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Arizona Star Wars fan groups join in harmonious ‘Bohemian’ homage

Posted by on December 4, 2013 – 1:00 pm

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Arizona’s geek community, represented by prominent Star Wars costuming groups, stars in the awesome music video for a University of Advancing Technology professor’s Far, Far Away reinterpretation of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Watch it after the jump!

The 501st Legion Dune Sea Garrison, Rebel Legion Mos Eisley Base and Mandalorian Mercs Shonare Vhekadla Clan (and Samurai Boba Fett) spent several weekends filming at UAT’s Greenscreen Studio to make digital video professor Paul DeNigris’ vision a reality.

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I’ve met a lot of these gentlemen and ladies, and believe me when I say they are the core of local Star Wars fandom going back years and years, to the first Phantom Menace lineups!

Footage even came in from as far away as Tokyo, courtesy of an Obi-Wan costumer and his Yoda puppet, and a UAT visual effects team pulled it all together. Here’s more from the producers about how it all developed:

A diehard geek and longtime Star Wars fan, DeNigris noted that the line “thunderbolts and lightning” in the song could be re-interpreted as “Force chokes and lightning” – and the idea of rewriting the classic Freddie Mercury lyrics to fit the Star Wars universe was born. Students Stephen Panagiotis and Jamall Richards jumped on the idea and immediately set about reworking every line of the song with DeNigris’ guidance and input. Mercury’s operatic and often nonsensical lyrics gave way to a musical retelling of key moments from the Star Wars saga, from not only the Original Trilogy but also the Prequel Trilogy and the Expanded Universe of novels and videogames. With the lyrics done, DeNigris reached out to his network of Arizona talent and found singer Adam Newton and music producer Joey Sawhill to execute the new version of the song. Newton was able to hit Freddie Mercury’s original vocal register and to duplicate his phrasing of the song. The result is a new version of the old classic that sounds like Queen themselves could have recorded it.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” parodies are nothing new — remember when the Muppets did it? But I think this version will take its rightful place among the great tributes.

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