'Star Wars In Concert' Puts The Force In The Music The familiar saga is revisited by an 85-member symphony orchestra, a 60-voice choir, a three-story movie screen and a montage of music and scenes from all six movies in the saga. Oh, and C-3PO narrates!
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'Star Wars In Concert' Puts The Force In The Music

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'Star Wars In Concert' Puts The Force In The Music

'Star Wars In Concert' Puts The Force In The Music

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AUDIE CORNISH, host:

And if you're looking for a slightly less pricey way to enjoy music among the stars, try this: "Star Wars in Concert." The space opera spawned six movies, an animated series and an army of costume followers. Are you ready for a chorus and symphony?

NPR's Allison Keyes reports.

(Soundbite of applause)

ALLISON KEYES: This is nerd heaven.

(Soundbite of music)

KEYES: It's like the "Star Wars" movies, but cooler, because the stars here are the 85-member symphony orchestra and the 60-voice choir that really bring this story to life.

(Soundbite of music)

KEYES: There's a three-story high movie screen in this touring show that showcases shots of the orchestra simultaneously with a specially edited montage of music and scenes from all six movies.

(Soundbite of movie, "Star Wars")

Mr. ALEC GUINNESS (Actor): (as Obi-Wan Kenobi) Luke, I don't want to lose you to the emperor the way I lost Vader.

Mr. MARK HAMILL (Actor): (as Luke Skywalker) You won't.

KEYES: "Star Wars in Concert" includes a spectacular light show with flashing emerald green lasers dancing overhead and...

(Soundbite of heavy breathing)

KEYES: ...some familiar voices.

(Soundbite of movie, "Star Wars")

Mr. JAMES EARL JONES (Actor): (as Darth Vader) Even if he is part of a rebel of lions and a traitor, I give you Mr. Anthony Daniels.

KEYES: C-3PO - I mean, Daniels, such a diva.

Mr. ANTHONY DANIELS (Actor): Thank you. Thank you. And welcome, welcome to "Star Wars in Concert."

KEYES: Daniels, the live narrator here, played C-3PO in all six "Star Wars" films and in the animated series.

(Soundbite of movie, "Star Wars")

Mr. DANIELS: (as C-3PO) R2D2, a pleasure to meet you. I am C-3PO.

KEYES: He says there's a reason the "Star Wars" saga resonates with this multigenerational audience.

Mr. DANIELS: For most people, Star Wars is a timeline of their existence on this planet for the last 35 years. And the story, as I tell it, is of the destiny of Anakin Skywalker, the destiny of 3PO, but it's also the destiny of the audience.

Mr. KOYE OYEDEJI: I'm a '80s child, so Star Wars was the seminal movie for us.

KEYES: Koye Oyedeji brought his 5-year-old son and his father-in-law to see the concert along with the exhibit of memorabilia that's traveling with the show.

Mr. OYEDEJI: The battle of good versus evil, you know, the idea of the force, these are things that remain with you throughout your entire life.

KEYES: Of course, for some folks, it is their life.

Mr. DAVE COFELICE: My Jedi name is Avlenkof.

KEYES: Dave Cofelice rode the Metro here in full Jedi attire. He was seven when the first movie came out in 1977 and he's been hooked ever since.

Mr. COFELICE: I have a light saber it's a park saber and the costume itself I had somebody make it for me. And the belt, these are food capsules and my utility pouches.

KEYES: Fran Aslam, in the hall taking pictures of her three kids with a guy in a really detailed Darth Vader suit, had to think about why the movie's touched her.

Ms. FRAN ASLAM: I guess just the possibility that maybe it could be like that one day; superheroes, good over evil.

KEYES: Speaking of evil...

(Soundbite of music)

KEYES: ...the real Darth Vader's here, or at least his costume from the original movie is.

Mr. DAVE ISKRA (Exhibit Curator): This is a stunt cape.

KEYES: That's Dave Iskra, exhibit curator. And, yeah, he did say stunt cape.

Mr. ISKRA: The cape is shorter so for when he's running.

KEYES: There's also a Yoda, in a glass case, the actual, 7-foot-tall Chewbacca costume, which is made of yak fur that has to be brushed daily, and the original model of Han Solo encased in carbonite.

(Soundbite of music)

KEYES: But it's the live music that blows the audience away.

(Soundbite of music)

KEYES: Lucas Richman conducts John Williams' score and says he and the musicians have great respect for something that's touched millions.

Mr. LUCAS RICHMAN (Conductor): When our horn player plays the horn solo, it conjures up that feeling, that emotional connection, this is really that moment. I remember that moment in the movie, and I'm playing that. That's one of the coolest things.

KEYES: The other cool thing is seeing classical musicians being treated like rock stars.

(Soundbite of music)

KEYES: Allison Keyes, NPR News, Washington.

CORNISH: You can hear more of "Star Wars in Concert" at our website, npr.org.

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