A lot of creatives have been putting their surplus pandemic-enforced “free time” to good use over this past year. There are, of course, the galaxy of Tik-Tok talent as well as those doing riffs on their favorite pop culture and Broadway shows. And, given that most of the geek-culture blockbusters have been pushed back for a year or more, and Broadway will remain dark through at least late spring of 2021, this is a Very Good Thing™. But a group of friends have taken things to another level by combining Star Wars fandom with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash hit Hamilton. Early this summer, BJ Whimpey, who cosplays Emperor Shiv Palpatine as a member of the 501st Legion teamed up with fellow 501st members Shawn, Larissa, Shane, Dalton and Jace Gordon to put a Star Wars spin on Jonathan Goff’s scene-stealing “You’ll Be Back” musical portrayal as King George III.
This isn’t the first collaboration for BJ and the Gordon family as they have worked together on a number of other projects since they first met in 2004 at a “24 hours of the Force” at Wal-Mart celebrating the release of Episode III toys.
BJ and Shawn co-wrote the new lyrics and Shawn applied the Palpatine make up to BJ, who performed with an impressive rendition of Ian McDermiad’s voice while delivering the catchy tune. While the set is limited to a white backdrop, the production is a beat-for-beat duplicate of King George’s solo number, including the shoulder bobbing.
Jace Gordon directed and the sound was mixed and mastered by Andrew Glasmacher. For the Gordons, it really is a family affair. Shawn and Shane are twin brothers, with the former being a special effects makeup artist. Shane is married to Larissa, who makes an appearance alongside him and and their adult son Dalton and as Stormtroopers. The video is directed by their other son, Jace. For his part, BJ is an actor and voice-over talent.
While this is their first musical production, as mentioned earlier, this isn’t the first time the Utah friends have worked together. More recently, they got together to celebrate this past May 4th by ordering lunch at various Ogden-area fast food drive-thrus while in costume – and driving a replica of Luke’s X-34 landspeeder – much to the delight of passers by and the restaurant staff.
Pause the SCIFI.radio audio stream on pause and enjoy a few minutes of an instant classic and try not to have “Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da” playing to the Imperial March in your head for a week.