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Star Wars: The Empire (State Building) Strikes Back on Skywalker Saga

Star Wars took over New York City's Empire State Building for a special light show to honor the Empire with Darth Vader, Maul, and more.

New Yorkers were in for a treat as its famed Empire State Building featured a light show featuring Star Wars highlights of the Skywalker Saga across all nine films. While certain spaces are lit, the LED lighting allows for the projection of rendered scenes across all sides of the building. The show starts with the hyperdrive sequence and as per the nature of the theme and the building itself, John Williams' The Imperial March, the Galactic Empire's theme introduced in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, is played throughout.

Star Wars
Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Star Wars Salutes the Empire, Naturally on the Empire State Building

We get an initial establishing shot of Darth Vader on the volcanic planet of Mustafar as we get started celebrating the characters and figures, starting with The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002), Revenge of the Sith (2005), A New Hope (1977), ESB, Return of the Jedi (1983), The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019). We see Vader's classic black costume from the David Prowse incarnation from the original trilogy to the Hayden Christensen, before and after his character-defining fight with Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Sith.

As part of the sequence, we also see part of the Anakin-Obi-Wan fight on the rooftop from Sith as their lightsabers clash, interwoven with Ian McDiarmid's laugh as Emperor Palpatine. We also get brief glimpses of antagonists Ray Park's Darth Maul from TPM and Adam Driver's Kylo Ren from the sequel trilogy, and Imperial tech with mouse droids, tie fighters, AT-ATs, probe droids, attack droids, stormtroopers, clone troopers, star destroyers, and the death star. There is no shortage of the "wars" portion as we see other lightsaber clashes on the side of the building, including Luke-Vader battles from ESB and Jedi and Maul-Obi-Wan from TPM. Closing the light show was the Battle of Exegol from Skywalker.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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