A long time ago (30 years, actually) in a galaxy not so far, far away (right here, in fact) we were treated to the release of what many consider the best sequel ever made: The Empire Strikes Back. In celebration of that achievement and anniversary, Lucasfilm and Del Rey are releasing a new book in October titled Star Wars: The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, that goes behind the scenes of the epic space saga in exhaustive detail. And we’ve got your first taste right here.
In an exclusive first look, the new issue of Entertainment Weekly features several rare and never-before-seen photos and quotes from the cast and crew on the Empire set, as well as an original script page (with revisions and notes from director Irvin Kershner), and early sketches of key new characters Yoda and Boba Fett. It’s a visual feast sure to be gobbled up by any Star Wars fan. Plus, in addition to that treasure trove, Dalton Ross explains in the issue why The Empire Strikes Back remains the ultimate Star Wars film. “What makes The Empire Strikes Back the greatest and grandest of all Star Wars films is its emotional resonance,” explains Ross in his essay. “This is no feel-good popcorn film, as the Rebel Alliance is on the receiving end of a pretty much continuous loop of butt kickings, starting from the very first line of the opening crawl: ‘It is a dark time for the rebellion.’”
To see all the incredible behind the scenes Empire Strikes Back photos, as well as quotes from George Lucas and the stars, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands April 9.