Star Wars: Mark Hamill Thanks Fans for All the Empire Strikes Back Love on Its Anniversary

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strike Back arrived forty years ago today on May 21st, 1980, marking the second film in the franchise from a galaxy far, far away. Fans have spent the day paying tribute to the film, its cast members, and the many additions it made to the series. Series star Mark Hamill shared a message of thanks and love with Star Wars fans for their messages about the film, writing "I'm overwhelmed by the messages you all have sent me in support of this movie. The most physically challenging of them all, but also the most rewarding, considering the arrival of @NathanHamill during the shoot. Forevermore our #EmpireStrikesBaby"

Hamill previously shouted out The Empire Strikes Back as his favorite movie in the Star Wars franchise, telling The Hollywood Reporter that it was a decision he did not arrive at easily.

"It's like, pick your favorite child. You like them all for different reasons," Hamill said last year when asked about his favorite in the series. "I guess I'd have to go with Empire, only because it was so unexpected to have the protagonist be so soundly defeated. Losing the hand and the dad Vader, all of it was pretty unexpected. And it was much more cerebral. Yoda is such an important addition to the mythology and I thought it was so clever of George, the concept of the Force, so you can talk about religion and spirituality without making everyone uncomfortable. So, for that alone."

Recently, C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels took to Twitter to reveal that Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is also his favorite move in the franchise. This came after years of considering the first Star Wars as his favorite, but a recent rewatch gave the actor a newfound appreciation for the sequel. You can read his thoughts by clicking here.

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This week has also seen interesting new details about the release of The Empire Strikes Back, including an interview on StarWars.com with creator George Lucas about the film including his thoughts on if the film would be spoiled by the internet if it was released in the modern age.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and the rest of the Skywalker Saga are currently available on Disney+.

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