Public Access

# Solution to Star Wars Cosplay

by Brandon Cunningham and joon pahk

Each of the 13 video clips is a scene from Star Wars (1977). In addition, three clues have been added to the video using a Star Wars-style crawl. Many clues are Star Wars-flavored, but the surface reading is irrelevant.

The three clues constitute a Celebrity Disguises puzzle, leading to the name of a famous person: One is an anagram of the celebrity's name (plus two extra letters), one has the same initials, and one has the same enumeration and vowel/consonant pattern (Y is considered a vowel).

The three clues have been alphabetized, but you can figure out which is which because the initials need to be in the anagram, and the anagram is always two letters longer than the V/C pattern. Figuring out the disguised celebrities then leads to the realization that all 13 are depicted on the album cover art of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. In addition, taking the two extra letters from each anagram (in the order they appear in the anagram), and sorting the videos by their order in Star Wars, reveals the message LEGEND NUMBER IN CD LINER NOTES.

The original cover art of Sgt. Pepper had an identification chart (distributed with the CD, if not all versions of the original LP) with a legend that numbers all of the people on the cover from 1 to 70(ish). So each of the celebrities has a canonical number associated with them via this legend.

What do we do with these numbers? Actually, that turns out not to be the relevant question to ask. The relevant question to ask is, "What does Sgt. Pepper have to do with Star Wars?" The connection is a different "cover" of Sgt. Pepper: Princess Leia's Stolen Death Star Plans is a remake of Sgt. Pepper with all the lyrics changed to match the entire plot of Star Wars.

Now we can match each video clip to a corresponding track from PLSDSP (either by matching the scene or just by ordering the clips chronologically within the movie). We can use the legend number of the corresponding celebrities as indices, because the celebrities with large numbers match up with long track titles from PLSDSP. Taking the celebrity number and indexing into the corresponding song title from PLSDSP, then reading off in the original order of the videos (which we haven't used yet), gives WNBA STORM CITY, a clue phrase leading to the puzzle answer SEATTLE.

Video Track # Track title Initials Anagram V/C pattern Celebrity Extra letters Celebrity # Index into Track titles
1 9 AA Twenty-Three LIGHTSABER BATTLE BLUR LENIENCY PADME STORY LENNY BRUCE LI 4 W
2 6 He's Leaving Home FORCE ACTIVATED FEEDS TERRARIA WHAT IMPIETY FRED ASTAIRE ER 9 N
3 4 Never Better WOOKIEE COPILOT FRIEND WINDU'S CLEF B. B. WEIGHT W. C. FIELDS NU 6 B
4 10 Dianoga MILITANT WICKET NAME SWEET REY BORN MAE WEST NE 3 A
5 1 Princess Leia's Stolen Death Star Plans MANDALORE'S MASK ONLY LEARN MEMOIR GENERAL DISMAY MARILYN MONROE LE 25 S
6 3 Luke is in the Desert SNOKE RUINED PALPATINE REBELS TRIP ENDOR HAN BADASS GOON SIR ROBERT PEEL ND 17 T
7 2 With Illicit Help From Your Friends ASSAULT HOTH LOUD GUYS EXHALE UNSEEN TONGUE ALDOUS HUXLEY GE 18 O
8 12 Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans (Reprise) SITH LORD ALAS, NO TURTLE GRIM WEAPON STAN LAUREL OT 28 R
9 5 Imperial Holes ARTOO'S COMPANION MY CORELLIA WEBSTER ISAACSON SHAMPOO ALEISTER CROWLEY MB 2 M
10 7 Being from the Spaceport of Mos Eisley AUTOMATIC BLASTER BABIES YEARN RUDELY OOPSIE QIONGZHOU AUBREY BEARDSLEY IN 16 C
11 11 Keep Moving Keep Moving EWOK ARMY PLATOON ELDER ORGANA PLAN AWFUL USHER GUY EDGAR ALLAN POE RN 8 I
12 13 A Day In The Life Of Red Five CLONED GALACTIC JEDI JAGUAR VESTS CLUNG FINN DODGES FETT CARL GUSTAV JUNG ES 7 T
13 8 The Force Within You BALL DROID COLD BY BAND DAD JOKES BOB DYLAN CD 15 Y

## Author's Note

This puzzle exists because more people need to know about Princess Leia's Stolen Death Star Plans, which is magnificent. At times during the writing process, we toyed around with different extraction mechanisms involving pulling one word from the lyrics to each track of PLSDSP to make a 13-word clue phrase; somewhat surprisingly, it was quite possible to uniquely pin SEATTLE using that limited vocabulary, because of the 1969 Seattle Pilots ("Wake up, a pilot said") and their central role in the memoir Ball Four by Jim Bouton ("The training ball will float" / "One, two, Yavin IV"). But the task of trying to pin a particular word in the lyrics in a given track turned out to be way too fiddly, so we abandoned it and settled for good old indexing into titles; by the time you've figured out that the puzzle is about PLSDSP, you deserve to finish it quickly.

Testsolving groups for this puzzle varied widely in A) whether they had ever heard of a Celebrity Disguises puzzle (of the kind occasionally featured in Games magazine), and B) whether they'd heard of PLSDSP itself. Celebrity Disguises was much less broadly familiar than we had thought, which is why all three types of clues are hinted in the final version of the flavortext. Several testsolvers who came in not knowing the album mentioned after testsolving that they have added a new tool to their "have you tried?" toolkit: "Why is this puzzle about X actually a puzzle about Y?" In fact, both Brandon and joon came away with a renewed appreciation for this tool as well, so we recommend it to anyone. May it serve you well, and may the Force be with you.