You don’t even have to be a Star Wars fan to understand what it means when John Williams‘ “Imperial March” starts to play. The franchise’s theme for Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire is so ingrained in pop culture that everyone knows that when you hear it, well, bad people are about to do bad stuff.
Unless of course you change the song into a major key, and then it just sounds like the world’s happiest graduation day celebration.
This version comes from Ian Gordon, who likes to change the feel of theme songs by messing “with the notes until they sound ‘happier’ or ‘sadder’ depending on the theme.” That’s just what he did here with a song he calls “Vader’s Redemption: The Imperial March in a Major Key.”
The song sure enough lives up to Gordon’s title. This sounds like Vader’s redemption if he finally found his niche at the Ivy League school where he had never quite lived up to his potential.
This sounds like Vader’s redemption if he finally made his lieutenant proud and had been named staff sergeant.
This sounds like Vader’s redemption if he had just rescued the Princess from Bowser.
This sounds like Vader’s redemption if we’re all going to stay best friends forever!
….sorry. It’s just that this is so weird (in a good way) I can’t help but be thrown by it. It’s the same song, just in a different key, and suddenly I’m picturing Darth Vader hugging his classmates before they all go off to conquer the world in a burst of optimism and pride.
Make sure you check out Gordon’s YouTube page, Muted Vocal, to see some of his other variations on theme songs.
Let’s have some fun in the comments below. Tell us the movie you picture this version of the song being used in.