The effect of ‘Star Wars’ on heavy metal
The following is an excerpt from Mike McPadden’s “Heavy Metal Movies: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos & Cult Zombies Amok in the 666 Most Ear- and Eye-Ripping Big-Scream Films Ever!” Now available in paperback.
Since the release of “Star Wars” on May 25,1977, no aspect of human existence has gone untouched by the movie, especially not heavy metal. But which came first, the effect of “Star Wars” on heavy metal or heavy metal’s effect on “Star Wars”? Consider, below, how each can be seen as interlocked with one another.
The opening crawl is symphonic metal. The Death Star is drone metal, The Jawas are doom metal. The Tusken Raiders are crust punk. The land speeder is 70s van rock. The Max Rebo band is groove metal. Han Solo is thrash. Han Solo shooting Greedo first is death metal.
Chewbacca is stoner rock. Obi-Wan Kenobi is prog metal. The Force is pagan metal. C-3PO is mathcore. R2-D2 is Nintendo-core. The Empire is black metal ,with more than a few particular nods to NSBM. Grand Moff Tarkin is New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The giant eel in the garbage compactor is sludge metal. Luke and Leia’s incestuous kiss is that weird corner of metal occupied by Anal Cunt, the Melvins, the Mentors and the Butthole Surfers. The aerial dog-fight between the X-wings and the TIE fighters is power metal. The big ceremony at the end where everybody gets a medal is Viking Metal.
And Darth Vader, of course, is all aspects of all forms of heavy metal in every possible permutation. Only perpetually heavier. And perpetually more metal, as proven by the awesome Polish Death Metal band Vader.
“Star Wars.” That’s all. It’s “Star Wars.”