Television Listings

"Star Wars: Musical Journey" out of this world

 A man dressed as Star Wars character Darth Vader poses for photographers at the
A man dressed as Star Wars character Darth Vader poses for photographers at the 'Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination' exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney December 3, 2008. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz
— image credit: Reuters

By Ray Bennett

LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - If you think the world doesn't need another variation on "Star Wars" on top of the six films, assorted animations, video games and toys, you are forgetting the extraordinary force of the music John Williams wrote for the science-fiction epic.

"Star Wars: A Musical Journey," which was presented Friday at London's 02 Arena for the first time, features two hours of the wonderfully varied themes and cues that Williams has rearranged to accompany a series of sequences from the six moves especially edited for the production by Lucasfilm.

Williams has won five Academy Awards, including one for his original music for the first "Star Wars" film in 1977, and the extraordinarily rich texture of his scores for the sequels that followed demonstrate his remarkable talent. He recorded the scores with the London Symphony Orchestra, but that ensemble could not commit to the new production's planned tour. The LSO's pre-eminence, especially in its brass section, was on display in London's Barbican Hall on April 4 in a splendid concert titled "A Life in Film" that featured several Williams pieces.

Still, the 86-piece Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir did a fine job on the night, helped considerably by the electrifying Belgian conductor Dirk Brosse, whose skill with film scores is demonstrated each year at the World Soundtrack Awards held during the Ghent Film Festival.

Brosse led the orchestra and singers confidently as they performed the sumptuous music scrupulously calibrated to synchronize with a spectacular range of images featuring all the characters, human and otherwise, and many of the iconic set pieces from the films.

Anthony Daniels, who played the robot C3PO in all six pictures, played host and, appearing very debonair in a dinner jacket, delivered an entertaining narrative written by Jamie Richardson to introduce each segment.

Lucasfilm edited the sequences so that the story of Anakin and Luke Skywalker was shown more or less in chronological order, but each one had a theme ranging from love scenes to martial arts to giant battles.

The images were presented in stunning high-definition on a vast $4 million screen set up for the occasion. Cutting occasionally to shots of the orchestra, the screen was busy with the action and adventure that have made the films so popular. Mention of Darth Vader brought the biggest cheer of the night, but Han Solo and Yoda also received huge ovations.

The show's California-based producers Another Planet Entertainment had planned a one-night engagement, but it sold so well that another performance was added Saturday, and it is headed for North America and Australia.

(Editing by Dean Gooodman at Reuters)

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Province floats gas tax shift to ferries
 
Local artists head to the mountain for inspirational retreat
 
Ham radio is still the old standby in emergency situations
Dancers provide a sugar-coated treat
 
On ship wrecks and edible mushrooms
 
Port Renfrew hosts Song & Surf 5 this February
Ballet comes to the Valley
 
Malloff’s sculptures known for detail
 
Music crosses cultural boundaries, styles

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 24 edition online now. Browse the archives.