There are many reasons George Lucas’ iconic Star Wars trilogy has had such a profound impact on pop culture, and on many of us individually. From its unforgettable characters to the mythic arcs they traverse, from the exotic alien worlds the the crazy lifeforms that populate them, there is no shortage of material to fire the imaginations of all of us who grew up loving the Star Wars films. But one element that’s just as important as the writing, direction, or performances, is John Williams’ epic score. If you’ve never truly taken a moment to appreciate just how much the music heightens the emotional effects of the story, allow us to present Exhibit A: “Star Wars Minus Williams.”
That exercise in uncomfortable is the work of The Auralnauts, and you may never find a more compelling example of how the pacing of events in movies and television would be really, really strange if translated over into reality. It reminds me a lot of the “Garfield Minus Garfield” strips, which showcase just how surreal things can get when you strip away some of the artificial storytelling constructs we use all the time. Like voiceover, for instance.
I have to give the Auralnauts credit for all the little touches that only heighten the awkwardness of that closing ceremony once you’ve stripped out all the bombastic music. This is why awards shows always have orchestras, so you don’t hear the deafening silence, the inevitable throat-clearing, the painfully protracted sound of a fidgety astromech droid. Also, it never occurred to me how weird Chewie’s vocalizations would be in the midst of all this. It’s the equivalent of if Luke or Han just kept yelling, “Hey!” for no good reason. For crying out loud, could somebody tell the walking carpet to button it up for five minutes?
If you like what the Auralnauts are selling, you’ll also want to see what they’ve done to the prequels. Among other things, they dare ask the question: why is nobody in science fiction ever listening to music while they cruise around in their fancy future rides?
Also, the bit with Maul and his speeder on Tatooine around the 8:15 mark almost made me spit out my drink. So childish and stupid. So good.
You can check out more of The Auralnauts’ frivolity over on their YouTube channel.