Star Wars and Popular Music: My Thoughts

This may very well be the nerdiest thing I’ve ever done. Today.

Which musical acts correspond to which Star Wars character? Find out below in a piece that I like to call, ‚The Non-Acne Related Reason That Society Finds Me Repulsive

Luke Skywalker is a whiner. Definitely the quintessential emo-kid: he’s a blonde-haired farmhand who sits around on a sand dune bitching about power converters and flight school. However, once Vader’s forces immolate Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, Luke proves he can bust it out Jedi style (albeit with an excess of whining) and open a can of mystical whoop-ass on the prolific and thriving empire. Which modern performer better exemplifies these traits than Ben Gibbard of indie-rock uber-outfits Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service? Ben used to shit himself whining about girls and memories and women. And he still does. But on Transantlantacism and Give Up, at least he does so with control, tact, and fewer instances of audible weeping. That having been said, I still wouldn’t want him in charge of a galactic insurrection, although it might be funny to see what he’d do in an industrial trash compactor.

A question: How many once-powerful, now ancient and wrinkled seers who dole out poetic yet grammatically incorrect wisdom by the troughful, all delivered in a nasal, froggy voice can America cram into the annals of popular culture? The answer is two: Yoda and Bob Dylan.

Darth Vader is Nine Inch Nails. Though on the exterior Darth is a towering, dark, and powerful mass of hissing machinery and incomparable anger, beneath he is a frailty so perfect and delicate that even oxygen molecules bouncing off his pasty, scab of a head will crush his nefarious brain. When programming his mech-army to spew abrasive beats behind him, Trent Reznor’s distorted voice screams, wails, and rasps itself into a frenzy and he his invincible. Strip away all the robotic noisemakers and voice filters, though, and you get something that looks like a Tommy Hilfiger ad for Hot Topic. Vader and Trent both lock themselves within machines, which in turn become their only voices to the outside world.

Han Solo = Gangsta Rap. More so the lifestyle than the music which is more so the lifestyle.
Let’s make a brief checklist of Han’s finer attributes in hopes of reconciling any doubts you might have:

  • Han is a total pimp. From the moment he sees Leia, he tries to rock it to all four of her buns and eventually succeeds in doing so.
  • He is literally a gangster, smuggling anything and everything right under the nose of the omnipresent empire, or should I say ‚The Man.
  • The Millennium Falcon, being the sputtering bucket of miscellaneous bolts that it is, can’t possibly have shocks. What’s that spell? Low-Ridin’ galactic action.
  • He has the obligatory feuds with other like smugglers, such as high-livin’ Lando Callrissian. I mean, check out the bling on him!
  • And he busts caps. Laser caps.

R2D2 is not only similar to, but IS, in actuality, Brian Eno. D2 is a pretentious short guy who rolls around creating beeping noises. Eno is a pretentious short guy who rolls around creating beeping noises. And before you say it, I’m not devaluing Eno as a producer, nor am I devaluing any influence he’s had as a musician. But with his legion of ambient synths, he’s just as likely to turn R2D2’s speech into a concept album of Music For Carports as George Lucas is to turn it into a Star Wars sequel and/or some kind of shitty ewok.

Invincibility takes more than just talent and a fuck-all-y’all attitude. It takes Destiny. And, on that front, Keith Richards and Wedge Antilles are two men walking a similar astrological path. Wedge fought in every important air-battle led by the rebellion, essentially signing his own death warrant fifty times over and yet, every time, managed to not only survive, but to survive completely unscathed. Keith Richards, at this very moment, is injecting bleach directly into his heart. He has snorted, shot, popped, dropped, and gargled every paramount drug of the last millennium and the only thing that’s even managed to slow him down is the natural human aging process, which I’m sure he’ll somehow manage to thwart with a highball of ebola. If there’s a Game Genie that can be attached to life, these guys have it – and they’ve entered every code in the manual.

Remember that kid you went to high school with who was a huge poseur Star Wars fan and thought he was a fucking Grand Moff just because he referenced Boba Fett all the time? Now, fast forward to college. That same weasely ass-nugget thinks he’s the biggest indie rock fan in the history of time and space because he loves The Shins. It’s a sad hand that the madrigal James Mercer and the mercenary Boba Fett have been dealt. They have both undeservedly become the iconic cultural fodder of wanna-be fanboys and pseudo-hipsters the world over, banished to the Garden State Soundtrack and the Pit of Carkoon, respectively. If this happens to The Mountain Goats and Bib Fortuna, I’ll commit seppuku.

It would be too easy to automatically associate Lando Callrissian with Barry White or Marvin Gaye or really any soulful, R&B hitmaker of the 70s. Yes, Lando seems suave with the ladies, but lest we forget, he’s also a crooked, dag’nasty smuggler who’s spent untold years freaking in greasy cargo-holds with 2 credit star whores of all ages and species. In short, he’s probably into some nasty shit. But, at the same time, he’s a successful businessperson who obviously knows how to exploit his years of underhanded degeneracy to maintain a bountiful industrial city. The only artist I can think of who’s amassed a similarly jean-creaming pantheon of riches just by wanting to piss into somebody’s ass is The Artist. Lando might be the King in Cloud City, but anywhere else, he’s Prince.

Now, several people disagreed with me when I announced that I was going to equate Chewbacca with Andrew W. K. and to those people, I offer this challenge: If you can find me a hairier, more illiterate, pseudo-badass than W.K., I’ll consider a revision. Until then, I’m more than happy assuming that ‚RAAAAARRRRRGH would appear as frequently in Chewy’s songs as it party does in Andy’s. Suck it.

Written by Finley

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