It’s Star Wars day and there are tons of lovely tribues out there to the galaxy far, far away. At FANDOM, we talked up some of the best Star Wars games and argued that Rogue One is the best Star Wars movie. But we didn’t do as much as the musical duo of Pallette-Swap Ninja. The self-described “geek parody” musicians created an entire concept album that combines Star Wars mythology with The Beatles’ iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Across thirteen different songs, Palette-Swap Ninja goes through every track on the Beatles record to retell the plot one song at a time. And it’s all available for FREE. Give a listen!
Palette-Swap Ninja is named after the multicolored ninjas of Mortal Kombat, and comprised of Dan Amrich and Jude Kelley. The two made the album to celebrate both Star Wars turning 40 on May 5 and Sgt. Pepper’s turning 50 on June 1. The timing was irresistible for the pair and they got to crafting the baker’s dozen of Star Wars melodies.
FANDOM reached out to Dan Amrich to discuss the project and how it’s already taking off with fans of both pop culture institutions. (Full disclosure: the author and Dan Amrich worked together at a previous company years ago.)
“When Jude and I started this project in 2012, we just wanted to hear what it would sound like. The more we got into it, the more detail we wanted to include, so that fans of either source of inspiration would hopefully be happy. The reaction we’ve seen has been beyond anything we expected — and the fact that people are noticing all the little details, all the care and love we put into it as fans ourselves has been the most gratifying part.
“Jude and I have been making music together for several years, and our parody songs were just one-offs — but we liked the songs that told stories, so we talked about telling a bigger story. I grew up loving the Beatles and Star Wars, so when my wife offhandedly suggested those two things as random examples of things that people really loved, Jude and I said ‘That’s perfect — let’s literally do what you just said!'”
We also asked Dan when his love affair with both The Beatles and Star Wars began. Amrich said, “I used to go to the library and check out Sgt. Pepper on cassette. This was the late ’70s during the disco era, so the librarians always said, “You know this isn’t the Bee Gees version, right?” And I’d always say “I know, I like this one more!” I think it warmed their hippie hearts.”
Dan continued, “My mom was actually against violent entertainment in any form — fighting and punching meant comic books were out, and toy guns were banned from the house. So I didn’t get to see Star Wars until 1978 when it was re-released… and even then, only at the end of the summer when it hit the local bargain theater. I knew I was going to love it — but my mom wound up having a blast, too. We went directly from the theater to the toy store and she said, “You can have three action figures — but one of them has to be R2-D2!”
That’s a the kind of love that drives folks to make such lovely tributes as this one. Be sure to check out the official website to download all the tunes for free and celebrate any of the big Beatles/Star Wars anniversaries on the horizon.