Ten years ago, George Lucas asked me to do something. And I didn’t do it. I didn’t not do it to be a jerk. I didn’t try and wait to give myself time to grow a better beard than him. (I couldn’t do it anyway. That dude knows how to rock a beard, especially as I can barely keep my 90’s goatee in line.) No, there were a bunch of reasons. Life reasons. Work reasons. Fear. Laziness. Parenthood. But in the end, I did what he asked and now I really hope he’s cool with it.
You see, ten years ago, he saw my original play Star Wars Trilogy in 30 Minutes. And he loved it. Laughed at it. He even chatted for awhile with myself and the whole cast afterwards. He was warm and funny and said really nice thing to us (and to the press, too!) It was pretty extraordinary. But then he made a request that nearly scared the ewoks out of me. He said that after the prequels were done (this was just after “Clones” came out), we’d have to do all six.
So, only moments after doing my goofy show in honor of the films that shaped my life in front of the guy who created it all and I’m freaking out again. I can’t even enjoy this one fried gold moment for a minute before worrying: “Oh, Bantha poodoo.” (Well, maybe I didn’t think that phrase exactly, but one very near it.) Because however you feel about the prequels, however one feels about the prequels, you can’t fault the ambition of them. The new planets, the new creatures, the new everything… and whereas George had all kinds of CGI to play with, we still just had wifflesabers and pluck.
So he went off and made the last of the prequels and we went off and kept doing our regular thirty minute show. Occasionally at Celebrations after that, we’d do a little skit at the opening ceremonies and we’d perform some of what we’ve ended up doing with the prequels added to the mix. But it was never that easy. Turning the prequels into thirty minutes of goofy theater was hard. Made harder by the fact that the prequels weren’t in my blood as the original trilogy was.
But they were in my son’s. He loves the prequels. He loves the original trilogy. And in the end that’s what made the difference, that this is as much for him as it is for me. I want this to bridge that gap a bit. To show Star Wars is Star Wars and we can all have a laugh about it. That Luke and Leia kissing a lot is kinda weird. That Anakin getting Padmé pregnant and then Force-choking her is not very gentlemanly. That there are a ton of hands getting chopped off, so be careful with your hands.
Now, we’ve done our first week of preview shows here in Los Angeles getting ready for Celebration. And audiences seem to be digging it. There are all new things in the prequels we’ve never done before and they’re getting big laughs. And one reviewer said how she came away from the performance wanting to hang out with Jar Jar. And I think if we’ve done that, we’ve done a little bit for the galaxy. Now, we just have survive the next few weeks of intergalactic warfare at unimaginable speeds. And with this extraordinarily talented group of actors who happen to be the toughest Mother-Fetters out there, I know we can do it. We can do it because this one time, a young farmboy from a little planet in the middle of nowhere changed everything… and so can we.
(Although to be honest, I’ve always really loved Han more.)
Live in the Beverly Hills area? Come see our final local shows next weekend, August 17th-19th. Tickets on sale now!
Star Wars Celebration VI is coming to Orlando, Florida on August 23-26. Join the party that brings together fans of all ages to celebrate the pop culture phenomenon that is Star Wars.