Star Wars Celebration VI Report! Star Wars In 60 Minutes

by Jay Malone

When one of the panels you attend has George Lucas making a surprise appearance, it takes a LOT for another event to surpass it as far as levels of fun are concerned. Star Wars In 60 Minutes was just such a panel.

The show was simple enough: a troupe of tremendously kinetic actors would perform the entire Star Wars saga in 60 minutes (including the Holiday Special), with minimal props, non-existent makeup, and copious amounts of laughs. I was promised in the show program a ‘hit romp’ – honestly, someone at ReedPop needs to rethink the descriptions they provide, because between this being mildly described as a ‘hit romp’ and Carrie Fisher’s panel being described as ‘irreverent’ someone really needs to get a handle on their adverbs and adjectives.

The show is the next evolution in the Star Wars In 30 Minutes show that has been performed at previous Celebrations (as well as in the LA area from what I can glean from their website), now featuring all six of the Star Wars films. The audience was greeted at the start of the performance by the director (who also featured as Yoda and other characters within the ensemble) and informed that we would need to keep the aisles of the Chapin theater clear as the performers would be ‘using the aisles’…again, this show was a study in understatement, and I love it for it.

The story follows the trilogies faithfully – using authentic dialogue from the films. Where the cast truly excels is in their delivery and use of props – folding chairs with LED’s in the legs as X-Wings, black sunglasses representing Darth Vader’s helmet, a pair of tighty-whities and an overactive tongue as Jabba the Hutt…on paper, it sounds ridiculous, and in truth it is – but it works on a level I can’t truly begin to describe.

The cast frequently flies in and off the stage, gliding across platforms after entering at a full sprint, and in the case of Yoda, crashing down onto his knees. I’ve seen many shows in my life – many an improv event, sketch groups, as well as Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in the round – and I’m hard pressed to think of another show that left me as truly energized as Star Wars In 60 Minutes – the closest I can think of would have been Stomp, but Stomp didn’t have a deadpanned Queen Amidala nailing her lines, an R2-D2 that took more abuse than a hockey goalie, or a Shmi Skywalker more interested in caressing Qui-Gon Jinn than seeing her future genocidal offspring off to the Jedi academy.

As is the case with shows of this nature, there were occasions where the entire thing broke down – lines were forgotten in fits of laughter, the inherent kinetic nature of the show caused several characters to slip during their entrance (most notably Yoda, whose knees I can’t imagine feel good in any way), lightsabers were dropped, R2 fell off a podium crashing to the stage, and in one extreme circumstance, the curtains masking the backstage performers began to collapse. Lesser performers would have been completely derailed by this, but the cast and crew sprang to life and made it part of the show. The actor playing the Emperor casually looked behind him, and deadpanned “Oh, don’t worry, I’ve got my best people on it.” All of this only added to the performance and showed exactly how professional the cast was – none of it permanently derailed the show.

I was worried that choosing to go to the Star Wars In 60 Minutes panel would have been a disappointment as I chose to attend it over the Super Secret Star Wars Panel with Todd, Seth, and Matt, but I can tell you without question not only did I make the right decision, I would make the decision a hundred times out of a hundred, having now seen the show. The troupe of Star Wars In 60 Minutes are an impeccably talented group, and watching them perform was not only a laugh a minute, it was truly inspiring and a heartfelt love letter to the Star Wars Universe, its fans, and its creators.

I tweeted after the show that they brought the house down with their performance. And I can say without hesitation, I’ll be attending all four performances at Celebration VII.


Star Wars In 60 Minutes can be found online and on Twitter – check out their website for show information and future performance information!


Jay Malone is contributing to UnderScoopFire after attending Star Wars Celebration VI in person. Follow him on Twitter @JCorduroy.


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