British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard says the viral Lego video depicting the Death Star Canteen is like his Hotel California.
The low production video, in which a Lego Darth Vader attempts to order Penne Arrabiata, has had more than 25 million views on YouTube and originated from arguably one of Izzard’s most well-known works.
He said the accidental hit, which was created by a “kid in America”, was his version of The Eagles’ most famous song, Hotel California.
Izzard, who has just released a memoir titled Believe Me, spoke to Lateline about Death Star, coming out as transgender, and his plans to enter politics in 2020.
How did the Death Star Canteen start?
“It comes from a stand-up exchange where I simply said surely there must be a canteen on the Death Star so after Darth Vader’s blown up things, he says ‘I’ll just pop down and get a snack, anyone want anything? You know, Diet Coke? Something from the canteen?'” he said.
“It’s a very silly premise, but anyway, it sort of took off and then this kid who goes under the moniker thorn2200 in America, he did a Lego version of it and so the Lego version of his took off.
“It is a kind of Hotel California and it’s quite a nice one because the status exchange is crazy in there.
“I’m basically channelling myself being at a service station on the M1 in Britain in the 1980s when I was hitching up and down to Sheffield University.
“Very [Monty] Python-influenced stuff, two people talking in a kind of chess game.”
Eddie Izzard has completed dozens of marathons to raise money for various causes. (Reuters: Stephen Hird)
The hardest day of his life?
“The hardest day of my life was 32 years ago in 1985, when I came out,” he said.
“Since then I’ve been able to take on other things like 27 marathons in 27 days in South Africa as a salute to Nelson Mandela, which is a very positive thing, and the gigs in different languages.”
Deciding when to be in ‘boy mode’ or ‘girl mode’
“If you’re going into Hollywood and you’re trying to get roles in boy mode, it’s probably best not to turn up to the meeting in girl mode. Simple practical things like that,” he said.
“I tend to try and express one side and then once I’ve got that established, express the other side — because everyone’s trying to catch up.
“In a pre-Caitlyn Jenner America, transgender was really not on anyone’s horizons.
“No-one had any information, no-one wanted to have any information and now it’s moved into a different place.”
Why is he entering politics in 2020?
“I think moderates of the world now really have to get into politics. I’m a radical moderate, I do radical things with a moderate message, I run many marathons, I raise money, I came out as transgender, I perform in French, German and Spanish,” he said.
“If it’s just Trump-hate and Brex-hate … if we’re going that way in the 21st century, I don’t think humanity’s going to make it.
“I like people, I’m doing well for myself, I want everyone to do well.
“We moderates have got to get in and we quite often pull away from politics because extremists will unload, trolling and negative things and just shout at you in the streets and it can be quite tough to deal with, but I’m built to deal with that.”
Does the world need more celebrity politicians?
“It depends who they are. If you know about Senator Al Franken in America, he came from the world of comedy and he’s doing great stuff, he’s now a two-time senator,” he said.
“If you take Donald Trump, I hate everything he stands for, I hate all the hateful, negative, ‘alternative lies’, everything he’s lying about and trying to pretend it’s true.
“It depends on your character … it depends what you do with your life.”
Eddie Izzard says he tends to choose the night before whether to be in “girl mode” or “boy mode”. (One Plus One)