Movie Music Mega Madness: Return of the Jedi

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Return of the Jedi (1983)

Star-Wars-Return-Jedi-VI-Poster_a10501d2

Lapti Nek! Well loyal readers, it’s almost time for the most wonderful time of the year. Not Hanukkah and definitely not Christmas but the first new Star Wars feature film in over 10 years. And much like every other 30-somethings we, too, are excited and anxious how the films under new leadership of Disney and visionary director, J.J. Abrams will turn out. Will it be the most exciting story we ever saw and will make us fall in love with the saga of a Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away or will it just feel like a shiny new revamp of recycled old ideas and scenes mashed together to form a new fruitcake of awesomeness. Am I mixing metaphors and tones? I sure am—on purpose because this new Star Wars has me feeling about a dozen emotions and feelings that I cannot wait to process this weekend.

So anyway, to get my mind off the new Star Wars, we’ll mostly be talking this week about the beloved “old” Star Wars that we all know and love and inspired us to be the geek-loving movie nerds today. And what better way to start off with a long-lost original song from Return of the Jedi. Lapti Nek. 

Lapti Nek was the original song played by Sy Snoodles and the Max Rebo Band in Jabba’s throne room. Sy Snoodles was basically a mash of Tina Turner with a long mouth snout with Mick Jagger lips. It’s only heard in the original film for maybe a minute and half before Jabba gets pissed at one of his green-skinned slave girls and has her made into a lunch for his pet Rancor. Because of the special edition changes that Lucas made since 1997, Lapti Nek is all but a distant memory now. A new, way more annoying jazzier song called “Jedi Rocks” is all the new generation of fans will know and have any emotional attachment to. Luckily there’s YouTube.

Sometime after the special editions, I found a used Return of the Jedi soundtrack that actually had the single of Lapti Nek (in it’s glorious top-40 produced glory) and the original “Yub Nub” Ewok song that was also cut from the newer versions in place of a banal and weak sounding new-age flute accompaniment. Seriously, as silly as Yub Nub is, I’d still rather hear that instead of some boring Yanni sounding crap. But I digress, Lapti Nek was attempted to be made as an actual song and single if you can believe that. It’s not even in English (not really) and is sung in Huttese or some made up language. Sure it’s got a great bass hook and it’s not out of the realm of possibility to dance to it (it was early 80s, if you were at a dance club you were too coked up to care what you were dancing to anyway). There are English lyrics for the song which somehow is translated to the title: “Work It Out.” However, some versions have the translated title of “Fancy Man.” Which begs the question: Who is this “fancy man” that the song is intended for? Is it Jabba? A lot of rumors point to Warren Beatty but Sy Snoodles is tight-lipped on this. If it is Jabba I would like to think he forced Max Rebo to write and play this song every night for his own vane pleasure. Here are the lyrics to Work It Out:

Feel my body growing
My bones have started glowing
The time has come for showing
That I’ll shape you up and work you out
My body feels excitin’
My soul is synthesisin’
My whole frame is jumpin’
I’m workin’ out and havin’ fun

Work it out, you’ve got to move your soul
Work it out, you’ve got to feel the heat
Work it out, you’ve got to move your soul

Feel my body growing
My body feels excitin’
My soul is synthesisin’
My whole frame is jumpin’
The time has come for showing
I’ll shape you up and work you out

Work it out, you’ve got to move your soul
Work it out, you’ve got to feel the heat
Work it out, you’ve got to move your soul

Lyrically translated this song is a horrible fit for that scene, that movie and that character’s throne room! It sounds like a song you would exercise to. Seriously, the last person who would “synthesize his soul” is Jabba. Unless the song was written ironically by Max Rebo as a mockery of their crime boss. 

However, listening again to Lapti Nek un-translated (and a few new mixes that I never listened to until today, which I will embed for your pleasure) wishes that the song would be restored back again. It’s a much better song and fit the 80s time period better. Musically only, it’s fun and sounds like something a crime boss would play for his minions. “Jedi Rocks” sounds like something you’d play to force a cult leader out of a barricaded compound. I heard that The Force Awakens also has a “song” somewhere in the film which was written by Broadway sensation, Lin-Manuel Miranda. So hopefully that will be just as cool as Lapti Nek and we hear it on the radio and sampled by Drake or some shit. I dunno, YAY STAR WARS!!!

The Original:

The mix with English lyrics:

The disco mixes:

 

5 thoughts on “Movie Music Mega Madness: Return of the Jedi

  1. Jedi Rocks can suck my… I dunno, I have nothing that rhymes with rocks! Socks? And Yub Nub rules. I love it. I love Ewoks. I’m allowed to love Ewoks (because I’m a GIRL). The changes made to Jedi piss me off more than anything else that got changed.
    YAY STAR WARS!!! I may go to the new movie. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: I Don’t Get It…: Star Wars | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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