October 8th, 2009
09:29 AM ET

Chatting with the Jedi Master

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?

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Alan

    I would have asked why George Lucas' neck is so thick.

    October 9, 2009 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. jade zantarian

    The original 3 were amazing and the prequel 3 were good-but they can not beat out the original- it does not mean you have to shoot down a good story. John Williams is one of my favorite composers of all time-next to Bach, Tchikovsky and Beethoven. I wish I could see the symphony play–it would be a dream come true. What needs to happen to get the idea of symphony to the young generation (like me- I am 20!!!! LOL) is to get the kids into a music program. We need more music in our lives that come from an actual instrument-not a computer. So, my fellow Star Wars fans, enroll your kids into band and they will have good memories, a talent, and great times. May the Force be with you all!

    October 9, 2009 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. treen

    If you're defending the prequels ... even if you liked them, at least acknowledge that there ARE glaring inconsistencies between the original movies and the prequels.

    The biggest inconsistency for me: In "The Empire Strikes Back," Obi-wan did not know that Luke had a twin as indicated by the exchange between Obi-wan and Yoda when Luke took off to fight Vader ... Obi-wan: That boy was our last hope. Yoda: No, there is another. However, at the end of Ep. 3, Obi-wan was there for the birth of both twins.

    October 8, 2009 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SAK

    Star Wars music is really cool!!!!

    October 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CMDR_Dave

    Good story...entertaining comments.

    October 8, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. P.J.

    Lucas basically invented the blockbuster, and it’s been copied over and over again for the last 30 years. Of course the new movies aren’t going to seem as great as the originals. They were still great. I saw all 3 on opening day, and enjoyed them thoroughly. I think the best course of action for those people so upset about the prequel trilogy can be summed up in 3 words: GET OVER YOURSELVES!

    George Lucas is a genius and should be treated as such.

    October 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    The show is coming to Tulsa next week and I can't wait. I'm taking my 8-year-old son - he doesn't know yet - and I'm getting fired up! The coolest thing is that he loves Star Wars every bit as much as I did when I was his age - maybe more. He likes the prequel trilogy much more than I do, but likes the original trilogy just as much. And all the new stuff, like Clone Wars, has him constantly buzzing about Star Wars. Thanks, George Lucas.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BC

    Hey "New Hope" – speak for yourself. As a 40-year old who literally grew up with the Star Wars era, I am a huge fan of the originals, and I absolutely loved the new trilogy. I AM his "core audience" and was not "disillusioned" by the new trilogy. All of my friends from my era agree. I think it is just an extreme but vocal fringe that feel the way you do about the newer movies.

    Everyone is welcome to their opinion as long as they don't try to speak for everyone else.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TheNewHope

    Since when is the word "abortion" edited? My original post read "... his core audience with the abortion that was the prequel trilogy..."

    Of course, I expect this to be edited too and probably not posted.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TheNewHope

    Dear David Daniel,

    As Entertainment Senior Producer, at least get your references right. Its "Padawan", not "Padewan".

    October 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Daniel, CNN Entertainment Senior Producer

      TheNewHope: Thanks. "Padewan" was a typo, like you typing "its" instead of "it's" in your comment.

      October 8, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sandy

    Can't wait to take my son! It is a wonderful way to expose kids (and others) to the symphony.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ray

    Did Mr Daniel ask Lucas why he butchered continuity and logic with the Star Wars prequels? Lucas basically pissed all over the originals with his poor writing and direction of the prequels.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Confused

    So where is the interview?

    October 8, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Daniel, CNN Entertainment Senior Producer

      Confused: patience, young Padewan.

      October 8, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. M.R. in L.A.

    RE: "how often does the “THX music” receive an ovation?"

    I recall it receiving one in the movie theater on every opening night of the prequels. So...every three years or so.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TheNewHope

    Great that he wants to introduce young people (i.e. kids) to symphonic music because he definitely disillusioned his core audience with the prequel trilogy. Star Wars is, and always will be, Episodes IV, V, and VI

    October 8, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Agree that it is a great way to expose young people to the symphony. And IMO John Williams is the best movie composer ever.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  17. HanSoloRocks!

    Saw this show in Anaheim last weekend. One of the best experiences of my life. I recommend that everyone see it even if you aren't a Star Wars fan because the music is so moving.

    October 8, 2009 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  18. Chris

    The music by John Williams in Star Wars is always amazing and great to listen to for me even 30+ years later. 🙂

    October 8, 2009 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |

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