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When Did Weird Al Yankovic Write “The Saga Begins”?

Star Wars is an American epic space-opera multimedia series created by George Lucas that became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon. The franchise has spawned many movies and other forms of media, including television shows, video games, novels, comic books, theme park attractions, and themed regions. Did you that Weird Al Yankovic wrote a song about the plot of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace entitled The Saga Begins even before even it came out?

Weird Al Yankovic wrote “The Saga Begins” even before the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out. He gathered details from leaks online and was surprised to find out how accurate it was. 

How Did Weird Al Yankovic Come Up with the Ingenious Song?

Weird Al Yankovic’s The Saga Begins is a parody of Don McLean’s American Pie that tells the story of The Phantom Menace from Obi-Wan Kenobi’s point of view. If you’ve been a fan of his work, most of his songs are parodies. 

Volcano Records recorded The Saga Begins on April 20, 1999, and it was released on the album Running with Scissors on June 27, 1999. Weird Al began composing the song after he got Don McLean’s permission to use his song American Pie in 1998. However, due to the lead time involved in creating albums, the song had to be ready by March 1999, just two months before The Phantom Menace’s release.
Because of the film’s secrecy, Lucasfilm refused to give Weird Al access to the script, so the musician had to search all the leaked info about the movie from various Star Wars websites. The final mix of The Saga Begins was delayed until after Weird Al had seen an advance charity screening of the film.

I always try to have the lead-off single from my albums be a parody of some major pop culture event, and since I had a sneaking suspicion that people just might be interested in a new Star wars movie, I decided to plan the release of my album around the release of The Phantom Menace and cross my fingers.

Weird Al Yankovic

Most of the information Weird Al used in order to write the song came from spoilers on the internet. Despite Lucasfilm’s refusal to grant an advance screening request he was able to get info on the film and eventually attended a costly charity pre-screening of the film. He had done such an accurate job with the storyline that he only made minor changes after watching the film
The complete video was included as a bonus feature in a Star Wars spoofs collection published in 2011 as part of the saga’s Blu-ray box set release. (Source Star Wars Fandom)

How Accurate was the Song? 

Despite the song being released before the film, the lyrics are surprisingly accurate. Everything was gleaned from Internet spoilers.  Most of his lyrics were correct, so he only had to make minor changes. The only major difference he had to make after seeing The Phantom Menace was that Anakin did not tell Padme that he would marry her. 

You should’ve seen the smile on George Lucas’ face.

Lucasfilm’s official response regarding on song “The Saga Begins”

(Source Star Wars Fandom)

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