Monday, April 9, 2012

A jubilant end to Han Solo's trials

I'm not a Christian -- in fact, I'm not religious at all. But on this Easter Sunday, I am in fact celebrating a resurrection of sorts.

It's not the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's the resurrection of Han Solo.

The following just plain makes me happy.

It's a so-called "play-through" of a segment of action in the Star Wars game for XBox 360 Kinect. If you're not familiar with the Kinect, it's a camera-like object that sits atop your television and is able to record your movements and incorporate them into the game.

I wouldn't ordinarily be up on such technology, but I happened to play a game called Fruit Ninja on an XBox 360 Kinect last fall at a friend's birthday party. In this particular game, a bunch of fruit gets tossed up in the air and you karate chop it in half by moving your arms and legs. The camera picks up your movements and slices the fruit into pieces. (But watch out for the bombs, or you will lose points.)

Now I desperately want to play this particular game. There are a number of different scenes involving other songs and other Star Wars characters, some of them pretty funny. (You'll want to check out Darth Vader and the Emperor doing a dance-off to some awesome techno song.) But none of them approach the sheer ecstatic delight this sequence produces in me.

It was posted to the Flickcharter group on Facebook, and I have now watched it approximately ten times. There's something about it I just totally connect with (no pun intended).

The song is a version of Jason Derulo's song "Ridin' Solo," but with Star Wars-themed lyrics. I had never heard this song before, and I almost immediately went to buy it from the itunes store -- then didn't, because the original version has nothing on this one, if you ask me. This one, however -- it works for me incredibly well, even though Derulo's brand of music is not something I'm ordinarily into.

The lyrics have been adjusted so that they relate to the resolution of Han Solo's plights in the Star Wars universe. "I'm so happy the carbonite is gone." He discusses getting into the Falcon with a Wookie by his side, and also going to see a princess. It's like he's singing to the heavens after his release from a period of intense trials, and the jubilation is contagious. (Something about that "trash compactor" move, where he reaches for the sky, brings it all home so well.)

You'll have to disregard the fact that the venue for this dance-off between him and Lando Calrissian (another nice touch) is the very location of his greatest challenge, where the aforementioned carbonite freezing occurs. But I can easily overlook it, because this chamber -- host to both his freezing and a later duel between Luke and Darth Vader -- makes a terrific dance location. I love all the Bespin go-go dancers (Bespinettes?) in their signature purple outfits around the perimeter, and perhaps the greatest touch in the whole thing is Lobot spinning tunes from his perch above.

I have to say, especially with his bald head and a permanent "headset" attached to it, Lobot was born to be a DJ.

The feeling of exaltation I get watching this video has caused me to watch it nearly a dozen times in the last 24 hours. I just can't get enough of it. I don't know if these were a random series of moves produced on this particular recording of the game, or whether they are the same moves every time, but damn, they go so well with this song. And I love thinking of it as this moment of triumph for Han Solo -- a moment that actually arrives, in the series, on Endor, after the Death Star has exploded at the end of Return of the Jedi.

You can think of Solo as the greatest suffering character of the whole series -- he submits to incredible torture in Cloud City, and is for all intents and purposes dead when frozen in carbonite. (He's at the whims of anyone and what they might want to do to him, let's at least put it that way.) Not only all that, but he's not even a "true believer" -- he makes all these sacrifices not out of an ideological commitment to the principles of the rebellion, but just because it's the right thing to do.

His reward? A ship still intact, a bunch of new friends, renewed ties with an old friend, the continued companionship of his furry best friend, status as a hero, and a beautiful princess at his side.

If I were him, I'd want to sing my thanks to the heavens as well.

It doesn't even matter that my favorite moment of this whole video belongs to Lando, when he strikes the "Han Solo pose" and a cascade of blue light appears from behind him, giving the song its final moment of triumphant glory.

Han Solo is reborn. To quote the song, he's feeling like a star and you can't stop his shine.


Nick Prigge said...

Yes!!! See, man, I always knew we were on the same wavelength.

Vancetastic said...

Nice. You seem to have gone the humorous angle, which is certainly appropriate. (Great post, by the way.) For some reason, though, this thing straight MOVED me. I guess I owe a lot of that to the song -- I have no previous history with it and I think it's wonderful in context. (Though a lot of the AM readers seem to hate it.)

Thaddeus said...

This is a truly great find, my man. I've got a feeling one of these may end up on my own site, so I'm just going to flatly admit it now.

And, I gotta say, there was never any doubt that #2 from Bespin was born to spin vinyl (really? Lobot like "lobotomy?").

Vancetastic said...


Totally. Steal it.

Yep, his name was Lobot, though I only know that because I had the action figure. His name is definitely not spoken in the movie, and I would be hard pressed to say if it even appeared that way in the credits.

On your site, I loved that Rear Window thing you posted, though I had just seen it a day or two earlier. (But showed it to my wife with your site playing host.)

Thaddeus said...

thanks! yeah with my posting schedule, i'm often 1 day behind...