For six weeks this summer, the Central Arkansas Library System is showing the first six episodes of the STAR WARS saga on Thursday evenings at the Ron Robinson Theater. They are being shown in episode order, not release order, or any of the other orders dreamed up by fans.
Tonight is 1980’s Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back.
Three years after the destruction of the Death Star, Imperial forces continue to pursue the Rebels. After the Rebellion’s defeat on the ice planet Hoth, Luke journeys to the planet Dagobah to train with Jedi Master Yoda, who has lived in hiding since the fall of the Republic. In an attempt to convert Luke to the dark side, Darth Vader lures young Skywalker into a trap at Cloud City. In the midst of a fierce lightsaber duel with the Sith Lord, Luke faces the startling revelation that the Vader is in fact his father.
This is the film which introduced Yoda and Boba Fett. It also showcased the smooth stylings of Billy Dee Williams.
The cast includes Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness (in cameos), Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, David Prowse, and the uncredited voice of James Earl Jones. Clive Revill provided the voice of the Emperor Palpatine (though in the re-edited version overseen by Lucas, Ian McDiarmid’s voice is used to match up with his appearance in subsequent films).
Directed by Irvin Kershner (selected by George Lucas), the film won one Oscar: Sound. It also received a Special Oscar for Visual Effects. It was nominated for Art Direction and for John Williams’ musical score.
The screening starts tonight, August 8, at 7pm. Admission is $5.00.