YouTube: Corey Vidal’s lip synch of Moosebutter’s “Star Wars”

Update – the video has been nominated for People’s Choice Awards – hop over to YouTube to watch!

Moosebutter’s Star Wars a capella (1999)
This a capella music piece is exhilarating for all hard-core fans of Star Wars and John Williams’ music. If you love both as most do, then you’ll experience a myriad of emotions just listening to the sound—especially if you were of the generation that queued for tickets in May 1977 to see the original (I did at the now defunct Odeon theatre). My imagination was captured long before opening day as a local radio station had been playing excerpts of the audio track daily and I had stitched those together on a casette tape to listen repeatedly to the dialogue, music and sound effects. By the time I go to the big screen, I knew the introductory parts by heart and sat back to enjoy the filling in of the images – and boy oh boy, were they out of this world, or what?

So that background allowed me to identify the scenes and characters associated with various phrases harmoniously hollered out by a really fun bunch of musicians.

Moosebutter is an a cappella group who pen crazy lyrics to popular music to produce what they call “therapeutic lunacy”. These talented musicians produce great sounds even over YouTube and of this piece, they say,

“Star Wars” is “based on music by John Williams, words from the original Star Wars trilogy by George Lucas. Arranged by J.S. Slagowski and Bryant W. Smith, adapted by Tim Y. Jones. This performance premiered on 19th May 1999 – the very night that Episode 1: The Phantom Menace opened in the United States.”

Thus the song ends with the exhortation to “go go go to the movies”!

Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace (1999)
In 1999, I was at the midnight premier of Phantom Menace at GV Marina. It was not exactly a mainstream location then but even there, the atmosphere of anticipation was electric. I was surrounded by very passionate fans who had waited 16 years for Star Wars Episode I—so much so they broke out in cheers when the trumpet sounded and first bright words scrolled forward and away…

Just as enthusiastically, they shushed themselves in jovial camaraderie and the atmosphere remained intense throughout the movie. As a result, the emotional intensity of each dramatic scene was heightened considerably! Irritation over Jar Jar Binks never surfaced as it was elbowed aside by the intense feelings of that night. Truly a unique experience!

Had this YouTube video been screened that night of the Phantom Menace, the audience would certainly have burst out in wild cheering!

But no one had heard of Moosebutter then…

Corey Vidal’s a capella lip synch video (2008)
Close to a decade after the Moosebutter premier on 27th October 2008, Canadian YouTube Partner Corey Vidal posted a lip sync of all four parts of the a capella stitched together into a single frame. This was done with Moosebutter’s support and help (read Vidal’s YouTube sidebar) and Moosebutter says, “More people saw it on the internet than probably ever saw any of our other videos…”

Double-click to hop over to YouTube and watch/listen to the high quality version.

The clip is the reason for this effusive and reminiscent post and is on its way to becoming a YouTube phenomenon with more than 2.5 million hits already. Everyone I have enthusiastically showed it to have enjoyed it with glee.

I just paypal-ed for Moosebutter’s two CDS, at only US$10 each. So perhaps they might get some boost from the old faithful, we’ll see.

Fans will have some fun reminiscing the scenes from which the statements originate. E.g. “let the Wookie win” is from Han Solo advising C3PO not to argue with Chewbacca over him cheating on the holographic chess game as they make their way to Alderaan. I think fans will be seeing the images in their mind.

Another amusing bit is the irreverent treatment of Star Wars’ colourless (upon reflection many years later) protagonist, Luke Skywalker. As we rewatched the epic, many of us grew weary at his moaning and whining and Moosebutter takes him to task rather mercilessly. Vidal doesn’t miss a beat with his facial expressions! It’s truly priceless—you just have to make sure you watch the right head!

If you aren’t a hard core Star Wars or John Williams fan, the “Star Wars” John Williams tribute is fun to watch and lovely to listen to in its own right. Vidal’s four faces and the timing is fascinating. I know my students are struggling with exams right now and I’m buried in marking, but take a break and watch this—just telling a friend about this over the phone just now raised her spirits!


[Close Encounters of the Droid Kind]
You must use the force (repeat ad nauseum)

[Raiders of the Lost Wookiee]
Long time ago, far far away (repeat)

Kiss a wookie, kick a droid
Fly the falcon through an asteroid
Till the princess is annoyed
This is spaceships, it’s monsters, it’s Star Wars, we love it!

Come and help me, Obi Wan
X-wing fighter and a blaster gun
Dance with Ewoks, oh what fun!
This is spaceships, it’s monsters, it’s Star Wars, we love it!

[Super Han]
Get in there you big, furry oaf
I couldn’t care less what you smell
I take orders from only me
Maybe you’d like it back in your cell
Your Highness, your worshipfulness, your highness, your worshipfulness

No one cares if you upset a droid
(nobody cares if you upset a droid)
That’s because droids don’t tear your arms out of socket.
(nobody cares)
I suggest a new strategy: let the Wookie win
That’s because nobody cares if you upset a droid.

[ET the DiscoTerrestrial]
Now we listen to Luke whining:
One more season… One more season… One more season… One more season…

I was gonna go to Tashi Station for power converters
Now I guess I’m going nowhere.
It just isn’t fair.

[Jaws: the Wookiee]
Wooookie (repeat)

Someone move this walking carpet (repeat)

Kiss your brother, Kiss your brother (repeat)

Princess Leia
Well I guess you don’t know anything about women.

Who’s your daddy? (repeat)

[Jurassic Darth]
Luke, I’m your father
(That’s not true!)
It is useless to resist
(My hand!)
Come with me my son, We will rule
(I’ll never join you!)
Search your feelings it is true

So you have a twin sister
Who Obi Wan was wise to hide
(Is that Leia?)
If you will not turn
Then perhaps she will
Give in to your hate
You are mine

Long Long Long Time ago… Far Far Far Far Away

Long Long Long Time Ago, Far Far Far Away (repeat)

Kiss a wookie
Kick a droid
Fly the falcon
Through an asteroid
Till the princess is annoyed
(She’s annoyed!)
This is spaceships, it’s monsters, it’s Star Wars, we love it, it’s true

Episode 3
Coming to you
In 2005

So Let’s go
(go go go to the movies)
Stand in line
(buy buy buy me some popcorn)
Cause it’s al-
(please I’d like extra butter)
most the time
(Join the dark side…)
May the Force be with you all

John Williams is the man