Why ESB?

I still remember the first time my family and I saw the Empire Strikes Back. I was a little kid, maybe 10 or so. One of the big things that seems odd to me today is that it was years before I realized that the title had meaning behind it. It was always just a title to me, and I never realized that the Empire did indeed strike back in this movie. Like someone said on rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, I think they were pissed about losing their Death Star.

The next things I recall about the movie are more normal...when it ended, we all got up to leave except for my father. He sat fast and said he wasn't leaving until the next one came out. Later, I remember all of us talking - was Darth Vader REALLY Luke's Father or was he just playing mind games? Who was the "other" that Yoda mentioned? I was sure it was Han Solo (I liked him) until Mom remembered that when Luke was stuck on that weather vane at the end he called Leia with the force - and she answered. I still hoped it was Han Solo though (hey, at 10 logic isn't too important yet.) We all knew Han Solo would get rescued, but he wasn't yet and we were all waiting to see what would happen...

Here are some more pictures from my collection of things I thought were neat to see.

The cover of the Mad Magazine Star Wars issue.
The cover of the Mad Magazine Star Wars Musical issue.
The cover of the Mad Magazine Empire Strikes Back issue.
The cover of the Bananas Star Wars issue.
Two R2D2 cookie jars.
Star Wars pop-up book..

Here's a little known trivia fact - the Remote controlled R2D2 can pick up CB radio! It's true! When I was a little kid, I put this away in a closet without turning it off. That night, I heard noises coming from the closet. I found out that the noises were the CB radio band coming from the R2D2 unit - and I could even understand (mostly) what the truckers were saying. Neat.

A friend of mine saw David Prowse give a talk once. According to Prowse, here's what the cast sang to the Star Wars theme song:

Star Wars
Made me a fortune
Paid off the mortgage
Bought me a car

To close off, here's a fun shot...

Not Luke

Two things are off about this...first, in the scene, Kenobi's hood was up, not down...second, that's not Mark Hamill in the Luke suit! Hamill is distinctly blond, this guy is distinctly not. Ryan Silva offers the explanation that a lot of trading cards (which is where this is from, click it to get the whole card) are taken by still photographers - so this might be from a rehearsal that one of the photographers was at that had a stand-in for Luke.

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