From a galaxy far, far away from the Star Wars you thought you knew, comes The Empire Strips Back, a burlesque version of the beloved franchise. While most other sci-fi films have aged faster than a sunbathing chain-smoker, Star Wars has endured because of its mythic value- a hero rising from obscurity to confront a great, monolithic evil, in order to save his people. It is this timeless nature of the series that has spawned several retellings- some so terrible that they have done more damage to the original series than Jar Jar Binks could have ever hoped to, and some absolutely spectacular. With its glittering transformation of the original series, re-imagining it in a way that appeals to one’s inner fetishist, I’m expecting The Empire Strips Back to fall into the latter category.
The exaggerated drama of burlesque is a true homage to the series, which often self-reflexively acknowledges the camp, parody and humour inherent within the films. Not only is it refreshing to see something so ingrained in popular culture be reimagined in a way that pushes boundaries, but The Empire Strips Back also invokes powerful female imagery, allowing one to be titillated by a sexy female Darth Vader, and to fill the sexy Wookie shaped void in one’s life. I have been told to expect sexy stormtroopers, a seductive Bob Fett to rival that of my childhood fantasies, jokes about shooting first, and much more, so I’m hoping to squirm in my seat like Tony Abbott at question time, but with much more titillation.
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