Friday, May 30, 2014

"One-Man Star Wars Trilogy" Coming to OKC

The Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre is presenting the "One-Man Star Wars Trilogy" that runs this weekend through Sunday night.

The single performer, Charles Stuart Ross, created the show in 2001.

He says he is surprised himself to still be doing it for 13 years.

"Star Wars has an incredible shelf life," says the 40-year-old. "It's everywhere. I've traveled to 4 continents. I've performed the show thousands of times in hundreds of cities all over the world."

So what can we expect from the show.

Well, Ross tells me it's Star Wars like you've never seen it before with just one man on a stage with no costumes or props telling the original trilogy in just one hour.

"I'm conjuring Star Wars from the geeky ether, taking us from the very first film to the end of Return of the Jedi. We fight all the battles. There's all the romance. There's all the monsters, all the characters. I fly the ships. I do everything, but it's just me on stage," says Ross.

He says his favorite character to play is Emperor Palpatine.

"He is the antithesis of Luke," he says. "He's an unabashed jerk and a horrible man. I mean, when he's on the screen everybody else disappears."

Ross also has a one man show based off the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson.

He says he's thought about doing a show based off the prequel trilogy, but finds he just doesn't have the same kind of passion he did as a young boy watching Star Wars: A New Hope 400 times.

And, what of the new show Rebels coming out this fall or the new movie next December.

Ross says he's "extremely excited" .

The "One-Man Star Wars Trilogy" is licensed by LucasFilm, but he says it doesn't mean he has any insight in what to expect.

"I'm waiting like the rest of the world to see what's coming up. I hope that it's going to be fantastic, but I have no hand in making that happen."

You can hear my entire interview at

Make sure and get your tickets for the show which runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday night with matinees on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Tickets available at the Oklahoma City Civic Center website

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Star Wars fans: Don't Fear the Reboot

Okay, technically the upcoming Star Wars books, movies and television shows aren't a reboot, more like a return.

But over the past few decades of my life I have seen numerous reboots, returns, revisits, remakes, sequels, and prequels.

Sometimes they work like Doctor Who's return in 2005 after a 16 year hiatus.

Sometimes not so much: I'm looking at you Phantom Menace.

I remember in 1987, it was announced that Star Trek was returning to the small screen.

I was admittedly worried and excited at the same time.

My friends and I had a party the Sunday night Star Trek: The Next Generation aired on Channel 4.

While it might not be as good by today's standards, Encounter at Farpoint blew me away, and I didn't stop watching Star Trek on television until Enterprise was cancelled in 2005.

Certainly a reboot can come with mixed reviews from fans like the recent Star Trek movies.

Personally, I enjoyed them for what they were: entertaining.

And that's the recommendation fans should take into the future of Star Wars, allow yourself to be entertained.

I know there are worries especially since LucasFilm announced it would not recognize the Expanded Universe as canon.

While it might be disappointing that a character like Mara Jade might be gone, it offers an opportunity for those of us who have immersed ourselves in Star Wars lore to see something new.

It's also exciting for someone like my son who will grow up in a world with a guaranteed continuity in everything released.

I don't believe there's been a better time to be a Star Wars fan, but it's only going to be fun if we embrace it and enjoy it.

So don't fear the reboot, or return, of Star Wars, hey, at least we're getting something.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Support for Hayden Christensen at the End of Return of the Jedi

A strange thing happened over the weekend while my wife and I were watching Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi.

First you need to understand my wife is more of a fan of Star Trek then Star Wars, so while she's seen the movies before her memories of them were mostly bits and pieces.

So over the past few months we have been re-watching all the movies in a row from I-VI.

So we come to the end of the movie, which again my wife really doesn't remember all that well.

The alliance on Endor is celebrating the destruction of the second Death Star, Luke turns to see the force ghosts of Obi-Wan and Yoda, and we all know what happens next.

The force ghost of Anakin Skywalker appears.

Originally this was played by Sebastian Shaw, but my wife and I were watching the Blu-Ray version so instead it was Hayden Christensen.

Here's where it got interesting.

My wife sitting next to me gasped when it happened.

I looked over at her, and she was starting to tear up, "OK, that one got me a little," she said.

Again my wife didn't remember the end of ROTJ, and her only real connection to Anakin had been played by Hayden.

To her this was a true redemptive moment.

The young man she last saw in Star Wars III burned and broken was now standing before his own son, whole and healed.

It was the first time I thought, "Hey, maybe Lucas was on to something when he made this change."

There are people young and old whose first introduction to Darth Vader was as that little boy on Tatooine or maybe even the young Jedi fighting in the Clone Wars.

The truth is the six films are supposed to be about the redemption of Anakin, and the change to add Hayden, while lambasted by purists, is actually the right thing to do.

I realize I could get many negative comments on this, and I myself am shocked to hear myself admit it.

We talk so much about George Lucas ruining our childhoods by making changes to the movies, but maybe it's we who are ruining the special moments in rediscovering Star Wars by criticizing every little edit.

It's this negativity the original fans must put aside if we truly want to enjoy what is turning out to be a bright future for the franchise.