Extra Milestone – Jaws (1975), The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

This week’s Extra Milestone is so iconic that we may just need a bigger boat. Anthony Battaglia reunites with Sam to discuss two immensely significant blockbusters that have irreparably shaped the cinematic landscape. We start with a discussion on Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, including our differing experiences with the movie, our appreciation for the writing and acting, differences from Peter Benchley’s novel, a confession as to our shared fear of open water, and even an extremely hot take involving the infamous sequels! After we dry off from that conversation, we take an isolated look at Irvin Kershner’s The Empire Strikes Back and how it changed Star Wars (and sequels in general) forever, why it maintains its effectiveness after dozens of viewings, why we can never view the Dagobah sequence the same way again, whether or not it contains the best lightsaber battle ever, and the dichotomy between good and evil that was solidified in this film.


  • 00:03:30 – Jaws
  • 01:04:35 – The Empire Strikes Back

NEXT WEEK: To close out the packed month of June, we’re returning to the films of Billy Wilder with The Apartment, and we’re assembling a generous handful of Cinemaholics alumni to do so!

Music in this Episode: “Theme from Jaws” by John Williams & the Boston Pops Orchestra, and “Imperial March” by John Williams.

Cinemaholics in this Episode: Sam Noland and Anthony Battaglia

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  1. Two incredible milestones right there. What I love about Jaws is how full of “movie” it is without being just “one” genre. We don’t good stories like that often, where everyone can get a piece of it.

    1. It’s clear to see why so many movies were inspired by it; there’s really nothing like it! I knew that it was gonna be difficult to find something similar to recommend for both of these. Thanks for listening!

  2. Really glad you started with JAWS since it really is the macdaddy for blockbusters. I saw this at a “dive in” when I was in high school and I’ll never forget it. Would love to see you two watch it while swimming in the ocean, hehehehe.

    1. I regret not bringing up the frequent ‘aquatic screenings’ of the movie! I admit it would take a LOT of convincing to get me to do that, even under normal circumstances, but for JAWS I may just have to…

  3. I’ve seen all the original Star Wars movies in theaters except for Return of the Jedi. For whatever reason it never plays around in my area.

    1. It’s strange how ROTJ tends to fade into the shadows of IV and V, especially considering how impressive of a conclusion it is. I actually prefer it over IV myself! I haven’t seen any of the older ones in a theater…hopefully someday!

  4. Man, it’s great hearing you and Anthony on a podcast again! Great episode and pair of features here. I hope when the time comes you both cover one of the awful Jaws sequels XD

    1. Good to hear from you again Margot! We totally had a blast 🙂 I can totally see us covering all three sequels in a bonus episode down the line, if only to get it on record and wash my hands of them completely XD

  5. Sam: Perhaps you could mention the ‘box of movies’ at the house that contained movies that were not suitable for younger audiences…

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