Frank Zappa

Star Wars Won't Work

Composed by Frank Zappa

Song Review by

It seems "Star Wars Won't Work" was performed only once. Still, as crude as it may sound, it feels like a composition, not a spontaneous thing. The title does not refer to George Lucas' science fiction movie. The year is 1988; the Republicans are pushing forward their project of a space-born anti-missile defense system. During that tour, his last, Frank Zappa often criticized Ronald Reagan and George Bush's politics. Little did he know the project would resurface 12 years later when George W. Bush became president.

A short chorus opens and ends the piece. The middle part is occupied by a guitar solo played over an unrelated jazz-rock vamp. The title line is sung in an almost childish, nagging tone. In the out-chorus, Zappa gets more explicit on his arguments about the inefficiency of the Republicans' device: "The gas still gets through/It can get right on you/And what about those germs?" The relevance of his position sounds almost like a premonition after the events of September 2001. The song was released on Make a Jazz Noise Here.