We all know (at least those of us who have actually seen the movie) just how much Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) loves his mix-tape in Guardians of the Galaxy. Hell, Marvel pushed the soundtrack so hard prior to the release that even if you’re one of the few who haven’t seen it (it recently topped $586 million worldwide and is the biggest domestic movie of 2014 so far), you probably still know it plays a central role in the character’s arc. Even with all of outlandish, fantastic elements in James Gunn’s film, those of us who came of age in the era of cassette tapes have one big problem when it comes to the believability when it comes to this particular item, and this new short video, rendered in LEGO no less, hits it right on the head.
If you ever spent any time at all recording songs onto cassettes off of records, the radio, other cassettes, or even CDs (I never owned a car with a CD player until eight months ago), you know one thing for certain in this world: cassettes degrade. So when Star-Lord, also known as Peter Quill, risks his life, and those of his travelling companions, in order to retrieve a beloved mix-tape—one he’s had since childhood, which we know is at least 26 years at this point—there’s no way in hell it sounds as good at it does in the movie.
As this video from the Brotherhood Workshop so astutely points out, playing this tape as much as he does, day after day on his Walkman or in the tape deck on his spaceship the Milano (you just know that was a custom addition, but have to wonder where he found one in deep space), there’s going to be at least a minor warp to these tunes. Unless, however, there’s something about the atmosphere in deep space that has a restorative effect on the medium. Having never travelled in these regions, I can’t say one way or another with any certainty, but I bet you still don’t want to leave it sitting on your dashboard.
You can’t help feeling at least a bit nostalgic watching this. How many times did you have to pick out a rat’s nest of celluloid from the inner workings of a tape deck (or from a VCR for that matter)? How many tapes did you ruin playing on repeat as you drove around aimlessly in high school because you had nothing better to do? That muffled, under water sound you hear in this video is, almost as much as any actual music, the soundtrack to the youth of entire generations, and it’s nice to see it finally get its due.