Just in time for the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” please welcome “Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans!” That’s the name of a new mash-up of every song from the Fab Four’s most famous album with footage from the original 1977 “Star Wars” movie.
You can watch a video excerpt below. Not coincidentally, “Star Wars” will celebrate its 40th anniversary on May 25, while the “Sgt, Pepper’s” album will celebrate its 50th anniversary on June 1 (with an expanded CD box set ready for release). “Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans” was released May 1 as “an unofficial, fan-made video not intended for commercial use.”
Fans of both The Beatles and “Star Wars” should find much to savor with “Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans” - unless, or until, attorneys for the long defunct band or Lucasfilm issue a cease-and-desist order.
In the meanwhile, you can sit back and delight as “With a Little Help from My Friends” becomes “With Illicit Help from Your Friends.” It begins:
What would you think if I boarded your ship, would you give those transmissions to me? / How can this be a real consular ship, no ambassador that I can see / Oh, you’re all spies with illicit help from your friends / Hey, but nice try with illicit help from your friends / You’re gonna die along with all of your friends.
Other reinventions include “Luke is in the Desert and Whining” (formerly “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”) and “Being from the Spaceport of Mos Eisley” (“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”).
“Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans” is the brainchild of the Bay Area website Palette-Swap Ninja. In an online message, Palette-Swap Ninja’s creators said they have spent five years working on “Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans.”
“It’s the entire Beatles album as accurately as we could record it, only now it tells the story of ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ - in order. We sweat the details on both sides in an effort to do both cultural milestones justice. Writing hyper-specific lyrics that match the original songs’ cadences; reverse-engineering everything the Beatles recorded, from distorted saxophone riffs to Indian tabla rhythms; recording everything from scratch and learning as we went - well, that’s what takes five years...
“We’re very proud. We’re very happy. We’re very tired. And if you like what you hear, we only ask that you spread the word. This is a fan-made labor of love and a free download.”