The Dark Side of Everything: Star Wars

The Dark Side of Everything: Star Wars

When 70’s pop cultural touchstones collide.

I find your lack of Roger Waters disturbing.

I find your lack of Roger Waters disturbing.

We all know the old rumor that Dark Side syncs up in freaky ways with The Wizard of Oz. Of course, if you play pretty much any album along with any movie, there are bound to be some moments of synchronicity. (The human brain is very good at making connections.) But this got me wondering–what would happen if I played Dark Side along with a different movie? Specifically, a movie that is very associated with the term “dark side.”

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that Pink Floyd somehow composed an album synced to a movie that hadn’t been made yet, or that George Lucas used Dark Side as a temp score in his editing room. But you have to admit, some of these coincidences are pretty cool.

(Technical notes: I started the album right when the 20th Century Fox logo appears. And sadly, I had to use the Special Edition version of the movie. Like it or not, Lucas has done a pretty good job of tossing the original down the memory hole.)

Star Wars: The opening crawl tells us about the Death Star.
Dark Side: The introductory track, “Speak To Me,” ends with the sound of screaming (perhaps foreshadowing the destruction of Alderaan?).

Star Wars: C-3PO to R2D2: “We’ll be destroyed for sure! This is madness!”
Dark Side: “Leave, but don’t leave me.” This pretty much sums up his attitude.

Star Wars: The rebel ship is pulled into a hole in the much larger imperial ship.
Dark Side: “Run, rabbit run. Dig that hole, forget the sun.”

Star Wars: Rebels are mowed down by imperial stormtroopers.
Dark Side: “You race towards an early grave.”

Star Wars: The surviving rebels run away.
Dark Side: The song “On the Run” begins.

Star Wars: Vader chokes a rebel to death.
Dark Side: “Live for today, gone tomorrow, that’s me.”

Star Wars: An escape pod takes off.
Dark Side: A plane takes off.

Star Wars: C-3PO wanders aimlessly into the Tatooine desert.
Dark Side: “Kicking around on a piece of ground in your hometown, waiting for someone or something to show you the way.” (In the prequels, we learn that Tatooine is indeed 3PO’s hometown.)

Star Wars: Luke Skywalker makes him first entrance.
Dark Side: “Great Gig In the Sky” gets quiet all of a sudden.

Star Wars: Uncle Owen agrees to buy R2-D2 from the Jawas.
Dark Side: The song “Money” begins.

Star Wars: Luke complains about how much he wants to leave Tatoine.
Dark Side: “Money, get away. Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay.”

Star Wars: Luke pokes at R2D2 with a screwdriver.
Dark Side: “I’m all right Jack, keep your hands off of my stack.”

Star Wars: “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”
Dark Side: “Don’t give me that do-goody good bullshit.”

Star Wars: Luke and C-3PO catch R2 in the desert, and tell him to give up trying to find Obi-Wan.
Dark Side: “God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do.”

Star Wars: Luke is beaten by a sand person.
Dark Side: “Black and blue.”

Star Wars: Luke discovers a badly injured C-3PO.
Dark Side: “Down and out.”

Star Wars: Obi-Wan gives Luke his father’s lightsaber.
Dark Side: The song “Any Colour You Like” begins. (Maybe a bit of a stretch, but it certainly is colorful. Sorry: “colourful.”)

Star Wars: Grand Moff Tarkin: “Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.”
Dark Side: “Got to keep the loonies on the path.”

Star Wars: Vader Force-chokes an underling.
Dark Side: “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.”

Star Wars: Luke discovers that his home has been burnt and his foster parents are dead.
Dark Side: “I can’t think of anything to say except… I think it’s marvelous! Hahaha!” (Perhaps he is secretly excited that he can finally leave the planet?)

I highly recommend this combination, by the way. The section that works best is “On the Run,” towards the beginning. Arpeggiated synths make a completely believable soundtrack for fleeing robots. But the whole movie was a new experience with Dark Side. Subbing out the John Williams removes a lot of the energy from the film, which makes it easy to relax and enjoy the visuals. In other words: Pink Floyd makes things mellow. I’ll take my Nobel Prize now.

(By the way, as the title implies, this could become a series. Let me know if there are any movies you think would play nicely with Dark Side.)

12 Comments on “The Dark Side of Everything: Star Wars”

  1. Laurence #

    Could give the matrix a go?


  2. Donald Brown #

    Star Wars: “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”
    Dark Side: “Don’t give me that do-goody good bullshit.”

    that was my favorite part. I’d always heard that Dark Side was supposed to be played with 2001, because Waters wanted to do the soundtrack for that film, but that playing it with The Shining also got interested effects.


  3. Perich #

    Everything that syncs up with “Money” (from Luke complaining about getting off Tattooine to Leia asking Kenobi for help) is brilliant.


  4. Saint #

    You could try something that’s 42 minutes long, so you can see how the album works over an entire narrative.

    The first episode of The X-Files, or maybe the final episode of Twin Peaks.


  5. Gab #

    I say try a Disney movie. Or Micheal Bay.


  6. Saint #

    Hey, why not play Dark Side of the Moon while watching The Wall?


  7. Pianodan #

    I know the paradigm is “Wizard of Oz,” but what about another classic movie? “Citizen Kane” springs to mind.


  8. Amy #

    When I was in high school, about *cough* years ago, we used to partake in some herbal refreshments and “The Dark Side of the Rainbow” (on vinyl and VHS!!) it brought us much delight. But recently I’ve heard of the synchronistic interplay between Floyd’s “The Wall” and Pixar’s “Wall-E” I have yet to try it.

    These were the top five that I think would be most interesting:

    Pulp Fiction
    Silence Of The Lambs
    Any of the Indy Movies
    Fight Club
    The Dark Night


  9. James T. #

    I would be highly amused to see you do “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”


  10. Josh #

    Blade. Runner. Do it.


  11. Mark #

    Obviously they had both movies playing when they did the final mixdown. Is there no end to your genius, Pink Floyd? (A:no)


  12. Phil #

    “Blade Runner” actually goes very well with the “Wish You Were Here” album.

    I don’t know of any other films to sync up “Dark Side of the Moon” to, but the final chapter of Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” goes very well (and is identical in length) to the epic Pink Floyd song “Echoes”. The way they go together is remarkable. More fulfilling than “The Wizard of Oz” and “Dark Side of the Moon”.


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