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Star Wars: The Original Radio Drama Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company; Unabridged,Original radio broadcast; 6 hours on 7 CDs edition (March 24, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565110056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565110052
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

At first glance, it seems difficult to imagine Star Wars presented as a radio serial. Wouldn't the story be weakened by the loss of visuals? This remarkable production, broadcast on National Public Radio in 1981, proves that sounds convey pictures quite well on their own. John Williams's original score and sound effects from the film add drama and depth to the story, and the characters are brought to life by a talented cast including Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels reprising their roles as Luke Skywalker and C-3PO. Though Brock Peters's Darth Vader is a bit of a disappointment (James Earl Jones left some pretty big boots to fill), Perry King does a fine turn as Han Solo, and Ann Sachs makes a believable Princess Leia. The story itself has been greatly expanded, and listeners are treated to several new scenes, including conversations between Princess Leia and her father on Alderaan and Biggs Darklighter's confession to Luke that he had decided to join the Rebel Alliance after leaving the Imperial Space Academy. Presented in 13 episodes, this excellent radio drama is enjoyable even for those whom audiobooks usually leave cold. As series director John Madden noted during the production, "You may think you've seen the movie; wait till you hear it." (Running time: 6 hours, 6 cassettes) --C.B. Delaney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


HighBridge Co. has issued the complete National Public Radio production of Star Wars: The Radio Drama. It consists of 13 half-hour episodes. There is a full cast, including movie performers Mark Hamill (Luke) and Anthony Daniels (C3PO). There also is music and sound effects. It clearly demonstrates that good radio drama is not dead. The series covers the same ground as the original movie; but because of the added length, there are details the movie could hope to include. In fact, it explains some things (such as individual character's motivations) that were best hinted at...in the movie. -- Indianapolis Star, June 9, 1993

Customer Reviews

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The sound effects and story line are great, and really add to the movie series.
Vanessa Pruitt - Natural Family Today
Both the sound effects by Ben Burtt and of course the original film score by John Williams are absolutely splendid.
John Kwok
In listening to this I was not disappointed and as crazy as this sounds I liked it better than the movie.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alex Diaz-Granados on May 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
At first, the idea seems bizarre, even ridiculous. Star Wars, a movie best known for its vistas of alien worlds and epic battles, as a 13 part radio drama? No way would it work, right?
Well, unless you have the cold heart of a Sith, Star Wars did indeed translate well from the silver screen to radio, thank you very much. Yes, Star Wars' visual effects are a big part of the magic of the saga, but the heart and soul of George Lucas' galaxy far, far away are the characters and the storyline. And while the movie is satisfying on its own, the radio dramatization written by the late Brian Daley takes us beyond the movie....beyond the screenplay...and even beyond the novelization.
By expanding the movie's story beyond its two hour running time, the Radio Drama allows us to catch glimpses of Luke Skywalker's life BEFORE the movie. It tells us how Princess Leia acquired the Death Star plans....and what, exactly, happened to her during her interrogation aboard the Empire's battle station...(it is an interesting scene, but not for the squeamish, by the way). In short, by expanding the story to nearly seven hours, characters we loved on screen acquire depth only equaled by novelizations.
The Radio Drama makes extensive use of material written (and in some cases filmed) for A New Hope's silver screen version but cut for editorial or technical reasons. Also, Ben Burtt's sound effects, John Williams' score, and the acting of Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Anthony Daniels (See Threepio) give the whole project its "true" Star Wars cachet.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Silverstein on June 10, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
I have several copies of the NPR StarWars trilogy on CD-ROM. I listen to them on the road and love the continual discovery of the depth of the characters, the use of sound effects, the skill of the actors in portraying everything from stealth to hard work to pain to love. I do have a warning to early collectors of these CDs. The original limited edition of the trilogy had wonderful interviews of the cast and the alternate scenes that were recorded. But HighBridge did not use good CDs. The CD label graphics merged with the color laser technology that created the disk content, wiping out any audio on the CDs. My now useless set is numbered in the 9000s. HighBridge has the masters but declines to reissue to those whose numbered copies were produced on low quality CDs. So if you want to purchase a numbered copy with interviews, rather than the current copies, be warned.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By wcj on August 3, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
This Radio Dramatization is excellant. It keeps the original spirit of Star Wars (A New Hope) while telling the story in a different way. The scenes and diologue that were not in the movie give a different perspective to the story that does nothing short of enrich it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Deadman on March 30, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I recently wrote a review for the Return of the Jedi adaption on NPR which I gave a mere three stars. I cited poor directing, acting and lack of added material.

These complaints cannot be levelled against this, the first of the NPR dramatisations.
The acting is spot on, with Perry King providing a rougher verion of Solo that goes over well, as opposed to the next two adaptions where it begins to grate. Mark Hamil and Anthony Daniels are naturally perfect at the characters that defined them for a decade and more after the original trilogy finished. Bernard Behrens does a surprisingly good Ben Kenobi, and Brock Peters likewise with Vader. They are not Alec Guinness and James Earl Jones, but they're good enough not to cause problems.

The direction is great, and I never found myself noticing the obvious radio 'cues' which tell the listener what is happening. THe music and sound effects are good and the pacing is not rushed, unlike ROTJ.

And as for added material? Deducting front and end credits gives us roughly five and a half hours, nearly triple the length of the film. The vast wealth of extra material is great and never seems out of place.

In all I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in the Star Wars original trilogy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Taylor A. Hudson on August 16, 1999
Format: Audio CD
If anything, the original Radio Drama is proof that one of the most visually-stunning movies of all time can be just as good, perhaps better, in an audio-only medium. The sounds and voices are more than enough to tell you what is going on. The story is expanded, lots of questions are answered, and the whole thing works perfectly. The different voices have different tones to them (For example, Solo's voice always has a more self-conscious, selfish tone), but that doesn't ruin it. They just add to the characterization. The original sounds and music score are used, and perfectly. This is a must for any Star Wars fan, whether on cassette, CD, or the printed screenplay.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Enjolras TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm surprised I've been a Star Wars fan for so long and had never bothered to listen to this. It's actually a great way to relive the movie. It's quite different from the actual film script and includes expanded and deleted scenes. For me, the best part was the beginning, with Luke's friends at Tosche Station. It has such a 1970s flavor and would have started the movie off really differently (although nothing beats the actual opening space battle).

Overall, the case works well. Mark Hamil actually plays Luke Skywalker and does a great job of it. Likewise, Anthony Daniels plays C-3P0. Most of the other characters come off at least similar to their on-screen counterparts. Han is appropriately cocky, although he's also more selfish than portrayed in the films. Leia has a good amount of spunk. Unfortunately, the series didn't quite get Darth Vader right. The torture scene with Leia - not in the movie for good reason - was particularly onerous and Vader sounds more like a shrink than a Sith Lord.

One other thing tat bugged me is the episode breaks. Originally, when this aired as a radio show, it was broadcast as 13 episodes, and each time there was an introductory narration and credits. Unfortunately, these remain on the audiobook version. Thus, every 15 minutes or so you hear another listing of credits, then another introduction. I hope future versions eliminate this and allow listeners to hear just one uninterrupted book.

Overall, this is a great set to listen to during commutes, even if you've watch the movie dozens of times already. Fans will appreciate deleted scenes.
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