Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Star Wars in Concert

My friend Charisse and I, though never having actually met face to face, have been "kindred spirits" for a long time. We connected several years ago over being the family of ministers (she married to one, I the daughter of one), which is something you cannot truly understand unless you have experienced it yourself. Even though we are different denominations, we have become very good friends.

We also have another love in common, though: Star Wars! So being the good friend that she is, she was kind enough to let me know back in July that Star Wars in Concert was finally heading to the United States. I remember reading about it many moons ago, but it was only in Europe at the time. I figured it was just a matter of time before it landed in this country, and sure enough, they started touring in October, but without Charisse's heads-up, I wouldn't have known to be watching for it. I would also like to thank my father for letting me "borrow" his American Express card so that we could get in on the pre-sale. We decided we would also take Luke. What better first-concert experience could there possibly be for our child who has been able to recognizably sing 3 different "Star Wars songs" for well over 2 years now?

In addition to a live orchestra performing select themes from all the films with synchronized video of clips from the films, there is also a travelling exhibition of props and costumes from the films. According to the press release, many of these have never before left Lucasfilm to be displayed in public. I truly wish we'd had more time to look around. Everything was simply amazing in detail. We wandered around for a good hour before the show, and I still don't feel like we saw it all. At first Luke didn't want to even stand near the displays, so DH and I had some fun (hey, we've been fans since *we* were children!). Apologies for the blur in the first photo. I obviously didn't have the flash on (and then the next picture is a little over exposed because I didn't have it set right). And you know it had to be good if I am about to post a photo of myself with just me in the picture.

The local 501st was also there, so there were plenty of characters wandering around as well:

Still, Luke wanted nothing to do with them (other than admire from afar), until we stumbled on this!

It was a truly magical moment. I have never seen a grin like that on Luke's face in my life. Other than the obnoxious kid right behind him who pretty much flatly refused to get out of the way even after we had patiently waited our turn, kept (roughly) touching the droid, and whose grandparents had no desire to make him stop or *move* (ahem), I wouldn't trade it for anything. That was really the worst time we had with people (other than those who felt compelled to stop right in the middle of the already crowded corridors to tie their shoe or something). Generally speaking, everyone waited their turn and was very gracious and patient.

Once Luke had been near one, he was more comfortable being near the others.

They also had these large screens set up with different scenery, which I finally got him to stand in front of for a photo op (but only with Daddy). There were several others, but I correctly predicted that the droid battle would win.

But of all the amazing things they had on display, this was my personal favorite: three pages of John Williams's hand written score! It was the music for the droid battle from Episode I. Awesome!! How sad that there was not a single person near this display when I got there. Sure, it's not as flashy as the full jedi costumes or Han in carbonite, but these oversized pieces of paper were the real reason we were all there!

The concert itself was equally amazing. I knew from the start that this was something we simply had to take Luke to. The music of John Williams lights up his soul; you can see it on his face. (I recognize the signs well, he gets it from me.) I had chills and tears more than once, and sometimes simultaneously. Thanks, Dad, for letting me take the good camera so I could get some properly exposed photos.

The music alone would have been enough for me, but I'm not sure Luke could have sat still for a 2 hour concert that started *after* his usual bedtime without the visual montages that accompanied the music (Charisse, the second pic I took just for you!).

There were some pretty cool special effects as well. Luke was simply enthralled.

To say John Williams is a master of music and emotion is nothing short of a gross understatement. To combine that with the genius vision of George Lucas's universe, and you have nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece that has enchanted generations. Say what you will about the execution of the more recent three films, the actual story and the music are still both haunting and breathtaking. So thank you, Mr. Lucas. Thank you, Mr. Williams. You have given this family at least three generations of magic (starting with my parents), and I predict many more to come.

The force will be with us, always, thanks to you.

Currently feeling: R2 saves the day

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad I noticed the Atlanta date when I did, Erin, and that you were able to take Luke. I can't wait to see the show myself! Thanks for the Yoda shot and for your kind words. I look forward to meeting you IRL one day.


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