One of the most intriguing aspects of pop culture as a whole is its malleability, especially now that technology allows for instant adaptability. Did a politician sound like a jackass while making a speech? Make him sound like more of a jackass by Auto-Tuning it and putting a hip-hop track underneath. Want to see what David Cronenberg’s The Fly would look like in a more gothic black-and-white? You can probably do that, but I’m not helping. One of my favorite examples in artful modification has been Dan Walsh’s Garfield Without Garfield, which immediately becomes a stranger and more thoughtful strip than anything involving the fat orange tabby.
Of course, Star Wars is no stranger to fan-altered creations, but this video from YouTuber Jon Friedman is one of the most absurdly amusing I’ve ever seen. While Darth Vader is one of cinema’s most iconic villains, both in his ruthless character traits and his signature black aesthetic, the fact that he’s essentially a mask and cloak can’t be ignored. David Prowse gives the character stoicism in his imposing size, but Vader lives and dies with the voice of James Earl Jones. And also with the assumption that his big-ass helmet has ear-holes big enough for him to hear through. For if he couldn’t he might just turn into a bumbling, barely moving, senile old man, and that’s what this video suggests.
Sure, it could do with some more professional editing, but these scenes perfectly convey the uselessness of a leader without communication skills, staring off into space, waiting until the silence is unbearable before speaking.
(It also reminds me of those vids of The Wonder Years with the Daniel Stern narration stripped out. – Ed.)