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Jedi night out: Star Wars variety show at Bell House canceled

What a ’trooper!: An all-Star Wars cast celebrated the release of the first “Join the Resistance” novel, including, from left, Mark McConville, Weird Al Yankovic, Zach Sherwin, Sara Watkins, Matt Gourley, and Open Mike Eagle, and a similar group will appear the Bell House on Oct. 6 for its sequel.
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Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, the creators canceled this show on Oct. 4 due to a scheduling conflict. Read on if you want to know about the book.

The Force is with them!

An all-star Star Wars variety show will land among the scum and villainy that is Gowanus on Oct. 6. The night of singing stormtroopers and comedy sketches from a galaxy far, far away will celebrate the launch of the new Star Wars novel “Join the Resistance: Escape from Vodran,” described by one of its writers as “ ‘Goonies’ in Star Wars.”

“A bunch of kids join the Rebellion and they want to fly X-wings, but they’re a little too young so they’re getting in trouble around the base,” said Ben Acker, who wrote the young adult novel book with Ben Blacker. The two also collaborated on the long-running live comedy show and podcast “The Thrilling Adventure Hour,” and used that experience to launch their new project.

“Because we come from shows, we decided that if we have a book to release, let’s do a show about it,” said Acker.

The night’s sketches will pay homage to the original Star Wars trilogy, based on the idea that, now that Acker and Blacker have written two officially-licensed Star Wars novels, they can use previously-unseen scripts from the Star Wars archives.

“The premise is that we have access to the Lucas vaults — these are presented as original drafts to the original scenes,” said Acker. “Like a draft where R2-D2 was going to be played by Gene Hackman, and instead of beeping, he just talks about how much he does not want to be on a swamp planet.”

The night will star a cantina-full of Brooklyn figures, including Park Slope musician Jonathan Coulton, comedian Jean Grae, and writer Sarah Pappalardo, of the satirical site Reductress, along with “Thrilling Adventure Hour” regulars Hal Lublin and Mark Gagliardi, Adam Savage from “Mythbusters” and comedy music duo Paul and Storm.

Acker promises that the show will not resemble a previous singing, dancing Star Wars event — the 1978 “Star Wars Holiday Special.”

“This is not a celebration of Life Day, although we should probably do that at some point,” he said.

Details were not yet final when Acker spoke with this paper, but he said that the night would include a monologue from the point of view of the stormtrooper who hits his head on the airlock in “Star Wars,” lots of spacey music, and good times for all.

“It should be a real fun time. Wait, I should sound more confident,” said Acker. “I guarantee it will be a real fun time.”

Star Wars Variety Show at the Bell House [149 Seventh St. between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (718) 643–6510, www.thebellhouseny.com]. Show cancelled.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Updated 5:54 pm, July 9, 2018
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