If you’ve been from one side of this galaxy to the other and think you’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, you’ve never seen anything as great as the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band mashup with Star Wars. And this isn’t just Beatles music playing over Star Wars footage. The people behind the video — “Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans” — redid all the lyrics for the entirety of Sgt. Pepper to tell the story of Star Wars: A New Hope.
Picking a favorite song from the epic visual mash-up album “Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans” is impossible. Created by the music-parody duo Palette-Swap Ninja, the project is a series of ambitious YouTube videos. In all, it takes us through the entire plot of A New Hope but also track-by-track of the Beatles’ most famous concept album. If you’re not convinced with the refrain from the first two tracks: “You’re all spies with a little help from your friends,” then you must be won over by the third song: “Luke is in the Desert and Whining” set to “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”
Fusing Sgt. Pepper’s with Star Wars might seem strange, but this parody (tribute?) is undeniably catchy. “We were surprised to find just how well it all synched up,” says Jude Kelley on Palette-Swap Ninja’s website. In a sense, this fusion honors the hodgepodge nature of both the original album and original film. George Lucas was fusing various different types of storytelling techniques, pulp traditions, and new special effects to create something that felt old and new at the same time. Arguably, Sgt. Pepper’s is the same. The Beatles created a false persona of an old-timey band but pushed boundaries of what had even been attempted with in-studio overdubs to a new level. Plus, while the integration of full orchestras into rock-pop music might seem common in the 21st century, it was a revelation in 1966.
Palette-Swap Ninja says the project “presents two classics that superfans know by heart in a way they’ve never imagined.” They’re right. The videos are dived into tracks, the way they would be on an album. But, it will play continuously from one to the next as you start watching.
Hopefully Palette-Swap Ninja will fuse Abbey Road with The Empire Strikes Back next.