“The Empire Strikes Back” turns 30!

Thirty years ago today my brother, my Dad, my Stepmom, Wendy, and I piled into our van and drove to San Jose to see what was then known simply as, “The Empire Strikes Back”, for the first time on the big screen. It was opening day and we didn’t have no internet machines back then, so, we got to the Winchester Century Theaters at the crack of dawn to get in line to buy tickets.

And then we waited, and waited, and waited some more, and roughly four hours after we got there, we got our tickets and went inside to see the movie.

Now, I’m sure the Winchester Theaters have aged a bit since then — the place was practically crumbling when we saw a midnight screening of the first “Harry Potter” flick there back in 2001 — but in 1980, that theater was the shit, baby!

Seriously, the screen was so big and the sound was so loud that I literally shook through the first half hour of the movie. I know that sounds crazy, but my brother and I had been waiting for this movie to come out for three years and my eleven-year-old brain simply could not take the excitement. I was in such shock to actually be in a theater watching that movie that I couldn’t even focus on what was happening onscreen. Crazy!

Anyway, when I did calm down enough to enjoy it, the movie rocked our world, and thirty years later, it is still the coolest “Star Wars” film in the series. I just watched it again last week with Greta and though I didn’t tremble through the first half hour like I did then, the thrill of sharing this monumental movie from my childhood with my daughter just about killed me.

So, in honor of the movie’s 30th anniversary today, I thought I’d share this collection of cool-ass “Empire” posters I found online. Happy birthday, old friend, here’s hoping the force is with you…always!

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