What a great idea. Take the greatest science fiction saga of all time, put it on the road with a live accompanying symphony orchestra, laser lighting, one of the most memorable characters of the film series narrating the whole thing, and a traveling props / costume exhibit and you’ve got one of the years most anticipated events for the fans. That’s exactly what Lucasfilm did with Star Wars in Concert. It is most definitely a spectacle to behold.
My wife and I attended the event in Dallas, TX at the Cowboys Stadium. The first thing I’d like to say is, the inside of that place matches how big it looks from the outside. What a monstrosity. As soon as we walked in the place, there was a barrage of costumed characters walking around. Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Clone Troopers, Princess Leia, Jango Fett, you name it.
There was even a “pimp” Darth Maul that was pretty funny to see. Some guy actually put on a brown tunic, colored his face green, and wore huge paper mache-molded Yoda ears. We also saw actor Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) walking around to get to his seat. Apparently, a ton of Star Wars and Lucasfilm folk were there because of the Star Wars Fan Days III event that was happening the next day in Plano, TX.
The traveling exhibit of props and costumes was pretty cool. They had the staple items that did the rounds with the Star Wars Museum exhibit like Darth Vader’s costume, Chewbacca’s costume, Amidala’s costume, etc.
They also had some new items that were exciting to see like Plo Koon’s costume, a Yoda model, Kit Fisto’s costume, some different laser guns, and such. There were also cool multimedia videos that went with each piece, which concentrated on everything from CGI animation to the way they replaced the stuntmen’s faces for Dooku and Palpatine by grafting on the actors’ faces into the actual scenes. The one thing they didn’t have, which was seen in every piece of promotion for the event and was the crown jewel for me, was Han Solo frozen in carbonite. I was super disappointed by that. It was one of the key reasons I was so excited about this event. The exhibit area was a zoo. You couldn’t even walk around. It was like wall-to-wall people going in every direction but the same.
When we went to get our seats, we found out that they had undersold the show, so we got to move down an entire level and pretty much pick our seats. We went and sat basically directly under the video screen (yes, the one that just won for biggest TV screen or monitor in the Guinness Book of World Records). Man, it was sight to behold. When the lights dimmed and the stage lit up, it was quite a spectacle.
There were lasers shooting out from the stage, a digital screen behind the main part of the stage showing scenes from the film, more digital screens mounted on top and on the sides of that digital screen shadowing it with different images, and it was all framed by a tie-fighter looking window. It was incredible.
The performance by the orchestra was phenomenal. It was synced with the movie images perfectly. The movie images were from every film and then some original Ralph McQuarrie artwork of the characters and events. Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) narrated the whole show and was his usual witty and charming self.
I wish I could have a better report about the crowd in attendance. The audience for this event was an atrocity. It was so loud from people talking during the ENTIRE thing that there were times you couldn’t even hear Mr. Daniels…over a million dollar sound system. Absolutely ridiculous. I really didn’t expect that from 16,000 Star Wars fans. I expected there to be a little bit more respect, especially taking into consideration the price people paid to be there. I literally felt like I was at a circus or (ironically) a football game.
I would recommend this tour to any fans of Star Wars out there. It was a blast and the show is done and organized very well. You just need to hope that wherever you see it, the audience won’t be as obnoxious as the one in Dallas.