And it came and went without much regard

I admit that while I was away in Germany during the weekend of April 12th (Easter time, chocolate bunny time, German bonfires illuminating the sky to bring in the new and the better for 2009) I was to some extent incommunicado with the rest of the world, but it strikes me as intriguing that about two weeks later, while rummaging around the web, that I discovered George Lucas' Star Wars: A Musical Journey [STTMJ] premiered in London at the O2 Arena.

The actually staged the damned thing.

Now, "musical" generally denotes singing and dancing, and the concept of dancers bouncing around in Star Wars costumes to the regal, Korngoldian themes by John Williams set to lyrics seems silly. Robots doing a jig, a neon light saber show, and maybe some audience participation with rebels running into the aisles and grabbing poor souls for a celebratory dance set to Lapti Nek.

However, STTMJ, by available reports, isn't an all singing-all dancing horror show, but a distillation of six film scores crunched and compacted into a live concert performed by the Royal Philharmonic under the baton of Dirk Brosse, with narration by Anthony Daniels (C3PO), and film highlights playing on a giant screen.

That's a concert, not a musical, although the use of journey perhaps infers orchestral travelogue or poem, like Peter and the Wolf. In any event, reviews and reports seem to be mixed; critics (1 --- 2 --- 3 --- 4) appreciate the music but can't help thinking the whole project is another means to keep the Star Wars franchise alive and well after multiple DVD releases over the past few years, whereas fans (1 --- 2 --- 3) appreciate the musical journey through one of the most beloved orchestral space operas ever created.

The concert ran around 2 hours (including intermission), and the concert hall lobby was outfitted with a variety of 'rare' memorabilia tuned to an uber-fan's knowledge of the three original and 3 dreadful prequels, and for all the inevitable dissing of all things Lucas, one can't say the event was far removed from the travelling orchestral love fest of The Lord of the Rings, which did tour, was also tied to a travelling prop show, and more uniquely spawned a very expensive and very floppy all-singing, all dancing musical.

The same can also be said of a Star Trek show (1 --- 2) that landed in Toronto last year, with themes and narrative bits tailored to fans, so perhaps this one time it's actually okay to salute the endeavor, since Lucas is no longer a visionary filmmaker or producer, but a franchise owner whose recent projects have been belated (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) or disastrous (Star Wars: The Clone Wars).



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