How the Beatles (sort of) save the world in ‘Bill and Ted Face the Music’


Bill and Ted face the musicimagine a world in which the duo played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves could create the song that unites the world. Indeed, this is the task at hand as mature men race against time. Ultimately, the Wyld Stallyns need a little help from their friends, The Beatles. At least, that’s how it went behind the scenes.

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The Beatles in the UK, circa 1960 | Keystone-France / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

“Bill and Ted Face the Music” picks up decades after the first two films

Almost 30 years have passed since Bill and Ted’s False Trip. And Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) still haven’t fulfilled their destiny. Just 78 minutes before space-time folds in on itself, the two longtime friends embark on a quest to take the fateful song of their future. Naturally, this plan does not go as well as Bill and Ted hope.

Thematically, a good part of Bill and Ted face the music comment on what it means to create an inheritance. The film sees its two heroes jumping through time. But ultimately, it’s their daughters – Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving) – who are at the heart of the Save the World performance.

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The plot of the film involves a musical performance that saves the world

In an excellent adventure not unlike their father’s first film, Billie and Thea assemble an epic band spanning an entire era. During their travels, they persuade musical legends such as Louis Armstrong (Jeremiah Craft), Jimi Hendrix (DazMann Still) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Daniel Dorr) to join Wyld Stallyns on stage.

At the very last minute, Bill, Ted, Billie, Thea and company are able to create a unique jam session in history. For a brief period, people from all space-time come together in song. As the film explains, it’s less the song itself than the experience that saves reality. In the film, the song is an original composition called “Face the Music” but not on set.

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And the Beatles played a critical role in this climactic moment

Because the soundtrack is not finalized on time, a movie often uses temporary music during filming. Such was the case withBill and Ted face the music. As Reeves told Variety’s The Big Ticket podcast, it was the music of the Beatles that technically saved the world on set that day.

[Director] Dean Parisot comes from a musical background, and I knew we were in good hands with it. … We didn’t have the song during the shoot. So Dean played “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” by The Beatles because to Dean it was like, “I know 113 beats per minute would be good, and ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob- La-Da ‘has a hundred and it’s a song that feels good. During the night, we would just listen and rock to “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. It’s amazing how you can listen to this song a whole lot and not get tired of it.

While it’s not canon in the movie itself, it seems fitting that the Beatles indirectly helped bring the world together. The group is still the best-selling artist of all time. And his iconic discography is loved by generations of fans. What better inspiration for Wyld Stallyns?


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