The Colorado Symphony took Denver’s Boettcher Concert Hall through an intergalactic space journey on Friday night with a live performance of the 1983 sci-fi blockbuster, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
The performance saw a live, 360-degree screened play-through of the sixth episode of the Star Wars saga by the 80-piece symphony. While John Williams was the original composer to the film’s iconic soundtrack, Friday night’s second-only performance of the Jedi battle was conducted by Brett Mitchell, whose innovative, eclectic, and respectable leadership of the symphony glided music and film fans through the galaxy. As 7 p.m. came around, the theater lights dimmed as the percussion section led fans into the classic 20th Century Fox cinematic opening to begin the two-and-a-half hours of Luke Skywalker completing his destiny of defeating his father Darth Vader on the Death Star to bring balance to the galaxy.
A brief intermission gave the crowd a chance to regain “The Force” just as Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO landed on the forest moon of Endor to meet an adorable yet fiesty tribe of Ewoks. The opening “second set” banter gave way to Mitchell’s storytelling of the symphony’s remarkable musicianship applied to learn the film’s score in just four days in stating, “We’re gonna blow up the second Death Star, and may the force be with you.”
The symphony rose to a climactic musical force as Skywalker battled Darth Vader while the Rebel fleet successfully destroyed the Death Star, allowing the Empire to fall back into balance. The six-minute ending credits were completed with a grand musical peak to send fans off into the night’s symphonic galactic journey, while also making for a wonderful reminder that The Force is always with us.
After a kickoff on Thursday and a second performance last night, the Colorado Symphony completes its symphonic Jedi training with a final matinee performance on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Scroll down for a full gallery from Friday’s show below, courtesy of photographer Colin McKinley.