Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (Pronounced "Four Five" rather than "five five five five") is a musical film whose soundtrack was Discovery. It was created in a collaboration between Daft Punk and Leiji Matsumoto. Each track from the album was a chapter in the film. The film revolved around a kidnapped alien band and contained no dialogue and little sound effects. It was produced by Daft Punk, Cedric Hervet, and Emmanuel de Buretel. It was released on November 10, 2003.
The story began in a parallel galaxy where the four blue-skinned music stars on an alien planet are performing the song, "One More Time" to a similarly blue-skinned audience. At the end of the song, a team of humanoid troops appeared and subdued everyone with gas including the band on stage except Arpegius who briefly escaped from the premises before being subdued by one of the humanoid troops that are sent to capture him. The four musicians are kidnapped and beamed aboard a large space vessel ("Aerodynamic").
A distress signal was sent out to a nearby ship that was piloted by Shep. When Shep was first seen, he was daydreaming about Stella who was the bassist player of the kidnapped band. He dozed off and was visited by an apparition of Stella. Just as the couple are about to kiss, the alert finally reached him and brought Shep out of his dream. After receiving the call, Shep was determined to save the band and rocketed off in pursuit of the kidnappers. During a chase sequence, Shep and the kidnapping vessel traveled through a wormhole and eventually landed on Earth. The kidnappers quickly brought the band off as an unidentified leader watched. Shep and his ship crash-landed into a dense forest ("Digital Love").
Within a large underground facility, the band went through an entirely automated process while they are unconscious. Each member of the group was stripped of their alien garb and had their memories rewritten. Their old memories are archived and stored on discs. The band was skin-painted and hair-dyed to resemble humans. They are redressed and implanted with mind control devices ("Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"). The band's captor (Earl de Darkwood) in the guise of a manager took them to a recording studio where a record deal was made. The band, now named The Crescendolls produced their hit single, "One More Time". The names of the protagonists are revealed: Stella (Bass guitarist), Arpegius (Guitarist), Baryl (Drummer), and Octave (Keyboardist/vocalist). In no time, The Crescendolls became a worldwide phenomenon ("Crescendolls"). The fame had its disadvantages as the exhausted members of the band are forced to sign large amounts of marketing material. While this was happening, Shep walked on the streets at night and discovered what was done to his heroes ("Nightvision").
The band later appeared in a concert at a crowded arena. Earl de Darkwood appeared on the stage and directed an orchestra. Shep rocketed into the stadium and fired a device at Arpegius, Baryl and Octave, freeing all except Stella from the effects of their mind control devices. Leaving Stella behind, Shep and the others hijacked a van and attempted an escape. During a chase, Earl's bodyguards caught up to the van in two black cars and mortally wounded Shep before crashing into a semi-truck ("Superheroes").
Still under the control of Earl, Stella was later taken to a "Gold Record Award" ceremony which The Crescendolls along with the other three bands including Daft Punk (Making a surprise cameo) received a nomination. When the Golden Record was awarded to The Crescendolls, Baryl used the anti-mind control device on Stella and beckoned her to follow. The two entered a waiting taxi which was driven by Octave and escaped ("High Life").
The reunited band gathered around a dying Shep who raised his injured arm out to Stella. She took it and experienced a dream sequence which was similar to the one that Shep experienced earlier. Shep revealed The Crescendolls' true identities. The band expressed their gratitude as Shep died as the group mourned his death ("Something About Us"). The group later found a giant tree and buried Shep at its base. At night, the band watched Shep's spiritual essence emerging from the ground and rocketing into the stars. While driving away, the band screeched to a halt in front of a road sign to Darkwood Manor. This was the same place that appeared on a card that Stella found earlier. The four agreed to check it out and drove off ("Voyager").
The Crescendolls eventually reached a great castle-like mansion. They happened upon a journal that was titled Veridis Quo that described exactly what Earl de Darkwood's origins and plans are. The book revealed that the musical artists that are associated with Earl on Earth are actually aliens used by him to make music worthy of the Gold Records. Earl would unleash a tremendous power when 5,555 records are claimed which would allow him to rule the universe. The Crescendolls themselves are awarded the Gold Record number 5555. The band found themselves surrounded by Earl's guards who escorted them to the chamber of an underground chasm. Earl grabbed Stella and thrusted her into a massive device lined with his Gold Records. The remaining members freed themselves from the guards. Arpegius rushed and tackled Earl from the ground before he released the power and caused the record to fall from his hands into the abyss. Earl tried to get the disc, but he fell to an assumed death. Arpegius rescued Stella from the device and the band fled from the castle which began to self-destruct ("Veridis Quo").
Escaping from the explosion and now aware about the technology that Earl of Darkwood used on them, the band traveled back to the Record company. Octave broke in and found the master recording of "One More Time" under which the band's archived memory discs are found. Octave attempted to leave with the discs but was surrounded by the guards. He reached into his jacket to retrieve a page of Veridis Quo, but one of the guards used a stun gun on him. Due to the electric shock, Octave fell to the ground and turned into his original blue skin color, much to the surprise of the witnesses. The page was taken from Octave's hand and revealed what the discs are ("Short Circuit").
The construction crews unearthed Shep's ship and the police investigated the Record company. The police also searched every part of Darkwood Manor. A news report was later shown and depicted the scenes of an operation to send The Crescendolls back home. The report also explained the situation and even showed that The Crescendolls are not the only group to have this happen to them. Octave woke up and was greeted by the band who are back to normal. As the band prepared to leave, the people waved goodbye to the band from all over the world as Arpegius made peace with the Manager of their recording company ("Face to Face").
When the band's ship was heading to the wormhole, Earl's essence suddenly appeared by engulfing and attacking the ship. Shep's essence flew up to the Earl and defeated him which freed the band. They successfully returned to their home planet and are welcomed by its inhabitants. The band was on the stage again and the audience was dancing to their song. Everyone on Earth was also seen dancing to the performance that was shown on the television screens. Outside the stadium, a heroic statue of Shep was unveiled. The camera panned out of the celebration. The viewer experienced a zoom out from the alien planet to a large star cluster and stopped with a record player. This revealed a vinyl record playing Daft Punk's second album, Discovery. A sleeping little boy was shown surrounded by The Crescendolls and Daft Punk toys and the other memorabilia. The needle was moved off the record and the music stopped ("Too Long"). As the ending credits rolled, a remixed version of "Aerodynamic" (Aerodynamic - Daft Punk Remix) played.
- Earl de Darkwood
- Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (cameo)
- Thomas Bangalter (cameo)
Locations (in order of appearance)
- Home Planet
- Humanization Facility
- Ridell City
- The Record Company
- Concert Hall
- Cosmic Space Runway Hall
- Golden Records Hall
- Abandoned Warehouse
- Shep's Tree
- Darkwood Manor
- I.A.S.O. Headquarters
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