Star Wars-themed light-and-sound show at Gardens by the Bay

"It's our homage to a franchise that we grew up with and it is something that means a lot to many people.'' - LIGHT DESIGNER ADRIAN TAN (left, with Mr Bang Wenfu) on the 10th edition of the Garden Rhapsody
"It's our homage to a franchise that we grew up with and it is something that means a lot to many people.'' - LIGHT DESIGNER ADRIAN TAN (left, with Mr Bang Wenfu) on the 10th edition of the Garden RhapsodyST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

Music producer Bang Wenfu and lighting designer Adrian Tan pay tribute to their beloved film series with a show at Gardens by the Bay

Illuminated by flickering lights from a movie screen, an entire theatre was held spellbound as the first instalment of the Star Wars film series was screened in the historic Capitol Theatre.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope had just reached Singapore's shores and among the audience was four-year-old Bang Wenfu.

"At the end of the movie, the whole theatre went nuts and the applause I heard was amazing," he recalled.

Yesterday, Mr Bang, now 42, watched as visitors to the Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay were similarly captivated by the Garden Rhapsody light-and-sound show to commemorate Star Wars Day.

The freelance music producer was responsible for stringing together composer John Williams' works to create the music for the show and says he was overwhelmed with the feeling of coming full circle.

Together with lighting designer Adrian Tan, the duo laboured for more than six months to create a 13-minute production complete with laser imagery and sound effects.

  • VIEW IT / GARDEN RHAPSODY: STAR WARS EDITION

    WHERE: Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive

    WHEN: Today and tomorrow, 7.45, 8.45pm and 9.45pm; Sunday to June 2, 7.45 and 8.45pm

    ADMISSION: Free

    INFO: www.esprimo.com.sg/StarWarsRunSG/festival.php 

This is the 10th edition of Garden Rhapsody and the pair have been responsible for all the editions.

As ardent Star Wars fans, however, this edition was special.

"It's our homage to a franchise that we grew up with and it is something that means a lot to many people," noted Mr Tan, 32.

Mr Bang saw the project as a tribute to his "musical hero", Williams, who has been a source of inspiration throughout his career.

This Star Wars light show is the first one to feature music from a single composer.

The Garden Rhapsody is one component of The Star Wars Day: May The 4th Be With You Festival, which runs till tomorrow.

The date, "May the Fourth" is a play on the well-loved phrase "May the Force be with you", which comes from the movie franchise.

Other festival highlights include a Star Wars-themed silent disco, a Star Wars Run and a SaberTrees light-up, in which the towering Supertrees will be transformed to resemble lightsabers.

The latter was also designed by Mr Tan and his team.

The festival is organised by event organiser Esprimo and The Walt Disney Company South-east Asia, with the support of Singapore Tourism Board and Gardens by the Bay.

This kicks off a three-year collaboration between the Singapore Tourism Board and The Walt Disney Company South-east Asia, during which Marvel and Pixar fans can look forward to themed events and activities across Singapore.

"When we first spoke about creating this show, our overall vision was to move the audience through all seven films. We wanted to tell a story and I think we did that," Mr Tan said.

Unsurprisingly, three years of collaboration have made for a unique chemistry between them.

Mr Bang said: "We've developed artistic instincts along the way and the creative trust between us has allowed us to push boundaries in our works."

When asked what fans should look out for, they are tight-lipped. However, Mr Tan hinted: "We've dropped a few 'easter eggs' throughout the show, so you get hints of a particular character or scene."

In preparation for the project, Mr Tan rewatched all seven episodes of the Star Wars series and drew inspiration from iconic scenes such as Anakin and Padme in the fields of Naboo and Luke's landing in Dagobah.

Without giving away details, Mr Bang encourages visitors to stay until the end of the show.

"I like the way the show ends," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2017, with the headline 'Star Wars among the trees'. Print Edition | Subscribe