Review: Jump to lightspeed with Topps’ Star Wars radio drama

81N9oHXSjCL._SL1500_This is quite an interesting little item that dropped by our door here at Nerd Reactor. I don’t think it is #ThrowbackThursday, but Topps has re-released the classic Star Wars radio drama that aired on NPR in the ’80s. The original series first ran in 1981 and for the first time in ages, it is available on CD with over 30 minutes of unreleased bonus audio and behind-the-scenes interviews. The special collectors edition comes with over 6 hours of audio and each disc comes with a commemorative limited edition trading card.

Being a fan of the Star Wars universe and all around mythology, I couldn’t pass up the chance to check this out. I have never been big on radio dramas, but I have heard a couple of classic shows like War of the Worlds and The Shadow. What made me more intrigued is the fact that Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels reprise their roles as Luke Skywalker and C-3PO. While the disc I received focused on much of the story fans may already know in Episode IV: A New Hope, the radio show does give you a little more back story. Not too much, but it’s enough to add more to the characters.

The radio show reveals more about Luke and his friendship with Biggs Darklighter. Biggs and Luke were longtime friends. Growing up they dreamed of joining the Imperial Academy together, starting their own business and buying their own starship. Sadly, Luke’s Uncle Owen insisted that he stay and Luke was left behind.  Biggs does return  in the story and tells young Skywalker that he wants to leave the Imperial Academy and join the Rebel Alliance. Later in the story Biggs and Luke reunite as they are now part of the rebellion. Surprisingly, Biggs’ character had a much bigger role in the original draft of the film’s script and his story is much more flushed out in the radio show. Biggs was actually one of the fighters tasked with covering Luke during his infamous run down the Death Star trench in the film. Sadly, he is killed by Darth Vader protecting his friend.

Aside from a handful of added scenes, the show is very similar to film. The voice actors are obviously different, but they do their best to stay true to the source material. I did enjoy listening to how the show’s producers tried to recreate certain scenes from the movie only using sound. They did have original John Williams’ score and many of the well-known sound effects, but to convey a scene where intergalactic war is going on only using sound is quite a feat. In the end, it was an interesting and unique experience listening to the radio show. I enjoyed learning a new aspect to the Star Wars myth that I never know prior. The CD is a new piece of history for any avid Star Wars fan.

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