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Film Studies 101
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The Story Behind The Empire Strikes Back
The six important decisions that created a classic

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It's universally acknowledged as one of the best sequels ever made, an effort that expanded the world of its predecessor and left us gagging to see its sequel - while at the same time being a classic in its own right. To mark the release of The Making Of The Empire Strikes Back book this week, Empire picks the six most important decisions made during the creation of this game-changing follow-up, with commentary and analysis by the book’s author J.W. Rinzler...

 

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The Story Behind The Empire Strikes Back | 1. Deciding That Empire Wouldn’t Tie The Story Up
1. Deciding That Empire Wouldn’t Tie The Story Up

Back in the dog days of the ‘70s, even the most successful sequel – say The Godfather Part II — would be expected to make around half its original. “I was particularly surprised to find a scrap of paper that someone had saved from Variety, just two sentences leaking the title of the film. And nobody cared! Today, that would be across the world in about three seconds. They just didn’t care.” Which makes Lucas’ decision to not resolve Empire’s narrative until the third film all the more ballsy. “In fact Mark and Carrie were signed up for not just two sequels but three sequels. That was an interesting thing I found in their contract. It wasn’t just up to Episode VI, it was up to Episode VII — just in case.”

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