When this series was first broadcast on National Public Radio in 1981, it generated the largest response in the network's history: 50,000 letters and phone calls in a single week, an audience of 750,000 per episode, and a subsequent 40-percent jump in NPR listenership.
This landmark production, perhaps the most ambitious radio project ever attempted, began when Star Wars creator George Lucas donated the story rights to an NPR affiliate. Writer Brian Daley adapted the film's highly visual script to the special demands and unique possibilities of radio, creating a more richly textured tale with greater emphasis on character development. Director John Madden guided a splendid cast, including Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels, reprising their film roles as Luke Skywalker and the persnickety robot See Threepio, through an intense 10-day dialogue recording session. Then came months of painstaking work for virtuoso sound engineer Tom Voegeli, whose brilliant blending of the actors' voices, the music, and hundreds of sound effects takes this intergalactic adventure into a realm of imagination that is beyond the reach of cinema.
© and (P)1993, 1996 Lucasfilm Ltd.
This is an amazing work. I can recall listening to this many years ago on tape, before I saw any of the Star Wars films.
In a way this production is a reconnection with the roots of the whole Star Wars saga, namely Flash Gordon and other science fiction radio and film serials. The production values are very high and the listener is not bombarded with too many incidental background effects. There is an emphasis on dialogue.
Radio is, after all "the theater of the mind's eye".
Didn't even know this existed. Has Mark Hamill the original Luke Skywalker. Sound effects and music are really cool too. Wish they did this kind of stuff on the radio now a days.
Great way to read great books on the go. Love Sci Fi especially Orson Scott Card and Star Wars.
Excellent additions to the story. A great radio drama that captures the action and tickles the ears.
The additions to the story were intersting and helped make the story interesting, especially the race at the begining.
No I have not.
The moments with Obi Wan were just as powerful if not more so on the radio.
Great example of radio drama excellence.
I saw the original movies as a kid and heard this as well. I didn't appreciate it when it aired originally but years later, I'm surprised how much I really enjoyed this.
It made me fall in love with this story all over again.
There is so much more to this story through this than the movies or books and my hat is off to the producers who really knew what they were doing. The later stories of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are also worthwhile.
Sure the actors aren't the same, but the story is so much more rich and satisfying, I really didn't care after about the third episode of this multipart series.
If you liked (or loved) Star Wars you owe it to yourself to rediscover this great story told in a fresh and remarkable way.
The story in and of its self is well done. What isnt done well is the repetitive re-announcing and ending of where this was done. You could easily cut 35 min of this Star Wars dramatization by taking out the NPR announcements and chapter endings and Star Wars theme music at every start and end of every chapter...
This version was very different than just an audio adaptation of the film. It's more like what Star Wars would have been, had it not been so visionary and better than the shows of its age. This version was more melodramatic and clunky. Closer to a Twilight Zone episode than an epic...
That being said, it's worth listening to for serious fans of the series. The characterization and fuller backstories of some characters provide some fun alternative perspectives to what we all assume were Luke, Han and Leia's motivations.
-Han and Luke were shown as deeper characters
-Obi Wan and Leia are shallower, or at least, less enjoyable
-Vader really didn't feel convincing, his villainous-ness felt very forced and tawdry
Some of the actions scenes didn't translate well to radio, but others held up fine and the extended portions of character development were engaging.
All in all, a good listen for dedicated fans to hear what might have been, and to give better perspective on just how good the film version really was. But not recommended for casual fans expecting an audiobook version right from the film.
I remember, as a child agonizing for each episode to be released on the local NPR radio station. It was good then, but even better now all together and being able to listen to the Episodes back to back.
I loved the concept of putting Star Wars (my favorite movie series of ALL time) into a very overlooked form of entertainment, the radio drama! Some might think the acting is a bit hoaky, but u almost HAVE to overact to be in a radio drama. It's so cool to hear Mark Hamill be Luke in this vain. I would recommend checking it out...especially if ur a fan of the best movie series in the galaxy far, far away!
Though I missed the original cast voices of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, the story is always the greatest of its time and of all time, if you recognize how ahead if our times George Lucas truly was. Star Wars is a classic:)
"Love this! but the editing needs to be better!"
So I am a massive Starwars geek and loved this production BUT the episode really needed to be edited into one production! the recaps and the music do become a bit of a pain after a while! Still Mark Hamill forever!
My first Star Wars experience was a cinema trip to see the re-released version of episode 4. I've loved it ever since.
Listening to the radio show filled a few gaps in my knowledge. It shows that you don't need to actually see anything to enjoy Star Wars - the dialogue and sound effects make for a really entertaining experience.
I hadn't seen the originals for a long while so I really was rediscovering the story and this production is so engaging. some parts could have done with a narrator in my opinion but not enough to drop a star. looking forward to the next one!
"I love this version"
This version of Star Wars A New Hope is fantastic. I love how each of the main characters (Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca) are introduced with such a detailed story before getting to the main plot. it's just a shame the film couldn't be made the same way. though that may make the film 4-5 hours long.
Fantastic just as I remember it from years ago absolutely a MUST for all star wars fans
"My first Audible"
really good introduction to Audible. I remember listening to the original radio series so many years ago. recommended if you like Star Wars.
great voice acting, well dramatised for Radio,excellent pacing. Sound effects brilliant. would highly recommend to anyone.
"The Force is strong with this one!"
I remember listening to this on the radio as a youngster, back in the late 70s, or early 80s, and it hasn't lost any of the excitement of discovering new Star Wars that it had then. Mark Hamill & Anthony Daniels recreate their roles as Luke Skywalker & C-3P0, and are surrounded by an excellent cast of supporting actors filling the other famous roles. The new voices are similar enough for you to picture the appropriate characters, and they fulfil their roles well. The real pleasure, however, is the extra story & character content. Some of it I recognise a being part of George Lucy's original storyline (Luke and Biggs on Tatooine etc) but some, I'm guessing, is completely original and most of it expertly fills in holes in the film plot that you didn't even realise were there. And when you add in John Williams' wonderful score, and Ben Burrt's amazing soundscape you end up with a fantastic variation of a an great familiar story! :-)
"Star Wars The Considerably Extended Edition!"
Despite not benefiting from any visual effects, it was as engaging as the movie version.
I've thought about this, but I can't settle on just one.
Their performances are as good as they were on the big screen.
No, it's not that sort of story, but it did make me nostalgic.
Well worth a shufty - I'm now listening to The Empire Strikes Back!
I loved this. It was great to have original film cast members, especially mark hamil. Also great to get more back story and insight into some of the characters. Music by the ever amazing John Williams and original sound effects all make this a great listen. One of my best audio purchases. I quickly followed it up with the empire strikes back and return of the Jedi and was not disappointed. Fantastic listening!
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