'The Empire Strikes Back' Time Capsule Goes Back In Time And Behind The Scenes

Today is the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, which gives everyone yet another excuse to talk about Star Wars. In honor of the anniversary, a new Empire Strikes Back time capsule video allows us to have a look behind-the-scenes of the Irvin Kershner-directed sequel, considered by many to be the very best Star Wars movie.

Empire Strikes Back Time Capsule

On this day in 1980, The Empire Strikes Back hit theaters and would go on to become a smashing box office success. For example: when Star Wars opened over Memorial Day Weekend in 1977, it took in $1.5, while Empire's opening weekend netted $4.9 million. Odd as it is to think now, the sequel was not immediately heralded as a new classic. In fact, most critics were a little mixed on the flick. But over time, the consensus arose that this was, indeed, the best Star Wars movie in the franchise.

And now here we are, 40 years later, with this time capsule video. This footage is old behind-the-scenes stuff that's been remastered, featuring everyone you'd expect to see: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, and so on. Lucas opens things up by stating Empire is a different movie than Star Wars, calling it more of a tragedy. "The story is developing, and therefore the characters are becoming more serious." In a recent interview reflecting on the film, Lucas added: "Even though it's an homage to '40s movies and a space opera — where the characters are pretty cardboard — I worked very hard to create the characters that would be iconic in their own way, and still be true to the classic adventure cinema."

Elsewhere in the time capsule video, Billy Dee Williams talks about how cool Lando is, Carrie Fisher praises George Lucas' mind, and director  Irvin Kershner says, "We hope there will be another Star Wars [after this]!", which is amusing in retrospect. And boy oh boy does everyone look so very young here.