Life is a Remix? (with Star Wars and Minecraft)

I actually had the below film at the end of this post, and then I thought, no it should be watched first as it’s an amazing new Minecraft movie and one of my favourite films. (also far better than my ramblings), it’s from Paradisedecay:


During watching, ‘Everything is a Remix,’ it occurred to me that everything we do in life is a remix of everything that has come before, this is something I have never really consciously thought about before, just something I have accepted and maybe even conceived at the back of my mind.


Whether it’s music, film or even teaching our children, we always try to strive to copy and improve on what has been done before?  I however cannot really say improved or better as there are many things from the creative past that are brilliant and always will be, maybe the term should be evolved?  The ability to evolve and remix in these creative fields gives us new genres and inspiration, new ways of looking into things so that they are constantly changing and exciting to us.  The re-telling of an old story/song in a contemporary format is nothing new, and so history has shown us we are fascinated by stories from the past whether fact or fiction and many modern stories/films are taken from ideas from the past eg, the film, My Own Private Idaho takes ideas from Shakespeare‘s Henry IV.   I particularly enjoyed the part of, ‘Everything is a Remix,’ where it depicted George Lucas’s inspirations for Star Wars, it just shows how much historical observation and prior film knowledge from so many disparate sources can create a remixed story into a great film, (well it always will be a great film to me, others can decide for themselves).  Also there have been through the 20th and 21st Century, remakes/remixes of films eg King Kong, Dracula, Dawn of the Dead etc.  These are enjoyed/not enjoyed, compared and discussed by the generations who watched them first and generations who have never seen them before.  It reminds me of the way stories were told in ancient times and passed through the generations, (by mouth and by books), are we not just passing these stories through history the same way we always have, but through modern technology and remixing, so those in the future can also enjoy them, change them and be inspired by them also?

“Copy, transform and combine”: That is the analogy of this short film, it makes the claim that this is what we have fundamentally done since a single cellular organism, our natural order as it were.  However the the final part of, ‘Everything is a Remix,’ challenges the alleged natural order and targets the problems between stealing ideas and then suppressing creativity through the law and focuses on Copyright and Plagarism.  The film talks about the theory that, we are quite happy to copy things, but unhappy when things are being copied/taken from us.  Which is very true, however it seems to be when they are within our own lifetime!  Which brings me to Led Zeppellin, it seems now that only through modern technology and communications people have begun to see what they may or may not have done.  So should we be thinking, (which is probably biased as they are one of my favourite bands),  how many music lovers, musicians and otherwise would have missed out on Led Zeppelin’s musical inspirations, observations and influences if this band had not copied, transformed and combined their music?

However what happens when someone actually designs something unique and then intentionally says go ahead “,Copy, transform and combine,” add anything you can think of to what I have created and have a lot of fun in the process?  Well it gives you…….’Minecraft.’  This is what the creator of Minecraft Swedish programmer Markus “Notch” Persson did.  See Minecraft History.  He made the game open source so that people could create their own elements to it which are called, ‘Mods,’ if you know Java you can make whatever you like and add it to your game.  But learning Java is a large learning curve in itself.  So therefore many, ‘mod,’ creators have their ready made mods for Minecrafters to put into their games.  A lot of these and links to these can be found on the Minecraft Forum.  There are also tools such as Scriptcraft, which uses Javascript to to make your own mods and there are also guides such as Mods/Creating Mods to tell you the best way to go about it without learning Java and using Javascript!  I’ve never really gone into Java but I have learnt some Javascript as I made a game in Unity3D.  So I might have a go at my own mod sometime soon!

To carry on the Minecraft story, the theory is this move to open source meant that it made the game hugely more popular, Alex Leavitt a PHD Student has an excellent video on his website that discusses this much better than I ever could, Alex Leavitt/Minecraft.  It also talks about the way the huge Minecraft community has developed because also there were no instructions to play the game.  So people made videos to help one another, joined forums and discussed the game etc.  I have found so far it’s a huge friendly community.  And the more I find out about this game and it’s community the more I like, you don’t have to buy anything to further yourself in it, everyone shares everything freely with one another.  My next move is to make my own personalised, ‘Skin.’  For non Mincrafters, you literally can make your own skin and be whoever you want to be eg, Darth Vader,  Kermit the Frog it’s up to your imagination.  I really like going onto websites and finding out what skins have already been made!

Anyway following the theme of everything is a remix I have recently found some really interesting Minecraft movies.  Here is a remix of one of my all time favourite movies, I think the attention to detail and the organisation to be able to get this working in Minecraft is amazing, it comes from Paradisedecay who also has a brilliant YouTube channel.

Minecraft – Star Wars – A New Hope


5 thoughts on “Life is a Remix? (with Star Wars and Minecraft)

  1. That was deep, brilliant and very intellectual. You have captured the essence of ‘why’ someone like myself embarks on such a project. One of my most memorable memories as a boy was my Father taking me to see the original film on launch for my 13th birthday. We had pancakes prior to the film, and he even brought me a ‘Millennium Falcon – Airfix kit after the film. It was the most wonderful time of my life. I’m now nearly 50, with 3 children and my youngest being only 20 months old. Through Minecraft I can now share that magical moment with them, so thank you again for the wonderful article.

    1. Thankyou ever so much for the great comments, I am so glad you enjoyed my article and thanks also for sharing your great Star Wars memories. It brought back some great memories of my own. I can remember for some reason the cinema in Southport was showing the Empire Strikes Back and The Black Stallion and my parents thinking I would want to see the film about the horse, (and me being desperate to see the Empire Strikes Back), I remember my Dad was very chuffed at my choice of film! I also remember Airfix too, have you still got the Millenium Falcon? My husband still builds tanks and aeroplanes from kits when he works away to keep himself occupied, then he gives them to our son, some things never leave us! Being able to share things we loved as children, with our children, in new interesting ways is great. I am enjoying watching all the Minecraft films with my son. Last night my son made his first stop motion Lego film, he’s been watching Minecraft and Lego movies people make on YouTube and has become inspired to do his own thing, (Lego Jurassic Park, and he’s got his Clone army ready to make a Star Wars one)! I think we naturally remix things we have enjoyed most from our past and now we have lots of brilliant new technology to be able to do it with, including games such as Minecraft. Really looking forward to more Star Wars Minecraft!

      1. I destroyed all my airfix models many moons ago when I got my first air rifle (as you do as a young adult). I used to have them all hanging from my ceiling. I did find an old ‘still to be made’ enterprise in a box, when we cleared the attic the other week, but ended up giving to a friend for his son. The ‘New Hope’ project is very taxing at times, but I’m still plodding along…. it could be the only thing people remember me for. I’ve not been lucky in my projects over the years, failed music career, failed inventor with patents. I had to close my internet business down when my daughter got cancer 10 years ago. These days Its all about putting a smile on people’s faces. That’s all I care about and Star Wars is my main inspiration in life.

      2. Shooting something with air rifles sounds like something my husband would have done he’s always liked air rifles! I saw your page about your daughter and it really moved me, I am so glad that she is still fighting it and loving Minecraft! Yes putting a smile on someone’s face and making them happy is one of the most important things! Keep plodding on with the your project, it’s great! Now having built things in Minecraft, I understand how time consuming it is and tricky to get things working. Which is why I am so impressed with your film making and film sets, keep going! I’m used to using 3D CAD programs such as Maya and Max so building in Minecraft is a big learning curve for me!

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