Idolator’s Tribute-Video Treasury Takes Mirah And Phil Collins To A Galaxy Far, Far Away

kater | August 6, 2007 11:50 am

Ed. note: Once again, Idolator intern Kate Richardson scours the video sites, looking for the best fan-made music videos. In this entry, she looks at two clips that honor the Star Wars saga:

Star Wars isn’t at all an uncommon object of affection on Youtube, but, as it turns out, even the most ubiquitous of subjects can inspire the kind of rarefied oddities to which this feature is dedicated. This week’s videos, while perhaps lacking novelty of subject, definitely exemplify the most crucially weird elements of the form: song choices that are incongruous and downright puzzling, thoughtful editing, and–most importantly–unparalleled earnestness. Just when you thought the Star Wars universe could never unite with the bittersweet sounds of K Records’ horniest singer/songwriter, just when you figured that the Darth Vader saga was impervious to the atmospheric melodies of Phil Collins, these videos come along and render your notions of order and chaos utterly invalid:

Song: “Cold Cold Water” by Mirah Concept: Star Wars as timpani-heavy lament of Anakin’s amorous feelings toward the Dark Side. This clip is a prime example of two seemingly unrelated elements combining to make something truly creative. Portions of are among the best-edited I’ve ever seen (in a YouTube tribute)–how perfect is that steady snare beat for the first thirty seconds? Many of the images are matched well with the tone of the song: romantic, outdoor scenes for the airy, string-heavy moments; grave, dimly lit indoor shots for the guttural guitar strums.And that’s just in the first 90 seconds. The only drawback: clips from the Star Wars cartoons are distracting and unnecessary, though they do serve as a good reminder of the clip’s general absurdity. Otherwise, the song is well-suited to images of people looking serious, kissing purposefully, letting their hair blow in the wind, and dueling to the death–all of which the Star Wars series offers in abundance. The only real gripe I have with this video is the cartoon clips; otherwise, despite the vast chasm between Star Wars culture and MIrah’s general vibe, “Cold Cold Water” and the movies are matched well, because they’re both very epic. Best music-to-image sync-up moment: The first twelve seconds, where Mirah sings “I saddled up my pony right and rode into the ghostly night” as Anakin hops on his vehicle and speeds off. Silliest music-to-image sync-up moment: Halfway through as Mirah sings, “I’m so number one that it’s a shame, a shame that you let other numbers in the game,” there’s a shot of Darth Vader with his arms crossed, shaking his head, as if to imply that he’s very displeased with a recent development in his love life.

Song: “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins Concept: Star Wars as the story of that time Anakin Skywalker witnessed someone drowning. This video is interesting conceptually, focusing on the parallels between the Luke and Anakin storylines, but the dialogue and music from the movies often drown out “In the Air Tonight.” (No pun intended.) However, when this clip works, it works. The cleverest element is the editing: the transitions are very slow and creeping, perfectly complementing the song’s foggy mood and tempo. And even though a lot of the sound elements are missteps, there are a few that work, like the entrance of the drums being synced up with the battle between Luke and Darth Vader. This video is definitely weird enough to be compelling, and at times the visuals are superbly matched with the music, but overall it’s got too many distractions to be truly successful. Best music-to-image sync-up moment: The shot at 1:18 of a hooded Anakin looking out upon some wreckage against a cloudy, red sky. You can just tell by the look on his face that something is definitely coming in the air tonight. Silliest music-to-image sync-up moment: Any time Mark Hamill opens his mouth to deliver a line. Yikes!

Verdict: Though both contenders have their merits, the force is much stronger with the Mirah video, making it the best Jedi this side of the Dagobah system and the winner of this week’s match-up.