Darth Vader proclaiming he’s Luke Skywalker’s father, Tony Manero preening in his underwear and an early 20th-century deaf activist speaking in sign language are among the images that will be preserved by the Library of Congress as part of its National Film Registry.
The 25 films selected this year include “The Empire Strikes Back,” the 1980 sequel to “Star Wars” that many critics and fans consider the best of George Lucas’ six “Star Wars” films. “Empire” shocked moviegoers with the revelation that masked villain Darth Vader was the father of hero Skywalker.
While Lucas didn’t direct “Empire” — he entrusted it to the late Irvin Kershner — he got another film selected for the registry: the student short “Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB.” Lucas’ “Star Wars” and “American Graffiti” are also among the 550 titles in the registry.
The Library of Congress announced the selections early Tuesday. The goal of the registry, which began in 1989, isn’t to identify the best movies ever made but to preserve films with artistic, cultural or historical significance.