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Sunday was the pinnacle of Star Wars hype with two shows by local Star Wars themed band Grand Moff Tarkin. We headed to The Point just after 7 for the evening show, but they didn’t open the doors until 8. Walking in, you knew it was going to be a fun show. The stage was done in Death Star/MST3K style and there was a merchandise booth set up with a weird mix of Tarkin’s t-shirts and actual Star Wars merchandise. Two girls in Darth Vader helmets (sans face masks) and go-go attire worked the booth.
A while later a couple guys in Imperial uniforms cleared the walkway to the stage and a stormtrooper, two of Vader’s red-masked and robed body guards, a Death Star gunner and Boba Fett strode through the crowd. They donned instruments and cranked up a weird version of the Imperial theme as Darth Vader himself appeared. He welcomed the cheers of the crowd and started into a weird mix of Star Wars themed songs. The go-go Vaders danced beside the slave Princess Leia (who’s obviously been working out since her capture by Jabba) and the ressurected Oola slave girl. Vader ranted between tunes about life in the Empire and the Death Star before charging into the next song. The music was kind of a hybrid go-go and hard rock, with Boba’s keyboard dominating the sound. The occaisonal pyro explosion and shaking women all around added plenty of heat to an already hot show. You could see the sweat dripping out from under the helmets of the band and each took a break during one point or another to recover for the next set. In about an hour the show was over and the characters took off their helmets to introduce themselves to the cheering crowd.
It was a fun experience, and a little on the surreal side. After years of worshipping these characters in 2D it was strange to walk among them. And after hours of trying to avoid the excessive Star Wars hype, it was odd to utterly submerse myself in it - posters on every wall, merchandise everywhere, t-shirts and sound bites - utter sensory overload with Star Wars propoganda. And maybe that’s the point.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, if you’re not watching VH1’s History of Rock and Roll you’re really missing something. Everything from 1940’s Big Joe Turner to Kurt Cobain putting a gun in his mouth! They interviewed EVERYbody and have some great footage.

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