Friday, February 10, 2006

Alderaan Idiot



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


American Idiot, the quasi-political rock opera Green Day dropped on an unsuspecting public in 2004. Easily the Big Green's biggest success to date. It was their first #1 album (both in the U.S. and in England). It won a Grammy. The title track was featured in Madden NFL 2005. Who knew ten years after Dookie, Green Day would A) still be around and B) contribute something of relevance to the world of pop music? I sure as hell didn't.

As usual, I started the album right after the second drumroll in the 20th Century Fox fanfare.


- The line "welcome to a new kind of tension, all across the alienation" in "American Idiot" is heard as the Star Wars logo is fading away. I heard it as "welcome to a new kind of tension, all across the alien nation," which makes slightly more sense.

- The big explosion that rocks the Tantive IV occurs immediately after the line "everything isn't meant to be okay" in "American Idiot."

- During the line "to fall in love and fall in debt" in "Jesus of Suburbia," a Rebel soldier is seen falling down.

- The lyric "and so it seemed to confess it didn't say much" in "City of the Damned" is heard as Vader is choking the Rebel soldier who won't admit to harboring any secret plans.

- As R2-D2 is hobbling into the escape pod and C-3PO is questioning his actions, the words "I don't care if you don't" are repeated in "I Don't Care" (it seems as if Artoo is saying this to Threepio, like, "I don't care if you don't come with me").

- Right after the line "hearts recycled but never saved" is heard in "I Don't Care," Darth Vader walks into view.

- "Tales of Another Broken Home" starts the moment it becomes apparent that Artoo and Threepio are going separate ways on the surface of Tatooine.

- The line "to run, to run away to find what you believe" in "Tales of Another Broken Home" is heard as we see a wide shot of Artoo rolling away from Threepio.

- Threepio is wandering around in the middle of nowhere and is beginning to scorn Artoo for tricking him into getting lost when we hear the line "I lost my faith to this, this town that don't exist" in "Tales of Another Broken Home."

- The film cuts to Artoo rolling through the canyon right when the quiet part in "Tales of Another Broken Home" starts, where Billie Joe sings, "I don't feel any shame, I won't apologize" (presumably this is what Artoo is thinking after abandoning Threepio).

- Billie Joe shouts, "Say, hey!" the moment Artoo is shot by the Jawa.

- As Artoo falls over after being shot, the line "hear the sound of the falling rain" in "Holiday" is heard.

- Artoo and Threepio are shown inside the sandcrawler right before the robot auction when the line "this is the dawning of the rest of our lives" in "Holiday" is heard.

- As Uncle Owen is walking down the line of droids in front of the sandcrawler, the lyric "I'm walking down the line" is heard in "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."

- Uncle Owen starts to walk away from Threepio when the lyric "on the borderline" is heard in "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (Owen is on the borderline in regard to purchasing Threepio).

- The Jawa zaps Artoo to keep him from moving at the same moment the silent break comes in "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."

- The camera is on Luke at least twice when we hear the line "I wish someone out there will find me" in "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."

- In "St. Jimmy," there's a part where Bille Joe says, "coming at you on the count of 1,2,3,4!" Luke enters the dining area of the Lars homestead as we hear this lyric.

- There's another line in "St. Jimmy" that goes "I'm the one that's from the way outside." The moment we hear "outside," the film cuts to the exterior of the Lars homestead, when Luke walks outside to stare at the setting suns.

- The line "it's like a throbbing toothache of the mind" in "Give Me Novacaine" is heard as Luke bitches about Artoo having wandered away at dusk.

- "She's A Rebel" starts as Obi-Wan Kenobi makes his first appearance.

- The last refrain of "Extraordinary Girl" is heard as Princess Leia's hologram materializes in Obi-Wan's homestead.

- "Letterbomb" starts as Leia's hologram delivers her message (the female voice at the start of that song is Kathleen Hanna, by the way - I didn't know that!).

- The lyric "there is nothing left to analyze" in "Letterbomb" is heard as Grand Moff Tarkin walks into the Death Star conference room, breaking up the argument over the distribution of power in the Empire by announcing the end of the Senate.

- "Letterbomb" ends the moment the film cuts to the Jawa massacre, and the somber tones of "Wake Me Up When Semptember Ends" begin.

- Luke pulls up to the burning remains of the Lars homestead as we hear the lyric "here comes the rain again" in "Wake Me Up When Spetember Ends."

- As Luke stares at his dead relatives, the line "but never forgets what I lost" is heard in "Wake Me Up When September Ends."

- The guy with the pig face in the cantina starts messing with Luke around the time we hear the line "St. Jimmy comes without any shame" in "Homecoming."

- As we see the patrons of the cantina resuming their conversations immediately after the fracas with Luke and Obi-Wan, the words "nobody cares" are repeated in "East 12th St."

- The camera is on Obi-Wan, who is negotiating with Han Solo for a flight to Alderaan, when the hear the line "somebody get me out of here" in "East 12th St."

- As the stormtroopers investigating the cantina fracas walk over to Han and Chewie's table, the phrase "where'd you go?" in "Nobody Likes You" is heard. The stormtroopers want to know where Obi-Wan and Luke went.

- The lyric "get off of my case" is heard in "Rock and Roll Girlfriend" as Han argues with Greedo regarding the Jabba situation.

- As the stormtroopers begin firing on the Millennium Falcon in Docking Bay 94, the lyric "nobody likes you" in "We're Coming Home Again" is heard.

- A guitar harmonic is heard in "Whatsername" as the Millennium Falcon enters hyperspace.

- The word "go" is repeated in "Whatsername" as we see shots of Imperials gearing up the Death Star to fire on Alderaan.



Eat it, Pink Floyd!! I told you your days were numbered, but you didn't listen. Now, you got served.

Wow. The craziest thing about this synch is, in addition to all the lyrical coincidences, nearly every song frames a particular sequence of events. I noted a few of these instances above, but it wasn't until the experiment was over that I realized how much relation there was between the song structure and the flow of the movie. Here's how it breaks down:

1. "American Idiot" (plays through initial attack/capture of Tantive IV)
2. "Jesus of Suburbia" (starts about the time the stormtroopers bust through the door on the Tantive IV, plays through Rebel defeat and droid escape)
> V. "Tales of Another Broken Home" (begins as droids separate on Tatooine)
3. "Holiday" (starts right before the Jawas capture Artoo)
4. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (starts right before the droid auction, plays through introduction to Luke)
5. "Are We The Waiting" (begins around the time Luke takes the droids, plays through discovery of Leia's message)
6. "St. Jimmy" (begins right before and plays through Luke's argument with Uncle Owen)
7. "Give Me Novacaine" (begins as Artoo goes missing, plays through Luke's search and the Tusken Raider attack)
8. "She's A Rebel" (begins when Obi-Wan appears)
9. "Extraordinary Girl" (plays as Obi-Wan talks to Luke about his dad and the Force)
10. "Letterbomb" (starts when Princess Leia's full message is uncovered)
11. "Wake Me Up When September Ends" (begins at discovery of Jawa massacre, plays through discovery of Luke's dead family)
12. "Homecoming" (begins as Obi-Wan and Luke enter cantina, plays through scenes in Docking Bay 94)
> I. "The Death of St. Jimmy" (plays during cantina fracas)
> IV. "Rock and Roll Girlfriend" (beings right after Greedo confronts Han)
13. "Whatsername" (starts around the time the Millennium Falcon takes off)

This right here? This is some straight-up Oz shit, and I don't mind telling you, I'm pretty freaked. A second playthrough will be done later today, provided my head doesn't explode. Look for results this weekend.

Someone get Green Day's publicist on the phone. They must be alerted that they are the new Star Wars synch kings.

[Click here for the second playthrough of American Idiot]


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