While A New Hope was a great movie, many people consider The Empire Strikes Back to be the greatest of all of the Star Wars offerings – and some believe it's the greatest movie sequel ever made (it's considered to be right up there with the likes of The Godfather Part II in that sense).
- Han Solo’s “I know” line in response to Leia’s declaration of love was a “prepared” adlib by Harrison Ford. It’s become an iconic Star Wars quote and was also used in Return of the Jedi. When we say “prepared,” we mean he didn't simply make it up during filming. It was an off-script idea put to him by Irvin Kershner which was tried and, as it worked so well, ultimately used.
- Boba Fett was first seen in The Empire Strikes Back, right? Nope, technically his first appearance was in an animated segment of The Star Wars Holiday Special. It is the only good part of that movie.
- Frank Oz – who is the voice for the most famous little green guy in cinema history, Yoda – was also the voice of the Muppet’s Miss Piggy. It was because of the talents that he developed with Jim Henson that he received the call-up for The Empire Strikes Back. He also famously did puppetry work for Yoda.
- A very early draft of the script saw Han Solo going in search of his father-in-law, Ovan Marekal, who has political ties with Darth Vader. In the said script, Luke Skywalker was to fly to the “bog” planet where he would meet a frog-like Jedi named Minch, who teaches him the ways of the Force. That's right, Yoda was frog-like and was going to be called Minch. Can you imagine it, “But Master Minch, you cannot die!”
- In the same vein, instead of the Empire finding the Rebel's hideout on Hoth, there was to be a wampa attack. Indeed, a cutscene that was referenced in The Empire Strikes Back's trailer featured C-3PO removing a sign from a door that he hoped Imperial troops would enter and come face to face with captured wampa. The Hoth scenes were actually shot in Norway.
- The Empire Strikes Back was the first movie to have a number by its title in the opening credits – V. The original Star War was not called A New Hope or Episode IV, this came later.
- The character in the Rebel base to which Han Solo retorts, “Then I'll see you in Hell!” just before he heads out to find a certain missing Jedi? That's Cliff Clavin from the television sitcom Cheers and several Pixar movies AKA John Ratzenberger.
- The classic “The first transport is away!” line was delivered by Mark Hamill.
- In order to avoid sharing creative rights, George Lucas decided to avoid using a major movie studio to finance this film. Instead, he bankrolled the $33 million production himself – and then he laughed all the way to the bank to deposit all the money he made. That made it one of the most successful “independent” films ever.
- Three characters lose bits of limbs – the wampa that attacked Luke, C-3PO when he was shot by the Storm Troopers on Cloud City, and of course Luke's hand to Vader's saber.
Paul Rose Jr is the Editor in Chief of Wealth of Geeks & manages the Associated Press program for The Insiders network. He has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for InfuzeMag and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing or editing on Wealth of Geeks, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.