I’ve been a huge James Bond fan for as long as I remember, and I grew up at an age where I was able to naively enjoy all six Star Wars films before realizing The Truth. With that in mind, this James Bond-style opening title sequence for The Empire Strikes Back has awakened my nostalgia forces.
If there was every a film-opening motif to rival the song-over-titles sequence of all 24 Bond films, it just might be the trademark opening scroll that blasts onto the screen at the beginning of all seven Star Wars films.
Thanks to this project by Kurt Rauffer on Vimeo, we get to see what it would be like if the second Star Wars film, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, took the Bond approach to opening films, setting a montage of light sabers replacing Bond’s Walther PPK, Darth Vader as the Bond villain, and even having Luke falling down the air shaft at Cloud City being identical to a common visual motif used with Bond falling in his title sequences.
The visual style in the video borrows heavily from the iconic imagery of Maurice Binder, who did the titles for the first fourteen Bond films and developed the iconic “shooting the gunbarrel” cold open, and Daniel Kleinman, who started on Bond with the music video for Gladys Knight’s title song for License To Kill, moving on to do the movie title sequences for GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale, Skyfall, SPECTRE, and hopefully many more to come.
You can get a sense of the Bond iconography from this fantastic Kleinman interview:
Rauffer also uses Radiohead’s single “SPECTRE,” which was turned down from official use in the latest Bond film of the same name released last year. I honestly prefer it (or anything) over the Sam Smith’s drab we actually got in SPECTRE, and luckily it works perfectly with the mood and themes of Rauffer’s Star Wars titles.
Now, of course, I would never suggest replacing the iconic opening scroll of Star Wars... but, having something like this over the end credits (similar to the recent Marvel films having multimedia sequences at the end of the film), or perhaps opening the Star Wars Story films, like the upcoming Rogue One, with something different like this could work.
It will probably never happen, so here’s hoping Rauffer attempts more title sequences for the rest of the continuing Star Wars saga.
Despite being all dark and moody, this has put me in a very nerdy, very happy place. I haven’t had this feeling since I heard Daniel Craig’s voice as a stormtrooper in The Force Awakens.