'Star Wars': Burlesque Parody of 'The Empire Strikes Back' Heads to the United States

It's no secret that Star Wars has become a cultural touchstone, with legions of fans expressing their love for the franchise in different ways. But one incarnation of The Empire Strikes Back might be the most creative among them.

The Empire Strips Back, a Star Wars-themed burlesque parody show, is set to begin a United States tour on May 31st. As the name suggests, the show sees an array of performers dressed in Star Wars-inspired gear, as they perform to a mix of the film's score and various pop songs. The show has a lot of what you would expect when you hear the words "Star Wars burlesque show", including a Stormtrooper chorus line, a dominatrix Darth Vader, and a female Luke Skywalker twerking to Nicki Minaj.

The show originated in Australia as a one-off event in 2011, and quickly developed a following. The project was transitioned into a regular stage show in 2014, under the direction of Russall S. Beattie.

"its been a long interesting journey from the little stage we started on to the giant theatres we play now. We never stop developing the show." Beattie writes on the show's website. "Always trying to make it bigger, better and reach the standard of quality of the films. The fans are so great and they deserve it."

While there are some elements of the original trilogy that probably don't transfer over to a burlesque show, Empire Strips Back apparently tries to honor the canon of the movies whenever possible.

"The best way to sell a gag is to set it up correctly," Beattie explained to The Guardian earlier this year. "And the best way to set up our gags is having the characters closest to [what] people know them from the movies."

And even with the Star Wars fandom becoming even more particular over the years, apparently Empire Strips Back is still met with a lot of fan love.

"[Star Wars fans] don't see this show as a separate thing any more," Beattie revealed. "They see it as an extension of the universe."

Empire Strips Back's first trip to the United States will visit six different cities in California - Riverside, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento, and San Francisco. For more information, and to purchase tickets, you can check out their website here.

Would you want to check out a Star Wars-themed burlesque show? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


The latest Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story, is in theaters now.