As we prepare for a new chapter in the Star Wars Saga with Episode VII, the franchise is as culturally relevant as it was back in the late 70s and early 80s. But Star Wars wasn’t always as cool as it is now. For years before the release of The Phantom Menace in 1999, creator George Lucas tried to appeal to younger generations, but because of missteps like the Ewok made-for-TV movies, and overall the lack of new material, audiences started to “grow out” of Star Wars altogether.
In the 80s, hip-hop was sweeping the nation, appealing to a new generation of trendsetters. In an attempt to capitalize on the attitude of this emerging genre, someone at Lucasfilm had the bright idea to combine the new urban style with two of the most “dangerous” characters in the Star Wars Saga: C-3PO and R2-D2.
The above video is a Star Tours promo from 1986, which will be forever remembered as “the one where C-3PO raps.” While C-3PO is fluent in over six million forms of communication, hip-hop is clearly not one of them. As the protocol droid tries to show off his lyrical skills, his astromech partner in crime serves as a beat box. You have to hand it to Anthony Daniels for at least being a consummate professional and trying to pull off something like this. In 1986, such a stunt must have felt cutting-edge.
We stumbled across this video at Everything Is Terrible, the collective online repository for all manner of nostalgic web junk. Their mission is to always remind us of just how terrible the past was, and C-3PO rapping is a perfect illustration. As much as we all love it, Star Wars is far from perfect, and this is truly, truly terrible! Let’s hope someone on the Internet updates this video with a dub-step twist. Or maybe not.
A common complaint from older Star Wars fans is that the franchise is getting too silly and kid-friendly. What they fail to realize is that Star Wars has always been silly and kid-friendly. Does no one remember the horrendous Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978? The Star Wars Jedi Academy, dance contests, and Jar Jar Binks are just some of the latest examples. What’s worse, the Star Tours rap or Star Wars “Gangnam Style?”
In the coming years, we’ll probably see more and more instances of the Star Wars brand crossing over in areas where it really doesn’t belong. With the advent of a proposed Star Wars Land at Disneyland, it’s only a matter of time before they try to appeal to an even younger audience. Hell, it already started in Attack of the Clones with Yoda training 5-year-old Jedi Younglings. How about a Teletubbies-like children’s TV series featuring loveable and adorable Wookies, Ewoks, and Rodians?
While it’s unclear how long Disney used this promo, let’s hope that someone at Lucasfilm lost his or her annual pay raise over this debacle. And now, let’s never speak of this again….