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November 25, 1996 (première)
December 1, 1996 (United States)

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire is a 1996 American computer-animated epic space opera film directed by Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, based on the Star Wars film franchise by George Lucas. Part of the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire multimedia project, it was the first photorealistic computer-animated feature film and the most expensive video game-inspired film until the release of Star Wars: Jedi Knight and the Dark Forces. It features the voices of John Cygan, Billy Crystal, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Peter Mayhew, Alec Baldwin and Ming-Na Wen.

The film follows Rebel ally Dash Rendar, who aids the heroes in their attempt to liberate the frozen Han Solo from bounty hunter Boba Fett. Meanwhile, Darth Vader continues the search for his son, Luke Skywalker, whom crime lord Prince Xizor attempts to kill in his plot to replace Vader at the side of Emperor Palpatine.

Industrial Light & Magic rendered the film using some of the most advanced processing capabilities available at the time. A render farm of 960 workstations was tasked with rendering each of the film's 141,964 frames. It took a staff of 200 about two years to complete Shadows of the Empire.

Shadows of the Empire premiered in Los Angeles on November 25, 1996, and was theatrically released in the United States on December 1. It received mixed to positive reviews, but was widely praised for its characters' realism. Due to rising costs, the film greatly exceeded its original budget toward the end of production, reaching a final cost of $131 million; it grossed $144 million at the box office. It was a box office success and was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Effects Editing.

Storyline

Set in between Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983), Shadows of the Empire centers around smuggler Dash Rendar as he fights to save Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia from the clutches of the Galactic Empire. From the Battle of Hoth to the desolate deserts of Tatooine, Shadows of the Empire follows Dash Rendar and his fight to save the Rebels from the desolate hands of the Empire.

Sound Effects Used

Audio Samples

External Links

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