Wednesday, May 23

Stay on target...

On May 25, 1977, a pop culture phenomenon was unleashed. As the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Star Wars (now known as Episode IV: A New Hope) is nearly upon us, it seems an appropriate time to geek out and celebrate one of the greatest film trilogies ever produced (for our purposes the prequels aren't terribly relevant). There's obviously no reason to stress the significance of these movies here; they're iconic films full of iconic characters that have taken on lives of their own in future films, novels, comics, and the like. The associated merchandising and such was revolutionary, and the John Williams score was widely adored. In fact, it won the Oscar for best original score in 1978 and still has not fallen out of favor. Really, how can you not love that title theme?

John Williams - Main Theme

Since its release the score has maintained its popularity and spawned a number of homages and imitators. These have spanned multiple genres and eras, with jazz, disco, electronic, and other takes on the classic Williams compositions. Meco's dance version of the theme and cantina band song even hit #1 on the pop charts in 1977.

Maynard Ferguson - Star Wars
Meco - Star Wars theme/Cantina Band [7" edit]
Electric Moog Orchestra - Cantina Band
Evil Genius Orchestra - The Imperial March (Darth Vader's theme)

Along with numerous covers, Star Wars has also inspired countless songs that reference its characters, settings, etc. Nerf Herders Anonymous has compiled an ever-growing list of such tracks, including these classics from old school SNL and the soundtrack to Kevin Smith's finest full-length feature:

Bill Murray - Star Wars [as Nick the Lounge Singer]
Supernova - Chewbacca [Clerks soundtrack]

MC Chris - Fett's Vette

I imagine you guys can come up with more. If you've got something particularly good, feel free to send it along.

In part to celebrate three decades of Star Wars, the History Channel will air Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed on Monday night (9pm EST). Looks to me like it will be a pretty cool special. Then again, I'm the nerd who just posted about the Star Wars anniversary on his music blog...


Anonymous Charlie Rumble said...

The History Channel show does look interesting, I wonder what Steve Colbert will chip in? Maybe he'll address the Dr. Dre/Lucasfilm lawsuit over the THX sound effect.

Thanks for the heads up.

2:13 PM

Blogger Rich said...

I dunno, but remember he had the Green Screen Challenge where he was in a light saber battle. So he's obviously a fan. ;)

By the way, the list of participants (Newt Gingrich?):


J.J. ABRAMS Filmmaker
TOM BROKAW Journalist
STEPHEN COLBERT Political Satirist
DR. JOAN BRETON CONNELLY Associate Prof. of Fine Arts, NYU
STEVEN GALIPEAU Author, "The Journey of Luke Skywalker"
NEWT GINGRICH Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives 1995-1999
MARY HENDERSON Author, "Star Wars: The Magic of Myth"
EDWARD L. HUDGINS Executive Director, The Atlas Society
DR. JOHN C. LYDEN Prof. of Religion, Dana College
DR. CAMILLE PAGLIA Prof. of Humanities and Media Studies, Univ. of the Arts
NANCY PELOSI Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
DAN RATHER Journalist
DR. CARL A. RUBINO Prof. of Classics, Hamilton College
DR. CARL SILVIO Co-Editor, "Culture Identities and Technologies in the Star Wars Films"
DR. KEVIN J. WETMORE, Jr Author, The Empire Triumphant: Race, Religion and Rebellion in the Star Wars Films
LEON WIESELTIER Literary Editor, "The New Republic"
DR. JONATHAN YOUNG Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives

2:42 PM

Blogger CassieFace said...

As much as I dislike 99X, they did air a great faux commercial for Books on Tape as read by R2D2. That really made me laugh this morning.

9:56 AM


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