"Weird Al" Yankovic Releases "Yoda" Demo To Celebrate Star Wars
To honor the fortieth anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars yesterday, "Weird Al" Yankovic released the original demo track for his 1985 single "Yoda" on YouTube.
"Yoda," set to the tune of "Lola" by The Kinks, is told from the perspective of Luke Skywalker, who finds himself perplexed by this tiny, green Jedi Master -- and breaks the fourth wall a little bit with lines like "The long-term contract I had to sign / Says I'll be making these movies till the end of time."
The demo is available on the forthcoming box set Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of "Weird Al" Yankovic. Recorded in 1981, the song was later remade for Al's third album, Dare to Be Stupid.
"I remember thinking, 'Well, he's just wrong!'" franchise star Mark Hamill told ComicBook.com about the song last year. "We had a beginning, a middle, and an end. I knew they were going to do the prequels, and then I thought when they flashed forward, we weren't signed for seven, eight, and nine, so my assumption was that it would just be all new characters whenever he got around to it. Then really soon after he started the prequels, I remember George [Lucas] saying that was it, that he's done with it."
Of course, it kind of makes sense that Hamill would have thought the song was a little out of touch: when Yankovic wrote it in between movies, a lot of the jokes would have made more sense than they did five years later when he finally untangled the mess of rights and approvals to release the song (he had to work with both Lucasfilm and The Kinks).
He added that "old and gray" doesn't resonate with him much anyway. "I'm 65, but I don't feel that way," Hamill said. "My view of what 65 would be like back when I was 25 was much different. When you get to be this age, it's kind of shocking because I keep thinking, 'When am I going to stop liking Sgt. Bilko and The Three Stooges and bubble gum and Jimmy Olsen comics? Aren't I eventually going to grow out of all these things that are meant to be just for kids? And those things have so far never happened to me."
For Yankovic's part, "Yoda" wouldn't be his last journey to a galaxy far, far away: in 1999, the musician released "The Saga Begins," a knowing send-up of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace created in partnership with Lucasfilm. As a result of that partnership, approvals were faster, and Yankovic was able to include movie-specific plot points in the song in spite of the veil of secrecy Lucasfilm tried to maintain around the prequel.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second film in the new Star Wars sequel trilogy that began with Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. The film will deal with Luke training Rey to become a, and possibly the last, Jedi. Meanwhile, the Resistance, including Poe Dameron and First Order defector Finn, continues to fight against the First Order, led by General Hux, while Supreme Leader Snoke and his Dark Side follower Kylo Ren continue their mysterious plot.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran.
MORE STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI NEWS: New Last Jedi Characters Revealed / Mark Hamill Describes His New Diet / How Mark Hamill Would Have Changed Han Solo's Death / Rumor: Luke Skywalker's Last Jedi Gear Could Be Important