As you're probably aware, today holds a special place in the hearts of Star Wars fans, as May the fourth is recognised annually as Star Wars Day — because if there's anything nerds love more than space operas, it's puns and wordplay.
In that spirit, to help commemorate this year's celebration of all things Jedi, Sith and everything in-between, we thought we'd share Princess Leia's Stolen Death Star Plans, a truly remarkable recreation of The Beatles' seminal 1967 LP Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that was crafted from the ground up by the lunatic-geniuses at Palette-Swap Ninja to mirror the saga of Star Wars' opening chapter (chronologically, not narratively), A New Hope.
The release of this album — which took the Palette-Swap Ninja guys a painstaking five years to piece together — is special for a couple of reasons, coinciding not only with the 40th anniversary of A New Hope (on 25 May), but the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper's (1 June).
"We've released song parodies before, but nothing this ambitious," singer-guitarist Dan Amrich said in a statement. "Once we settled on merging A New Hope with Sgt. Pepper's, we completely committed ourselves to turning these two sacred cows into the ultimate double cheeseburger."
And, when we say they "recreated" the album, we're not kidding; they even used the same model of vintage organ The Beatles used on Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds for their equivalent do-over, Luke Is In The Desert.
"It's the entire Beatles album as accurately as we could record it, only now it tells the story of Star Wars: A New Hope — in order," they wrote on their website.
"We sweat the details on both sides in an effort to do both cultural milestones justice. Writing hyper-specific lyrics that match the original songs' cadences; reverse-engineering everything The Beatles recorded, from distorted saxophone riffs to Indian tabla rhythms; recording everything from scratch and learning as we went — well, that's what takes five years."
Palette Swap Ninja is comprised of Amrich and keyboardist/drummer Jude Kelley, who met more than a decade ago as members of an '80s cover band. Kelley eventually moved cross-country, and the pair started collaborating on musical parody efforts in 2007 to ultimately release an album of material in 2011 called Still In Beta.
They have made Princess Leia's Stolen Death Star Plans available for download in both 320kbps MP3 and FLAC formats, as well as on their SoundCloud page, and on YouTube, where photographer and graphic artist Katrin Auch has helped them recreate it as a series of lyric videos that match up with the film.