Monday, October 22, 2012

Captain EO: A Time Capsule to 1986

Just look at that logo. Look at it. 

As you may or may not know, I recently returned home from a trip to Disney World. If you've ever been lucky enough to go to Disney World you know there's a special kind of magic that is only found there. Magic that makes you feel like a kid again.

At almost 31 years old, I am a child of the 80's. And as a good deal of my body paint projects would suggest, I am still a fan of all things 80's. In my opinion there was no better time to be a child. Safety had yet to be invented, toy companies created entire TV series to sell you their new product, and Hollywood suffered from an excess of... everything. It seemed like if you had an idea, not matter how ridiculous or over-the-top, there was someone out there willing to produce it. What a decade!

Captain EO is a perfect example of the ridiculousness of the 1980's. It's like traveling back in time to 1986 and getting a glimpse of another magical world - one fueled by cocaine and excess. I don't know who initially thought of the idea, but I do know that George LucasFrancis Ford Coppola, and Michael Jackson thought it was a good idea. I, for one, whole-heartedly agree.

If you've never been luck enough to see Captain EO you are in for a treat! Come along with me while I take you on the journey of a lifetime. Make yourself comfortable - this is about to get bodacious.

Captain EO opens with a killer voice over about a "universe of good and evil" where a "rag tag band" struggles to bring freedom to a galaxy of despair. (Somehow this is not Star Wars.) As the camera pans we got a fantastic shot of what can only be described as the offspring of Jabba's Sail Barge and a fish.

My parents should never have met.

Cut to the interior where we get to meet the crew, populated by rejected character designs from The Labyrinth and a Max Rebo wannabe named "Hooter."

Hooter is clearly the mentally challenged "quota"hire, since he messes everything up at every possibly chance he can get. After Captain EO appears, he and his crew have a brief discussion on whether to go into battle or clean Hooter's bunk. Captain EO gives a stirring speech about how they are not "screw ups" and this time they'll prove command wrong. To battle it is!

At this moment a knock-off Klingon Bird of War arrives and the crew must get to their stations to engage in some sweet evasive maneuvers. During the battle it's made clear that Hooter ate their map and therefore they cannot locate the beacon they are trying to find. (It's interesting to note that in a space faring society, they still apparently use paper maps for navigation.) They have no choice but to evade the pursuing ship in the Death Star trench. 

During this daring trench run, Commander Caterpillar-Brow shows up to insult the crew a little bit via hologram. This causes them to crash (I guess) and, lucky for them, they land right on the homing beacon. Commander Caterpillar-Brow then spells out their mission: they must find the Supreme Leader, and give her the gift. The only problem? They don't have the map! 

After strolling around the Planet Junk they are captured by trash aliens and taken to the H.R. Giger inspired Borg-like creature known as "The Supreme Leader." She clearly hates the crew, as she orders them to be turned into trash cans and Captain EO to be tortured for 100 years. He agrees, but first kicks some game to her, telling her that he has the gift to unlock the beauty within her. When she asks to see this gift he gives her the best response ever: "Not only see, your Highness, but hear!" This is when it gets really good. 

"We're basically the same thing, except I came first." - Supreme Leader

His robot general transforms into the most fantastic 80's electric drum set you've ever seen, and Max Rebo's piano shows up for some reason. The entire sequence is like Pee-Wee's Playhouse meets the Transformers. The Supreme Leader is initially digging these sweet jams (who wouldn't be) until Hooter screws it all up. He quickly fixes it, but not before she sends in the guards. What is Captain EO to do?!

Dance his way out, of course! The rest of the video really needs to be seen and not recapped, since no mere mortal words can possibly do it justice. I will say that it involves some elaborate dance choreography, homo-erotic undertones, a killer beat, whips, plot twists, glowing rainbow shirts, moonwalking, and wall Frankensteins that turn into Tron dancers.

Will two different songs and dances be enough to change her world? I don't know, but I sure hope so! Make sure to watch for the surprise WTF-is-she-doing-here cameo at the end. 

Honestly, this video is amazing. I turned to Stacey half way through the show at Disney and said, "this is the greatest thing I've ever seen" and meant it. Her response was simply, "this is awful." I don't know how anyone can watch this and not fall in love with it. It's too amazing. Too precious. This was a real thing, that happened in a real world. It was not done ironically or comedically. 

The 1980's truly were magical. 

(True story - I immediately purchased both these songs on iTunes when I got home. I have no regrets.)

The must-watch video, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas: Captain EO

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