The "Star Wars - Force Awakens" opens on the December 18th, and as you may know, I'm kind of into all things Star Wars. You see I was born in 1971 and grew up on all things Star Wars. I still think about the movies and I'm fascinated by it all. I mean, I still question why Obi Won-Kenobi would go into hiding from the Empire and only change his name to "Ben Kenobi"! Seriously? If I have to take off and run from the law my alias will not be Brian McDonald.
But I am heading to see the premiere with a bunch of high school buddies and yes I will bring my lightsaber and robe. I will share out some photos from this event later this week.
Now, back to Parodies:
Parodies have been around a long time and one of the most popular subjects to poke fun at is Star Wars. As a kid in the 70's I remember finding the first parody / fan film Hardware Wars hilarious. By the way, I DON'T recommend watching it - somethings should be left to memory.
Anyway, song parodies really began in pop culture in the 1960's with the likes of Allan Sherman with parody hits such as Hello Muddah Hello Faddah. But my generation knows one man who made them fun and relevant, Weird Al Yankovic. His "Eat It" and "Amish Paradise" are some of my favorites, but check out this Rolling Stone article about his top ten of all time.
Now in education music and pardoy have a role as well. I remember my first CUE Rockstar in Tahoe and seeing Diane Main (the queen of song parodies!) stand up sing to the whole audience one of her parodies. Talk about confidence! But this wasn't just fun. She showed how creating a song parody related to your curriculum content allowed for students to demonstrate their understanding of the content along with being engaged. Basically Project Based Learning in a nutshell. Here is a recent example of one Diane did teaching humpback whales, sung to Love Shack from the B-52's.
She even shared this great infographic on the Psychology of Music. If you are interested the programs to start playing with are Audacity for PC, Twisted Wave for Chromebooks & Garage Band for Mac.
And now to Star Wars - there are tons of parodies out there but here is my list of my top 6 parody songs.
#7) All About that Base
Good parody - not my genre of music though, so it makes my #7
Everyone is the world seems to have done a Frozen parody (oh, I got a World History one about the Nazis as well). But this one about getting Vader out of his room to go kill some rebels is well done.
#5) Cello Wars
Not really a parody but these to dudes can rock a Chello and the lightsaber bow
#4) Star Wars: The Musical
Not just the movie song to Queen's "We Will Rock You" but a pretty cool cartoon as well
#3) The Star Wars That I Used To Know
This parody isn't about the movie but about our fan frustrations with Mr. George Lucas and how maybe he changed a little too much and other stuff that really brought down the brand (I mean Jar Jar Binks... what were you thinking!)
#2) Star Wars (John Williams Is The Man)
This is a Star Wars themed, four-part a cappella musical tribute set to cinematic themes from composer John Williams. You hear parts of some of most famous scores from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman, Jaws and more. So the song was by a group called Moosebutter but their song went viral back in 2008 when this guy Corey Vidal did a lip sync of it. Here is the band Moosebutter doingtheir own four quadrant video after Corey did his
#1) The Saga Begins
Although the Phantom Menance is really something I wish I could unsee, Weird Al does create one kick ass parody using Don Mclean's American Pie. This is what good parodies do - make you appreciate BOTH works of art.
Here's one more bonus video. Its not a parody and goes back to 1999, but Lucas in Love is my favorite fan / short film of all. So creative and well done. Makes me want to go out and make videos on my own.