So last night was the big night. As I stated in my last post there are very few things in this world that I love more than Star Wars and so a month ago when my uncle called and asked if I wanted to see Star Wars in Concert I didn't even give him a chance to finish his sentence. I didn't even know what the hell it was! I hear Star Wars and I'm there. So it was me, my uncle, and my two younger cousins. The older of the two is obsessed with Star Wars so we have a lot in common. While I do have a great deal of knowledge of the prequels I haven't seen them nearly as many times as he has. And although I feel like less of a man when someone younger than me knows more about Star Wars than I do, I just have to remind myself that the prequels are what he was raised on so he saw them the most.
The car ride there was pretty funny because my uncle and I kept singing Bill Murray's lounge song version of Star Wars. My cousins we're not as amused as we were. For those unfamiliar, here's the video.
We were told that there was going to also be an exhibit of Star Wars costumes, weapons, and the like before the show. I was kind of expecting a big room with everything on display but unfortunately they were all in glass cases in the very cramped hallways. *le sigh* Another dumb move was that they put Darth Vader and Chewbacca on display right before the entrance. So there is a mass of people blocking the area you need to give you tickets. And once you were in, you couldn't go back out until the end of the show. Hella lame! Once we were on the other side of the gate you could immediately see the other displays. First were Kit Fisto and Plo Koon from the prequels. It was hilarious seeing my cousin get all excited to see the characters. It was exactly like when I was a kid and saw the Star Wars exhibit at the Smithsonian in DC. Pointing out every character you see in complete awe. "OH!! There's Vader!" and "Ohh ohh!! It's Chewey!" At once point my uncle actually turned to my cousin and said "Dylan! Stop being a geek!" Fatherly love.
As we moved on they had C-3PO, Han Solo in carbonite (or as one dumbass said "You wanna see Han Solo in his ice cube?"), Imperial Guard, Naboo Pilot, Emperor Palpatine's robe, Amidala's get up and her hand maiden's, some blasters, and a few helmets (Scout Trooper, Death Star Gunner, and A-Wing pilot). They also had HDTV screens everywhere playing different "making of" documentary stuff. All in all, pretty rad.
As for the show itself? Fucking amazing. They had this orchestra on stage with a gigantic move screen behind them. The lights go out. It's completely dark except for dozens of mini lightsabers keychains (from the gift shop) twirling around. Of course "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" pops on the screen and then BAM! Logo hits the screen and the orchestra is a blazing. When the yellow Star Wars logo appeared they used yellow lights and swept them across the audience which looked amazing. As they are doing the main theme so they are showing clips from all the movies and cutting to shots of the band playing. I was in complete awe. It was so fucking beautiful. The very last clip they showed as the song was ending was of Darth Vader. They quickly zoom into his face and then the song ends and everything goes black for a couple seconds. Then there is some quick strobe lights and jets of steam shoot out of the stage floor and it goes dark again. Then you just hear Vader breathing. Such a great effect. As the lights come up we hear fucking James Earl Jones voice! He's introducing our host for the evening. None other than Anthony Daniels! C-3PO himself!
So now I have seen both R2-D2 and Threepio live in person. I can die happy.
The second song they played was Duel of the Fates which is one of the best things to come out of the prequels. I LOVE that song. The song first starts with a choir chanting. As soon as I heard the chanting I was looking to see where the choir was. Then I saw them slowly being revealed behind the orchestra. They had been raised out of nowhere on a moving platform. Brilliant!
During the whole show they did some real nifty shit with the lights too. While showing clips of the Carbon Freezing Chamber the spotlights would all turn red giving it this awesome feeling like you were there. Same with Tatooine. Lots of yellow and orange lighting. One of my favorite parts is when they would show the Death Stars blowing up. As we have seen, when a Death Star explodes a giant shock wave is produced. They made the lights shoot out and sweep over the audience. Give that lighting dude a medal. Seriously.
When they played The Imperial March for the second time (once before and once after intermission) they had these amazing lasers. They would flicker back and forth a set of about 7 lasers back and forth to the beat sometimes. Kind of gave the illusion of lightsabers crossing. It was a thing of beauty.
After the show they ended up going an encore of both the opening title and Imperial March. Thank god. I forgot to mention that the first time they played Imperial March they used these two really bright spot lights on either side of the stage. One was shining directly in my eyes! So badly that my eyes were watering. I turned to look at my Uncle and he looked like he was being blinded. So sadly, my favorite song was ruined for me the first time around. Luckily, they came back after intermission and did a dark version with the lasers I mentioned earlier. Thank god.
My only complaint was that even though I loved seeing the clips from the movies, it would have been nice to see more close ups on screen of the orchestra playing. To actually see HOW the music is played. They were so damn good that as you were watching the movie clips you would often forget the orchestra was there because it sounded absolutely perfect. I think the most interesting song to see them play on screen would have been the Cantina song. They went all out with that one but only showed a few clips from the movies and then some pretty interesting "concept art". What really got me was as soon as they showed Ponda on screen a good portion of the audience had a good laugh. I can only assume they were thinking the same thing that I was. The Robot Chicken Sketch.
So I guess to sum it all up, it rocked so hard and if you are a Star Wars fan you should probably get your ass there when it comes to your town. I mean come on, Anthony Daniels is the host!