October 8th, 2009
09:29 AM ET
There are, I must admit, some very cool aspects to my job. Like being able to pick up my BlackBerry and tap out the following Facebook status update: "David just finished chatting with George Lucas. Nice guy."
George Lucas called "Star Wars in Concert" a way to introduce young people to symphonic music.
The occasion was the first Los Angeles performance of "Star Wars In Concert," a touring show with a full orchestra, recut clips from all six films shown on a massive screen, a laser light show, and Anthony "C3PO" Daniels providing live narration. Fans at the first performances, last weekend in Anaheim, gave it good reviews. I only got to see the first few minutes, before the press was ushered out, but the "pre-show" interview more than made up for it.
Lucas was relaxed and friendly - though, as a friend noted, if I'd created the most popular and profitable franchise in history, I'd probably be relaxed and friendly too. He enthused about the show, praised its producers, and recalled fondly how "Steve" Spielberg had insisted more than 30 years ago that John Williams was the only person who could give "Star Wars" the music it needed. For this show really is about the music - scenes from all six films have been recut around the themes of the score.
"It's very powerful," said Lucas, who insisted repeatedly that others deserved the credit for the production. "I was completely surprised by it, and I've seen other live orchestra performances with 'Star Wars' images, but nothing like this - I mean, this really works, because it was edited specifically to bring out the emotion." He also grew enthusiastic when discussing how many "Star Wars" fans, especially kids, might be experiencing a live orchestra for the first time: "We call it the alternative to 'Peter and the Wolf,' in terms of introducing young people to symphonic music."
We talked for seven or eight minutes, and then he had to move on - naturally, everyone wanted to talk with George Lucas. This was a special night and a special crowd: how often does the "THX music" receive an ovation?
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