The Empire Strikes Back was one of twenty-five films selected this year to be preserved by the Library of Congress' hallowed National Film Registry. Empire, George Lucas' second entry in the original classic space opera trilogy, joins the one that started it all, Star Wars, in the 550-title-strong registry, which was started in 1989. Saturday Night Fever, The Pink Panther, and, a well-timed tribute to the recently departed Leslie Nielsen, Airplane were also selected.
The purpose of the registry isn't to collect the most critically acclaimed movies, but rather to preserve films that may have an artistic, cultural, or historical significance. Original copies of registry films are kept in cold-storage vaults in the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Virginia, where they like, just chill, waiting for future generations to watch them.
The Librarian of Congress (which always sounds like such a daunting task), James H. Billington, who has selected all of the films in the registry himself, said ninety percent of the films made before 1920 have been lost due to deterioration from improper storage.
Oh, and all you Freddy Got Fingered fans? Sorry, maybe next time.