Empire Strikes Back with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra

In July, audiences were transported to a galaxy far, far away thanks to the Queensland Symphony Orchestra performing the iconic musical score to “Star Wars IV: A New Hope”. The orchestra expertly performed John William’s music as the film played on a large movie screen overhead.

Topping that performance was always going to be difficult. But on Saturday night, at the Brisbane Convention Centre, the orchestra did just that. It’s thanks in no small part to the music and film they had to work with. “Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back” is widely considered the best of the Star Wars films and its score is also recognised as the series’ best.

It contains some of the most famous Star Wars music such as the ‘Imperial March’, the theme associated with the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Another favourite is ‘Yoda’s Theme’, or the lovely ‘Han and Leia’ theme that evolves as their romance blossoms.

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra played the music to perfection once again, wowing the audience and earning the players multiple rounds of applause throughout the movie.

For this reviewer though, the perfect recreation of the score made me wish that the orchestra would put a different spin on the material. Reinterpret Williams’ music just a little so that the experience is something new. Unique.

It didn’t take me long to become engrossed in the movie, and it’s then easy to forget the orchestra is there. It can feel like you’re watching the movie in a regular theatre. But if the orchestra put a fresh spin on the score, it would make the experience totally original.

It’s a small quibble, and I’m sure many others will feel differently. But this huge Star Wars fan looks forward to a future performance of Williams’ music that allows the Queensland Symphony Orchestra to create something totally unforgettable and new.

By Paul Mayze