Michael’s Mixtape: The Star Wars One

I don’t know about you, but I am just basking in the glory that is Star Wars Week worldwide. I’ll be seeing Episode VII: The Force Awakens on Thursday and drinking galactic themed drinks at a bar that’s turning itself into the Mos Eisley Cantina from A New Hope. Yep, I have no shame in my Star Wars geekdom.

Even Spotify is getting in on the game, matching users with Star Wars characters by their taste in music. I’m not totally thrilled being Anakin, but I do love me plenty of punk rock.

Anakin playlist

I dig the lightsaber on the bottom, not so much the new Fall Out Boy they included.

Since it all finally set in that this movie is happening and I’m actually going to see it (so since Saturday night), I’ve been surfing Spotify for Star Wars appropriate music. Not just the epic John Williams masterpieces, but songs about space and intergalactic awesomeness. So why not put it all into one easily accessible playlist that my friends and likeminded individuals to enjoy?

1. “Star Wars Theme” – John Williams

 

2. “Starman” – David Bowie

Album: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972

3. “Space” – Something Corporate

Album: North, 2003

 

4. “Return to the Moon” – EL VY

Album: Return to the Moon, 2015

 

5. “Spaceship” – Kanye w/ GLC

 

Album: The College Dropout, 2004

 

6. “Stormtrooper” – Pepper

Album: Kona Town, 2003

 

7. “Cantina Band” – John Williams

 

8. “A New Hope” – blink-182

Album: Dude Ranch, 1997

 

9. “Future People” – Alabama Shakes

Album: Sound and Color, 2015

 

10. “Chewbacca” – Supernova Chile

Album: Clerks Original Soundtrack, 1994

 

11. “Empire Strikes First” – Bad Religion

Album: Empire Strikes First, 2004

 

12. “You Satellite” – Wilco

Album: Star Wars, 2015

 

13. “Space Truckin'” – Deep Purple

Album: Machine Head, 1972

 

14. “Both Sides of the Gun” – Ben Harper

Album: Both Sides of the Gun, 2006

 

15. “Empire State of Mind” – Jay Z & Alicia Keys

Album: The Blueprint 3, 2009

 

16. “People of the Sun” – Rage Against of the Machine

Album: Evil Empire, 1996

 

17. “Imperial Death March” – John Williams

 

18. “Intergalactic” – Beastie Boys

Album: Hello Nasty, 1998

 

19. “Man on the Moon” – R.E.M.

Album: Automatic For The People, 1992

 

20. “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long Time) – Elton John

Album: Honky Chateau, 1972

 

21. “Major Tom (Coming Home)” – Shiny Toy Guns

Album: Girls Le Disko, 2009

 

22. “Rebellion (Lies)” – Arcade Fire

Album: Funeral, 2004

 

23. “Spaceman” – The Killers

Album: Day & Age, 2008

 

24. “The Throne Room” – John Williams

 

The Full Spotify Playlist

Anymore songs that come to mind, send them to me on Facebook or Twitter to be added to the playlist!

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It’s Good to be a Geek

I envy everyone who attended San Diego Comic-Con 2015 this past weekend. Attendees were lucky enough to witness first looks at upcoming Star Wars, DC, and Marvel films. Fortunately, those of us who couldn’t attend have the internet and access to the streaming of panels, and releases of footage (official or leaked). Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice finally gave us their first full trailerDeadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Suicide Squad headlined with panels and trailer presentations that made their way to the internet shortly after. Even THE MUPPETS made their presence felt, discussing their mockumentary series that will air on ABC later this year. The biggest takeaway from the SDCC weekend may have been exactly what all of us young (and old) padawans have been waiting for…Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens coming to life.

If you’re like me, you salivated at the idea of “real sets” and  “practical effects”, which were missing from Episodes I-III…and Jurassic World for that matter. (CGI takes the magic away from things, but that’s a discussion for another day.)

This past weekend, overall, was an excellent reminder of how good it is to be a geek these days. A generation that grew up on comic books, video games, and Superhero cartoons are now being treated to a Hollywood that appreciates those mediums. Before the first Iron Man movie, did you expect to see a full timeline of Avengers/Marvel films scheduled through May 3rd, 2019? Following Revenge of the Sith, Did you imagine Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford would team up again as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo? You’re lying if say you did…Or have a time-traveling DeLorean in your garage.

While we have new Superhero films hitting theaters every 3-4 months now, television has caught up to the big screen as an excellent resource for geek entertainment (and distraction). What Marvel has accomplished with feature films and creating an epic universe for the Avengers, DC has done on the CW network with Arrow, The Flash and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow…

Fox’s Gotham and ABC’s Agents of Shield series are fun, but not nearly as compelling as the stories presented in the Arrow/Flash universe (which I wish the DC film division took notice of). Meanwhile, Netflix has entered the ring with excellent original programming. The first season of Daredevil cleansed the pallet of a fans who were left with a bad taste after the previous adaptation, starring Ben Affleck. It also opened the door to a universe that will involve 4 other Marvel series on Netflix, including Jessica Jones later this year, then Luke CageThe Iron Fist, and then The Defenders. 

Recently, I’ve noticed a contrarian and trendy narrative in TV shows, such as Community and Mr. Robot, that suggest people are suckers for enjoying Superhero films. In the writers’ opinion, we’re all lemmings for going to the movie theater and paying money for these films, and that’s just simply wrong. Just about every one of the Marvel films consist of better stories and dialogue than you’ll find in any of other franchises getting recent installments (looking at you Jurassic World, Terminator: Genisys and ALL of the Transformers films). I also think those are counter-culture comments being made for the sake of being counter-culture. Consider that a win, Geeks. You are today’s “culture”, and it’s wonderful.

Have you ever Googled the definition of “Geek”? The definition isn’t particularly flattering and may have been written by Biff from “Back To The Future”…

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 2.07.03 PM

Yep. straight from Google. (Google is a jerk sometimes). Those who believe in the “unfashionable” and “carnival performer” assumptions are the same people who made fun of you to feel better about themselves and are probably looking forward to their high school reunions way more than the average person should. 

The truth lies somewhere in the sub-definitions. “A knowledgeable enthusiast” (obsessive is a bit strong) or one who “becomes extremely excited about a subject” sounds more like a typical fan than a “socially inept person”. It also applies to more than comic books, video games, and superheroes. If you are amped up for next seasons for The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, or even less fantasy-driven shows like House of Cards or Empire, you are indeed a geek. If you are checking every new beer you try on the Untappd app, you are a geek. If you are over-preparing for your upcoming fantasy football draft or really looking forward to when Blackhawks tickets go on sale, you are a geek…not a freak.

Geek is fun. Geek is chic. Geek is “normal”…I use the term “normal” very loosely because I don’t think there is such thing as normal. We all have different backgrounds, different interests, different hobbies, and different experiences. When we can bond on any of those different things, then maybe we start to feel “normal”. Being a geek is sort of like that.

I love that I can discuss the things I get excited about on this website like movies, music, TV, sports and food, because I know there are many who share these same interests…many of whom, are in fact geeks (whether they identify as such or not). It’s a community that grows everyday thanks to social media and the ever-evolving entertainment culture, one that can be both appealing but sometimes over-critical.

For now, it’s just simply good. I mean, who ISN’T geeking out about Star Wars returning this Winter?

[Update]

Of course as soon as I mention it in this post, Warner Bros releases the Suicide Squadtrailer. Enjoy!

Have something to add? Continue the conversation on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03