40 years ago today one of the most iconic and influential sci-fi movies – or any type of movie, for that matter – was released in theaters. The Empire Strikes Back – later labelled Episode V – first arrived on May 21st, 1980, changing the shape of the Star Wars saga forever with its new characters and bold twists. This is a big birthday for a monumental film, then, so there’s a lot of love going around for it on social media today.
The official Star Wars Twitter account has also marked the occasion with an epic new poster for the classic. “Impressive. Most impressive,” the caption reads. “Happy 40th anniversary #TheEmpireStrikesBack! We’re celebrating with this incredible new poster art by artist @Cakes_Comics.
Check it out below:
The poster puts Darth Vader in the center of the action, with the Dark Lord of the Sith flanked by X-wings and Battle Cruisers. At the poster’s base, in between AT-ATs on Hoth, there’s Vader again, battling with Luke Skywalker – who we of course find out is really his son in Empire, in what has to be one of the most famous cinematic twists of all time.
“The Star Wars Saga Continues,” reads the poster’s tagline, which is obviously something pulled from the movie’s original marketing. However, it also has a greater meaning nowadays. The Skywalker saga recently wrapped up in The Rise of Skywalker, but even that doesn’t spell the end for Star Wars. There will be many more movies, live-action TV shows, animated TV shows, novels, comics, video games etc. in the years to come. And you could say, as it was the very first sequel, that the franchise’s continuing success is all down to The Empire Strikes Back.