There are a lot of things that Star Wars fans connect their love of the saga with. For some it may be how they met a spouse, for others it could be how they remember their childhood toys, and for others it might be something even crazier. But for me, My love of Star Wars comes together with another one of my loves, Death Metal music.
I've been an avid listener of extreme Heavy metal and Death metal music since early on in High School practically ten years ago. (Man, I'm old!) For some reason I was just drawn to it. I don't know if it was because how powerful it was, the technicality of the song writing composition, or the sheer thrill of seeing it played live in a room full of like-minded souls.
Back then my inner Star Wars fan was lying dormant. I had the movies on DVD but I never really broadcasted my fandom. The social media age had not really taken off yet, MySpace was the biggest player in that game and Facebook was just starting in the Ivy Leagues, so the international fandom was nowhere near what it's like today. What I did display was my love of Heavy metal. I had no fears about showing it off because I felt comfortable in allowing myself to enjoy it.
Heavy metal music has always been my ultimate release. Whenever I would feel angry or depressed I would put on some fast and heavy music and after a while those feelings would just melt away. As I slowly began to open up my Star Wars fandom I realized I had another thing that would be my support system.
A lot of the themes and lyrical motivations that are prevalent in Death metal coincide with the Dark Side of The Force. Self torment, murder, hatred, and unrelenting rule are all things shared in common between the Dark Side and a lot of Death metal. With my overlapping fandom I tend to find a lot of song lyrics that have more meaning to me than just what would appear on the surface.
I am your pain and heartache.
I am your up at night.
I am everything you hate about your… …life.
I am your nervous breakdown.
I am crushed hopes and dreams.
I am the life inside you dying on its… …knees.
This passage is from the song “Victims of the Cave” by one of my favorite bands, The Acacia Strain. Whenever I listen to this song and hear this part I can't help but think of Darth Vader. This would no doubt be how Vader would feel in the time period after Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope. Everything he ever loved has been taken from him, the Emperor's grip on him is clenched tight, he finds out that his former Padawan, Ahsoka, is still alive and in the Galaxy somewhere. He is completely consumed by his hatred and pain of his losses and is on an unstoppable death march. (Profanities redacted in ellipses)
Cities will burn as you fall to your knees
I will inhale the dust of my enemies
Watch from my throne as I sit up high
They scream as they burn
I laugh as they die
I am the hunger of the void
Swallowed by nothingness,
Prepare to be destroyed.
Sticking with The Acacia Strain we find the opening lyrics to another song (Send Help) that seems eerily familiar to another Sith Lord we know very well. I equate this passage to Emperor Palpatine and the culmination of his plans to overthrow the Jedi Order and upend the Galactic Republic. Through his manipulations of playing both the Separatists and the Republic and all other sides during The Clone Wars, Palpatine was able to bring the Galaxy to its knees as he assumed complete and total control. Something of sheer brilliance in the song writing that most people would not find.
Besides just finding enjoyment in heavy metal and Star Wars, I use them both as motivational tools. I am on new path to live a more healthy and active lifestyle and both of these things have been very beneficial in this journey. I often listen to songs like the ones referenced above and tap into my own “Dark Side” when exercising. In my effort to lose weight I try to make it to the gym to lift 6 days a week and go running 6 days a week as well. This can be very taxing and I find that listening to some powerful music and thinking of Star Wars can propel me through it. As of now I have lost nearly 35 pounds since the beginning of March and am hovering around running an 8-minute mile and trying to get that lower and lower each day.
So what do you think? What is your Star Wars connective tissue? Do you equate music or another one of your passions to something inside of Star Wars? Do you have a positive story with your relationship with Star Wars? Let me know! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on Twitter at @mike_audette.
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