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Star Wars, More Tinsel Tales, perfect ear candy for fans and funsters

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We’ve got something classic, collectible and definitely cool for Christmas: Two new editions of the Star Wars Original Radio Dramas. The classics are the audios itself; the collectibles are the Topps trading cards and some rare audio; the cool is, well, Star Wars. George Lucas; performed by Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and an ensemble cast.When this series was first broadcast on National Public Radio in 1981, it generated the largest response in the network’s history: 50,000 letters and phone calls in a single week, an audience of 750,000 per episode, and a subsequent 40-percent jump in NPR listenership.
This collector’s MP3-CD edition of the Star Wars Original Radio Dramas includes all six hours of the program as well as over 30 minutes of rare bonus audio—interviews, radio promos, and The Making of Star Wars for Radio documentary—plus an exclusive Topps Star Wars Illustrated trading card, "The Light Side.”
For the record, this special collector’s edition, illustrated by Matt Busch, features:
* Limited 7,500 print run
* Topps Star Wars Illustrated: A New Hope card that corresponds to the package cover art
* Six hours of the Star Wars Original Radio Drama, with a cast led by Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels, John Williams’ iconic score, and Ben Burtt’s irreplaceable sound effects
* 35 minutes of rare bonus audio: “The Making of the Radio Drama” audio documentary, interviews, and promo spots created for the original radio broadcast
* 12-page booklet featuring images from the recording sessions and the Star Wars: A New Hope movie
* High fidelity, stereo MP3-CD edition

This landmark production, perhaps the most ambitious radio project ever attempted, began when Star Wars creator George Lucas donated the story rights to an NPR affiliate. Writer Brian Daley adapted the film’s highly visual script to the special demands and unique possibilities of radio, creating a more richly textured tale with greater emphasis on character development. Director John Madden guided a splendid cast—including Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels, reprising their film roles as Luke Skywalker and the persnickety robot See Threepio—through an intense 10-day dialogue recording session. Then came months of painstaking work for virtuoso sound engineer Tom Voegeli, whose brilliant blending of the actors’ voices, the music, and hundreds of sound effects takes this intergalactic adventure into a realm of imagination that is beyond the reach of cinema.

Another special collector’s edition, ths one illustrated by Randy Martinez, also features:

* Limited 7,500 print run
* Topps Star Wars Illustrated: Dark Side card that corresponds to the package cover art
* Six hours of the Star Wars Original Radio Drama, with a cast led by Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels, John Williams’ iconic score, and Ben Burtt’s irreplaceable sound effects
* 35 minutes of rare bonus audio: “The Making of the Radio Drama” audio documentary, interviews, and promo spots created for the original radio broadcast
* 12-page booklet featuring images from the recording sessions and the Star Wars: A New Hope movie
* High fidelity, stereo MP3-CD edition

And there’s also the NPR collection More Tinsel Tales, the follow up to (you guessed it) the original Tinsel Tales, a collection of favorite holiday stories from NPR. Hosted by David Greene, More Tinsel Tales includes many of the outstanding storytellers featured regularly on NPR: Kevin Kling finds that Christmas in his family usually includes some type of family disaster, but it provides a wellspring of memories as the family gathers again, undaunted. Ken Harbaugh wonders at the perfection of the unadorned tree in his house—until his family breaks the spell. Bailey White spreads the Christmas guilt as she implicates her mother and sister in their life of yuletide crime. Jay O’Callahan remembers a boyhood Christmas that veered from tragedy to hope. A very merry, but wary Dave Barry shares his latest take on the hazards of celebrating Christmas. Cowboy poet Baxter Black reflects on the modern manger. Julie Zickafoose remembers a frigid but magical night of “Caroling in the Cold.”And available exclusively in this edition of More Tinsel Tales: All Things Considered host Audie Cornish shines with her inspired reading of O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi.

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