Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the Player

Star Wars In Concert: A Review


So I realize this is not really a game but Star Wars ties into many amazing games and chances are if you like games you also like Star Wars and the incredible music by John Williams.
Last night I had the chance to go to the concert in Bridgeport, CT. After fighting traffic to get there and making the required stop at the merchandise stand I went to take my seat wrapped in my appropriate Dark Jedi robe (Geek I know).
On that note I was surprised to see there weren’t that many people dressed up. Maybe there aren’t as many geeks as I thought, and I know Bridgeport isn’t the MSG but still I thought the hordes like NY Jedi would show up (though they may go to the concert in Nassau or New Jersey).
Also, lest I forget, before walking into the concert hall you can look at several costumes and props from the movies that are on display. I tried to take some pictures but let’s just say my crappy iPhone didn’t do the best job. But I digress.

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The first thing that I felt was that this was a once in a lifetime experience. Considering its success they might, like Play!, decide to do this again but it is no sure thing and as a fan… you had to be there.
That being said the movies and the music are amazing on their own so you have to make something really original in order to make you feel like you couldn’t get this experience from the comfort of your living-room couch. And it becomes clear pretty quickly that you couldn’t.

From the moment the orchestra plays the THX tune (yes it is the orchestra playing it!) you’ll enjoy a blast of a ride through the saga.
Throughout you have footage from the movies edited in a sort of trailer-like fashion playing on a big screen while the orchestra plays with great skill and feel. I particularly like how sometimes they catch you by surprise for example putting a scene from Episode I when the theme of the chapter is mostly related to Episodes III and IV. The way they tied the music with the theme of the chapters was thrilling because instead of bending the music to the footage they did the right thing in letting the score sing in its own voice and matching the video and laser shows to it (these are particularly well used at one point during the concert).

One great addition to this package is the ever-faithful Star Wars representative, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO). Daniels narrates with great bravado in-between each chapters and even has a great moment (at least i felt so) which I wouldn’t spoil in case you go see it.

The way the show is presented is fairly simple but very well executed, it retells the story of the six movies chronologically in chapters, each chapter more or less being a specific tune. So as you can tell it starts with the Star Wars fanfare and then you have “Dark Forces Conspire” which tells the story of the rise of the Empire with the ever-thrilling Duel of the Fates being played so on and so forth.
Sometimes they inject tidbits of dialogues from the movies perfectly. These really gave me goosebumps at times, hearing Obi Wan wail “you were the chosen one!!” on Battle of the Heroes is just….indescribable.

It is hard to talk at length about an experience that is essentially musical and express what you felt but the way they tied the footage to the music is great. Not always perfect but at times brilliant.
There were times when I felt the music and the footage were off by just a fraction of a second but this is really nitpicking and it might just have been my imagination (by the way don’t take the YouTube videos as a sign of this because this is most likely simply bad footage).
On the other hand at times it was really transcendental, seeing the Imperial Cruiser crash vertically with the flames rising up along with the music at the end of “A Sanctuary Moon” was awesome!

Here’s a breakdown of the chapters:

Chapter 1: “A Long Time Ago” – 20th Century Fox Fanfare/Star Wars Main Title Theme
Chapter 2: “Dark Forces Conspire” – Duel of the Fates
Chapter 3: “A Hero Rises” – Anakin’s Theme
Chapter 4: “A Fateful Love” – Across the Stars
Chapter 5: “A Hero Falls” – Battle of the Heroes
Chapter 6: “An Empire Is Forged” – Imperial March
Chapter 7: “A Planet That Is Farthest From” – The Dune Sea of Tatooine
Chapter 8: “An Unlikely Alliance” – Binary Sunset/Cantina Band
Chapter 9: “A Defender Emerges” – Princess Leia’s Theme
Chapter 10: “A Daring Rescue” – Ben’s Death/The Fighter Attack
Chapter 11: “A Jedi Is Trained” – Yoda’s Theme
Chapter 12: “A Narrow Escape” – The Asteroid Field
Chapter 13: “A Bond Unbroken” – Luke and Leia
Chapter 14: “A Sanctuary Moon” – The Forest Battle
Chapter 15: “A Life Redeemed” – Light of the Force
Chapter 16: “A New Day Dawns” – Throne Room/Finale

And with this Finale I bid you Peace, and may the Force be with you!

All videos were taking randomly from YouTube.

November 11, 2009 Posted by | Video Game News | , , , | Leave a comment