We were told that there would be an exhibit of Star Wars costumes, weapons, and the like before the show. I was kind of expecting a big room with everything on display, but, unfortunately, they were all in glass cases in very cramped hallways. *le sigh* Another dumb move was that they put Darth Vader and Chewbacca on display right before the entrance. So, there was a mass of people blocking the gate where you gave your ticket to the ticket-taker. Once you entered, you couldn't go back out until the end of the show. Hella lame! Once you were on the other side of the gate, you could immediately see the other displays. First were Kit Fisto and Plo Koon from the prequels. It was hilarious seeing my cousin get all excited to see the characters. It was exactly like when I was a kid and saw the Star Wars exhibit at the Smithsonian in DC - pointing out every character I saw in complete awe. "OH!! There's Vader!" and "Ohh ohh!! It's Chewie!" At one point, my uncle actually turned to my cousin and said, "Son! Stop being a geek!" Ahh, fatherly love.
As we moved on, we saw C-3PO, Han Solo in carbonite (or as one dumbass said, "You wanna see Han Solo in his ice cube?"), an Imperial Guard, Naboo Pilot, Emperor Palpatine's robe, Amidala's and her hand maiden's get up, some blasters, and a few helmets (Scout Trooper, Death Star Gunner, and A-Wing pilot). They also had HDTV screens everywhere playing different "making of" documentary stuff. All in all, pretty rad.
As for the show itself? F---ing amazing. They had an orchestra on stage with a gigantic movie screen behind them. Then, the lights went out. It was completely dark except for dozens of mini lightsabers keychains (from the gift shop) twirling around. Of course, "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" popped up on the screen and then, BAM! The Star Wars logo hit the screen and the orchestra was blazing. When the yellow Star Wars logo appeared, there were yellow lights that swept across the audience which looked amazing. As the orchestra played the main theme, clips from all of the movies were cut into shots of the band playing. I was in complete awe. It was so f---ing beautiful. The very last clip that displayed as the song ended was of Darth Vader. It quickly zoomed into his face, the song ended, and then everything went black for a couple seconds. Then, there were quick strobe lights and jets of steam shot out of the stage floor, and it went dark again. You just heard Vader breathing. Such a great effect. As the lights came up, we heard f---ing James Earl Jones’ voice! He introduced our host for the evening: none other than Anthony Daniels! C-3PO himself!
So, now I have seen both R2-D2 and C-3PO live in person. I can die happy.
The second song that they played was Duel of the Fates, which was one of the best things to come out of the prequels. I LOVE that song. The song first started with a choir chanting. As soon as I heard the chanting, I was looking to see where the choir was. Then, I saw them slowly being revealed behind the orchestra. They had been raised out of nowhere on a moving platform. Brilliant!
During the whole show, they did some really nifty shit with the lights, too. While showing clips of the Carbon Freezing Chamber, the spotlights all turned red, giving it an awesome feeling as if you were there. Same with Tatooine. Lots of yellow and orange lighting. One of my favorite parts was when they showed the Death Stars blowing up. As we have seen, when a Death Star explodes, a giant shock wave is produced. They made the lights shoot out and sweep over the audience. Give that lighting dude a medal. Seriously.
When they played The Imperial March for the second time (once before and once after intermission), there were amazing lasers. A set of about seven lasers flickered back and forth; it gave the illusion of lightsabers crossing. It was a thing of beauty.
After the show, the orchestra played an encore of both the opening title and the Imperial March. Thank god. I forgot to mention that, the first time they played the Imperial March, there were two really bright spot lights on either side of the stage. One was shining directly in my eyes! So badly, that my eyes were watering. I turned to look at my uncle, and he looked like he was being blinded. Sadly, my favorite song was ruined for me the first time around. Luckily, the orchestra came back after intermission and did a dark version with the lasers that I mentioned earlier. Thank god.
My only complaint was that, even though I loved seeing the clips from the movies, it would have been nice to see more close-ups on screen of the orchestra playing. To actually see HOW the music was played. The orchestra was so damned good that, as you were watching the movie clips, you often forget that the orchestra was there; it sounded absolutely perfect. I think that the most interesting song to see them play on screen would have been the Cantina song. They went all out with that one but only showed a few clips from the movies and some interesting "concept art." What really got me was when Ponda on screen, and a good portion of the audience had a good laugh. I can only assume that they were thinking about the same thing that I was: the Robot Chicken Sketch.
So, to sum it all up, the night rocked so hard! If you are a Star Wars fan, you should get your ass to the show when it comes to your town. Come on: Anthony Daniels is the host!