It’s weird the way our relationships to the things we love as kids change over time. Sometimes we see the faults more clearly, but sometimes we become incapable of seeing those faults. Sometimes our fondness increases, letting us return to them time and again like a favorite sweatshirt, but other times their appeal dulls, rendering us unable to experience anything new about them.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Star Wars are two such pop culture artifacts, so worn into our collective cultural awarenesses that it’s impossible to imagine doing something new with them. So Palette-Swap Ninja’s immensely ambitious mashup of the two, named Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans, aims to do so via sheer comprehensiveness. It’s every damn track of the album mapped over every damn story beat of A New Hope, their themes synced up alongside carefully edited footage.
Take “Being From The Spaceport Of Mos Eisley,” for example, which cuts to a shot of the Cantina as it comes up in the lyrics, lines up the “no droids” and “you’ll be dead” lines perfectly, and even segues out with a little live jizz after Han shoots first. A lot of elaborate internet jokes result in a sort of amused chuckle—“Hoo boy, someone had too much time on their hands!”—but Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans transcends this. It’s about as ambitious as such projects get; it may not help you hear Sgt. Pepper’s with fresh ears or see Star Wars anew, but good lord if it doesn’t try. It’s hard to imagine someone biting off a larger task than this, nor someone chewing as vociferously as Palette-Swap Ninja does here.