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.
I'm sure you know the story by heart if you are looking at this. What separates this collection of NPR radio dramas? The production is fantastic, even if only a couple of the actors are the 'real' ones in the film. The depth this adds to the familiar story is what makes this stand out. The first two episodes of the thirteen take place before the film opens. A lot of extra dialog and description too. Not only does Han shoot first, he is a very dark character only redeemed by his heroics at the end.
My only other comment is that I would rate it PG. The film has a few curse words, and this production adds a few. There are also sections that are fairly dark, such as Vader's interrogation of Leia. If you have a younger Star Wars fan I don't think I'd recommend this one.
I would listen to this recording again to share with friends and my young son. For the initiated, it provides a new take on the story as it was made popular by the George Lucas blockbuster motion picture. While true to the motion picture in sound effects, characters, and overall tone, the dramatized version provides additional dialogue and scenes that enhance the listener's understanding of the story. Listening to this recording is like experiencing a hybrid of the novelization and the film: you get more depth while still experiencing many of the aspects that made the film thrilling. For those -- like my son -- who are yet to experience the Star Wars motion pictures, this recording still creates vivid images in the minds' eye. It's a great radio serial that is broken into hour-long segments, so it can be taken in incrementally and makes for good listening on car trips.
There are numerous additional scenes and bits of dialogue that are not in the motion picture. Luke's interactions with his child-hood friends from Tatooine stand out to me.
Hamill and Daniels embody their characters with the even greater zeal than they do in the motion picture.
The depiction of Darth Vader interrogating/torturing Princess Leia is disturbing on many levels.
Note: Because of the intense violent scenes depicted in this dramatization, it may not be suitable for very young audiences. I think the absence of visual images causes the listener to internalize the story more within their own imagination. Recommended for listeners over ten-years old.
Bought this for my kids to listen to (and being a Star Wars fan myself). It's great to hear the same story we all know and love, but so much more detail! It's the 2 hour movie told over 6 hours, so like any good book vs. movie comparison it can go into much more detail. The dramatization makes it that much more fun to listen to. The sound effects and background music are superb. Highly recommended.
A 50-something who loves sci-fi, cozy mysteries, thrillers, an occasional romance, and any genre if it is a good story. And especially if it makes me laugh! No vampires or zombies though - these are NOT sci-fi!
This is written and performed as a radio drama, and includes details of the story that can't be conveyed in a film. This is well done, and I found myself visualizing the original movie as I listened. The actors were great, though not all were the original actors in the film. Leia sounded different, but was still good, as were Han and Obi-wan. Whoever portrayed Darth Vader was not well chosen. Though I guess no one could sound as good as James Earl Jones!
Star Wars: the original radio drama will forever be one of my favorites. Yes, some of the voices take some getting used to,(Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels are the only original Star Wars cast members)but for a Star Wars fan who wants to be able to "watch" the movies anywhere, this is the next best thing. It also contains scenes not in the films. Now I can have it on my iPod, this is great.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
THE FORCE CAN HAVE A STRONG INFLUENCE ON THE WEAK MINDED
I must preface this by letting you know that the movie was my favorite of all time. In 1977 I was eighteen and single. Before this I had never gone to see a movie more then once. After seeing this, every time I came upon a friend who had not seen it, I insisted on taking them. I ended up going to the theater seven times. STAY ON TARGET. This dramatized version was an excellent way to bring the story to audio. Besides being very entertaining, much was added to the story and some background information not included in the movie was explained. If you are a fan of the movie, this is a must.
I HAVE A VERY BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS
I will say that I missed James Earl Jones and Harrison Ford. The person who did Han Solo's voice sounded too much like Luke Skywalker. When talking together it could get confusing on who was talking. Also this is 25 or so minute episodes. Each episode starts with and is followed by the theme music. I love the theme music, but it is very loud and if you listen to the whole thing in one day, it is over kill. This was originally done on NPR, as you are told 13 times, an episode at a time.
HELP ME OBI-WAN KENOBI YOUR MY ONLY HOPE
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".
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.
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.
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