Today is Star Wars Day, or "May the 4th be with you." Something less than a national holiday but more than a horrific pun, it's evidence that we still very much live in a Star Wars world 35 years after the movie was released, as well as that once the Internet gets ahold of an idea, the rest of us might as well get on board.
But a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars was just George Lucas's shoestring-budgeted space opera with a bunch of no-name actors and that one guy who was in The Bridge on the River Kwai. Obviously he went a different way, but it's easy to imagine Lucas auditioning many of music's biggest stars at the moment for the film. He might not have been able to afford them back then, but it's fun to think about.
Mick Jagger: As anyone who has seen Performance and Freejack can tell you, Mick isn't the greatest actor. And a worldly jet-setting rock star would have had a hard time pulling off Luke's farmboy-naif routine. But Mick's slick stage moves would have been ideal for swinging Leia over that Death Star chasm, and you know he would have danced rings around Darth Vader in that lightsaber duel. Maybe the biggest argument against him being in Star Wars, though, is that it would have taken him away from recording Some Girls.
Sid Vicious: Arguably, Han's entire character was built around the two words "sod off." Or is that what Chewbacca was saying all that time?
Freddie Mercury: Besides being as dashing as Harrison Ford, Mercury was easily one of the quickest-witted and most sarcastic rock stars of the '70s. Han's lines like "I use them for smuggling -- I never thought I'd be smuggling myself" would sound perfect with an extra "darling" at the end. The only question is whether Mercury, whose tastes ran to Rolls-Royces and high-end Lotus sports cars, would be caught dead blasting into hyperdrive in such a "piece of junk" as the Millennium Falcon.
Joey Ramone: Easy. Just picture Joey even hairier -- and brown.
PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA
Patti Smith: The poetic princess of CBGB's would make a perfect fit for the sharp-tongued Leia. Imagine what lines like "Would someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?" would sound like coming from the woman who sang "High on Rebellion" and "Break It Up." She could probably rock the hair buns, too.
OBI-WAN "BEN" KENOBI
Willie Nelson: It just makes sense. Willie has been a mentor to everyone from Ray Wylie Hubbard to Snoop Dogg, and it's easy to imagine Willie's lilting Central Texas drawl instead of Sir Alec Guinness's proper British tones. Plus the true meaning of "use the force" would be revealed -- blazing up an Austin torpedo.
Kraftwerk: Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider thought they were robots anyway, and the German robo-pop pioneers would certainly give a different twist on John Williams's Oscar-winning score.
Michael Jackson: What? Although he was tall by the time of Off the Wall, Jackson circa "ABC" would have been the perfect height to play the lippy droid. Plus a GIF of Artoo moonwalking is more or less what Tumblr was created for.
APPENDIX: STAR WARS AND THE BEASTIE BOYS
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Well, Adam "MCA" Yauch's death at only 47 threw a wet blanket on this blog, but you know the Beastie Boys were as big Star Wars fans as anyone. Here's a small tribute.
- "Crawlspace": "These suckers try to act like they got The Force/ I'll slay ya like Vader"
- "Triple Trouble": "You see I walk like Jabba The Hutt/ With the style so new y'all be like, "What'?"
- "Do It": "I've got rhymes galore, and then I never fail/ Like gravy on potatoes, Luke to Darth Vader"
- "Now Get Busy": "Known for the words that make you scream and holler/ I'm Count Dooku to your Queen Amidala"
- "All Lifestyles": "Whether in the high rise where you live like Roda/ Or in the shack and you live like Yoda"