Let me just get this out of the way now, I'm a huge Star Wars fan. Ever since receiving my first stormtrooper action figure when I was 5 years old, I've been a devoted follower of the franchise. So when I heard that my friend Steve had an extra ticket to Star Wars in Concert here in Vancouver, I jumped at the opportunity.
So the night arrives, and I'm sitting in GM Place, next to an overweight white guy with a beard like Tom Hanks in Castaway, holding a toy light-saber, and drinking a Mountain Dew. "This is awesome," i thought to myself, "i'm surrounded by fellow nerds". The lights dim and the orchestra starts playing....
2 hours and 17 minutes later, it's over, and a mix of things are flowing through my brain. Happiness, Relief, Disappointment, these are all present. But when i stand back and really look at the details of the show, how do I really feel about it? Let's start out with the parts I enjoyed.
It was quite exciting. All the people there were just pumped up and overflowing with nostalgia for they're beloved Star Wars. The whole joint was lit up with glowing light-sabers and the "woot's" and "yeaaaah's" were so loud you could feel it. All the noise and excitement really boosted the overall experience. Seeing that many people gathered together to all share in something as awesome as Star Wars was really great.
Obviously you can't talk about a concert without talking about the music, and let me tell you, it was pure awesome. The live orchestra sounded crystal clear and wonderful, the tempo's were perfect, and to top it all off, the scenes from the movie as well as the concept art on screen were crisp and vivid. Not only that, but they were matched perfectly to the music.
Now there was a narrator to the whole thing, who guided you through the story of the franchise and filled in any missing gaps. And who better to narrate than C3PO himself, Mr.Anthony Daniels. Anthony did a great job on stage, he was loud and clear, his flow and pace were outstanding, and his British accent made the whole experience feel very authentic.
Now I mentioned that i had criticisms about the show. For one, the on screen scenes did not seem to merge together all that well. Each song would have an overall theme or topic( i.e., Anakin,the rise of the Rebel Alliance, etc) and the scenes that illustrated the theme/topic often did not coincide with it. For example, when the song focusing on Anakin and Padme's love was played, there were several instances in which scenes from the Battle of Geonosis were shown, where clones were shooting or droids were running. This wouldn't be much of an issue if were just a minor occurrence but it happened a lot, in almost every song.
Another problem I had with the show, was how it started out with realization that the whole concert would follow a set story line, from the Trade Federation uprising all the way to the defeat of The Emperor and the destruction of the second Death Star. Sounds good in theory, but it didn't play out. While the show did have a story, it wasn't all that smooth. For instance, one song would describe the happenings of two whole movies, while another song would follow the same two movies, but from a completely different perspective. The whole thing would jump around all the time, one song they'd be focusing on events from Episode 2, and the next song they would go back to the Phantom Menace. It really made the show lose some of it's appeal, and made it feel poorly put together.
There are a few other grievances i have with the show as well, such as not having the Yub Yub Ewok victory song, unoriginal captions for the songs, and repeated use of a few songs in spots where it wasn't needed. I won't go much in depth with those because to be frank, they're simply isn't much to elaborate on.
In conclusion, I'd have to say the overall experience was bit of a letdown. Make no mistake, the music was amazing, but some of the other aspects of the event weren't so awesome. The sloppily placed visuals, the failure of a single story arc, and the lack of my damn Yub Yub song make it feel like a bit of a bummer, but if you can get over that stuff and just focus on the music and the enthusiasm brought on by the crowd, I would recommend you check it out if it comes to your town.