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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Star Wars

Last night I attended the Star Wars concert at Roy Thomson Hall, performed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. And it was grand.

The guest conductor was Erich Kunzel, of the Cincinnati Pops, and the special guest narrator was Anthony Daniels, who should need no introduction here as C-3P0. The man is a freak, coming out on stage in a golden jacket, and also an excellent mimic, doing the Alec Guiness voice, among others, at the appropriate moments.

The organizers didn't skimp on pandering to the fans. They got a couple of the local Star Wars groups (the Toronto 501st and the Rebel Legion) to show up in costume inside and outside RTH, and they had the Lego Darth Vader and R2-D2 on display in the main lobby.

I paid the money for a good seat on the main floor, a few rows from the back, but square in the center, directly facing the orchestra. I swear, while the orchestra was tuning up as we waited for the concert to begin, all playing different short bits of music, it sounded just like the concert scene from the end of Close Encounters. Then the Mississauga Choral Society files into the balcony overlooking the orchestra, all dressed in black and being instantly re-dubbed (in my mind at least) the Imperial Chorus.

They performed music starting right from Episode I and running thru chronologically to Episode VI, with Daniel's doing narration of where we are in the story in between each piece, and playing up C-3P0's role rather a lot. Five pieces were played from each movie, except for Episodes II and II, which got only one piece apiece, the final duel in Ep III, and the Padme/Anakin romp thru the fields in Ep II (which was an awful scene, but a very nice piece of music).

I felt for the chorus, as they had only two pieces in the whole two hours (Duel of the Fates from Ep I, and the other duel in Ep III). And just had to sit there otherwise. I though they might have Gameboys or knitting to pass the time, but reports from friends right up in the balcony assured me this was not so. This must be why they were the big bucks.

The performance was just great, and makes me realize I should get out to see the TSO more often, they are worth it. And for the encore they did the cantina band theme (from the one, true Star Wars)