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Concert review: 'Star Wars' concert sends fans into orbit

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 20 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO and appeared in all six of the movies, provides the narration for the Star Wars event. In addition to the music, scenes were flashed on an 80-foot-tall LED screen, and original costumes, scripts and scenery from the movies were displayed.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

"STAR WARS IN CONCERT," EnergySolutions Arena, Oct. 16.

In "Star Wars: A New Hope," Anthony Daniels, in his C-3PO character, told Luke Skywalker that he wasn't good at telling stories.

By the time "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi" came some six years later, C-3PO's storytelling has improved, as shown when he conveys the struggle between the Rebel Alliance and the evil Galactic Empire to the eager Ewok tribe.

Well, C-3PO, in his Anthony Daniels persona, came to the EnergySolutions Arena and told the complete story of how young Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader and how his son Luke saved him.

Daniels' narration highlighted the dazzling "Star Wars in Concert," which featured the Star Wars Symphony and Chorus, conducted by Mark Watters.

Throughout the evening, pieces from the grand and popular "Star Wars" saga score, written by the Academy Award-winning composer John Williams, was performed.

But the performance didn't stop at the narration and music. A massive high-definition screen also flashed scenes from the six "Star Wars" movies — "Episode I: The Phantom Menace," "Episode II: Attack of the Clones," "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," "A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi."

No music was performed from the animated "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" productions or any of the TV specials, and that was the point.

"Star Wars in Concert" celebrates the original and beloved "Star Wars" films and music and gives the audience a new way of experiencing the story.

Daniels formed a strong rapport with the audience as he told of pod races, romances, light-saber duels and the good and evil deeds of the story's iconic characters.

The concert was divided into segments with such titles as "Dark forces Conspire," "A Hero Falls" and "Droids," the latter featuring scenes of C-3PO and R2-D2 backed by the work "The Dune Sea of Tatooine/Jawa Sandcrawler" medley.

Some of the other music featured included the crowd-pleasing "Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)," "Anakin and Padme," "Cantina Band" and "Battle of Endor."

Hearing the live score with the movie scenes brought cheers from the audience.

Not only were movie scenes played, but in other segments such as the one that featured "Yoda's Theme," original concept drawings were shown.

The show ran smoothly except when, during "Droids," the screen fuzzed out and died. But the problem was rectified for the next segment, "A Ride with Destiny," which featured the selection "Anakin Defeats Sebulba."

And there were times when the music was too loud to hear the film-scene dialogue.

And it might have been more exciting to hear some of the film's sound effects such as lasers and star-ship accelerations in addition to the actual spoken-word dialogue.

Still, it pleased the fans.

The evening opened with the trademark "THX" crescendo and the orchestra even played the "20th Century Fox Fanfare."

When all was said, seen, heard and done, the audience gave a standing ovation.

e-mail: scott@desnews.com

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