Weird Al wrote “The Saga Begins” before Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out. He gathered most of the information from online leaks, and was surprised at how accurate he was after seeing a charity pre-screen of the movie. He made minor alterations to the song after seeing it.

The Saga Begins

“The Saga Begins” is a parody song by “Weird Al” Yankovic. It parodies “American Pie” by Don McLean, with lyrics that humorously summarize the plot of the film Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace through the point of view of Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the protagonists of the film.

The song’s title, not mentioned anywhere in the lyrics, derives from a tagline that appeared in teaser trailers and the film poster for The Phantom Menace: “Every saga has a beginning”. “The Saga Begins” was released as a single from the 1999 album Running with Scissors, and later appearing on the compilation album titled The Saga Begins.

History

Set to the tune of Don McLean’s “American Pie”, “The Saga Begins” recounts the plot of Star Wars: Episode… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

8 thoughts on “Weird Al wrote “The Saga Begins” before Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out. He gathered most of the information from online leaks, and was surprised at how accurate he was after seeing a charity pre-screen of the movie. He made minor alterations to the song after seeing it.”

  1. louiseaveryb

    Here’s what Al actually said about it:

    *The song was entirely based on Internet “rumors.” I gathered all the leaked info I could about the movie from all the various Star Wars websites (TheForce.net was particularly helpful), and was able to piece together the basic plot of the movie.*

    *We had planned to release my “Running With Scissors” album the month after “Phantom Menace” came out. But because of the lead time involved in recording, mixing, pressing, and physically getting an album out in the stores, I had to write “The Saga Begins” about two months before the movie came out. The folks at Lucasfilm have always been very friendly towards me, but they politely declined my requests for an advance screening or a peek at the script.Thankfully, the storyline according to the Internet followed the filmed storyline pretty accurately.*

    *Just for safety’s sake, we didn’t do the final mix on “The Saga Begins” until after I had seen the movie (I paid to go to the $500-a-ticket charity screening, so I could see the film a couple days before the rest of the world). I remember I changed a couple lines after seeing the movie – very minor tweaks. Like “He’s probably gonna marry her someday” was originally “I HEAR he’s gonna marry her someday,” because according to an Internet rumor, in one scene Anakin tells the Queen to her face that he’s going to marry her (which, as it turns out, wasn’t in the final cut – but everybody knows how the storyline is going to go anyway, right?)*

  2. slindsey100

    I always thought he had gotten a sneak preview or something.

  3. 23runsofaraway

    He could have prevented the whole Jar-Jar Binks, but did nothing.

  4. FastWalkingShortGuy

    He also included the lyrics, “But I know that I’ll be coming back some day/ I’ll be playing this part til I’m old and gray.

    The long term contract I had to sign/ says I’ll be making these movies til the end of time.”

    …in his parody of the Kinks’ “Lola”, which was done as a Star Wars themed song titled “Yoda,” sung from Luke’s point of view. In the late 80s/early 90s.

    He called the *sequels* 30 years before they happened.

  5. zarnovich

    Probably 80% of any fondness I have for Stat Wars came from this song. Thinking now you really can hear it. This was before the Phantom Menace, decades since any new Star Wars and nothing of the scale of what was supposed to be coming. It was 1999 and we were about to start a new century. There future was ahead if us and looked so bright.

  6. imtennesseetrash

    I still probably know every word to that song despite not having heard it in well over a decade.

  7. Kie723

    Must have been some good leaks. He was very specific about certain scenes. Unless he made major alterations after the movie came out instead

  8. Brandonh75

    I’ve been a fan of Al since the mid 80s when I was 10. I finally got to see him at the MN State Fair in 2019. My wife isn’t a Weird Al fan, nor is she a Star Wars fan. He did this song at the show towards the end. She really liked it, and was amazed how the crowd sang along with the entire song.

    I heard Al debated between doing this parody, or Too Fly For A Jedi. I think this was the better choice.

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