Writing challenge day 7: The Empire Strikes Back

Coming off of Star Wars (A New Hope) the most successful movie of all time, the next film had to at the very least be as good as the first. The pressure was on and it was high. What happened next would become the heartbeat for all Star Wars films. The Empire Strikes Back released in 1980 and quickly became not only THE fan favorite of the franchise, but it became the sequel movie that set the bar for all sequel movies in all different categories.

American actor Mark Hamill on the set of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back directed by Irvin Kershner. (Photo by Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

The plot of The Empire Strikes Back is a simple one. The Empire is bent of destroying the rebellion. So simple as I said.  Imperial Walkers, a city in the clouds, a swamp planet all pushed “Empire” to the forefront of Star Wars movies.

The film opens on an ice planet with a battle that sets the tone for the darkness to come. Luke Skywalker now feels he must learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi. Enter Yoda, a small Jedi Master who trains Luke. During his training Luke ventures into a cave and fights Darth Vader, upon slicing Vader’s head off the mask sort of explodes to reveal Luke’s face in the helmet.

Later in the film we learn Darth Vader is Luke’s father. I still remember seeing “Empire” in the theater for the first time and the ooh’s from the entire theater when Vader tells Luke the truth.

The Empire Strikes Back offers a collection of Bounty Hunters as means to find the Millennium Falcon in order to capture Han Solo, Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2 and end the rebellion. This is where we meet Boba Fett, who would go on to have a very impactful presence in future Star Wars projects.

British actors Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, American actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher on the set of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back directed by Irvin Kershner. (Photo by Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

“Empire” pushed Star Wars and became the backbone of the franchise. In fact every Star Wars movie since is compared  mostly unfairly to The Empire Strikes Back. Yet, so are other movie franchises second movies.

Tomorrow will conclude our look at the Original Trilogy when we dive into Return of the Jedi. See you then!


Detroit sports are sick! 2020 offers some much needed medicine

Embed from Getty Images To say 2019 has been rough for the Detroit Pistons, Tigers, Lions and Red Wings, is like saying the sun is hot. While the Tigers and Red Wings are deep in rebuilds, the Lions as it turns out are in one as well, there was never an official announcement which angered fans. The Pistons are an older NBA team up against the salary cap which kept them from upgrading the team in much needed areas. So what does 2020 hold for the four Detroit franchises?

For the Detroit Pistons and Red Wings and Tigers the first thing 2020 brings in salary cap relief. Not only cap relief but a lot of it. With expiring contracts in upwards of $190 million dollars, the Detroit Tigers will begin the 2020 off-season (yes it is a ways away) ready to enter free agent bidding wars. Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings will see nearly $19 million come off the books, I do not think Yzerman will chase big name free agents after this season. I believe he wants to see the organizations top prospects develop a bit more. The Pistons will have an estimated $65 million freed up to improve the team.

What about the Detroit Lions, you ask? The NFL just announced next years salary cap and the Lions will have at the very least $50 million to improve a defense that woefully under-performed in 2019.

The Lions, Tigers and Red Wings all will have a top three draft pick in next years NFL, MLB and NHL amateur drafts. The Detroit Tigers do in fact have the number one overall draft pick and because they finished dead last in 2019 the Tigers have been awarded a compensation draft pick, the team will have two second round draft picks. The Red Wings are currently dead last in the NHL in points and have a real shot at the first overall pick in 2020.

The Pistons, with all of the issues they have are a fringe playoff team. If they do not improve they will be a lottery team and looking at a top ten draft pick. The Detroit Lions currently have the third pick in the NFL draft and depending on what happens could move up to number two.

For rebuilding teams draft picks are the most important life-line. Next summer’s MLB and NHL drafts offer the most talent baseball and hockey has seen in on a draft in nearly two full decades. Setting the Tigers and Red Wings up nicely in terms of getting the absolute best players.

2020, offers three of Detroit’s four professional sports organizations real hope for a brighter tomorrow. Of the Detroit teams, I have the most trust in the Red Wings. Because of Steve Yzerman. One of the best general managers in all of sports is set to have a top three overall draft pick and over $18 million in cap space. I believe the Red Wings rebuild gets done first.


Detroit Tigers: owner Chris Ilitch is pleased with the rebuild

Embed from Getty Images He does not speak about his teams very often. Yet Chris Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings spoke about his baseball team. He started by saying he has no intensions of selling the Tigers which had been rumored.


The Ilitch family is and has been fully committed to the city of Detroit. The work they have done is stunning. The city has not given him any heat for rebuilding two  of the cities most treasured franchises at the same time.


Ilitch ordered  the farm system to be replenished. While the Tigers are now moving closer to the middle of the rebuild there is still work to do and salary to shed.


Since he gave the order. Chris and Detroit Tigers fans have seen the teams franchise go from 30th ranked to 9th ranked. That is an incredible one year jump.


The Tigers are still on a three year projection to return to competitive baseball. This time around they will be younger and the winning will last longer. MLB teams have placed a premium on home grown talent. Sure teams will still sign a free agent. Maybe even two. But even the mighty New York Yankees have come to understand that keeping and not rading blue chip prospects is the way to go.


The Detroit Tigers farm system is pitching heavy. The best in the minors. They have some bats as well. Rebuilds are not fun. But the fun will soon return to Comerica Park.