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Jeffrey Ding He has been posting violin videos on YouTube since 2011, but his latest cover — playing John Williams’s “Force Theme” from Star Wars with a special-effects bow that looks like a lightsaber — has gotten the most attention by far. Since it appeared on Jan. 9, it has gotten more than 40,000 views.
“The main inspiration for creating the video was definitely the music itself,” Ding He tells Yahoo Parenting. “I’m a huge fan of John Williams, and the entire Star Wars score is amazing.”
The Hong Kong-based high school student has been playing the violin for 14 years, and for this song he was trying to come up with something extra creative when inspiration hit: “I suddenly realized I could try to make my violin bow look like a lightsaber,” he says.
In multiple videos that are cut together as a four-in-one frame, the teenage musician wields multicolored lightsabers as he plays. All that footage wasn’t easy to create. “For the blue lightsaber video, frame-by-frame editing took around 20 hours,” Ding He says, explaining that he used a program called HitFilm. “I didn’t keep track of how long the other three videos took, but they were slightly easier to edit as I could accurately use a motion tracker on some sections (when the bow was moving less).”
In addition to the technical work, Ding He says a lot of thought went into the visuals as well. “The top two and bottom left screens contain Jedi with lightsaber colors from the light side,” he says, sounding like the Star Wars fan that he is. “They collectively play the ‘Force Theme.’ The bottom right screen contains a Sith that initially plays the ‘Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)’ with a red lightsaber from the dark side. However, the beautiful ‘Force Theme’ leads the Sith to turn to the light. The Sith ultimately rejoins the music with an orange lightsaber from the light side.”
The high school student dedicates his performance “to all the Star Wars fans out there” and has a simple goal for his work: “I hope the video can reach all the people in the world who might enjoy it!”