Events ~ A Guided Tour Through The Empire Strikes Back, Rochambeau Library, Providence

Rochambeau Library
Hope St.
Providence, Rhode Island
May 15, 2010

Rochambeau Branch
Rochambeau Library

This is another late entry as we catch up from a rough few weeks...

Try as I might, I could not convince Bear to accompany me to "A Guided Tour Through The Empire Strikes Back," a talk by Star Wars technical author Ryder Wyndham. The talk coincided with the 30th anniversary of the release of Empire.

A Guided Tour of The Empire Strikes Back
Ryder Wyndham and associate

Wyndham is very knowledgeable about Star Wars in general, and has a great job: he gets to write about stuff he genuinely loves. He's written more than 50 books so far. He also has a good - and goofy - sense of humor. As you can see, he was accompanied by members of the 501st New England Garrison - an organization of fans who dress up in costume. They added a lot to the presentation, and Wyndham made the most of it. Although their interactions were not rehearsed beforehand, Wyndham integrated the 501st members into his talk, and they in turn played their parts expertly.

A Guided Tour of The Empire Strikes Back
Members of the 501st New England Garrison

The upshot of the talk was that Wyndham had viewed The Empire Strikes Back with some caution and skepticism on its release. Star Wars had been the ultimate -- how could anything be as good? Especially since so many of the crew had been replaced? It's safe to say that he - and most of the rest of the Star Wars fans - were pleasantly surprised. In fact, Empire is consistently voted the best of the six Star Wars movies.

A Guided Tour of The Empire Strikes Back

As either a testament to the popularity of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, or Wyndham himself, he spoke to a packed, standing room only house.

A Guided Tour of The Empire Strikes Back

This is why I love libraries. They understand the classics, and popular culture. There's something for everyone, and every now and again, a little something special for the niche groups.

Thanks to the Rochambeau Library and Ryder Wyndham, as well as the 501st New England Garrison, for the experience. It was a lot of fun.


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