Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review: Star Wars In Concert

Last night, I went to Scotiabank Place here in Ottawa to see "Star Wars in Concert".

It is a multi-media show that includes props from the movies at various points in the hallways of the arena and a main show that includes the music from the movies performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and narrated by C-3PO (actor Anthony Daniels).

It is a fairly elaborate setup with lights, lasers and a giant video screen. The orchestra is huge and includes a full choir... so this is pretty serious stuff that is designed to be pretty overwhelming... and it is.

I have to be honest and say that I didn't know what to expect but I was really blown away. Here is a clip from another show that will give you the idea:

Of course, Anthony Daniels who played 3-CPO was hilarious as the narrator, even if he was slightly over-dramatic at points. The music is really amazing and it makes you realize just how much effort was put into the score for the films. In fact, I felt they could have done without the movie clips at times and just let us focus on the musicians.

The majority of the songs were accompanied by video montages assembled from all of the six movies. What they did was arrange all of the clips that centered around one theme together and paired it with the song. For example... there is the theme for Darth Vader so that video would be all of the clips that show Vader's story. Another would be large battle scenes were the Empire is attacking set to music used for those scenes. I thought this was an interesting concept as they were able to tell the story in a less linear way but it still made sense.

The other thing that struck me is how well the footage from the first films holds up against the footage from the more recent ones, even if they have tonnes of digital effects. In fact, I think the older films look a bit better because everything is more organic.

All in all, a great time that was well worth it and would highly recommend this as a must-see for anyone who enjoyed the movies.

UPDATE: just after I wrote this post, I noticed on FastCompany that Addidas and LucasFilm have teamed for a run of Star Wars themed footware... neat. See it here.


Unknown said...

On a scale of one to ten, I would give it an eight. Film clips were a little repetative considering the film library that is available and, the darned boom camera that was almost constantly in the middle of the view of the screen for anyone sitting in the good seats ( 100 level ) to the sides of the stage was a major annoyance. Music was a definite A++.

Anonymous said...

i went to the scotiabank centre on nov 24 to see the concert. music was a + but i was expecting more than i what i saw. Anthony daniels was awesome as the narrator but i just felt it needed something else. It was annoying at times because there was a group of people shouting things during the show and people in my row would get up 5 times therefore distracting me.