Kabuki Adaptation Of Star Wars Staged

Kabuki adaptation of Star Wars staged

A kabuki adaptation of US epic franchise "Star Wars" has been staged in Tokyo, starring one of the prominent actors in the time-honored Japanese performing art.

The one-off performance came on Thursday before the Star Wars saga draws to a close with the release of its final episode set for December 20. The first movie of the global blockbuster hit the screen in 1977.

Actor Ichikawa Ebizo helped to produce the roughly 40-minute kabuki performance based on plots from the latest trilogy of the franchise.

Ebizo played the role of Kylo Ren, whose grandfather is Darth Vader. Ren becomes Supreme Leader of the First Order, an autocratic rump state in a galaxy far, far away.

Ebizo quickly changed costumes to double as Ren and his Jedi master Luke Skywalker in a powerful battle scene between the two.

Ebizo's son, Kangen Horikoshi, acted as Ren in his childhood, aptly expressing complex feelings toward his master.

Ebizo told reporters ahead of the performance that he likes Star Wars because kabuki has plays in which good overcomes evil as in the US franchise. He added he is happy that what he long aspired to perform has now become reality.

A spectator in her 70s said she enjoyed the performance for many of its kabuki elements, such as fighting scenes and quick costume changes, although she had never seen any of the Star Wars films.