May the 4th Be With You, Friends. What better way to celebrate than watching 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back in Give-A-Show form? An abbreviated version of course of the events of the second and darker film of the original trilogy. Kenner’s Give-A-Show projector is something that I’ve longed for in fact for quite a while.
[Via] Toy Tales
Kenner began the Give-A-Show toy line back around 1960. And while it certainly amounts to a flashlight when all is said and done. I would however counter and remind you that it lasted until 1980. As I have been fond of pointing out before on The Retroist I was always interested in film. Or anything as a matter of fact that could simulate the act of presenting a movie or cartoon. Case in point the desire to get my hands on the first Star Wars Give-A-Show projector from 1977.
Read:36 Years Later…I Still Want The Star Wars Projector!
Although with this in mind, I do have to admit to not knowing about the 1980 version. By and large Kenner must have found success with their 1977 fare. As once again they licensed the rights to the 1980 sequel. With this in mind I am saddened to say that there wasn’t a set for 1983’s Return of the Jedi.
While I did mention that the Give-A-Show offering for The Empire Strikes Back was abbreviated. It certainly manages to share some of the more exciting moments of the film as well as fan favorite characters. Case in point 2-1B, the surgical droid who helps heal Luke from his ordeals on the icy planet of Hoth.
As well as providing him a new cybernetic hand after the confrontation on Bespin.
Surely you do not think that Kenner would miss showcasing the Imperial All Terrain Armored Transports? Or as I’ve always called them, AT-AT’s, obviously.
Moreover as you have already seen at the top of this post. Boba Fett makes an appearance in the film strips as well. While I may not have known about this set much less owned it. I think we should thank Vintage Sentimental Enthusiast on YouTube for taking the time to upload it for our viewing pleasure. To say nothing of adding the soundtrack cues from the film itself.
All things considered I think Kenner did a pretty good job of briefly telling the story of The Empire Strikes Back. But for those of you that just can’t take the slideshow projector approach, there is always the Super 8 home movie version!
Now that you’ve seen the wonder of the Give-A-Show slide projector. Check out the Easy Show projector with real film!
The Ewoks from Return of the Jedi seemed to have gotten more than their fair shair of grief over the years. Surely I am not the only soul on the internet that can see that these admittedly cuddly looking pint-sized warriors are important to the outcome of the story, right?
Why the Ewoks are Important to the story of Return of the Jedi!
Join me as I take a quick look at how some things would have turned out differently for the Rebel Alliance in the third chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy without the Ewoks:
- The Empire would have captured Princess Leia after she crashed her speeder bike – if not for Wicket leading her to the rest of his Ewok tribe.
- Without the aid of the Ewok scouts leading the Rebel forces through the forests our heroes wouldn’t have located the alternative entrance to the shield generator bunker…and the Rebel Fleet would have either been utterly destroyed or at least been forced to retreat.
- Han and his troops would have been imprisoned by the Empire during their assault on the bunker – or worse – if not for the last minute rescue of the combined might of the Ewok tribes, who I think you will agree were instrumental in defeating the Empire on the forest moon of Endor.
But couldn’t Lucas have come up with something better than teddy bears?
Now I will meet you halfway with that argument but I must also remind you that just because something appears “cute” at first glance it doesn’t mean there isn’t something scary about it when you look at it properly…
…I mean if you think about it, when the Ewoks capture Luke, Chewbacca, Han, and R2-D2 as well as C-3PO – those little fuzzballs are flat out going to eat our heroes – well the flesh and blood ones at least!
Look, I totally understand if the way I see it doesn’t mesh with your views on Return of the Jedi and the Ewoks…but perhaps none other than Andrew Zilch and Billy Dee Williams might change your mind with the Star Wars Ewok Gospel?
Now can I have an Amen for the Ewoks?
I ran across this vintage Ewok costume from Return of the Jedi recently at a local game store. With a price of only $20, how could I resist? Unfortunately I should have tried it on at the store as it doesn’t fit.
I recently wrote about an unusual Italian ‘Battle For the Planet of the Apes’ movie poster. This got me thinking that there might be other films that have received similar treatment and so a search was started to find more oddities. Believe me when I say that what I found was a treasure trove of weirdness…
For example, the poster above is for the 1987 ‘Aliens’ – but you had guessed that, right? Those eyes weren’t fooling you?!
‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ received an impressive montage of images, replete with multiple swastika’s! And ‘Return of the Jedi’ has a new hero in C-3PO, where the golden protocol droid takes centre stage in some very nice artwork!
My favourite from those I browsed through has to be this ‘Harry and the Hendersons’ poster. Peace Man!
These posters and many many more can be found over at PolishPosters.com.
I began 7th grade in 1985, and for the first time that year I was required to buy six different folders (one for each of my classes). Even though the film had been out for a couple of years by that point in time, I was still a big fan of Return of the Jedi in 1985. As part of my “back to school” supplies that year, my mom bought me these folders. Originally there were six and it looks like I’m missing one (I think there was one with a B-Wing on it). While digging through a tub of “Star Wars stuff” out in my garage, I found these over the weekend.
The “Speeder Bike” folder is in the worst condition of the remaining five (as the Biker Scouts have always been my favorite). Each of the folders have price tags from Target on them for 49 cents. I’m not sure if that was the original price or, if by 1985, they had made it to the discount bin. I also seem to remember having a couple of spiral notebooks with matching covers around that same time.