Listening to Star Wars: Part I

The original radio drama adds character to A New Hope

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Hi everyone, please let me welcome you to part one of my look at a beautiful little Star Wars gem I found on Amazon recently.

Let me briefly set the scene for you before jumping in. My family recently got an Amazon Prime account — something that I’m sure many of you have already had for a while. I decided to have a bit of fun scrolling through and seeing what they had to offer. Even if I couldn’t buy anything (thank you lack of funds, ugh), I enjoyed looking to see what was there. Kind of like electronic window shopping.

While scrolling to the bottom of the page, I saw the “Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations” section. In this list of items, I found a nice little gem that I just had to have. It was called Star Wars: The Original Radio Drama. It’s basically a radio play of the entirety of A New Hope with both Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels reprising their roles.

From the sample alone I knew it was special and — as I said — I just had to have it. So I opened an audible account in my family’s name and took advantage of the free credit that came with opening an account. It was non-stop fun from start to finish; without doubt a fun treat.

As with the recent release of Rogue One in both novel and audiobook formats, this too gave expansion to several scenes from the original movie. With this extra information many scenes suddenly made a lot more sense and gained a lot more depth. Just be warned when listening to this, many things relate to the old canon where basically anything went. This was long before Disney bought the rights to Star Wars.

So overall it was definitely a good listen and is well worth the money (if you have to buy it that is…).

Having covered the basics, I will give my one and only spoiler warning. If you don’t want the extra and more in-depth scenes ruined for you, DO NOT read ahead. Come back and read this next part only after you have listened to the entire thing yourself…unless of course you don’t mind spoilers, in which case, please feel free to read on. You have been warned!

The radio drama opens with Luke listening to an Imperial recruitment tape while working on his T-16 skyhopper, even humming the last few bars of the advertisement. Shortly after it ends, one of his friends named Wendy comes along and invites him over to Tosche Station where a bunch of their friends are. According to him, they’re going to Beggar’s Canyon.

With the help of a few sound effects, they are in the aforementioned location with their friends having fun. I have to say, that it’s nice getting to know Luke better in this manner, to “see” him relaxed and doing what he wants as opposed to what the universe needs him to do. While as a fan I do find his entire story fascinating, it’s nice to get to know this calm and relaxed side to him as well. While we do get a glimpse of it in the deleted scene of him and Biggs (which is also expanded upon here), this obviously just gives more depth to Luke overall.

In the radio play, even Aunt Beru gets more lines. Yes it’s still around the table at breakfast time before Luke goes out to work on the moisture evaporators, but the additional dialogue shows how much she cares for her adopted nephew.

In the next scene we hear just how desperate Luke is to go to the Imperial Academy. The sound in his voice at this point is that of a person about to legitimately cry in frustration. He of course quickly reels the emotion in and goes over what he has to do — thanks to the evaporator he was working on needing to be overhauled.

Before heading back home, Luke decides to check the horizon for any potential storms, sand or otherwise. This is when he sees two Star Destroyers trading lasers overhead. Obviously excited, he instead heads back to Tosche Station to tell his friends about it. It’s here where he runs into Biggs and the original deleted scene from the movie plays out.

The difference between the deleted scene and the radio play is that the two hop into Luke’s skyhopper and talk about Biggs ditching the Empire and joining the Rebellion — away from the station where it’s less likely someone will overhear them. I actually think this is a better choice and makes more sense — in this context at least. Since they are out in the middle of the desert they can see for miles around, thus ensuring that the only person about hear Biggs’s plan is Luke. Normally in a big city — like Mos Eisley — it would make more sense to talk in a crowded place. In the small town where Luke lives, it makes more sense to talk alone than with people around.

On the topic of things making sense, I think I will end this here so that it’s not too long and will continue in part two. Hope to see you all then. In the meantime, May the Force be with you…always.

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