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The Complete Star Wars Trilogy: Limited Edition

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Only 7,500 of these deluxe sets of this special NPR-produced, dramatization of "Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back," and "Return of the Jedi" were produced. It's 15 hours on 15 CDs in a handsome, foil-stamped, collector's slipcase. With special bonus tracks never before available, including interviews with the cast members and much more. When this series was first broadca Only 7,500 of these deluxe sets of this special NPR-produced, dramatization of "Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back," and "Return of the Jedi" were produced. It's 15 hours on 15 CDs in a handsome, foil-stamped, collector's slipcase. With special bonus tracks never before available, including interviews with the cast members and much more. When this series was first broadcast on National Public Radio in 1981, it generated the largest response in the network's history: 50,000 letters and phone calls in a single week, an audience of 750,000 per episode, and a subsequent 40-percent jump in NPR listenership. This landmark production, perhaps the most ambitious radio project ever attempted, began when Star Wars creator George Lucas donated the story rights to an NPR affiliate. Writer Brian Daley adapted the film's highly visual script to the special demands and unique possibilities of radio, creating a more richly textured tale with greater emphasis on character development. Director John Madden guided a splendid cast--including Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels, reprising their film roles as Luke Skywalker and the persnickety robot See Threepio--through an intense 10-day dialogue recording session. Then came months of painstaking work for virtuoso sound engineer Tom Voegeli, whose brilliant blending of the actors' voices, the music, and hundreds of sound effects takes this intergalactic adventure into a realm of imagination that is beyond the reach of cinema.


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Only 7,500 of these deluxe sets of this special NPR-produced, dramatization of "Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back," and "Return of the Jedi" were produced. It's 15 hours on 15 CDs in a handsome, foil-stamped, collector's slipcase. With special bonus tracks never before available, including interviews with the cast members and much more. When this series was first broadca Only 7,500 of these deluxe sets of this special NPR-produced, dramatization of "Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back," and "Return of the Jedi" were produced. It's 15 hours on 15 CDs in a handsome, foil-stamped, collector's slipcase. With special bonus tracks never before available, including interviews with the cast members and much more. When this series was first broadcast on National Public Radio in 1981, it generated the largest response in the network's history: 50,000 letters and phone calls in a single week, an audience of 750,000 per episode, and a subsequent 40-percent jump in NPR listenership. This landmark production, perhaps the most ambitious radio project ever attempted, began when Star Wars creator George Lucas donated the story rights to an NPR affiliate. Writer Brian Daley adapted the film's highly visual script to the special demands and unique possibilities of radio, creating a more richly textured tale with greater emphasis on character development. Director John Madden guided a splendid cast--including Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels, reprising their film roles as Luke Skywalker and the persnickety robot See Threepio--through an intense 10-day dialogue recording session. Then came months of painstaking work for virtuoso sound engineer Tom Voegeli, whose brilliant blending of the actors' voices, the music, and hundreds of sound effects takes this intergalactic adventure into a realm of imagination that is beyond the reach of cinema.

30 review for The Complete Star Wars Trilogy: Limited Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    I missed NPR's original broadcast of the first installment of the Star Wars Radio Drama, but I was definitely there for the broadcast of The Empire Strikes Back. Each Sunday evening, I would put a blank BASF cassette into the tape recorder, push the Dolby NR button (without a clue what "Dolby NR" actually meant), and press the Play and Record buttons simultaneously. Back in the days before home video, re-listening to those cassettes (and reading the novels and comic books) was the doorway back i I missed NPR's original broadcast of the first installment of the Star Wars Radio Drama, but I was definitely there for the broadcast of The Empire Strikes Back. Each Sunday evening, I would put a blank BASF cassette into the tape recorder, push the Dolby NR button (without a clue what "Dolby NR" actually meant), and press the Play and Record buttons simultaneously. Back in the days before home video, re-listening to those cassettes (and reading the novels and comic books) was the doorway back into the Star Wars galaxy. I loved it. Push the Fast-Forward button: Now I can watch the original trilogy (preferably in Harmy's Despecialized Editions) anytime I want, on a TV and sound system that I couldn't possibly have imagined when I was a kid. Are the radio dramas still necessary? Most definitely! The radio dramas are still a fantastic doorway into the fictional galaxy that I love. It's much more than simply the audio track of the movies. The scripts move in different directions and at a different pace from the movies. Most notable, of course, are the first two episodes of Star Wars, which show Luke and Leia's lives just before the opening crawl. But all throughout the series (less so with Return of the Jedi) there are little moments that are only in the radio dramas, not in the movies. Somehow it makes the Star Wars world seem more real, that the movies were but one way of reporting the action, but there could be other, equally satisfying, ways. The voice casting is excellent (though, again, it is weakest in Return of the Jedi, which also features the fewest of the original actors). I grew to enjoy Perry King as Han Solo and Ann Sachs as Leia nearly as much as I enjoy the original actors. And Brock Peters is a more fiercely sinister Darth Vader than the film version. The torture scene between Vader and Leia . . . *shudders* Of course the stories wouldn't be the same without John Williams's score or Ben Burtt's sound effects, and they fit in perfectly with the radio dramas. The whole thing is beautifully mixed and sounds wonderful on CD. The weak link in the series is Return of the Jedi, which was produced years after the movie. It's nice to have it, to complete the story, but it often feels like more of an afterthought than the first two. The story is rushed, there are fewer added scenes, and there's a lot more of characters simply describing what's going on around them ("Oh my, it looks like Boba Fett's misfiring rocket pack has caused him to collide with the side of Jabba's sail barge!" etc.). If someone could put the same care from the first two adaptations into a radio drama of The Force Awakens, that would be excellent--a great way to fill in some of the obvious gaps left by the movie's storytelling. We've just finished listening to these on a long summer road trip, and we all loved it. It's the second or third time we've used it to pass the hours on long driving days, and we'll probably do it again. For me, this is the gold standard of audio dramas (maybe sharing that title with Adventures in Odyssey and the BBC's production of The Lord of the Rings). I always enjoy returning to those "characters and situations created by George Lucas."

  2. 4 out of 5

    S. J.

    While I have yet to listen to this set completely, I have listened to all the dramas separately through the help of a wonderful library system. Since it has been so long, I can't give a truly in depth review but merely point out things I liked and didn't like. Things I like: I loved how in A New Hope, we get to 'hear' more of Luke on Tatooine. We see him interacting with peers and we get to meet Biggs who for anyone who read the novel was conspicuously absent in the film. I liked how well they wer While I have yet to listen to this set completely, I have listened to all the dramas separately through the help of a wonderful library system. Since it has been so long, I can't give a truly in depth review but merely point out things I liked and didn't like. Things I like: I loved how in A New Hope, we get to 'hear' more of Luke on Tatooine. We see him interacting with peers and we get to meet Biggs who for anyone who read the novel was conspicuously absent in the film. I liked how well they were put together and how much back story was in all three of them. In some ways, they are indeed better than the films. I liked the use of sound effects and many of the voices, both old friends and new ones. Things I Didn't Like: While nearly all the voices were good, it does take some getting use to when you don't hear people you know very well doing the roles they are best known to you for. The drama can drag a bit in a couple of places. All in all, this is well worth a look at by any fan of Star Wars. It has problems, but it is an experience that should not be missed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bernard

    My dad recorded the Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back presentations when they aired on NPR, onto his reel to reel audio tape recording system. Later he copied these to cassette tape, and my brother and sister and I listened to them over, and over, and over.... Even a few years ago I was still playing them in my car on the way to work and back. We didn't manage to capture a recording the Return of the Jedi when it came on NPR many years later, and I felt this was a big hole in my life and hoped t My dad recorded the Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back presentations when they aired on NPR, onto his reel to reel audio tape recording system. Later he copied these to cassette tape, and my brother and sister and I listened to them over, and over, and over.... Even a few years ago I was still playing them in my car on the way to work and back. We didn't manage to capture a recording the Return of the Jedi when it came on NPR many years later, and I felt this was a big hole in my life and hoped that one day it would be joyously plugged. It was--and the CD version of the complete trilogy was the square peg (box) that fit snugly into this whole in my soul. All three dramas are pure brilliance. Daley was at his finest in these shows, turning the cinematic adventures into a visually splendid audio dramatization. Yes, I write 'visually' because through the dialog and masterfully mixed sound effects, I can see the adventure in my mind's eye, and long after the closing credits (complete with John Williams' score) I can hear the characters' voices in my head.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Will Wright

    So Turns a Galaxy.... "The Sounds of theatre.....on National Public Radio" During the summer of 1983, when I was a mere 13-years old, I had the pleasure of recording NPR's production of "The Empire Strikes Back" Radio Drama Series off the air using one of those Radioshack not so powerful Boom Boxes of that era (a Realistic SCR-2, I believe? ) while listening to it in the dark of night - in my closet no less - in order so that I could actually hear it. ( Needless to say - that's another story in an So Turns a Galaxy.... "The Sounds of theatre.....on National Public Radio" During the summer of 1983, when I was a mere 13-years old, I had the pleasure of recording NPR's production of "The Empire Strikes Back" Radio Drama Series off the air using one of those Radioshack not so powerful Boom Boxes of that era (a Realistic SCR-2, I believe? ) while listening to it in the dark of night - in my closet no less - in order so that I could actually hear it. ( Needless to say - that's another story in and of itself. ) I had never actually heard "Star Wars" when it originally when out "over the air". However, the parents of one of my best childhood friends at the time had bought, at $5 bucks a cassette tape ( which, was like $$$$$$ in the early 80's) some extremely good, shall we say?, "bootleg" recordings from an employee who worked @ our local NPR radio station and I later used my 1986 Radio Shack (13-1219) Realistic-Clarinette's 115 double tape deck - ( my 1st stereo system ) to dub them using, in this case, some rather cheap Scotch 3M Highlander cassettes; you know -the ones with the semi-translucent see-through blue shells. Sigh. I was a kid, ok? Cassette One (Episodes 1 & 2 - A Wind to Shake the Stars & Points of Origin ) was one of my favorites, mainly because most of that material came from the "missing" 1st ( and as of yet, unfinished) 20-minute reel of film - which reveal glimpses of Luke's life on Tatooine - working on his Uncle Owen's moisture farm, dreaming of entering the Imperial Space Academy, and racing his Skyhopper in the dangerous stretches of Beggar's Canyon. In Episode 2, we get Princess Leia's backstory with her involvement in the Rebellion. This was the 1st attempt at the Expanding Universe - so yeah-it's different than the way the story was portrayed in Rogue One, which is too bad - because THIS, I dare say - is better! Although, I must admit, having just finished listening to this series again when I was traveling cross country two summers ago with my friend Matt, that I believe Episode 4 of Empire - titled "Fire and Ice" - is easily the best-produced episode of the entire series, just in terms of sheer production value. Speaking of which, the audio in this series is better than in the films. Rest assure this simply isn't just some "book-on-tape" with added background music to accompany the narration and dialog. No, no, no. Utilizing both Lucasfilm's sound effects library, and the world' 1st Digital Sound system manufactured by 3M - sound mixer and series producer Tom Voegeli built this series "from scratch". This is truly "theatre of the mind's eye" with an audio landscape so rich in detail the scenes allow the listener to build / visualize great images. Keep in mind this program was produced not that long after former President Ronald Reagan just took office, and the VCR was just starting to sell. It be a couple years yet til Star Wars was available on VHS for retail sale - those early tapes ran upwards of $100 -( yeah -good luck in getting my parents to buy that ) and oh , Blockbuster Video wasn't on every corner yet. Not to mention, other than the film's soundtrack, the only other way to "get" "Star Wars" back then was to listen to the famous "Story of Star Wars" record (or cassette, open reel - or if you were one of those lucky few, 8-track). While taken directly from the film's audio track, it timed out @ just under 50 minutes. Also, the film's Original Soundtrack itself only contained about half the music used in the film. The Radio Drama times out just shy of six-hours just for Star Wars alone! I'll never forget that day in 1993 when I I walked into Books-a-Million and laid eyes on the Highbridge Audio version of this. I had no idea it was being released. Seeing it was a shock. Finally! There IT was! OH - "Hello there" Ear candy! It was mine, and to this day, I still have that receipt. Now- I will say that for some odd reason - the only thing I didn't like about the packaging was that fact that pictures of the characters from the film were placed inside the program booklet. I always felt that one of the key advantages of The Radio Drama was that you, the listener, could make up both what the character's and the scenes looked like yourself. So my version of the story "looked" different in my head than the film. Also, and I'm willing to bet that many young listeners don't know this, but this release is actually Missing the original "An adaption for Radio in 13-parts" opening tagline from the original broadcast version. Truth be told, these store bought CD's will never replace the fond childhood memories of those old home-recorded cassette tapes - of that great adventure that once took place in my head, a long time ago, in a galaxy, far, far, away.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Randy

    So much fun to listen to these 3 classic movies gone audio. Episode IV is almost a new story in itself with additional story line. Characters are so much more active as you have to use your imagination to picture the scenes. Loved it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Being a fan of Star Wars, I really enjoyed listening to this radio drama. I didn't like having to listen to the credits at the end of every episode, but loved the recap at the start of each episode.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    I know it’s not technically cannon anymore but I really enjoyed this. It’s a fun audio drama of the movies with some original cast members.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robert Kingett

    Best radio dramas I've heard in a while. These special audio adaptions add some great Easter eggs to go along with the old movies.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    I listen to a lot of audiobooks, so when I saw this at the library I thought I would really enjoy it. There are sound effects, background music, multiple voice actors... It was a great production. My problem was that it wasn't an audiobook (and doesn't claim to be). I just had a hard time maintaining my interest because it was written as a screenplay and therefore relied on the dialogue and sound effects for all imagery. I personally needed some description of the scenery and action, but it wasn I listen to a lot of audiobooks, so when I saw this at the library I thought I would really enjoy it. There are sound effects, background music, multiple voice actors... It was a great production. My problem was that it wasn't an audiobook (and doesn't claim to be). I just had a hard time maintaining my interest because it was written as a screenplay and therefore relied on the dialogue and sound effects for all imagery. I personally needed some description of the scenery and action, but it wasn't there (and again, as a screenplay, it wasn't supposed to be there). Overall, a great production, just not for me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cloak88

    These are the Original Star Wars Radio Dramas ~~~ 5 stars If you are a fan of the original trilogy these are for you. In these Radio Dramas the story of Star Wars Episode 4-6 are retold in excellent form. Accompanied by the familiar music and sound effects the Voice Actors do a very good job of getting you into the Original Story. As any fan wil know the story starts with a lone farmboy on Tatooine and ends on The Forest Moon of Endor, but in between a number of connecting and flavor scenes were These are the Original Star Wars Radio Dramas ~~~ 5 stars If you are a fan of the original trilogy these are for you. In these Radio Dramas the story of Star Wars Episode 4-6 are retold in excellent form. Accompanied by the familiar music and sound effects the Voice Actors do a very good job of getting you into the Original Story. As any fan wil know the story starts with a lone farmboy on Tatooine and ends on The Forest Moon of Endor, but in between a number of connecting and flavor scenes were added to both further flesh out the story, but also expand on the characters. An especially nice toch is the fact that a number of characters are voiced by their movie actors. Among them Luke Skywalker and C-3PO. Overall a really good experience with only a small dip in quality near episode 6. (Hence the lack of a 5 star review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hamster

    I don't think of myself as a Star Wars "fan". I really liked the (original) movies, and won't say no to a well-illustrated graphic novel. I picked this up at the library mostly due to the lack of good audio books, but found it surprisingly well done. The biggest distraction was having only some of the original movie actors. I enjoyed the added scenes, which although campy at times, added to the characterization. This coupled with John Williams brilliant score was sufficient to move me to tears a I don't think of myself as a Star Wars "fan". I really liked the (original) movies, and won't say no to a well-illustrated graphic novel. I picked this up at the library mostly due to the lack of good audio books, but found it surprisingly well done. The biggest distraction was having only some of the original movie actors. I enjoyed the added scenes, which although campy at times, added to the characterization. This coupled with John Williams brilliant score was sufficient to move me to tears a couple times. Yes I cried. At least I don't dress up for comic-con. I've never even been to comic-con so stop thinking of me that way. I blame it on my having seen the films so long ago. The whole experience was very nostalgic for me. Stop laughing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    b.andherbooks

    I listened to part of The Empire Strikes Back, and it was marvelous! Containing the complete Star Wars Trilogy Radio Dramas produced for NPR and featuring the voice of Mark Hamil (and others), this is a a fun way to expand your love of the original trilogy. Many familiar elements and many new scenes or perspectives. The music and sound effects were awesome. I'll pick this up again when I have a long road trip planned.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This was fun to listen to. It made me full of nostalgia. These are a must for Star Wars nerds. You have to adjust to the different actors, only Anthony Daniels performs Threepio in all three, but the score and sound effects make up for it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Catt

    Dare i say it? This was better than the movies! =0) i loved the sound effects, the soundtrack & the amazing plot. Some of the voices where a tad off...but all together, this was an amazing feat of entertainment! Thank you George Lucas!!!! Dare i say it? This was better than the movies! =0) i loved the sound effects, the soundtrack & the amazing plot. Some of the voices where a tad off...but all together, this was an amazing feat of entertainment! Thank you George Lucas!!!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    This audio series was pretty entertaining, but the quality seemed to drop a little with each episode.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    This excellent dramatization made this year's road trip more memorable and exciting!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Top Cat =^_^=

    This was very entertaining and well done. I loved listening to this Radio Drama. Highly recommend.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    New Hope and Empire are both 5s. Return of the Jedi is more of a 4. Many of the original actors do the voices in the first 2 series, which made them more enjoyable, but all were really fun!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Debra Cook

    Great to listen to star wars for radio.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Excellent adaptation. Decently written, well acted and directed. Recommended to all fans of The Force (light or dark).

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott E

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mhorg

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bradley D Vereen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ike Reeder

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marcus

  29. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Andersen

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ike Reeder

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