May the 4th Be with You
To celebrate Star Wars Day (May the 4th), here is a round-up of some of our favorite videos featuring cellists’ unique takes on some of John Williams’ masterpieces. We’ve updated this article with several newer videos near the end. Have you made a cello Star Wars video? Or do you have a favorite we haven’t included? Please let us know in the comments.
The Phantom Cellist
Launching the cello-Star Wars connection is the famous “Cello Wars” by The Piano Guys. It’s hard to believe it is now over a decade old!
When it came out, I had cello students purchasing electric cellos and begging to play Star Wars themes. After seeing this video, students even admitted that The Piano Guys inspired them to learn to play the cello. (That end-credits Jedi mind trick worked!) You might even say this video was “instrumental” in meeting one of our Cello Museum team members, but that is another story.
For me, this video never gets old. Here it is:
R2-D2 Plays the Cello
This next video has LEGO R2-D2 droids playing four cellos! Here is a screenshot from the video:
Here is the video with an orchestra of LEGO droids playing the Star Wars theme on 42 instruments, including four cellos. English musician, inventor, and producer, Sam Battle, is the mastermind behind this ingenious performance.
Star Wars Medley
There are many Star Wars cello medleys on YouTube now. Which is your favorite?
The Solina Cello Ensemble seemed to have a lot of fun with their take on this theme. Like The Piano Guys, they used special effects and wore costumes. Be sure to watch to the end to see the “Cantina Band” segment…
Feel the Force
The Force theme is often played by cellists. One of my favorite recordings of it is by cellist Nicklas Erpenbach. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t align with his performance – but it’s still a beautiful arrangement and gorgeous playing.
Binary Sunset for Cellos
Enjoy James McGonigle’s beautiful arrangement and performance of this wonderful John Williams melody. This brings back memories of when both the cello and Star Wars were new to me.
Princess Leia’s Theme
Another favorite Star Wars melody of cellists is Princess Leia’s theme. Although the lighting hints at the dark side, this first video is a lovely performance of a solo arrangement of John Williams’ lyrical gem.
Multi-Cello Star Wars
This eight-cello version of “The Imperial March” was arranged and performed by cellist Samara Ginsberg and released for Star Wars Day 2020. I appreciate Ginsberg’s fun-loving videos that brightened many people’s lives during the pandemic.
As an update, here are three newer videos – two by cello professors! The first is an eight-cello arrangement of the main Star Wars theme by David Johnstone performed by cellist, cello teacher, and Head of Chamber music at the Sant Cugat Conservatory (Catalonia), Toni F. Godayol.
I started this video round-up with a photo of one young cello Padawan and end it with a video of another. Here is a performance by young cellist Ryan Hsieh. The Force is strong in this one. Keep up the great work, Ryan!
What is your favorite Star Wars cello video? Are you posting one this year? Please let us know in the comments. Remember – the cello will be with you, always.