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Charles Ross a Force in One-Man Star Wars Trilogy

Join the all-in-one Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader, and Chewbacca for a comedic escape into a faraway galaxy
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The Charles Ross One-Man Star Wars Trilogy returns to the Arden Theatre on Tuesday, May 3. SUPPLIED/Photo

In the latest report from Jedi Gazette, Charles Ross’s One-Man Star Wars Trilogy returns to the Arden Theatre Tuesday, May 3.

Ross reinvents himself into a galaxy of thousands — heroes, villains, rakish scoundrels, cosmic royalty, rebel leaders, and dorky droids — all telescoped into an hour of lightning-fast fun. 

“I am doing the original 'bad hair' trilogy of the 1970s/1980s. So, audiences can look forward to seeing and hearing everything from my whining Luke Skywalker to my version of Yoda. Unfortunately, I sound like a cross between Gollum and a dying goat. There will be all the ships, all the battles, the romance — all by myself,” said Ross. 

It is tough to believe Star Wars burst on the screen in May 1977 as a small movie only to become a towering pop culture phenomenon. From the first notes of John Williams’s magnificent symphonic score and its knockout opening shot — a spaceship zooming through space suddenly dwarfed by a massive spaceship chasing it — the film was instantly mind-blowing. 

It flooded the imagination of millions of children and for Ross, whose British Columbia family lived four hours from a major city, it became a springboard to exercising his natural creativity. 

Star Wars affected me as a kid. I wasn’t mocking it. I took it seriously. And as I got older, I poked fun at how I took it seriously. But I still feel a deep love for those stories,” said the Victoria-based theatre artist. 

Ross created his version of the epic film 21 years ago and toured it to every corner of the world. Officially endorsed by Lucasfilm, One-Man Star Wars Trilogy has been performed for more than one million fans from London’s East End and Off Broadway to Dubai and the Symphony Opera House. 

Interestingly, until the pandemic hit and restricted touring, Ross was unaware how much time he spent on the road. Unable to work, the actor took time to recharge, but also dealt with feelings of anger. 

“I was wondering how, after 25 years of doing my work, it could be done. It was surreal, ethereal, insubstantial,” said Ross. “I went through the cycle almost feeling rejuvenated. Maybe I’ll have the opportunity to pick up where I left off, but things have changed.” 

COVID also gave Ross the opportunity to develop a one-man Harry Potter show based on J.K. Rowling’s magic-based children’s series. But the project was briefly stalled. 

“I read the series several times through. I went to see the films and got to know the characters. Usually, the voice I mimic the best is where the story comes from. But as the world was reeling from the pandemic, J.K. got into trouble.” 

The trouble he refers to is a tweet the novelist made about an article with the heading: “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.” She took issue with using the word “people” instead of women. Her hot-button tweet was criticized globally as transphobic. 

Feeling like a bystander, Ross contacted friends within the gay and trans community for their thoughts. 

“A lot of people said they felt Harry Potter didn’t belong to J.K. Rowling. It belonged to the world. You can love something and not love its maker. At this point, Harry Potter is more than a maybe. It’s when I do it. The Harry Potter franchise will be around for a long time.” 

He added, “Omicron is doing its worst. But if I can come to the Arden one week, it will feel as if I’ve made it to the other side.” 

May the farce — oops, the force — be with you! 

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy runs May 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Arden Theatre. Tickets are $32 plus fees. Call 780-459-1542 or visit www.stalbert.ca/exp/arden/events/2021-2022-professional-series/