Stephen Coyle

Empire Strikes Back

Tonight I saw Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back in a cinema for the first time. There's a rash of older films being shown at the moment, presumably due to the lack of new releases during the pandemic. When booking the tickets, I thought about what version of the film would be shown; more specifically, I wondered just how specialised it was going to be.

It's been a long while since I looked at that list of changes in Star Wars movies, but the despecialized editions are the ones I've most recently watched. My memory was that Empire is perhaps the least changed of the original trilogy, certainly in terms of plot points. Post-watch I found myself continuing to think that; pretty much all of the changes I spotted were visual. Some were unpleasant; turn-of-the-century computer graphics and prequel-esque matte painting replacements felt out of place, but nothing that completely broke my immersion. On the whole, not nearly as bad as I feared.