Music Video Crack Theories: 'The Tide is High' by Blondie (1980)
Cashing in on Star Wars month with something utterly preposterous.
I often listen to Blondie, especially their song "The Tide is High", but it wasn't until recently when I finally decided to check out its accompanying music video. And goodness me - what do I make of this?
The video came out sometime after Star Wars Episode Five: The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, and it features the most famous tragic villain of all time, Darth Vader. So, I thought I'd do something fun and try to "canonize" it by explaining his surreal connection with the band's singer, Debbie Harry since it's the video's prominent story beat.
There's a couple of interpretations I have in mind depending on whether you want to take the rest of the saga into account or not. For this first scenario, let's assume Episode Six: Return of the Jedi, the prequels, and the relevant comics don't exist. When we consider the lyrics, which detail Harry's determination to be Vader's only lover, we can conclude that Vader is either remembering or dreaming about Luke Skywalker's mother during their relationship's beginning stages, has fallen in love with a new, younger woman, or hires an "entertainer" to help him forget losing his son - again.
I'm willing to go with the first theory since their holographic connection - as well as her rocketship - appears rudimentary compared to what we see in Episode Four: A New Hope, so much so that he probably had to use that weird facepiece for the call to get through. Vader also seems too fixated on his goals throughout episodes four and five to (literally) flirt with the frivolous latter two ideas. Not to mention, he's clearly a tough egg to crack. It must've taken a lot to allow himself to think of Harry after so long, particularly once he found Luke.
Whether they divorced or she died young - unless you believe she's an absent mother who gave the Lars no choice but to take Luke in - I doubt it's a stretch to say it affected him a great deal because of how resolute he is to have Luke join him - he's his last link to her (and it certainly helps that they look like they could be related). Regardless of what you want to believe otherwise, we can safely presume that Harry's entourage is helping her make their meeting happen and she comes from one of the more underdeveloped planets in this galaxy far, far away.
If we factor in everything else, however, that's where it gets complicated and probably sullies Vader's character. We know Padmé Amidala Naberrie is Luke and Leia Organa's biological mother, that Vader had only ever loved her practically his whole life, and he doesn't entertain the idea of courtship or casual encounters in any of his appearances when she dies - even going so far as to kill a nurse who expresses her feelings for him. So how do we explain his fascination with Harry here when we know he tends to have a one-track mind toward things?
The only explanation I can come up with is that he's changed his tune and is fond of being pursued for once. After all, Vader's personality is a far cry from his days as Anakin Skywalker and even his early beginnings as the iconic monstrous machine we fear so much. So one of those two silly theories from earlier can apply in this scenario. Harry's a beautiful woman with an intoxicating, dreamlike quality to her; perhaps that blue milk got to his head (figuratively speaking) and he becomes seducible.
I hope to find more music videos like this that reference popular culture in cute or ridiculous ways. If there's one you'd like to recommend for a future post, feel free to share it with me, and let's get cracking!