In the past few weeks, the cultural saturation of Star Wars has been pushed to its merchandising limits. Icons from the films have been plastered on everything from greasy fast food wrappers and toys to computers and makeup. The franchise has tapped into the minds, cultures, and pocketbooks of people all over the world. Electronic music lovers are no exception. Countless DJs have heard the "Cantina Theme" or "Imperial March" and, in the throes of passion, believed they had the power to improve on John Williams' classic score. Sometimes they are right, more often they aren't.
Here's the best and very, very worst of DJs playing with Star Wars.
Best: Notorious B.I.G.
On the ambitious album Life After Death Star, Otaku Gang mashes up the Star Wars soundtrack with Notorious B.I.G's catalogue. Not all of it works, but when it does, it's incredible. Mixing "Ten Crack Commandments" with the lamenting strings of "Binary Sunset" creates a haunting track that's no longer about braggadocio as it is repentance.
Worst: Quad City DJs
Miami bass group Quad City DJs had one hit in the 90s that they turned into another very similar-sounding hit on the Space Jam soundtrack. Mashing them up with not one but two Star Wars themes is the neo-capitalist equivalent of locking monkeys in a room with typewriters until they produce Shakespeare.
The Star Wars soundtrack has been reworked into literally every genre imaginable. But, if you're brave (or bored) enough to trawl through page after page of remixes on SoundCloud, you'll eventually find a gem or two. Nestled deep in that mound of pop culture detritus is Rameses B's glitch-hop remix, a track that blends different samples and themes from Star Wars in a manner that's both totally seamless and funky as hell.
Be wary of anything posted by a guy named "EarRapingXebra." Skip to the 1:50 mark and prepare to wish you were on Alderaan when the Empire took the Death Star out for its test drive.
Best: Skratch Bastid
Nova Scotia DJ Skratch Bastid showed the world he was no Padawan when he rocked the 2001 Scribble Jam in Cincinnati, OH with his version of the "Imperial March." Since then, the video has been viewed over one million times on YouTube, and Bastid has pretty much become the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the international scratching scene.
Lando Calrissian's head of security, the cyborg Lobot, survived the imperial invasion of Cloud City only to die onstage at a dance party years later.
"It's A Trap" (Trap Remix)
How many producers have impotently tried to utilize Admiral Ackbar's classic line from The Jedi Returns without success? Then, like some millenial King Arthur pulling the sword from the stone, greatness was realized without warning.