A one-off theater performance brought a galaxy far, far away to Japan Thursday. You can check out Star Wars kabuki on YouTube right now, to get a different take on the epic story as we get hyped for The Rise of Skywalker.
The one-night only dance-drama performance (which starts at 12:35 and lasts around 40 minutes) is based on the new movies and is all in Japanese, but you’ll be able to follow the familiar events from the movies. The depiction of the moment when Kylo Ren — whose name is translated as “Kairen” — betrays Supreme Leader Snoke is a visual highlight.
Ichikawa Ebizo XI plays Kylo Ren, and his son portrayed Princess Leia (“Leian”). There are no female actors in kabuki, so men play all the roles, Kotaku noted.
Creator George Lucas was inspired by Japanese movies such as Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress and Seven Samurai as he made the Original Trilogy, making this performance a fitting tribute to Star Wars and its Japanese influences.
First published at 5:22 a.m. PT.
Updated at 5:35 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.