For those of us who who grew up in the 1970s and 80s, the original Star Wars trilogy (Episodes IV, V and VI, oddly) left an indelible mark—at least it did on anyone worth knowing.
So affected were we by George Lucas’s galaxy of Jedis, Jawas, Rebels and Stormtroopers, we collect life-sized props and miniature representations of our favorite characters from the films, we wear costumes or T-shirts with quotes such as, “Do…or do not. There is no try,” “Never tell me the odds,” or, most famously, “May the Force be with you,” and we repeat line after line of dialogue while laughing with friends.
This Saturday, August 8, Guild Hall is welcoming a man whose passion for “The Trilogy” (there is only one—sorry Lord of the Rings fans) goes well beyond your average Star Wars-obsessed Gen Xer. In his One-Man Star Wars Trilogy performance, Charles Ross takes audiences through Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, acting them out scene by scene, complete with perfectly delivered dialogue, sound effects, music and movements that bring it all to life. Using neither props nor special sound generator, Ross puts viewers right into the action, conjuring each moment from the films with an acuity that leaves us scratching our heads, looking to our right and left, and agreeing, “The Force is strong with this one.”
But One-Man Star Wars Trilogy isn’t simply a 75-minute rehash of Lucas’s iconic films. Along the way, from the first yellow rolling credits to the Ewok celebration on Endor, Ross injects humor into his show and takes liberties that will entertain even those complete freaks who have never watched the movies. He adds lyrics to John Williams’ classic score, he gives us Han Solo’s feelings while trapped in carbonite, he turns his hands into Jabba the Hutt’s grotesque, licking tongue.
Such is Ross’s love for Star Wars, he doesn’t play favorites. The performer fights both sides of the battles, equally enthusiastic for Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and Grand Moff Tarkin as he is for Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and their lovable droids, R2D2 and C3PO. Heck, he probably loves Admiral “It’s a Trap” Ackbar and Dengar as much as the others.
And sure, the first Star Wars trilogy may have a special place in the hearts of the newly balding, greying and slightly paunchy set, but we’re not alone. With the advent of the prequels—The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith (God help us)—in the 1990s, the new films starting with The Force Awakens (in December 2015), and cartoons such as The Clone Wars (2008–2015), not to mention all those Lego toys, many younger people are now just as devoted.
So it’s probably a safe bet that anyone, adults and children alike, will have a blast at this show.
That said, nerf herders need not apply.
Charles Ross performs One-Man Star Wars Trilogy at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater (158 Main Street) in East Hampton this Saturday, August 8 at 8 p.m. Call the box office at 631-324-4050 or visit guildhall.org for tickets.