Bold words, Threepio. Bold words.

I didn't see it until someone retreated it late Monday night, but Anthony Daniels, probably fresh from the "Episode VII" wrap party over the weekend, made a pretty big claim on Twitter this weekend.

There is a reason "The Empire Strikes Back" is constantly referred to as the gold standard of genre sequels. It's a film that took everything the first movie did and fine-tuned it, and it such breathless storytelling that it feels like every frame of the film is urgently important. Watching people imitate the film in all the wrong ways over the years, it's become clear that it is harder than it looks to make a sequel that really delivers for an audience.

So when Anthony Daniels says that "Episode VII" may finally supplant "Empire" in the hearts of fans, that is no small thing. Here's his exact quote:

Anthony Daniels ‏@ADaniels3PO Nov 2

"No movie sequel is better than The Empire Strikes Back." You might eat those words for Xmas dinner in 2015. Joy & Indigestion to the world!

Now, obviously Daniels knows way more about this film than we do at this point, and he's also got a much larger stake it seeing it connect, since I would assume he'll stay busily employed for at least another decade playing C-3PO. But it's possible to hype your movie without making that particular claim, and I like the confidence.

I've been covering movies online since the days when the "Star Wars: Special Editions" were only a rumor. During the production of "The Phantom Menace," I had a lot of contact with people working on and around the film, and if I had to characterize the attitude that most of them had, it was "I don't know what we're making." There were plenty of people who seemed nervous about various elements or characters or ideas in what they were making. This time around, every single thing I've heard has been, "Holy cow, I think we're doing this right," and this Tweet from Daniels is just the most public example of that.

It feels like December 18, 2015 is far, far away right now.


A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.