” magnified those feelings by an order of magnitude. The movie was dark, threatening, and ominous. Our heroes were placed in great peril, literally running for their lives. They were hunted, betrayed, taken captive and tortured. Luke Skywalker (the untouchable young hero) is maimed horribly, then told a secret that shatters everything he thought he understood about life. That secret is so dreadful to him that he actually attempts to commit suicide rather than face what he has learned. Thankfully he survives, but only through an astounding act of fate. By the end of the film all of our heroes are clearly battered, licking their wounds and trying to hold onto the shards of their broken hearts. I walked out of the theater with many lessons learned, the most important being that the good guys don’t always win and that even the most noble of sacrifices can take a terrible toll.

    “The Empire Strikes Back” is, in my opinion, the best of all the “Star Wars” films. It takes the time honored template of the first film and smashes it to pieces, then leaves us wondering if our heroes will be strong enough to pick those pieces up and put them back together. It’s a powerful, emotional, thought-provoking film that has as much impact today as it did 30 years ago. If any of the prequel films had even a fraction of the resonance that “Empire” has, they would have been truly astounding films. It’s truly a film for the ages.

    Now, I’ve done my part and had my say. I leave it up to the rest of you to carry this thread past the 100 comments mark. Don’t let me down!

    • 101 johneaves
      May 29, 2010 at 7:15 am

      It is amazing how a movie can effect so many people in so many ways, and this one is defiantly a life learner, Truly a one of a kind wonder and so glad it was told thr Star Wars and not something else that would have been forgotten by now.

  31. 102 the bluesman
    May 31, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Interesting comments about Empire. I enjoyed the film, but I found it lacked the Saturday afternoon matinee serial feel of A New Hope.

    • 103 Geckoman
      May 31, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Well, mostly in that you weren’t going back the following Saturday to find out if they rescued Han from the evil bounty-hunter…

  32. 104 SpaghettiWestern
    May 31, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Man,

    I remember seeing it at the Cine Capri in Phoenix! You paint a great picture!

    Man, it’s been a long time. You’re bringing back all these great memories!

    Remember Bethany Bible? Remember tossing pallets at Bashas? Whatever happened to Mary Greene? Did your dad retire from the Peoria Police Department. How’s your sister? Did she end up working in the movie business? It’s so great to know you’ve done so well. LOVE YOUR SITE!

  33. 105 Geckoman
    June 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I also remember getting some of the pre-publicity art for ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ in some sci-fi magazine with a pull-out poster of the Millenium Falcon being chased by some new, weird looking Imperial craft…My friends and I must have stared at it for about 10 minutes before one of us realized that the artwork had been printed upside-down!

  34. April 8, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Your style is so unique compared to other people I
    have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.


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