‘The Empire Strikes Back’ LP Liner Notes and the Prequels

‘The Empire Strikes Back’ LP Liner Notes and the Prequels

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A long time….a long time.

Continuing a theme I started a few weeks ago in my blog post featured on Coffee With Kenobi, I’ve discovered another vintage era piece of evidence that points to the fact that George Lucas has had the story of the Prequels for many, many years.

The scope of time in the Star Wars universe is huge. Obviously from the first title card of “A long time ago…” we are set up to understand that this story is a huge one, and one that extends far beyond the confines of the movie theatre. When I was a kid watching Luke and Ben talk about The Clone Wars in A New Hope I assumed two things: 1: The Clone Wars happened a very long time ago and 2: Ben Kenobi was very, very old. The entire conversation is about three sentences, yet it set up for the next thirty or so years that the story of the Skywalkers was a long, long story. A second conversation later in the movie also confirmed this for me. When Tarkin remarks to Vader that the Jedi are “extinct.” Not a word you would normally use for something that occurred in recent memory.

So, fast forward to the 20-oughts and the prequels, and The Clone Wars TV show. Now the timeline of the Star Wars universe has been brought into actual definition. It can almost be plotted on a calender ‘fer Plo’s sake. And I found myself thinking, “wait a second, how could all of this have happened so fast?’ “How did we get from the Old Republic of Episode 1 to the Galactic Empire of Episode 4 in about 20-ish years?” “Wasn’t this story supposed to be much longer, much broader?” “Maybe George took a shortcut?”

Then I was recently reminded that the Star Wars Saga IS about Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, not necessarily about the entire galaxy they live in.

This is a scan of the inner sleeve of the 2 LP set of The Empire Strikes Back soundtrack. A family friend found a copy in her house (in near mint condition!) and offered it to me. I haven’t had this album in my possession in years, so it’s already found a place in the Star Wars Room downstairs. (Thanks Chris and Grant!)

Note the highlighted portion of the scan:


Please keep in mind, I’ve read just about every important piece of literature on the movies so this little oversight (or selective brain freeze) is subject to your criticisms and jokes. I like to look at it as a reminder that when people are screaming that their childhoods have been raped because of the continuation of the Star Wars story, they should remember that the plan all along was to focus on the forty-year period that begins with The Phantom Menace. The middle part was Luke’s story. The first part was Anakin’s. We were always meant to have both stories. Deal with it.

Does forty years qualify as a saga? When I was a nine-year old seeing Star Wars for the first time I would have said no. But as a forty-seven year old? Who could say their life isn’t a saga? I couldn’t, and my dad isn’t even a Dark Lord.

Move along….move along…

You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeTarkin.
Visit his website at miketarkin.com.

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  1. Melinda
    November 21, 2014 at 07:09 Reply

    You have a Star Wars Room, too? Outstanding! 🙂

    George Lucas always said there was to be 3 trilogies. Love the OT. Thoroughly enjoy the PT (I care not that there was a blip or two in them 😉 ). I can’t wait for the next chapter to hit the big screen. It will be wonderful to see what happens to Luke, Han and Leia, yes, but I’m also looking forward to the introduction of new characters. That keeps the story fresh.

    By the way, can’t you call your life a saga at age 44? A saga in progress? 😉

    MTFBWY 🙂

  2. Mike MacDonald (@MikeTarkin)
    December 15, 2014 at 23:13 Reply

    Ok, maybe a saga in progress. That word just carries a lot of weight! (Sorry for not replying sooner, forgot to set notifications).

  3. Kirra Thomas
    December 17, 2018 at 04:10 Reply

    Hi! My Dad is playing violin on either Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi and I’m trying to find a player list from the sleeve notes of either soundtrack to help him track all his recordings down. Was there a player list on the LP by any chance? I’m not having any success finding out for him online as the only player list is for the original 1977 film. Any help would be much appreciated, I’m trying to sort out his archive royalties for him (he’s retired now). Thanks!

    1. Mike MacDonald (@MikeTarkin)
      December 18, 2018 at 10:22 Reply

      Hi Kirra, I just took a look at my album and there isn’t any musician listing. Sorry!

  4. Kirra Thomas
    December 18, 2018 at 13:11 Reply

    Thanks for looking! I’ll keep on searching!

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