mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

June 2, 2021

Episode 522: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Special Guests: Peter Suschitzky, Paul Hirsch, Jim Bloom, Rebecca Harrison, J.W. Rinzler
Guest Co-Hosts: Jamie Benning, Chris Bricklemyer

#Sci-FiMonth kicks off with a look at possibly the best sequel of all times, The Empire Strikes Back (1980). It's the second -- or fifth -- chapter in the Star Wars saga which truly tests our heroes: Luke Skywalker gets mangled, Han Solo gets tortured, and Leia Organa gets a good kiss... from her brother.

Chris Bricklemyer (Outside the Cinema) and Jamie Benning (The Filmumentaries Podcast) join Mike to discuss Irving Kershner's first and only foray into the Star Wars universe.

Interviews include cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, editor Paul Hirsch, associate producer Jim Bloom, author Rebecca Harrison, and author J.W. Rinzler.

Listen/Download Now:

Listen to Justing Berger discuss he Empire Strikes Back Unauthorized Timeline:
Listen to More Jim Bloom:

Listen to our Star Wars episode:

Listen to the Star Wars Music Mix:

Become a supporter of The Projection Booth
Buy The Empire Strikes Back on Blu-Ray
Download The Empire Strikes Back de-specialized version
Buy A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away: My Fifty Years Editing Hollywood Hits—Star Wars, Carrie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Mission: Impossible, and More by Paul Hirsch
Buy The Empire Strikes Back (BFI Film Classics) by Rebecca Harrison
Buy The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back by J.W. Rinzler
Buy The Smpire Strikes Back Unauthorized Timeline 1975-2020 by Justin Berger
Visit 365 Star Wars
Visit the OriginalTrilogy.com website
Visit the official Star Wars website

"Luke's First Crash" - John Williams
"Empire Strikes Back (Medley) Darth VaderYoda's Theme" - Meco
"Seagulls! (Stop It Now)" - Bad Lip Reading


Building Empire, A Filmumentary By Jamie Benning @jamieSWB from Filmumentaries - Jamie Benning on Vimeo.


  1. Great Upload-Screened the 40th anniv. last September when RegalCinemas was still open-such sizzle!:)If you watch it in French with French sub-titles it almost plays like a gangster picture:)Rob St. Mary & Mike White,thoughts on an Indy 5 shooting next week in UK?ALways Be Well:)

  2. Had to comment on you guys talking toys: I had the Hoth version of Han Solo. Somehow one of the legs had broken off so when I played with my Star Wars figures, everyone was always teaming up to rescue Han after loosing his leg. Really appreciate your in depth podcasts!

  3. After watching Empire then Jedi again its almost baffling to see how polar opposite they are. To go from dark intensity to teddy bears in the forest really seems wonky, all of that heavy emotion from Empire leading to the idea that Luke will kill his father or together they both die ala "Excalibur" totally evaporates. I thought Empire much more sci-fi space oriented and Jedi more fantasy leaning, I wonder if the popularity of "Conan" was a factor. Jedi seems to push this redemption theme and a much more family friendly happy conclusion but I'm not sure why, to have continued in the tone of Empire would have made for a much stronger film. I don't think any of the subsequent films have really leaned into the dark side as much as Empire did, they seem very much Jedi in spirit. It's unfortunate you never see that badass Vader again till that scene in Rogue One, in Jedi he's so damn melodramatic and un-scary it's sad. Empire still #1. Listening to the podcast sure makes me wish I had that 12" doll/action figure of Luke Skywalker I had in 1980.