Five Decent Bands Named After Star Wars Terminology

Since the release of the first Star Wars in 1977, through the subsequent sequels and disappointing prequels, pop culture has been awash in Force-related mania. People name their children Luke and Leia, family pets get monikers like Yoda and Anakin and folks even get SW tattoos. Almost every part of our daily lives can be colored with references to the film, from calling your boss Darth Vader or finding yourself sexually attracted to Leia in that gold bikini or, strangely, the bounty hunter Boba Fett. We think the latter is must be some sort of power/mystery thing for women.

This Sunday, Star Wars: The Concert hits Toyota Center, along with an accompanying exhibit featuring original props and artwork from all six films. During the show, attendees will hear the John Williams-penned score played by a live orchestra as a giant digital projector plays clips from the films in sequential order. Anthony Daniels, the actor who played and voiced the character of C-3PO, narrates the evening.

Our interview with him about the legacy of the trilogies and his own journey as the fictional gold protocol droid will appear on Thursday and Friday.

Predictably, plenty of bands have seen fit to pull references from the films when they name their groups, just as we see bands today influenced by Nintendo and Harry Potter books. It's no coincidence that most of these musicians were just kids or in their teens when the series appeared, changing their lives - as it did ours - the minute that first text crawl hit the screen in Episode IV: A New Hope.

Nerf Herder: This indie-pop band from California took its name in 1994 from the insult Leia hurled at Han Solo during one of their lovesick arguments in The Empire Strikes Back. The band was active from 1994 till 2003, when they went on hiatus. You may remember them from the song "Van Halen," a brief radio hit 1996, or 2003 single "Jenna Bush Army," which championed Dubya's oldest and prettiest daughter. What? You didn't think she was kinda foxy? At least she knew how to party.

Vader: The cool thing about Polish death-metal band Vader is that they sound like the kind of metal that the real Darth Vader would listen to in that little chamber of his you see in Empire or on the radio while he flies one of his Star Destroyers.

The band has been around since at 1983, and in fact its sound birthed the Eagles of Death Metal in a odd way. Josh Homme was playing the group's music for EODM's Jesse Hughes and Hughes described them as the "Eagles of death metal." Immediately, Hughes and Homme set out to create music that sounded as such.

Aerosith: Aerosith doesn't play a mix of Aerosmith and SW-related songs, but they do cover songs from the film's trilogies and write songs from the point of view of characters in the series. And, you may have guessed, they mostly play conventions and fan gatherings. The band is decidedly evil, hence the name; Emperor Palpatine handles the main vocal duties.

Eisley: These indie-swooners from Tyler are named after the space port in A New Hope where Luke and Obi-Wan first encounter that "wretched hive of scum and villainy" at Chalmun's Cantina. Formed in 1997, the family band of siblings and cousins first hit national ears with 2003's Laughing City EP.

Currently touring behind the recently released Fire Kite EP, Eisley actually hits Houston November 16, opening for Say Anything at Warehouse Live. We know a guy named Irwin who knows way more about Eisley than is humanly possible, and can also name every single Transformer that ever existed.

Jedi Mind Tricks: This hip-hop collective hails from the East Coast and has playing turntablist-style jams since 1996's Amber Probe EP, and released their debut full-length The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological & Electro-Magnetic Manipulation of Human Consciousness the next year. The group is currently recording a new full-length independently after leaving their longtime label Babygrande. Apparently that record label wasn't the one they were looking for...

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty