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The 40th Anniversary of "The Empire Strikes Back"
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Many of us remember the release of "The Empire Strikes Back" in 1980. Not long after "Star Wars" became a huge hit in 1977, we learned that George Lucas would be making a sequel. Those three years seemed like forever but it was worth the wait. It's still considered the best of all the movies by many fans even with more having been made in recent years. "The Empire Strikes Back" not only continued the adventure and fleshed out the characters but also made us feel more of a sense of menace with the heroes on the run and Darth Vader not far away ending with a narrow escape and a shocking revelation.

Forty years later, there are a lot of cards devoted to or including images from or inspired by the movie. I thought we should have a thread to talk about and show samples of not just favorite sets or cool cards from them but also some of the lesser-seen sets I'm sure many of us like and acquired for one reason or another.

Here's the wrapper with front and back of one of the cards from the ESB set released in Spain by Fher in 1980. I'm pretty sure there were six cards per pack and have read the set totaled 225 cards. The cards measure 1 3/4 x 2 1/2 inches. Some of the backs are gray; some are white. Each back provides a title but no other descriptive text. They are smaller than standard size and have no real description to read/translate but I like these oddball cards. The images are a mix of movie scenes, publicity stills, and Ralph McQuarrie production art so you get a little of everything in the set.

I was at a local card show about 20 years ago - probably the most recent show devoted to cards in this area. One of the dealers had six packs left. I had never seen them before and bought all six (don't remember if there was a box or if the dealer wanted to keep it - he was a collector too). I have never seen a pack for sale since then - just some singles and a moderate lot out on "the bay" over the years.

Jess


 
Posts: 1703 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Empire marked the beginning of the end for my collecting days at that time. I did pull in series 1 and 2 from Topps but by late 1982 all forms of collecting (figures, Magazines, comics, cards) had lost importance. Finishing high school and life laid ahead. It would be 17 years before Rittenhouse pulled me back in with some Twilight Zone cards. Wink

Since that time I have been able to collect most of the autographs from the first two films and build a collection I am personally proud of and happy with.

Always felt that A New Hope and Empire were equal in their individual accomplishments. It has always been difficult for me to pick a favorite. The other film that hits my top three is Rogue One. Return of the Jedi was a complete cliff dive after Empire. We didn't need another Death Star and we certainly did not need Ewoks. The audience was just a merchandising puppet by that time.

Topps of course, has saturated the card market but every once in awhile they put out something a little different and cool. Black and White, Illustrated along with the Galaxy artwork has been really nice.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: mykdude,
 
Posts: 3362 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah, I bought the Topps ESB cards too and the Raiders of the Lost Ark cards but then I started college and lost most of my interest in collectibles until late 1994 when my brother took me to a tiny card shop that is usually a janitor's closet in most buildings. Star Wars Widevision had just been released and they looked fantastic and the chromium chase cards looked even more fantastic. I was instantly back into cards and collectibles.

I know what you mean about the first two movies. The first one was unexpected and the opening scene of the ships coming into view blew me away. It had been years of watching my dad's sci-fi and suddenly there was something jaw-dropping. It could be said that Empire is a better movie but the original "Star Wars" stands by itself as a brilliant achievement and a great memory for a schoolkid and his dad seeing it for the first time.

Of the recent movies I think "Rogue One" was easily the best. Like Empire, there was more of a sense of danger and it ended the way most high-risk commando missions would so it had a reality to it. I wish the people behind "The Mandolorian" would have done the trilogy. The Han Solo movie was better than expected.

Jess


quote:
Originally posted by mykdude:
Empire marked the beginning of the end for my collecting days at that time. I did pull in series 1 and 2 from Topps but by late 1982 all forms of collecting (figures, Magazines, comics, cards) had lost importance. Finishing high school and life laid ahead. It would be 17 years before Rittenhouse pulled me back in with some Twilight Zone cards. Wink

Since that time I have been able to collect most of the autographs from the first two films and build a collection I am personally proud of and happy with.

Always felt that A New Hope and Empire were equal in their individual accomplishments. It has always been difficult for me to pick a favorite. The other film that hits my top three is Rogue One. Return of the Jedi was a complete cliff dive after Empire. We didn't need another Death Star and we certainly did not need Ewoks. The audience was just a merchandising puppet by that time.

Topps of course, has saturated the card market but every once in awhile they put out something a little different and cool. Black and White, Illustrated along with the Galaxy artwork has been really nice.
 
Posts: 1703 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Right, the fact that Jaws and Star Wars could be completed with a comprehensive script and story line was an achievement in itself. Add to it that we ended up with some really great characters is a bonus. First saw Star Wars at the drive-in while on a family vacation in Northern California. To interrupt a vacation to go see a movie means my dad really REALLY wanted to see it. Of course I went on to go see it 10 more times that year. In 1980 I saw Empire 6 times in a single weekend. Cool

I got into the sports card craze for a few years in the 90's until I realized how redundant it all was and that I was just sort of following the crowd as card stores were popping up everywhere. I think my first Star Wars set I collected as an adult was the first Evolution release. Also hunted Galaxy 5 until I had the complete set of autographs. Over the past 7 years I have only chased after three releases if we include Mandalorian.
 
Posts: 3362 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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