The establishment of the Galactic Empire following the end of the Clone Wars brought with it an age of draconian censure to the music of the galaxy. The Imperial Board of Culture was founded, whose purpose was to foment pro-Imperial thought and limit or outright ban any message contrary to the New Order in popular entertainment. The board reviewed all holo-films, novels, and sound slugs prior to their uploading to the galactic distribution nets, and issued them one of three ratings. Pro-Imperial or totally innocuous works, such as “The Mantooine Minuet” (a personal favorite of Emperor Palpatine), the Navy’s imposing parade anthem, “Imperial March,” the neo-waltzes and ganther dances of Nabicci Futana, and the ballads of the Ho’Din diva Annadayle Fayde were passed outright. Works deemed worthless or mildly offensive received a scarlet rating, such as mainstream Core World band Starburst, the track listing of whose second release Only In Your Dreams was deemed offensive and possibly political in nature. Scarlet releases were issued with a warning message, but more significantly, possession of scarlet material could be considered a misdemeanor offense at the discretion of Imperial officials, leading to artists and consumers being conveniently arrested or penalized as subversives (like the Alderaanian band Red Line who disappeared entirely after their vocal condemnation of the Ghorman Massacre at a live performance). The third action of the Imperial Board of Culture was to outright ban politically charged, anti-Imperial works, fining artists and consumers alike up to 1000 credits and imprisoning them. The rowdy scrak band Billi B And The Paradise Gang were early victims. Anti-Imperial group Deeply Religious dutifully submitted all three of their albums, Deeply Religious, The Emperor Of Air And Darkness, and Advanced Explosive Handbook, to the IBoC. All three were banned and subsequently released and distributed on the black market.
Posts Tagged ‘Music’
When it Comes to Christmas Music, Is There Anything Better Than Christmas in the Stars? (Trick Question!)
What can you get a Wookiee for Christmas when he already owns a comb? No, not a hairbrush. And if you don’t immediately get what I’m talking about, you’re probably not as much of a Star Wars trivia expert as you think.
Actually, despite the festiveness of the season, I’m perturbed. I’ve heard “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” at least four or five times on the radio already, but not once have I heard “R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” And what about “The Odds Against Christmas?” Those, along with “What Can You Get a Wookiee…” are three of the nine tunes on Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album, which originally came out as an LP (remember vinyl records?) in 1980 from RSO Records — and fairly quickly went out of print.
In a galaxy of 400 billion stars, where sentient life emerged on some 20 million distinct worlds, music, one of the hallmarks of civilized culture, has evolved in an almost limitless variety.
Some styles remain planetary bound, their appreciation limited to their progenitors. Gamorrean opera and baka rock has mostly failed to find an appreciative audience in the galaxy at large, outside of expatriate Gamorreans, who tout its snorting and squealing as sublime. Likewise Verpine choral arrangements, whose members rub their legs together to produce their version of music, are not particularly well-regarded other than by insectoid species. In a pangalactic community of such varied biology and aural temperament, some sonic compositions even have negative physical effects which their creators are immune to. The deafening noise of Aridinian folk music famously causes human ears to bleed within the sounding of a few notes and has thus been strictly regulated outside of its native system. The smazzo percussion group Shluur was once escorted off the planet Clak’dor VII after it was found the music of its avant-garde composer Wurokk provoked violent aggression in the native Bith population and nearly leveled the capitol city of Weogar in destructive riots.
Yet other genres, such as the perennially popular jizz, seem to break orbit from their homeworlds and join the Galactic community at large, changing and in turn being changed by its interactions with other cultures. Symphonic classical composition has been a kind of neutral musical ground for the expression of heterogeneous cultures for millennia. A few musical styles, such as the traditional music of the reptilian Tarasin of Cularin, achieve popularity because of the unique, pleasing effect they have on extraterrestrial species; in this case, inexplicably soothing the gills of aquatic peoples.
It is known that the Wookiees of Kashyyyk beat their tree drums in celebration of Life Day as early as 1,500,000 BBY, and early writings found in the Petrax Historic Quarter of Coruscant speak of attempts to duplicate with woodwind instruments the haunting moonsong that occurs when wind passes through the wingflutes of ringed moon shadowmoths. Millennia before the Battle of Yavin, the fragile-boned, flying reptilian Vors of Vortex in the Glythe sector were already performing their annual storm solstice Concert of the Winds, manipulating the passage of wind through the myriad tunnels and apertures of the mountainous, delicate crystalline Cathedral of Winds to produce complex, ethereal music unheard anywhere else in the galaxy.
The influence of Star Wars on a generation of filmmakers is well-documented. But George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away has also inspired creators in other arts, including music. In Guitars and Lightsabers, a new series on the Star Wars Blog, musicians discuss the impact that Star Wars has had on their lives and their work. In today’s installment, Jason Shaw and Garrett Leister of HRVRD discuss what Star Wars means to them.
Jason Shaw: Few words have lasted as long in my life as “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” The first time I ever saw The Empire Strikes Back I couldn’t have been more than four or five years old and to this day, at the age of 29, I think I can close my eyes and recount every minute of that movie. As a child it impacted me with immense enchantment, yet as I carried that enchantment through my adolescence and teenage years I began to evaluate the huge weight that this movie carried with me. That one simple line of dialogue, “There is no try,” spoken by a small green “alien” with pointy ears probably rings in my ears every day of my life. I could literally apply those words to every worry, frustration, anxiety, or challenge I’ve ever had in my life. I’m actually certain that with every challenge I’ve had, the first image that popped into my head was Yoda looking at me with a blank gaze just waiting for me to do something productive and positive to better my situation.
Boingboing updates today with a catchy little ditty called “Tatooine” by Jeremy Messersmith — a short two-and-a-half-minute piece which recounts the entire original trilogy in a Paul Simon-like song illustrated with paper cut-out animation.
Be warned — you might find yourself whistling this one all afternoon.
Check it out here.
UPDATE: Wired has just posted an interview with Messersmith that you can read here.
Songs always sound more majestic somehow when played on the pipes. Here’s a selection of some of our favorite videos of fans playing the Star Wars theme song on the bagpipes!
- Star Wars Bagpipes
- May the Bagpipe Be With You
- Star Wars Theme on the Pipes in PEI
- Star Wars Bagpipes at Vancouver Art Gallery
- Star Wars bagpipe Asturies por las playas de Xivares
- Bagpipe Star Wars
- Imperial March on the bagpipes
Sometimes our fans do something so amazing, that even Darth Vader has to be impressed. The Jedi Masters & Sith Lords over at CollegeHumor.com made this awesome fan movie to the soundtrack of Jay-Z & Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind.”
There’s a rapping Darth Vader, a singing Princess Leia playing Max Rebo’s keyboard, not to mention some sweet dance moves from various Rebel pilots, Ewoks, stormtroopers and Chewbacca. Even Boba Fett, R2-D2 and C-3PO stop by.
Our lightsabers salute you, College Humor.
WATCH VIDEO: Galactic Empire State of Mind
Ever wonder what would happen if Princess Leia “woke up one morning feeling like P. Diddy” and had to find her way home while running from stormtroopers with the help of Han Solo, C-3PO and Chewie — all while singing Ke$ha’s dance hit “Tik Tok?”
Check out this impressive Star Wars themed Ke$ha “Tik Tok” music video spoof by the talented fans Eddie King and Tyler Marshall!
Bonus points to the crew for the hilarious low-rent C-3PO costume and for turning a mini-van into the Falcon! The dance party scene at the end makes us wish Comic-Con hosted a geek prom just for us.
WATCH MUSIC VIDEO:
Ke$ha + Star Wars “Tik Tok” Music Video Spoof!
Here’s some of our favorite screengrabs:
Do you have lightsaber battles with your friends outside at parties? Do you daydream about World of Warcraft? Do you dress up to watch Lord of the Rings? Are all your favorite movies in Japanese?
Then you now have a cool anthem to sing thanks to the band Dave and Brian!
“You say I’m a dork, but that’s okay!
I’m gonna be your boss one day!”
WATCH MUSIC VIDEO:
“The Dork Anthem” by Dave and Brian