President Obama dubbed it, then Cookie Monster sang it and now Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and the entire cast of “Star Wars” are taking up the parody mantle of Carly Rae Jepsen’s incredibly catchy tune “Call Me Maybe.”
In what is sure to be viral gold, creator James Covenant has brilliantly combined clips from George Lucas’ “Star Wars” films with the heavily synthesized tune of “Call me Maybe” to create his own parody of a song that the world just can’t seem to get enough of. The pioneering parody featuring President Obama has already garnered more than 19 million views on YouTube and Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster-themed version “Share it Maybe” is already at 6 million after being released last week. Judging by the fact that Covenant’s masterpiece has already surpassed the 2 million views mark just four days after hitting YouTube, there is no doubt that the more than 100 hours Covenant poured into the creation process will soon pay off in viral clout.
NMR chatted with James Covenant about his die-hard enthusiasm for Star Wars, the staggering amount of hours he spent editing his video and why he chose to use “Call Me Maybe” to make his online presence known.
What made you decide to follow the “Call Me Maybe” parody wave and create one of your own?
James Covenant: I never consciously decided to follow the “Call Me Maybe craze” It just happened, and I couldn’t escape it! They say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. So I thought it was time for me to make my own contribution to the madness.
Why did you choose clips from the entire Star Wars series to be the theme of your parody?
James: I chose Star Wars because it has such a huge impact on our culture. Star Wars is truly an American Mythology, adopting many of the motifs found in Arthurian Legend. The Myths in Star Wars are more than just good storytelling; they are a means of conveying transcendent truths. Star Wars is full of important moral values like the fight between Good and Evil, the importance of family, the virtues of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the corrupting effects of sin (the Dark Side of the Force). I think people love Star Wars so much because the values and truths that it teaches are still very relevant to our everyday life.
I hope that when people watch my video they will remember all of the great experiences they have had in the Star Wars universe. So far, the feedback has been really encouraging. Many viewers have commented that after seeing the “Star Wars Call Me Maybe” they are going to go back and re-watch all the Star Wars movies again!
What came first: your enthusiasm for Star Wars or making parodies?
James: My enthusiasm for Star Wars definitely came first. I started watching the Star Wars Trilogy when I was 6 years old and I haven’t stopped since. Like the rest of the world, I was really excited for the Star Wars prequels. There have been a lot of complaints from fans about the prequel movies, but I think our expectations were just set too high. I don’t believe that Episodes I and II are all that bad, and Revenge of the Sith is one of my favorite movies ever. It was fun experiencing George Lucas’ take on Greek Tragedy. I loved watching how Anakin’s hubris ultimately brings about his own demise.
I made my first movie parody when I was in high school at Fr. Gabriel Richard. At that time I was becoming a James Bond fan. However, I quickly realized that although 007 was a hero, he was certainly no saint. 007’s womanizing ways disagreed with the teachings of my Catholic faith. So some of my friends and I decided to make a movie parody about a reformed, Catholic James Bond. We called him James Covenant, a theological “Bond.” And thus, my alter ego was born! In our movie, James Covenant was not only saving lives; he was also saving souls.
What was the process like for creating the video? How long did it take you from start to YouTube post?
James: As many viewers have speculated, this video took a long time to make. I lost track somewhere along the way, but I spent at least 100 hours (perhaps as many as 200!) doing the video editing. I began in early June, searching through the Star Wars scripts for the lines. A few creative liberties were taken to provide for the missing words. My favorite part was filling in the transition scenes between the verses. All in all, it was quite a fun puzzle to solve. I was getting a bit burnt-out in early July, but my Sister (and a certain Prehistoric Dragon) encouraged me to finish.