One of the many things Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica reboot had going for it was Bear McCreary’s amazing score. It was by turns sweeping, epic, emotional, and evocative of the sense of mystery and wonder the show often explored. It felt like exactly the right music for the show, even before “All Along the Watchtower” entered the equation. But how would the tale of the ragtag human fleet’s search for a planet called Earth play out with very different musical accompaniment? Say, that of the classic 1986 Tom Cruise flick Top Gun. Like this:
That brilliant bit of mashuppery is the work of one Nick Acosta, who recut BSG footage with Harold Faltermyer’s Top Gun score standing in for McCreary’s original music. It works remarkably well, and then things kick into high gear as Vipers begin rocketing into space to the tune of Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone.” It’s not as perfect as the show’s original score at setting the tone but it’s still pretty damn entertaining. The fact that both have opening intro cards is a nice touch, and Acosta even found a moment from BSG that echoes the infamous moment from Top Gun where Maverick inverts himself above a Russian fighter. Here’s Acosta’s explaining why and how he decided to put together the video he calls “Top Gun Galactica.”
For part one of this film I wanted to show the life of a fighter pilot aboard a carrier at war. Much like a fireman, fighter pilots can be called at any moment and have to spring into action. Starbuck and Maverick are roughly the same character. They are both extraordinarily skilled fighter pilots, but both wild flying against the shadows of their past. Their parents were once in the military and every time Maverick and Starbuck get into the cockpit they are flying against ghosts. They are also super cocky and don’t mind throwing a punch or jumping in and out of bed with someone. I loved using the great Top Gun score from Harold Faltermeyer and of course Kenny Loggins classic song ‘Danger Zone.’
If you’ve already watched the whole film, however, you know that he didn’t stop just with a Top Gun-fied BSG. Instead he went the extra mile to do the reverse, recutting Top Gun footage with McCreary’s score. It’s a much shorter part of the video, but it begins around the four-minute mark. Here’s Acosta again:
Part two of this film was my entire inspiration for this project. Watching Top Gun recently I wondered what would this feel like with Bear McCreary’s great score behind it. This is actually shot for shot the last two mins of Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome. Young LT. Adama finally gets his Viper and is sent off on another adventure. Watching this I had an emotional reaction because these final shots will (probably) be the last moments ever of the reimagined version of Galactica. I loved showcasing all the beautiful Visual FX that were created for the show by ZOIC under CG supervisors Gary Hutzel and Doug Drexler. I feel both Top Gun and Galactica match up in tone [quite] nicely, even though one takes place in space a long time ago far from Earth. Who knows, maybe this has all happened before and maybe it will all happen again…
McCreary’s score definitely gives the Top Gun footage a different feel, more somber and haunting. I don’t think works nearly as well as BSG with the Top Gun music, but it’s still an interesting experiment.
Here’s the original opening and “Danger Zone” sequence from Top Gun for comparison’s sake.