In the 1980’s National Public Radio (NPR) produced an expanded radio dramatization of the original Star Wars movie, but how would a radio dramatization of Star Wars have sounded if done in the 1940’s?
Between March 2nd and March 25th of 1982 NPR or National Public Radio aired a 13-part radio serial of George Lucas’s 1977 movie Star Wars. The radio serial used earlier drafts of Lucas’s scripts, restored several scenes cut from the final edit of the film and adding original new scenes created specifically for the audio version.
Jump ahead to the year 2000 and the Lux Radio Theater group retold George Lucas’s 1977 Star Wars film as a live 1940’s period recreation “The Adventures of Luke Skywalker” adding narration and using movie stars of the era. Obviously, they couldn’t use the actual stars of the time, instead they used a group of talented people who did voice reproductions.
The Lux Radio Theater group used a live crew of foley artists to perform the sound effects. The original Star Wars sound effects and the musical score were ‘remastered’ to 1940’s quality like a B-17 Bomber drone for the Millennium Falcon’s engines and a ‘big band’ version of the Cantina music.
As a Star Wars fan, I was very much aware of the NPR serials of the original Star Wars movies and have listened to all three. With the NPR serials you must be willing to dedicate some time to listen to all three series, Star Wars itself is 5 hours 56 minutes alone. The Lux Radio Theater group version of Star Wars is a nice ninety minutes in length.
I realize I’m posting about a recreation of a 1940’s radio drama of Star Wars done twenty-one years ago, but in all honesty, I only recently discovered this unique telling of George Lucas’s 1977 space opera. I found this version interesting, but also entertaining. Is it something I may listen to multiple times? Possibly. If you have listened to NPR’s serials of the original Star Wars movie and you enjoyed, then I would encourage you to check out this version at least once.
“The Adventures of Luke Skywalker” performance was originally released as a two-disc CD set but copies are no longer available. The website StardustOTR.com posted a copy of the show on its website in December of 2015 if you wish to check it out.
The Adventures of Luke Skywalker – Cast
Luke Skywalker – Mickey Rooney
Han Solo – Humphrey Bogart
Princess Leia – Katharine Hepburm
Grand Moff Tarkin – Eric Von Strohelm
Obi-Wan Kenobi – Jimmy Stewart
C3PO – Oliver Hardy
R2D2 – Stan Laurel
Chewbacca – Rin-Tin-Tin
Darth Vader – Bela Lugosi
Uncle Owen – Jack Benny
Aunt Beru – Mae West
General Dodonna – JackWebb
Red Leader – John Wayne
Red Two (Wedge) – Henry Aldridge
Red Three (Biggs) – Ronald Coleman
Red Six (Porkins) – Orson Wells
Red Nine – Groucho Marx
Red Seven – Harpo Marx
Red Ten – Chico Marx
Gold Leader – Curly Howard
Gold Two – Larry Fine
Gold Five – Moe Howard
Admiral Motti – Edward G. Robinson
Commander Togge – Peter Lorre
Imperial Commander – Basil Rathbone
Imperial Officer – Claude Rains
Imperial Announcer – Boris Karloff
Dr. Evazan – Ed Wynn
Greedo – Keye Luke
Bartender – Sheldon Leonard
Technician – Gale Gordon
Narrator – Tadoo Tomomatsu
Host – Cecil B. DeMille
Categories: Star Wars