Review: STAR WARS: IN CONCERT

LUCASFILM’S latest variation of the unrivaled space opera makes a stop at the Xcel.

Raghav Mehta

After four decades, six theatrical productions and a never-ending onslaught of books, video games and vast array of die-hard collector items, one would think the industry had exhausted George Lucas’ 70s- born space epic long ago. But Star Wars sits deep within society’s cultural conscience and its timeliness and universal appeal only means one thing to its legal owners: there’s still money to be made folks.

Needless to say, Star Wars: In Concert is an event of truly epic proportions. Using John Williams’ iconic score, the concert features a fully manned symphony orchestra and choir backed by a towering 200-ft LED monitor screen displaying assorted footage gathered from all six episodes. In order to provide a truly unique experience for concert-goers, the footage is all meticulously edited by LucasFilm to run in synch with the performance.

But in spite of its seeming awesomeness, Star Wars: In Concert is a painfully mediocre journey rife with repetition, dizzying montages and a strangely underwhelming narration by C-3PO himself, Anthony Daniels.

Divided into six different segments, each piece centers on a particular story line or character from the series that includes Yoda, the droid army and the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker. The orchestra is flawless, the lights are dazzling and the footage looks crisper than ever before.

Though it’s mesmerizing at first, the gaudy spectacle descends into mediocrity at warp speed and the shortfalls seem to stem from all of the surrounding bells and whistles rather than the orchestra’s performance itself. 

The montages include ample footage from all six films but with many of the clips appearing more than once they become more repetitive than captivating. At one point, I was unsure as to what the segment was even focused on as the footage continually oscillated between clips from the Rebel alliance’s victory over the Empire to Phantom Menace’s Battle of Naboo. And while Anthony Daniels’ narration was surely a treat and a pleasant surprise to most, his attempt at stage banter felt more appropriate for a daytime infomercial than any arena-sized event.

Don’t get me wrong, Star Wars: In Concert, is a stunning achievement and it takes a deft hand to assemble an event of such grandiose nature. But the end product just doesn’t carry the expected wow-factor that would warrant such steep pricing and a sprawling 50-city tour. If you’re a Star Wars junkie, you probably already purchased your tickets and there’s probably nothing I can say that would change your mind. But for those of you less gung-ho, save your fifty dollars, watch the films at home and blast John Williams’ score over the speakers.