It’s no secret how much Star Wars has affected pop culture. From deliberate references in movies and TV, parodies, crossovers, and rap lyrics, the list goes on.
This playlist, however, is a bit different. Some songs on here are obviously inspired, while some just capture Star Wars in some way for me. Think about these songs as what you might hear at a midnight DJ set at the Mos Eisley cantina or during a rooftop party at Canto Bight.
Spice Run – Dam Swindle
From the spice mines of Kessel mentioned by C-3PO in the original film, to the later references in Clone Wars and prequel trilogy, this groovy track is what would soundtrack a spice run. Also, spice is a major part of DUNE, which probably influenced the original Star Wars film.
Naboo – Hot Since 82 & Miss Kittin
One of the most directly influenced songs on this list off of Hot Since 82’s newest album, Recovery, is packed full of Star Wars references, from Endor to Jakku (and also a mention of “Jedi underpants”). It’s easy to imagine chugging a glass of Blue Bantha Milk while this plays in the background.
Temple – Baauer, M.I.A., G-Dragon
Although this tune is presumably not at all influenced by Star Wars, Jedi temples are a major source of intrigue for me. I can totally imagine two hot headed Jedi (ahem, Ahsoka and Anakin) defending a temple when listening to this. Plus, the spoken word excerpt at the beginning is a Buddhist meditation, tying it to a real-life inspiration for the Jedi religion.
Ob1 Kenobi – Oden & Fatzo
Obi-Wan Kenobi is probably my favorite Star Wars character (sorry, Grogu). This bouncy track perfectly captures Obi-Wan’s energy and positivity.
There Was a Time – Floorplan
My favorite thing about Star Wars is it’s sense of scale and grandeur. The most appealing part of the saga is how much it builds upon itself. This song from Floorplan harnesses that same sense of adventure, and it seems like it’s nostalgic for the early days of the Old Republic and the Golden Age of the Jedi. Plus, Floorplan is a father-daughter duo (I would love to see a Darth Vade b2b Leia DJ set).
Cantina Boys – Baauer
Okay, adding this song is cheating a little bit, because Star Wars released HEADSPACE a few years ago. The compilation is an entirely original electronic album that exclusively contains samples of the Original Trilogy. The album is such a fun concept, and had artists like Bonobo, Kaskade, and Flying Lotus contributing. I chose this one to include NOT because of it’s Cantina sample, but an amazing use of the Imperial alarm (you’ll know it when you hear it) and Darth Vader’s breathing.
FatMan – Jesse Rose
Another Cantina theme sample (oh so catchy!), but different enough from Baauer’s take. No one’s going to complain about the grooviest tune in Star Wars canon – and if you do, I may suggest a tour of the Sarlacc pit.
r2d2 – caustic window
This track, full of R2D2 beeps and boops, is probably the reason why Star Wars bars don’t serve droids. Just listen to this and imagine a bumbling blue and white droid rolling up to the DJ and requesting this song. (By the way, Caustic Window is one of Aphex Twin’s aliases!)
Desert Summer – Adam Stacks
Not only does this song capture the sweeping sand dunes of Tatooine, the melody really reminds of Darth Vader’s theme. If you really listen to it, and play the Imperial March right after, you’ll hear what I’m talking about. Perfect soundtrack for little Ani’s speeder race.
Under the Moon – 070 Shake
This is an amazing song, and while I didn’t associate it with Star Wars immediately, there are two related reasons why it definitely belongs on this list – firstly…”that’s no moon”. And when you think of the Moon as the Death Star, the lyric “How they got inside, oh, really, I don’t know” makes much more sense. I can imagine this playing in the Stormtrooper break room while Luke, Leia, Han and the gang are causing major shenanigans.