The original home release of Empire Strikes Back is truly the perfect way to celebrate the sequel's 40th anniversary. Fortunately, you can see everything below. Long before the days of streaming and Blu-rays, the sequel's first home release came out in two 8mm reels of film, which when combined had a total of 35 minutes of footage. There are no digital solutions from the 1990s when George Lucas decided to go back and rewrite history. The original film is here, albeit in abbreviated form, in all its glory.
When shooting The Empire Strikes Back 8mm release, Star Wars fans will quickly notice that there is no opening crawl. Instead, the iconic opening has been replaced by traditional opening credits, which is strange enough, to be honest. The gritty movie takes fans back to the movie's original look on the big screen, long before any of the Special Edition tweaks and 4K reissues. This is a historical artifact for hardcore Star Wars devotees
Since there are only 35 minutes of footage, The Empire Strikes Back The 8mm launch is missing some crucial scenes, even when Darth Vader reveals the shocking news to Luke Skywalker. However, in the early 1980s, VHS and Beta had not yet taken off, making this one of the only ways you could enjoy magic at home. In addition to editing, the 35-minute footage is believed to have been taken from the original 70mm theater edition, which is literally what people saw in theaters for the first time.
The Empire Strikes Back The 8mm release is also notable because some of the effects and composite shots are different from what we all know and love. There are some differences in the effects and dialogue, which is easy to see even when looking at a few minutes of the footage. Before launch, George Lucas wanted Industrial Light and Magic to go back and add footage to the end, to help clear things up with Luke, Leia, Chewie, and Lando. At the time, the movie had been on about 100 screens, so some lucky fans were able to see the incredibly rare cut of the sequel before anyone else.
Regardless of how fans have come to love The Empire Strikes BackThe 8mm home launch offers a completely different perspective on the film. It truly is the perfect way to celebrate the movie's 40th anniversary right now and we still hope that George Lucas will one day surprise us all with intact versions of the original trilogy. While that seems unlikely now, we've seen stranger things happen, like Zack Snyder's cut League of Justice becoming reality. In the meantime, you can watch the original 8mm release at The Empire Strikes Back above, thanks to the YouTube channel Dartman71.
Topics: Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars