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Star Wars Reading Lips Essay

There’s no explanation to having three videos from Bad Lip Reading at once other than it being a Star Wars miracle. The YouTube channel that re-cuts footage with — you guessed it — bad lip reading usually only puts out a video every few months. But in honor of Star Wars: The Force Awakens they’ve put out three in the same day. One for each the original trilogy’s films.

The three pieces of comedic gold (or whatever metal is precious in a galaxy far, far away) bring the usual nonsensical dialogue that their videos are known for and a few musical moments as well. Additionally they’ve got some serious voiceover help from the likes of Maya Rudolph, Jack Black, and Bill Hader lending their voices to Leia, Vader, and various other characters.

At first glance one would think that with so many people in helmets that adding dialogue for them would just be moot but it does pay off — especially for Jack Black’s Darth Vader. But the best characters to be given a new voice have got to be Chewbacca, Yoda, and Jabba The Hutt. Any of Chewie’s yells are replaced with whiny and excitable exclamations …and the occasional timid mention of Han’s name. The Empire video has Yoda singing Luke a song and then immediately threatens him for criticizing it.  And what can we say other than Jabba’s reveal is potentially the best entrance in movie history if it went down like it does in BLR’s Return of the Jedi video.

What are you favorite moments of the 3 videos? Ours might be Akbar’s lines! Let us know in the comments below!

Image: Bad Lip Reading


bad lip reading, return of the jedi, star wars, star wars: a new hope, The Empire Strikes Back

Since my post about the “Chicken-duck-woman-thing” has been so popular, let’s talk about “Star Wars: A Bad Lip Reading” some more!

In the Empire Strikes Back video, there are 3 fabulous songs.  We open to a rap from Luke during the battle of Hoth (Dak has a slight malfunction trying to turn up the bass). (Edit: CHECK OUT THE FULL VERSION “Hostiles on the Hill” HERE!)

I watched this dozens of times times before I realized it’s actually a diss track.  I don’t know who he’s actually directing this to, but just for fun let’s call him “Wedge.”  Luke makes multiple comparisons between himself and Wedge:

  • Wedge=soup can, while Luke=Superman
  • Wedge touches a pom pom, while Luke touches an A-bomb (atom bomb)

Yeah, that doesn’t exactly paint Wedge in a favorable light.  He also seems to be competing with Luke for a girl named Veronica; looking at the closed captions, the lyrics are “I know you want her, too.”  However, Wedge stands no chance because he so lame he doesn’t even have any shoes.

I think it’s pretty clear now who the baddest pilot in Rogue Squadron is.

And you know what, even Wedge agrees, because in the extended version he repeatedly avows that Luke is so sweet “like cinnamon.”  Which technically isn’t sweet, just a spice, but whatever.  We all agree, Wedge.  Take that, General Veers.

Moving on to Yoda singing about seagulls around 1:49…I don’t have anything else to say about this except that it’s amazing and I know all the lyrics and I wish this were a real song.  Even if he’s “sorta pitchy,” haha. (EDIT: It is a real song! There’s now a full version called SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)–enjoy!)

Last, at 5:57 we have C-3PO’s song to end the video; I don’t think it has a name yet, but it appears that we’ll be getting a full music video of this one, too!  (EDIT: It’s called “Not the Future” and it’s wonderful.) I was trying to figure out what genre of music this song is and the best I could come up with was a mix of 80s rock and EDM.

This song brings up a couple of points.  First, there are several funny lines where characters are simply narrating what they are doing, like C-3PO walking away/turning back, or Han just moving his hand around in Cloud City.  It kind of breaks the 4th wall a little, a different kind of humor.

Also, the Star Wars movies work pretty well for funny dubs because of all the droids and characters with helmets (like Vader, stormtroopers, etc.)—because they have no lips, the actors are just interpreting their body language.  This gives a lot more range to the conversations the characters can have.  It also allows for some good non sequiturs, like Vader’s “spinny chair” song.

Star Wars also has a lot of characters that don’t speak Basic (aka English), often because the alien physiology doesn’t allow it, which lets the writers have a lot of fun with interpreting these more limited lip movements into English words, like Chewie saying UH-HUH.  Or sometimes not even real words…check out Admiral Ackbar in ROTJ haha.

Last, I found C-3PO’s Indian accent to be hilarious and strangely fitting.  But then I started reading comments on the videos (famous last words…) and saw some variations of “Of course he’s Indian, he’s tech support.”  In that light, I kind of feel a little uncomfortable about it now.  But none of his dubbed lines actually have him play into the tech support stereotype, so it’s just a meta-joke, and possibly an unintended one at that.  I dunno.  Thoughts?

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