The Blockade Runner

Star Wars Is Forever

Rise of Skywalker Promos, Star Wars Kabuki, and The Mandalorian Chapter 4 – The Blockade Runner Podcast #133

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BR 133 CoverLucasfilm continued to release TROS tv spots and promo videos this week, so we share our favorite moments as well as debate the merits of nostalgia in these recent marketing efforts. We then discuss the recently streamed Star Wars kabuki performance (with help from friend of the show Dave Hackerson) before wrapping up the show with our reactions to The Mandalorian Chapter 4.

Dave’s Comments Re: the Kabuki Performance:

“Ebizo, Japan’s leading Kabuki actor, really went the distance with this adaptation and stayed true to the art form, giving the characters original Japanese names that resemble their English equivalents. I especially liked how he adapted Luke=Ryuku. The kanji he selected for that adaptation was 流空. The first character “ryu” means “to flow (like water)”, while the second character “ku” is for “sky” (it also means “void” as in “emptiness” in Buddhist contexts). Seeing those two characters, I instantly recognized he was conveying the meaning of “Skywalker”. Keep this note about the name adaptations in mind when you read the opening crawl, as they are spelled out to match the pronunciation of the corresponding kanji characters used in Japanese. The first 15 minutes are an introduction, in which the host speaks with 3PO, R2, and BB8 to discuss the basics of Kabuki (the set poses characters do to emphasize key moments in the plot, the involvement of the audience, etc.). The actual performance begins around the 17:00 mark…

In his introduction from around the 13:30 minute mark, Ebizo describes how George Lucas was inspired by Japanese culture, and that a Kabuki interpretation of SW was in a way returning the saga to its roots. He talked about how Star Wars is a family story of love and loss. Narrowing his focus to Kylo (Kairorennosuke in the play), he went with three scenes where that sense of love or loss can be felt: Kylo and Han, Kylo and Snoke, and Kylo and Luke…

The child that appears in the play is Ebizo’s son. Children born into a kabuki family are raised to carry on that legacy. Next year Ebizo will take on the name “Danjuro”, which is the traditional name of his family line of actors (Ichikawa family). He will be the 13th Danjuro, and most likely his son will one day be the 14th. In the play, his son plays the role of the young Ben Solo that still resides deep within Kylo. The hair buns are a nice visual reference to remind us of who his mother is, with the white clothing referring to the hope that he once represented…

Ebizo really took this adaptation seriously, saying “It was a real challenge because I wanted to showcase the essence and allure of Kabuki, but at the same time do the saga justice. I didn’t want to betray Star Wars fans.”



Episode Links:

TROS Interviews, Promos, and Clips

Star Wars Kabuki Performance

Show Links:

Author: John

I talk about Nintendo games at the Nintendo Fun Club Podcast and Star Wars at The Blockade Runner. Interests: Being a dad, eating vegan food, punk rock. Twitter = ArcadeGhost Miiverse = ghostinthearcade Email =

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