One Man Star Wars™ Trilogy

Between Episode IV and V of Charles Ross’s One Man Star Wars Trilogy, the writer/performer spent some time polling the audience. During that, one man admitted to having never seen a single Star Wars film. In response, Ross admitted, “You’re probably not going to get a whole lot out of this.” Fair enough. Though totally incomprehensible to those unfamiliar with the iconic sci-fi series, to the die-hards, One Man Star Wars is a brilliantly performed parody, crafted with precision and love.

A fun, fast-paced and impressive dash through the original trilogy.

Ross guides his audience through the series almost scene by scene, breaking things down to key dialogue points, supported by sound effects, impressions, and impressive mime. While Ross’s Darth Vader is a little weak (to be fair: James Earl Jones is one-of-a-kind), his R2D2 is impeccable. And his mime never fails to be evocative; clearly driven by his high-energy, Ross was sweating profusely by the end of the show. At it’s best, I was able to see the scene being represented, as if his actions were overlaid by a film projection.

This devoted imitation lays the groundwork for the humour. His pace is unrelenting, up until the point he stops for an aside, commenting on the particular idiosyncrasies of the franchise. Though his jokes aren’t always original (Anakin is whiny, Chewie deserves a medal at the end of Part IV, too, and isn’t it weird that the twins kiss?), it’s delivered with enough energy and sincerity that I wanted to laugh, just to join him in the fun.

But it is definitely the case that one’s enjoyment of the show is directly proportional to his or her knowledge of the franchise. I’d say that I know Star Wars pretty well, but I don’t particularly recall every scene that happens in the desert before Anakin meets Obi-Wan (do you?), and so I couldn’t “see” these scenes as they were re-enacted, and I lost my connection to the thread of the story, picking up again at the next recognisable scene. That happened a few times, mostly around the complicated battle sequences that are most difficult to recreate, but every time, I found my way back to the story, and my enjoyment of it.

This is the perfect show for someone has a frame-for-frame memory of the Star Wars series. Even for the more casual fan, it’s a fun, fast-paced and impressive dash through the original trilogy. “The force is strong with this one.”

Reviews by Bennett Bonci

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Performances

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The Blurb

Since Charles Ross first brought his hilarious show to Edinburgh ten years ago, it has established itself as a Fringe favourite. Relive the classic first three Star Wars™ movies, as he plays all the characters, sings the music, flies the ships, fights the battles and condenses the plots into just sixty minutes! Written and performed by Ross and directed by TJ Dawe, this show has toured the world extensively since 2001. (One Man Star Wars™ Trilogy performed with permission of Lucasfilm Ltd. All Star Wars elements property of Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.)

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