Forty years since George Lucas took moviegoers on a sci-fi action epic through the galaxy, the Star Wars movie franchise continues to break box office records year-after-year. But, when the original trilogy (episodes IV, V, VI) was first released, people couldn’t have expected the kind of lasting impact it would have on modern music.
The original score was written by composer/conductor, John Williams, who also composed original themes for such timeless classics as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman: The Movie, Schindler’s List, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, Home Alone and Harry Potter. He recently composed the score for Episode VIII: The Last Jedi and will be writing the score for the yet-to-be-titled Star Wars: Episode IX (2019). Michael Giacchino composed the soundtrack to the spin-off film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and John Powell will compose the score for the upcoming Star Wars spin-off movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).
“A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”
The film saga was influential to the time-traveling adventure trilogy Back to the Future, Kevin Smith’s directorial debut, Clerks, the campy comedy movie, Fanboys (2009) and was the inspiration for several artist/group names, such as Nerf Herder, Jedi Mind Tricks, San Holo, Wookiefoot, and Kenobi. The characters became such pop culture icons that even Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was once escorted to the stage by the supreme sith lord, Darth Vader.
Here are just 10 of our favorite tracks inspired by ‘Star Wars’:
1. “Darth Vader” – 21 Savage + Offset + Metro Boomin’
The sith lord Darth Vader, a.k.a. Anakin Skywalker, is frequently referenced in modern music for his all-black attire, which was the main focus of the track from Without Warning, the 2017 Atlanta rap collaboration featuring 21 Savage, Offset [of Migos] and super producer Metro Boomin’.
2. “Kylo Ren” – Kidd Keo
Kidd Keo rhymes about one of the more conflicted characters in the Star Wars universe with this Spanish trap track dedicated to the saga’s new anti-hero, Kylo Ren, a.k.a. Ben Solo, portrayed on screen by Adam Driver.
3. “Sith Lord” – Mike Lolli
South Floridian rapper Mike Lolli “lets the hate flow through” him with this track dedicated to the Jedi’s sworn enemy, the Sith.
4. “Fett’s Vette” – MC Chris
We said “no parodies” but decided that we would make an exception with nerdcore rapper MC Chris. There is something to be said about his hilarious hypothetical style of writing with this track about the galactic bounty hunter Boba Fett driving around in corvette.
5. “Star Wars” – Nas
The bonus track from the 10th-anniversary reissue of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, is actually a reference to lightsaber battles because it always involves clashing and you need to be on your guard.
6. “Sky Walker” feat. Travis Scott – Miguel
Singer-songwriter Miguel is a true fanboy at heart. Inspired by the hero, Luke Skywalker, who is portrayed in the films by Mark Hamill, the song makes several references to the Jedi Master. “For some reason, [Skywalker is] just great and has all of the wherewithal in him,” Miguel said in a recent interview with Genius, regarding his latest single featuring Travis Scott. “Sometimes I don’t know why my mind connects certain things, but it just felt right so I left it.”
7. “Jedi Code” – Rapsody feat. Jay Electronica and Phonte
Rapsody, Jay Electronica and Phonte team up on this track from producer 9th Wonder, a reference to the oath written by Jedi Master Odan-Urrto, which governed the Jedi Order. It states that “there is no emotion, there is peace,” which refers to how objectivity enables them to always do the right thing.
8. “Yoda” – Adrian Stresow
Adrian Stresow, a 19-year-old rapper from Dallas, Texas, tells listeners how it feels to pull up in a new Toyota feeling like the legendary Jedi Master.
9. “Ewok” – Kidanevil feat. Ocean Wisdom
Producer Kidanevil teams up with the 24-year-old Brighton emcee Ocean Wisdom on this electronic-infused UK hip-hop track that actually has very little to do with the furry little critters from planet Endor.
10. “Cantina Boys” – Baauer
The trap remix of the classic “Cantina Band” jam was produced by DJ/Producer Baauer for the Star Wars-inspired remix album, Head Space, from Hollywood Records.
Obviously, there are many more songs based on the sci-fi series, as there will likely be much more to come in the future. Be sure to stay tuned to Salute Magazine for updates and more on the upcoming Solo movie project, which is set to star Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, and Woody Harrelson as Beckett.
STREAM: INSPIRED BY ‘STAR WARS’