On May 21, 1980, The Empire Strikes Back began its 70mm run in 41 theaters in 16 cities.
"When it came time to open Empire, there was tremendous excitement and everybody agreed we should try something that had never been done before. So we opened it at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles at midnight—and then kept running it without stopping for one full day."
After George Lucas finished work on Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, he wanted to look back on the Star Wars saga with an entirely new point of view: isolating stills, or frames, from each of the first six Star Wars films, focusing on them intensely as works of photography and design, and reproducing them in a book. For two years Lucas went through more than 150,000 frames per film, editing more than 1 million frames down to the 1,416 images that now comprise the Star Wars: Frames book, a testament to the hard work, craftsmanship, and dedication evident in every frame of the Original and Prequel Trilogy films. In celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, we proudly present the Star Wars: Frames images from that film here. Star Wars: Frames, by George Lucas (c) Abrams Books, 2013.