Star Wars: The Complete Trilogy Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Aug 2008
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"* "A master piece of audio craftsmanship and a dazzling technical tour de force." - Omni Magazine."
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Overall, the case works well. Mark Hamil actually plays Luke Skywalker and does a great job of it. Likewise, Anthony Daniels plays C-3P0. Most of the other characters come off at least similar to their on-screen counterparts. Han is appropriately cocky, although he's also more selfish than portrayed in the films. Leia has a good amount of spunk. Unfortunately, the series didn't quite get Darth Vader right. The torture scene with Leia - not in the movie for good reason - was particularly onerous and Vader sounds more like a shrink than a Sith Lord.
One other thing tat bugged me is the episode breaks. Originally, when this aired as a radio show, it was broadcast as 13 episodes, and each time there was an introductory narration and credits. Unfortunately, these remain on the audiobook version. Thus, every 15 minutes or so you hear another listing of credits, then another introduction. I hope future versions eliminate this and allow listeners to hear just one uninterrupted book.
The ESB episode wasn't quite as strong. Luke, Han, and Leia are all well done. However, Vader comes off as corny and Yoda just doesn't have the majesty he demands. Also, it doesn't have many deleted scenes, aside from the Battle of Derra at the beginning. It's about an hour shorter than the ANH radio show.
The ROTJ broadcast is pretty much like the movie - of course, without the space battles and with audio depictions of the land battles. It's actually fairly short - about 2 hours shorter than the ANH radio show. There aren't really any important deleted scenes, except the beginning when Luke is building his lightsaber. Still, it's well done and faithful to the movie. The Ewoks do get a bit more respect than they usually do.
One other thing that bugged me is the episode breaks. Originally, when this aired as a radio show, it was broadcast as 10 episodes, and each time there was an introductory narration and credits. Unfortunately, these remain on the audiobook version. Thus, every 15 minutes or so you hear another listing of credits, then another introduction. I hope future versions eliminate this and allow listeners to hear just one uninterrupted book.
Overall, this is a great set to listen to during commutes, even if you've watch the movie dozens of times already. Fans will appreciate deleted scenes.
Let me begin by stating I am only through A New Hope. I have not begun TESB or ROTJ.
I love the original movies. I grew up with them, the toys and games, and everything else. I'm not as much a fan of the newer movies, et al. Hence, I haven't been on the look out much for new SW stuff. However, I saw these one day while searching for Lord of the Rings stuff, and thought it may be interesting, so I picked this CD trilogy up.
I can't tell you how excited I am I did. The CDs add so much depth to the movies. Not only do you revist every part from the movie, but it's like you found a treasure trove of deleted scenes. Some of these scenes I had heard of or seen before in either books or behind the scenes material, but to see them pefectly fitted in to the story as smooth flowing as it is was just perfect!!
I won't spoil any details for you, but if you are a Star Wars fan, and don't have to have everything presented to you visually, you are going to be in for a huge treat with these CDs. I can't wait to listen through it again just to get more detail. I thought I knew a lot about the original trilogy before, but this just doubled everything I knew. Literally. A New Hope is about 5.5 hours long... 3 or 3.5 hours longer than the movie. That's a lot of extra stuff!! But, it's not time wasting or fluff. It's great detail that adds so much more character depth and so much more to the Star Wars universe at that time.
You won't be disappointed in this gem of a find!!!
I grew up in Canada where the radio series was not to my knowledge broadcast and a friend in the USA kindly alerted me to and taped episodes of the series for me which I listened to for years, practically memorizing them. But I only ever had about three quarters of the STAR WARS episodes and never even knew about the adaptations of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK or the long delayed RETURN OF THE JEDI.
So when I found them all released in a single boxed set many years after I had to get them and no one buying it will be disappointed. Given that Brian Daley (also the author of the Han Solo trilogy) has his own take on the story he does a fascinating job of expanding on the original stories. He captures, I think, the sense of fun of STAR WARS. It's full of quirky humour and fun asides, like the casual abuse suffered by working robots or the hovering-on-farce confrontations between Han Solo and the creepy minions of Jabba the Hutt.
I think that STAR WARS as a whole released a lot of pent-up creativity in my generation and helped to give it a mythological template that owed a lot to many different sources, not least the story of PARSIFAL and the Grail Knights on which STAR WARS is clearly based in part. The radio series expanded on fascinating elements of the story that had to be left out of the features like the friendship between Biggs and Luke, the story of Leia and her idealism leading to the destruction of Alderaan and the bickering antics of R2D2 and Threepio.
Before the sequels and the long wait for the prequels, these things had an intense hold on the imagination of fans like me and the radio series idea was a clever way of doing this. The use of the original audio effects and music from the features make them a satisfying experience on radio. I think anyone with a strong interest in STAR WARS before all the endless poor quality novelisations and Dark Horse comicbooks and tedious controversy over what's 'canonical' and not will find in them a gem which retains all the original spirit of STAR WARS.
For whatever reason, ROTJ was not done as a radio drama. In fact, it was done on the cheap in a studio with virtually no production value at all and done to merely complete the trilogy. I understand why, it is just sad that they had to do it.
Frankly, the production values and back stories in ANH almost make up for the other two's shortcomings.
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