Charles Ross, creator of “One-Man Star Wars Trilogy” has performed his highly condensed, low-tech version of the three movies for 16 years.
But to him it seems like he’s playing.
“It’s being an 8-year-old kid on stage in an adult’s body,” he said in a phone interview with the Daily News on Tuesday.
Ross comes to Midland this Friday and Saturday for shows at the Midland Center for the Arts.
His show features him recreating the original Star Wars Trilogy by himself. It’s extremely abridged and Ross does all the voices and sound effects himself.
He never expected for the show to have such longevity and can’t name one factor for its success. He said a highly-successful test run was proof that the show could work.
“I actually never believed this would work at all in any fashion,” he said.
A group of artists was commissioned to do radio plays but the troupe took the task much farther. They came up with an evening of sketch comedy, the radio plays and Ross’ “A New Hope,” a 20-minute version of the first film. The audience was not a particularly sci-fi savvy group.
“It went so well,” he said. “I was making huge jumps in the material and I was afraid I was going to lose everybody — but they kept up.”
From there, the show was extended to all three movies and became a touring phenomenon. During the tenure of the prequel trilogy in theaters, he appeared on numerous morning radio shows. He’s performed it at Celebration, the official Star Wars convention, and around the world.
He sees the show as a bit of an “analog viral sensation.”
“We are a voyeuristic shame society. We like to watch other people look stupid so we can feel better that we haven’t been caught on video,” he said.
The show was created to be repeatable and compact (he travels with a stage manager, that’s it). However, each production can be a little different.
“I do tweak it for sure but that’s the nature. It’s a live show and its a solo show so I can react to what’s going on,” he said.
The new films have certainly revived the culture’s interest in Star Wars, he said, but popularity in the universe has never really gone away (the films and Disney sale didn’t hurt.) In fact, he’d love to perform it in a Disney park.
There is always the chance that the new owners of Star Wars could shut him down (Lucasfilm was supportive of the endeavor). If they did, he would understand.
“After 16 years, I’ve done my run,” he said. “I’ve been really lucky.”
He also performs a one-man version of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. He’s toying with a version of “Stranger Things” at the moment.
Midland Star Wars performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $26 for adults, $21 for students. Costumes are allowed but no masks or weapons.
For ticket info, www.mcfta.org
For more on the show, www.onemanstarwars.com