Storm Troopers and Jedis mingled with string players and percussionists when Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) returned to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre to present the second instalment of the Star Wars saga, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on 2 December. Fans of the iconic film were treated to a screening of the movie accompanied by QSO playing the entire score live.

The performance follows QSO’s well received screening of Star Wars: A New Hope earlier this year. Led by conductor Nicholas Buc, each note of John Williams musical scored was struck with precision while the film rolled on the big screen. The fifth episode of the saga, the film follows Han Solo and Princess Leia as they flee from an attack by the Imperial Forces and are captured by the notorious Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) journeys to the mysterious, marshy planet of Dagobah, where the wise Jedi Master Yoda teaches the young hero the ways of the Force.  A stunning revelation – and a seemingly life-or-death duel with Darth Vader – await.

Before the performance, attendees mingled with Imperial Fighters and Storm Troopers creating a fun, relaxed, family friendly atmosphere. These immersive film performances presented by QSO do attract a varied crowd, with young and the young at heart among the audience. It is joyous to see so many people of different ages and backgrounds enjoying the prowess of QSO in concert, and heartening to think that people who may otherwise not choose to attend such a production find the music accessible in this way. QSO is a musical powerhouse, and all Brisbane-ites should experience the thrill of a live performance.

Composer Williams is well-known for scoring all eight of the Star Wars saga films, beginning with 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, for which he earned an Academy Award for Best Original Score. His scores for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the JediStar Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi each were nominated for Oscars for Best Original Score.

QSO will return to BCEC in February, presenting Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire live in concert. Through this, a new generation of fans may be introduced to the orchestra and become life long lovers of the QSO.

Readers also enjoyed seeing the Socials from the performance.