Star Wars to become…a Kabuki play?

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

It's safe to say that STAR WARS isn't just a movie franchise. It's a brand. Since the heralded space opera debuted in 1977 there's been multiple incarnations of George Lucas' baby. Comic books, toys, novels, video games, a weird-ass Christmas special, an animated series based entirely on Ewoks, the upcoming Mandalorian live-action TV show – the list goes on and on. (I don't even want to think about the likely dozens of adult themed STAR WARS products either. I'd rather jump in a Sarlaac pit.) Despite all the iterations of STAR WARS fans have been privy to in the last four decades, I'm pretty sure this upcoming one is a first.

STAR WARS is about to get the Japanese Kabuki treatment courtesy of Ichikawa Ebizo. For those of you not up on Japanese art and culture, Kabuki is a form of drama that combines dance, stylistic makeup, and choreography. It's an art form that's been popular in Japan for centuries. Ebizo is one of the most acclaimed performers of the medium. The Buddhist monk is an icon and pioneer in the industry and an award winning actor in films like BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL.

Ebizo's play is titled Star Wars Kabuki- Rennosuke Hikarigatana or if you prefer its English translation, Star Wars Kabuki-Ren and Three Light Sabers. Now as you may suspect from a key word in the title, Ebizo's play will not be a mere theater re-enactment of the nine film saga. Instead the play will focus on the incredibly troubled Kylo Ren, the Supreme Leader of the First Order and murderer of Han Solo. Naturally, Ichikawa Ebizo will be taking on the role of the Darth Vader fanboy.

However, if you're hoping to catch Ebizo's play live, you better open your wallet and get your flight plan in order, because availability will be at a premium. The Skywalker saga based Kabuki play will play one night only on November 28 in an as yet unannounced theater. Furthermore, that theater will be in Tokyo so any of you hoping the play might venture beyond the Land of the Rising Sun, you're out of luck.

Now I'm no Kabuki scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but translating something as well known as STAR WARS into a different medium absolutely fascinates me. Not only is it a fresh way to approach the material, but it may draw new fans to Lucas' seminal work that might otherwise not have been interested.

If you're looking for a more traditional form of STAR WARS however, you won't have to wait much longer. STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER hyperspeeds its way into theaters December 20.

star wars poster

Source: CBR

About the Author

385 Articles Published