Museum open online 24/7. 365 (or 366) days/year

The Cello and Star Wars – The Force is Strong with This One

May the 4th Be with You

Cello Star Wars

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:

After “Cello Wars,” some Piano Guys fans created an excellent parody. If only they had used cellos in the video . . .

R2-D2 Plays the Cello

This next video has LEGO R2-D2 droids playing four cellos! Here is a screenshot from the video:

Cellos Legos Star Wars

LEGO R2-D2 playing the cello. Screenshot from the video “Star Wars Theme Played by LEGO Droid Orchestra” by Beyond the Brick.

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.

Want to learn more about how Sam Battle put this together? Check out this behind-the-scenes video.

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…

Here is another medley by GnuS Cello. Unfortunately, the sheet music he mentioned in his video description is no longer available.

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.

Another beautiful version is an arrangement for cello and guitar by Jeanne Dorche. You can download the sheet music for free and find a recording of the guitar accompaniment here.

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.

The next video is a stunning cello quintet performance by the SAKURA Cello Quintet. Enjoy!

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.

Another pandemic Star Wars Day video is by cellist Lily Hubbard, aka Aca-cello. Here she performs “Cantina Band” for four cellos.

Recent Additions

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.

 Here is cellist and professor of cello at the University of Toronto, Andrew Ascenzo, performing the “Duel of the Fates” using a looper.

Our third new addition is the Andor main theme live-looped on electric cello by cellist and composer, Brianna Tam.

Cello Padawan

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!

Your Turn

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.