A long time ago... in a galaxy far, far away

Post by Kerri Brkich in

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Star Wars – using the Force to fill seats at GM Place

Seriously, who doesn’t immediately recognize that phrase and know what it refers to? In 1977, Star Wars was released and a phenomenon was created. I was too young to see it in the theatre, but was one of the first in line when the Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980.

Shout out to my mom for taking two kids under the age of ten to the late show. We were devastated when the early show sold out, and she let us stay up WAY past our bedtime. We were sleepy, but very, very happy. The exception being when Han was frozen… then my brother cried. He was six, cut him some slack.

Yes, George Lucas is a brilliant merchandiser, but no one would have wanted the toys, pajamas, lunch boxes, sheets, or alarm clocks if the movie hadn’t tapped into our collective consciousness. If we hadn’t cared about the characters and bought into every aspect of this new world, which was created with state of the art effects and heightened by an original orchestral soundtrack that was soaring and distinctive: when I say Darth Vadar’s theme, you hum, da da da, dum da da, dum da da.

Composer John Williams won an Oscar, Star Wars went on to become one of the most beloved and well-known musical scores in movie history, and Williams wrote the music for the next five movies. On Wednesday, June 23, fans were treated to Star Wars, in Concert at GM Place, part of a fifty-city leg of the worldwide tour. The premise: the Star Wars saga is broken into film montages presented on a three-storey, high-def LED super-screen, and backed by a live full symphony orchestra and choir. The production featured music from all six scores, and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) was on hand to narrate and introduce the clips that, like the movies themselves, take us through Anakin Skywalker’s rise, fall, and redemption.

It was amazing—when the opening notes began I got goosebumps, literally stopped talking in mid sentence, and didn’t say another word until the intermission. The Star Wars Orchestra was unbelievable, and I was completely engrossed in watching this so familiar story, re-told in such a stunning way. It was entertaining and nostalgic, and a reminder of how timeless this saga is.

The only thing that could’ve made it better was a montage dedicated to Han Solo… what can I say, I’ve got a soft spot. What woman of a certain age hasn’t asked herself the inevitable question, who would I want to marry, Indiana Jones or Han Solo? (Personally, I’ve always liked the bad boys…and yes, I know that technically they’re both Harrison Ford.)

Whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not, this is a must see. In addition to the performance, the tour includes a memorabilia display. Even though I didn’t think it would be that exciting, seeing Darth Vadar and Chewbacca up close and personal was a bit of a thrill. Yes, I admit it freely, I am a bona fide sci-fi geek—don’t even get me started on Next Generation or BSG—and I lay the blame squarely at the feet of George Lucas.

If you weren’t able to see the tour this time around, don’t fret. This is actually the second concert tour, brought back after the first one in 2009 was the ninth biggest tour of the year. With that kind of success and following, if this doesn’t become a regular event I’m a Wookie’s uncle.

- post by Kerri

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