TRANSMISSIONS FROM A GALAXY FAR, FAR, AWAY:

EPISODE XIV

This is the 14th column in a weekly series from The Rock Father James Zahn. Check back Fridays for the latest in what’s happening in the galaxy far, far away, or read them all here.

The Aquabats! recently stopped by Lucasfilm, taking a break from their crowdfunding effort to bring back The Aquabats! Super Show! which was unceremoniously lost in limbo due to the collapse of The Hub Network some years back. During their visit, the band happened onto the set of The Star Wars Show where they were challenged to do some on-the-spot songwriting with a focus on minor characters. Pulling names from the helmet of an unfortunate Stormtrooper, three members of the ‘Bats (MC Bat Commander, Eaglebones Falconhawk, and Jimmy the Robot) managed to throw down some tasty jams devoted to Aunt Beru and Ponda Baba. For the latter, they managed to draw some focus to the exact same haunting image that I pointed out when ol’ Walrus Man made an appearance on my list of “13 Unlucky Star Wars Characters” here at The Pop Insider… that bloody limb!

With The Aquabats! putting some new focus on music “inspired-by” Star Wars, now is a good time to start taking a fresh look at an entire genre of music that pays homage to that little film from 1977 and the massive Empire that it spawned. With thousands of songs to choose from over the past 40+ years, we could say that this is a genre (and I already did), but really Star Wars music splits off into dozens of sub-genres including Star Wars parodies, Star Wars covers, Star Wars metal. Star Wars electronica, Star Wars mashups, Star Wars kindie (that’s kids + family), Star Wars rap, and the list goes on. In fact, there’s so many that I’ve started curating a Spotify Playlist specifically devoted to the “greatest hits” of all the Star Wars-inspired tunes and I’m just getting started.

So where should you begin? Let’s spin five of the lesser-known tunes you should be rockin’ right now!


Recess Monkey – Chewy to Your Han (2018)

This one isn’t well-known simply because it’s brand new. Seattle’s Recess Monkey has been making family-friendly music for years, and they’ve paid homage to Star Wars many times in the past—perhaps most famously with Oh, Lando back in 2015. Yes, they did mention putting a spice rub on a Porg.


Board of Education – “Why is Dad So Mad?” (2012)

Coincidentally another Seattle kindie band, Board of Education released this song in what could be considered the second era of “the dark times” when audiences thought that Star Wars was done. It arrived not long before The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm, focusing on a grownup with some serious Prequel and Special Edition issues.


Captain Ambivalent – “Goin Jawa Rap” (2017)

All the Jawas in the house say Utini! This accordion-rocking Hoosier throws down some tasty rhymes that bridge the gap from the fields of Indiana to the deserts of Tatooine.


Mountain Goats – The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All the Other Jedi and Eats Their Bones (2017)

This song came to be via some conversation between Rian Johnson, director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. Johnson posted this on his own Soundcloud account almost a year before the film hit theaters.


Shabütie – Goodnight (1999)

Before there was Coheed and Cambria, there was Shabütie, and this song from 1999 manages to throw down mention of Boba Fett, The Clone Wars, Jabba, Luke Skywalker and more. We could call this one the “deep cut” for today!


Speaking of Star Wars-based musical genres, did you know that the most popular music on Tatooine was called Jizz? That’s right, jizz. Figrin D’an and The Modal Nodes might be best-known as the house band at the Mos Eisley Cantina, and along with The Max Rebo Band (known to play Jabba’s Palace on frequent occasion), they counted themselves among the galaxy’s best-selling jizz-wailers. The back cover of the now non-Canon Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina (published in 1995) even said that the bar is a place where you can down your favorite intoxicant while listening to the best jizz. They knew what they were doing. You can learn more here.

 

Pictured Top: Barquin D’an, older brother of Figrin.