The Empire Strikes Back
A re-cut fan-made version of The Empire Strikes Back trailer has received 1.5m views on YouTube in less than 5 days.Lucasfilm/Disney

The dark side has returned once again with the release of a fan-made "modern" trailer for the second film in the Star Wars franchise, The Empire Strikes Back, setting science-fiction fan websites alight. The recut trailer has received almost 1.5m views on YouTube on the back of the release of The Force Awakens, after less than five days online.

The refashioned trailer, posted on Tuesday, 28 December, is slower in its pacing than the original and contains several more long shots of familiar scenes and characters. It was posted by YouTube user Tom Fisher on his TomFTube channel, to take advantage of the resurgent interest in the franchise – The Force Awakens has taken more than $1bn in box office sales so far, and is threatening to eclipse the current number one film of all time, James Cameron's Avatar.

Although not officially sanctioned by Disney, the recut version of the trailer has picked up some praiseworthy remarks with many viewers turning to the comments section to show their appreciation. User SpacePinkerton said: "This gave me goosebumps even though I've seen the film a hundred times. Amazing job!" and TheEliminator1987 chiming in "Thank you sir for making this genius trailer! THIS is Star Wars."

The Empire Strikes Back, which was originally released in 1980 and directed by movie veteran Irvin Kershner, is seen by many fans as the best film in the Star Wars saga. It was written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan and is the only Star Wars film out of the first six originals that Lucas neither wrote nor directed.

Starring Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford as Han Solo and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, it earned more than $538m (£364.12m, €495.38m) worldwide from its original run and several re-releases, making it the highest grossing sequel of all time..

In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the United States' National Film Registry by the library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant".