Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Madness March of the Day: "The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)" from The Empire Strikes Back by John Williams

Today on Maury, our guest, fighter pilot Luke, is about to find out on this stage... 'Who's His Daddy'!
In the liner notes of RCA Victor's 1997 two-CD reissue of the Empire Strikes Back score, reissue editor Michael Matessino referred to "The Imperial March" (terrifically mashed up with The Chemical Brothers and Q-Tip's "Galvanize" here by Party Ben) as "a dark, but fun musical depiction of the might of the Empire which serves as a malevolent 'Hail to the Chief' for its principal figure, Darth Vader(*)."

Back in the age before MTV (where, in 1983, the "Lapti Nek" song from the sequence at Jabba the Hutt's palace in Return of the Jedi was added to rotation to promote the Star Wars threequel, and then in 1999, The Phantom Menace's "Duel of the Fates" debuted as a music video), "The Imperial March" made its first substantial appearance not on TV, but during John Williams' first official concert as Boston Pops Orchestra conductor on April 29, 1980, three weeks before The Empire Strikes Back's premiere.

Thirty-two years (and countless appearances in sports arenas and advertising) later, Ron Paul used the bombastic Star Wars villain theme as New Hampshire Republican primary victory music. Ron Paul looks like a Paul Coker Jr. drawing of a jolly old grandfather who hates black people.

Speaking of strange fucking conservatives who want to take over the White House, why does Mitt Romney talk to his constituents like he's Lieutenant Commander Data practicing how to better socialize with his human shipmates?




(*) Speaking of Vader, illustrator Ralph McQuarrie, who designed Vader's suit in 1975 and whose character designs and concept art helped shape the look of Star Wars, passed away over the weekend. You Offend Me You Offend My Family posted an obit full of McQuarrie's still-remarkable-looking Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back concept art. Below is a 1979 teaser trailer for The Empire Strikes Back that showcases McQuarrie's artwork. R.I.P.

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