“This is a song about peace,” begins 30 Seconds to Mars in their new video, “This Is War.” After displaying H.G. Wells’ famous quote “If we don’t end war, war will end us,” 30 Seconds To Mars mixes actual war footage with a dizzying depiction of the group dressed up as soldiers and fighting a surrealistic horde of flying tanks, trucks and helicopters. Eventually, the soldiers — and the viewer — find out exactly where all these flying weapons of destruction are going, but we’ll let you find out yourself
The mere fact that this effects-heavy video exists is something of a triumph. The band shot “This Is War” with director Edouard Salier more than a year ago, but filmed, edited and released the follow-up single “Closer To The Edge” while “War” was on hold. “‘This Is War’ is the first video that I let someone else direct, and let’s just say we won’t be doing that again anytime soon,” Jared Leto told MTV News last summer. To prepare, the band trained and consulted with military special forces to accurately portray U.S. soldiers.
While the video could also be seen as a metaphor for personal battles and the human struggle, quick shots of dictators like Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-Il make no mistake as to its primary meaning. This isn’t just about peace — it’s a war on war.
“This Is War” is the titular second single off the band’s third album, released in 2009.
+ Watch 30 Seconds to Mars’ “This Is War” video.