Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Star Wars becomes stage spectacle

Darth Vader and stromtroopers in Leicester Square for the UK premiere of Revenge of the Sith
The Star Wars stage show will get its premiere at the O2 in London in April

Star Wars fans are to feel the force of the seminal sci-fi films and their iconic soundtracks on stage in a major new show, which will launch next year.

In Star Wars: A Musical Journey, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will play a live score as excerpts from the six films are shown on a cinema screen.

The show has been put together by director George Lucas' company Lucasfilm and composer John Williams.

It will premiere at the O2 arena in London in April before a European tour.

It will not be a traditional musical with actors playing characters from the films, but will feature live narrators.

The six Star Wars films have been edited down to two hours for the show, and Williams has "painstakingly rewritten" the music he wrote for the movies, a statement said.

Models and props

The Royal Philharmonic will use an 86-piece orchestra and an accompanying exhibition will feature original models, props, costumes and production artwork.

David Campbell, chief executive of AEG Europe, which runs the O2, said: "Star Wars holds memories for practically everyone.

"John Williams is THE composer of our times, and fans will be thrilled to know that both he and Lucasfilm have contributed fully to this new production.

"To have the premiere at the O2 is a real coup for us, and I know there will be a lot of very happy Star Wars fans out there when they hear the news."

The show will open at the O2 on 10 April. Tickets, costing between 30 and 100, will go on sale on Monday.

Meanwhile the lightsabre used by Luke Skywalker in Star Wars has been sold for $200,000 (133,000) at an auction of Hollywood memorabilia in Los Angeles.

Actor Mark Hamill used the prop, which was made from an old photography flashgun, in both the original Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

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