|"The Saga Begins"|
"Weird Al" Yankovic
"The Saga Begins" is a parody by "Weird Al" Yankovic of the Don McLean song, "American Pie". This song and "Yoda" are the only two Star Wars parodies Yankovic has written and performed. "The Saga Begins" tells the story of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace from Obi-Wan Kenobi's point of view.
Conception and developmentEdit
"The Saga Begins" is a Star Wars parody song written and performed by "Weird Al" Yankovic. The song was recorded on April 20, 1999 by Volcano Records. It was released on the album Running with Scissors on June 27, 1999. The song's run time is five minutes and twenty-seven seconds long and is of the Comedy and Folk rock genres.
"The Saga Begins" is a Star Wars parody "Weird Al" Yankovic of "American Pie", a song by Don McLean. "The Saga Begins" is one of the only two Star Wars parodies that Yankovic has done, the other being "Yoda". The song begins with "A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away..." and tells the story of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
Yankovic, who is dressed like Obi-Wan Kenobi as he appeared in The Phantom Menace, tells that Naboo was under an attack, and he and Qui-Gon Jinn were sent to deal with the Trade Federation. The Federation's response "didn't thrill us, they locked the doors and tried to kill us." Following that, they meet Jar Jar Binks and Boss Nass, and take a bongo in order to get to Theed. There, they rescue Queen Amidala, and end up on Tatooine, where they find a boy...
- Well, my, my, this here Anakin guy
- May be Vader some day later, now he's just a small fry
- He left his home, and kissed his mommy goodbye
- Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi
- Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"
Obi-Wan sings about the junkyard slave, who's not "even old enough to shave", but able to use The Force. He sings about him "hitting on the Queen, though he's just 9 and she's 14" and guessing that they will marry someday.
Obi-Wan tells that once they get to Coruscant, Qui-Gon brings Anakin into the Jedi Council, tell him "the tale how the midi-chlorians were off the scale" and the council was impressed, thinking he would be the Chosen One.
"They interviewed the kid, who training they forbid", because Yoda sensed in him much fear. But Qui-Gon still says "Now listen here, to stick it in your pointy ear! I still will teach this boy."
At Amidala's request, even though Obi-wan wanted to stay on Coruscant, they return to Naboo, where they fight an epic war. On that day, "some Gungans died" (spoofing "The day the music died" that is the motif of "American Pie"). Anakin gets into a starfighter, blows up the Droid Control Ship and "a lot of folks were croakin', the battle droids were broken". Qui-Gon Jinn dies fighting Darth Maul, and Obi-Wan decides to train the boy.
Star Wars referencesEdit
- 32 BBY (as "a long, long time ago")
- The galaxy
- The Invasion of Naboo (as "an attack")
- Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Qui-Gon Jinn
- The Trade Federation
- Dioxis (as "that gas")
- Jar Jar Binks
- Rugor Nass
- Padmé Amidala (as the Queen or Queen Amidala)
- Anakin Skywalker
- Darth Vader
- 19 BBY (as "someday later")
- Slave Quarters Row (as "his home")
- Shmi Skywalker Lars (as "his mommy")
- Wald's Parts (as junkyard)
- The Force
- Wedding of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala (as "marry her someday")
- 22 BBY (as "someday")
- Podracer (as pod)
- Jabba Desilijic Tiure (as Jabba)
- Boonta Eve Classic (as race)
- Jedi Council
- The Chosen One (as "that prophecy")
- Jedi training
- The Battle of Naboo
- N-1 starfighter
- B1 battle droid (as battle droids)
- Darth Maul
- Force ghost (as a ghost)
- Bravo Squadron (as "some pilots")
The lyrics are surprisingly accurate even though the song was released before the movie. According to Yankovic, everything was gleaned through Internet spoilers. Yankovic paid $500 to view an advance screening after writing the song, but most of his lyrics were correct, so he made minor changes; the only major change he had to make after the screening of The Phantom Menace was that Anakin did not tell Amidala that he was going to marry her, like Yankovic originally thought.
The main inaccuracy is that Obi-Wan stayed at the Queen's Royal starship after their arrival on Tatooine, rather than going with Qui-Gon and Padmé to search for a new part for the ship. Thus, he didn't witness the podrace firsthand, and didn't meet Anakin until he arrived at the starship with the rest of the group.
- The video begins in a desert, supposedly on the planet Tatooine. Yankovic, dressed like Ewan McGregor's Kenobi, walks until he finds Darth Sidious playing the piano. Yankovic uses the Force to get a steel guitar, and in the second verse he reappears performing in a Mos Eisley cantina look-alike. In the last verse, he returns to the desert, and in the last chorus, lots of "Obi-Wans" appear singing, a possible reference to the Clone Wars that would follow.
- Some Star Wars characters can be seen, like Yoda, Amidala and Mace Windu, dancing strangely. But Yoda does not move.
- The upper half of the pianist's face is always covered by the hood of the robe that he's wearing much like the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. When asked why, Al stated that "They didn't want to scare small children.", a reference to the playful bullying of Al's pianist, Rubén Valtierra, commonly used in his live shows.
Available on The Radio Disney Jams 2 CD. (Track 7)