When the Music Makes the Movie

As a first generation, original Star Wars fan, I watched the movie in early June 1977 – and proceeded to watch it 3 more times over the next 10 days, each time watching or listening for a different aspect of the movie.

The reason?

I had already read the book.

A paperback book ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster and based on the screenplay by George Lucas was first published in the U.S. as Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker in November 1976 by Ballantine Books, six months before the theatrical release of the film. A second (Splinter of the Mind’s Eye) followed a few months later.

That was my introduction to Star Wars.

Needless to say, in the 47 years since, I’ve not only followed the development of the Star Wars universe personally, I’ve raised a Star Wars family.

Movies in the theater, LEGO sets by the dozen, VHS tapes, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, CDs of the soundtracks, books, theme park visits, and more – you name it, Star Wars has been a part of our greater household for decades.

Last year, though, my wife Anita and I experienced Star Wars in a new way – in a concert by the Charlotte Symphony.

With the full-length movie playing on a huge screen suspended above the full orchestra, the effect was mind-blowing.

Music has always been an integral part of the Star Wars movies. With the brilliant composing of John Williams, all nine Star Wars movies have been made greater by the music.

As a matter of fact, the second time I watched the original Star Wars movie in 1977, it was with my eyes closed, just so I could soak in the music.

And do, here we are exactly a year later, and Anita and I will be joined by my daughter and son-in-law on March 18 to see The Return of the Jedi.

I may keep my eyes open, but it will be to sneak a peek at the conductor and orchestra, as they utilize their talents to bring the movie to life once again.