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.
It was the first dramatized story I bought from audible. I cant bring myself to spend more than $10 on a five hour audio play, so I wont buy the next one in the series. All in all, it was perfect to buy when it was on sell. I enjoyed it on my road trip.
R2R2 really landed his speaking parts
Help us obi-one, Youre our only hope
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Star Wars Radio Drama. Need I say more? Perhaps one of the greatest science fiction movies of the twentieth century, Star Wars has captured the hearts of millions and lost a few of them along the way as the series went back in time. Of course I’m talking about the prequels, but that’s not the purpose of this review.
This adaptation of Star Wars IV: A New Hope was released on NPR back in 1981. Many others, have been fortunate to get it on audible.com, years after its original broadcast. Those expecting the movie but in audio form, will be presently surprised.
The runtime of the audio drama is 5+ hours and the the movie is less than 3. That means there’s at least 2 hours of extra story that adds more dimensions to the characters. We spend more time on Tatooine in the beginning, getting to know Luke as more than just a whiny farm boy. Or, at least, he has a bigger motivation for wanting to leave the planet than originally portrayed in the movie.
The acting done by Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Anthony Daniels is top quality. However, most of the cast from the first film do not make an appearance. That being said, the only actor who felt out of place was the person playing Darth Vader. Even so, near the end I came to accept the voice.
If there was one flaw early on that drove me up the wall it would be the unnatural timing of Darth Vader’s respirator. It went on and off constantly without any rhyme or reason. Thankfully it became background noise after a while, but when first introduced to one of the greatest villains in history, it came off as a grown man with breathing issues.
Fans of Star Wars and audio drama will be sure to get their money’s worth
It goes without saying that the story is "5 star" for a rating, but I really wanted to know how this stood up as a radio drama. Obviously I'm from the generation were Star Wars was the best movie ever. This also means I can remember long drives with radio theatre as an entertainment medium. I must admit that the voice acting and production was expertly done.
If you want a commuting story to bring you back to your youth, before you needed to commute to work, give this version a try. I think you'll find that it's quite enjoyable.
I am not a Star Wars fanatic by any means and I thought this production was very entertaining.
The only gotcha is that they are presented in their original form. Which means you hear all of the credits at the end of each chapter and at the start of each chapter you are also presented with a flash back of what happened in the previous chapter.
Besides that I loved it !
A mother, a wife, part-time professional trying to fit it all in...
loved the audiobook to listen in the car. it was so fun reliving the movie as we listened in the car, on the way to school, running errands, etc. My kids loved it!
I appreciate what they are trying to do, but this story is just meant for the screen. There are some awkward lines of a character explaining what they see in a way that just doesn't sound natural.
While the audiobook adds some details to the story, most of them were not interesting. I'm a big believer in "less is more," and this audio adaptation did the opposite.
Additionally, it contained the intro and exit for each and every episode. I really didn't need the same 3 minutes of credits and music over and over and over... This is a result of them directly reproducing the radio broadcast without any editing.
First, this is the Star Wars we all know and love -- and if you haven't seen the movie then go watch it now (and if you don't love it, this dramatization won't change your mind).
It is a dramatization. Mark Hamill and and Anthony Daniels are back as Luke and C-3PO, and the rest of the voice actors do a respectable job (although the guy doing Han Solo tries a bit too hard at times -- he's no Harrison Ford).
I'm not entirely sure how they filled in an extra 4 hours of time. The nice thing is that the story is expanded -- more back story on Leia and the droids, and a good bit more on Luke's life on Tatooine, plus a bit more scattered throughout the rest of the story. It just didn't feel like an extra 3+ hours worth.
The annoying part was that this was a series of 13 (I believe) half hour or so radio episodes, so at the beginning of each episode/chapter, there was roughly a minute and a half of music and reminders of where the story was, and at the end was more music and credits that lasted anywhere from one to four minutes. So there was about an extra three to five minutes of time padded onto each episode. I get why they did it, and if this were being played on the radio like it originally was for NPR, it makes a lot of sense, but if you're listening straight through, it gets really annoying to have that much time wasted or to have to fiddle with the controls to bypass those sections (probably missing the right spots and having to backtrack to add to the annoyance.) It would be great if those sections could either be spliced out or set up as mini-chapters or bookmarks that can be skipped directly.
The sound effects seemed like they were pulled straight from the movie (which is certainly possible -- I haven't read enough of the history of this production to know if that's the case), and were generally good, although sometimes overwhelmed the dialogue.
On the whole, I enjoyed this quite a bit -- it's been fun to listen to the story again, and I'll likely revisit it many times in the future, along with the movies.
I enjoyed listening to this dramatization of Star Wars. It was good to hear some of the details that were lacking from the movie. It would have been great if ALL of the original actors had been available to read their characters' parts. I'm glad they were able to get Mark Hamill to reprise his role as Luke Skywalker. The other character/voice actors did fine, too, but the original actors' voices would have been a real treat.
Delightful expansion of scenes only referenced offscreen in the film. Uses sound and characters - and some actors - from the movie. A brilliant addition to any fan's experience!
all things awesome
First, let me say THANK YOU to audible for offering this dramatization! (I was lucky enough to get this on a special deal, too!)
When I was 10 years old, I laid on my parent's giant waterbed and listened to several of these episodes on their AM radio, over a period of several weeks. They were released (I think) in 30 minute segments, and I just happened to stumble upon them. I was blown away, listening to Luke Skywalker race his hopper across Tatooine and talk with Bigs about joining the academy. It was like a movie, complete with the actual sound effects, actors, and music from the movie. At the time, I was utterly engrossed with anything sci-fi, and Star Wars rocked my world.
I'd thought about that radio re-enactment multiple times over the next 30 years, but never saw any reference to it (probably didn't look too hard to be honest), and had almost resigned myself to thinking I had just imagined it. Until stumbling across it again on Audible.
WOW. My childhood came rushing back during the first thirty minutes of listening, and it's just as I remembered - only better; because now I can hear the ENTIRE dramatization. While it's a relatively short audiobook (~5 hours), those extra 3 hours are fantastic. No filler, just great background into the characters and Star Wars galaxy. Can't recommend highly enough.
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