Concert Review: Star Wars In Concert Brandt Centre June 30

“So, do you want to get your picture taken with Darth Vader?” Yes, I know. I’m a horrible Dad.

For there are a whole lot of other things to have your son photographed with in the Brandt Centre’s main concourse … there’s the models of Yoda, Chewbacca, C-3P0, some of the light sabers, costumes of the generals and warriors … enough stuff to keep a Star Wars fan in awe until the lights go down at 7:05 for Star Wars In Concert.

The event features a 60-some piece orchestra and choir playing selections from the three Star Wars movies and three other ones (The Phantom Menace, The Attack of the Clones and The Revenge of the Sith) for which I needed years of therapy to erase from my mind. John Williams scored the soundtracks for all six, so they’re good, if not totally recognizable (the music from the other three movies.).

My date for the night was my six-year-old son, Eric, who had never been to a concert before — well, he had gone to the Regina Folk Festival a couple of times, and he was pretty impressed with the spectacle, as was a good portion of Regina — I’d say they sold about 5.500 tickets — not a sellout, but a bit better than three quarters full. There were a few dressed as their favourite characters — though nobody seems to choose mine, the food server at the Death Star canteen …

courtesy the genius of Eddie Izzard

On one hand, it’s another way for George Lucas to earn a few more paydays from the Star Wars franchise. And as paydays go, it stands to be a lucrative one. There’s enough people with enough fondness for their past — and Star Wars, an integral part of their past — that people such as Anthony Daniels (the evening’s narrator and who played C-3PO in all six movies) can make a comfortable living. While re-editing the movies to provide a common narrative for the songs may be a bit confusing, in the end, it seems to be something well thought out.

About the only sour note for me happened during the encore. The orchestra played the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back, and the massive video camera caught several members of the horn section wearing Saskatchewan Roughrider ball caps. Big cheers erupted from the audience when they say that — a totally Pavlovian response, to be sure, but I was a little alarmed. When did Rider fans accept, and even embrace that they were embodiments of evil?

Author: Stephen LaRose

2006 winner of the Canadian Association of University Teachers’s Award of Excellence in Journalism for a bunch of prairie dog stuff. Invited into the best homes in Regina. Once.