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The Phantom Menace
- "Anakin's Theme" is a sweet and heartwarming theme that carries a hint of the Imperial March near the end.
- The dramatic music that plays during the droid invasion of Naboo nails how powerful this robot army is and the mounting desperation of the attacked victims of their siege.
- "Duel of the Fates" also qualifies as an example of Ominous Latin Chanting, even though it's a Welsh poem sung in Sanskrit. Even people who loathe the prequels admit that "Duel of the Fates" was awesome.
- "Augie's Great Municipal Band", the celebratory music from the end of The Phantom Menace. More so when you realize that the vocals have the exact same melody as those in the Emperor's theme, just in a major key, faster, and sung by laughing children... which leads us to mention "The Emperor's Theme", the perfect conveyance of the deep, dark evil that is the Emperor.
- The Tide Turns a triumphant use of the Force theme for when Anakin destroys the Trade Federation ship.
- Flag Parade, the music that plays when Anakin gets ready for his first podrace, is a fantastic, bombastic march that wouldn't feel out of place in Ben-Hur. No wonder the Battlefront games used an extended version of it for when the player gets General Greivous.
- "The Racer Roars to Life". A brief, but brilliant cue during the IT'S WORKING! IT'S WORKINGGGGGG!!!!! scene in The Phantom Menace.
- Anakin is Free, a beautiful yet heartbreaking piece where Anakin says goodbye to his mother. The ending to the song also has a very powerful rendition of the Force theme when he leaves to join the Jedi.
- The sorrowful and haunting music during Qui-Gon's funeral, which was later re-used in Revenge of the Sith during Vader's birth and Padme's death.
- Anakin Defeats Sebulba from the complete soundtrack. Though played initially during the escape from Naboo, the high intensity of the music fits the scene where Anakin repairs his pod mid-flight in the final lap, catching up to Sebulba, getting stuck side by side with him and then finally overtaking the Dug for a very close finish. It's a thrill to listen to throughout.
Attack of the Clones
- Episode II has the first prolific use of the Imperial March as a major foreshadowing, dovetailing into an awesome rendition of "Across the Stars". It shows up again in the final scene, played as Palpatine looks at a Clonetroopers military parade to have the viewers realize they were Rooting for the Empire all along. As the credits soar, we are again treated to "Across the Stars" which ends with Anakin's theme playing and an ominous rendition of the Imperial March once again. Really sets the feeling of dread as you realize that doom awaits this romance.
- The famous Romeo & Juliet-inspired love theme, "Across the stars", is an immersive auditory theme to encapsulate the growing romance between Anakin and Padme from its swelling dynamics to its warming, mysterious melodies.
- The very avant-garde "Chase""Through Coruscant" from Episode II. It's like a nightly news theme on speed, combined with electric guitar and percussion that can be charitably described as insane.
- The song that plays during Jango's Escape from Kamino, aptly named... "Jango's Escape" is a very intense tune, that is very befitting of both the frantic battle between Obi-Wan and Jango, and for just how menacing of an opponent Jango Fett is... The dude isn't even Force sensitive, yet he very nearly bested Obi-Wan in combat!
Revenge of the Sith
- The Battle of Coruscant is bombastic, powerful and captures the essence that a war has been going on in the galaxy for years. Combining elements of the Force theme with occasional riffs, it's crammed with sheer tension, tactical fighting, valour and majesty to encapsulate the chaotic introductory battle in Coruscant's space area.
- "Anakin's Dark Deeds" is an epic and emotional song that illustrates Anakin's fall to the Dark Side along with the rise of the Empire.
- "Padmé's Ruminations" where Padmé looks across Coruscant at the Jedi Temple from her apartment and Anakin in the Temple seems to look back. Featuring the only use of the One-Woman Wail in Star Wars music.
- The dramatic and badass track when General Grievous arrives on Utapau. In contrast, the music where Obi-Wan leaves for Utapau is both heroic and inspiring.
- The chilling and sad "Anakin's Betrayal". "The Immolation Scene" was another amazing, tear-inducing piece of music. "YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE!!!" The Revenge of the Sith soundtrack was one whole emotionally charged Crowning Score of Awesome. The opening credits where Anakin and Obi-Wan are flying together as friends and triumphant heroes, Grievous' choral theme, the eerie, guttural music playing during the Mon Calamari ballet as Palpatine begins to ensnare Anakin with whispers of the power of the Dark Side...all wonderful.
- The music that plays as the newly-christened Darth Vader marches on the Jedi Temple. Sadly, it is absent from the soundtrack (although the theme appears in part in "Love Pledge and the Arena").
- "Battle of the Heroes", for the final battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustafar. It's described as a Sad Battle Music counterpart to "Duel of the Fates", and it's every bit as epic.
- Episode III has three minutes of no dialogue which lets John Williams flex his arms like he wants to, cycling from Padme's funeral theme to Leia's theme, then to a small snippet of Harry Potter-esque music before launching into the Force Theme over a binary sunset to create one of the most awesome bookends ever. No mention of the ending theme is complete without the extended end credits on the soundtrack, which includes an amazingly bittersweet rendition of the Throne Room theme from A New Hope that perfectly captures the mix of despair and hope that the end of the movie conveyed.
A New Hope
- The main theme, aka Luke's Theme is packed with majesty, melancholy and hope on this unassuming little lad who will one day grow up to become the galaxy's new hope against the Empire and the Dark Side of the Force.
- The romantic theme of Princess Leia brings in sadness, hope and beauty all in a single orchestral piece to introduce this Rebel princess trying to fight against the Galactic Empire.
- "Binary Sunset" proves that even contemplative interludes are awesome when placed in the hands of John Williams. Just amazing.
- "Cantina Band", referred to in Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina as "Mad About Me". You know it, even if you haven't seen Star Wars. It's become that iconic, and its catchiness proved that even background alien tunes could be huge hits. Even if the genre is called "jizz".
- "The Battle of Yavin". Swirly, Lock-and-Load Montage style strings at the beginning, total non-stop badassery for the rest of the track. Then there's the ending. Only John Williams can pack so much "Holy Shit!" Quotient into so small a time. Like a lot of Star Wars music, "The Battle of Yavin" takes cues from Holst's Planets suite, specifically "Mars, The Bringer of War". The "DUN DUN DUN DUNN...DUN DUN DUN...DUN DUN DUN DA DA DUN DUN DUN!" as the Death Star is preparing to fire immediately before going kablooie is taken right out of Holst.
- During the Death Star battle score for A New Hope, it's noticeable that the music changes from scary/foreboding to confident/heroic at the exact moment Luke turns off his targeting computer and trusts the Force. That's the turning point of the movie and the music underscores it.
- "The Tractor Beam/Chasm Crossfire", but especially the second part. Starts out with some cool spooky music, then eventually translates into an amazingly uplifting version of the main fanfare, intermingled with Leia's theme and some other great stuff. Combined with the bottomless pit, aka the "I think we took a wrong turn" scene, it's just pure awesome.
- "That's no moon..." Especially brilliant since it's the Darkest Hour of A New Hope, and Williams could have scored it with something soul-crushingly hopeless. Instead, we hear an incredibly rousing version of the Rebel Fanfare to remind us that our heroes aren't licked yet...
- "TIE Fighter Attack", aka "Here They Come!" It earns that exclamation mark.
- "Cantina Band", aka "Mad About Me" is a jaunty number with saxophones and other brass instruments to make a catchy tune.
- Not one of the flashiest themes, but the Jawa Theme was otherworldly.
- Darth Vader's original theme, which was replaced by the Imperial March for Episode V, gets forgotten about due to how awesome the Imperial March is, but it fits the low-key brooding evil and mystery of Vader much better. It even appeared briefly in Rogue One alongside the Imperial March.
- The dramatic "Destruction of Alderaan" embodies tension, sadness and unadulterated horror as the Empire's Death Star reduces Alderaan to smithereens.
- "The Throne Room" ending theme from A New Hope. You will rarely find another closing score that embodies pure triumph and happiness (and the cute fluttery riff from the main theme when we find out R2's okay after all). Another theme plucked in its entirety by Family Guy (before their own parody trilogy in fact).
The Empire Strikes Back
- The Imperial March. Star Wars Legends hints that the Imperial March really is the martial theme of the Imperial Navy; Solo and Rebels present it as an anthem for the Canon regime as well.
- The saga's original great love theme, "Han Solo and the Princess".
- "The City in the Clouds". Less bombastic, but utterly magnificent.
- Hyperspace is a very exciting track for where the Falcon narrowly escapes Cloud City.
- The friggin' Asteroid Field carries a Star Destroyer's load of desperation as Han and his friends aboard the Millennium Falcon try to evade the Empire through an asteroid field before ending on uncertainty to signify a false sense of safety there.
- The Battle of Hoth is almost 15 minutes of sheer awesome. Highlights include the anthem for Humongous Mecha (part 1, 4:02-7:40), some preposterously heroic music when Luke pwns the AT-AT with the grenade (part 2, 2:45-3:40), and what can only be described as a gleefully malicious version of the Imperial March (3:40-4:10). Good times.
- Yoda's theme is simply lovely, old and wise-sounding to describe the old Jedi Master Yoda.
- "The Clash of Lightsabers", where the crew escapes to the Falcon loads up with tension and action while Vader and Luke duke it out with one another.
- "The Rebel Fleet/End Titles". For a film that ends on quite a downer, the beginning of this piece focuses purely on the hope for the future with a stirring rendition of the "Han Solo and the Princess" theme which ascends into the standard End Titles music. Cutting this theme a bit shorter than the other films, it segues into reprises of "Yoda's Theme" and "The Imperial March" that are anything but unnecessary repetition. After that, the most soaring rendition of "Han Solo and the Princess" builds and builds until we are presented with what is possibly the greatest climax to a score in film history.
Return of the Jedi
- The adventurous theme of the Ewoks. and the "Forest Battle".
- The Emperor's sinister motif is the perfect theme for any villain.
- Jedi has all the best themes of the original trilogy, such as "Leia's News/Light of the Force". Starts off with Luke and Leia's theme, rolls into the love theme, and then the EPIC force theme at the cremation. But the whole of the second half of Jedi has awesome music.
- When Vader breaks free of the Dark Side in Return of the Jedi the music switches from an "evil victory is imminent" rendition of the Emperor's Theme to a kick-in-the-gut minor chord version of the "Force Theme".
- The tragically underused "Luke and Leia" in Return of the Jedi may very well be the best music in the saga.
- The first half of the track "The Final Duel/Into the Death Star", the part of the film when Luke snaps and goes all-out against his father. The mournful male vocals combined with the tragic strings nearly make the music a tearjerker without any context whatsoever. The tune was tweaked into the song for the opening screen of Knights of the Old Republic.
- During Vader's death, the main triad of the Imperial March leitmotif is looped over and over, eventually ascending up a 5th from its normal 1-6-3 location to a 5-3-7. At the very end, it is plucked out one last time by a lonesome harp — signaling not only the defeat of the Evil Empire, but the passing of Anakin Skywalker.
- "Into the Trap". That repeating motif when Lando, Wedge, and the other group leaders check in perfectly captures the determination of the Rebellion at that moment.
- Yub Nub may be cute, but "Victory Celebration" is just... amazing. A song with no language that embodies the feeling of knowing that the galaxy is finally free. For fans that have grown up with Star Wars, hearing the triumphant chorus after watching everything unfold could be considered a bittersweet tearjerker. Even those that despise the Special Editions admit that Victory Celebration is awesome. Some even say that it's the only change they like to the Original Trilogy!
- Lapti Nek, the song that originally played in Jabbas palace before the George Lucas Altered Version, is awesomely catchy, even if you dont understand the lyrics. Even fans who don't mind the edits often state they wish this song was left in.
The Force Awakens
- The Force Awakens' main title theme is a joy to hear after ten years, the second part "The Attack on the Jakku Village" prepares you for yet another adventure in a galaxy far, far away. It is atmospheric and tense at the beginning and it builds up to the crescendo when Poe Dameron is captured by Kylo Ren's troops.
- From The Force Awakens we have "Rey's Theme", which is an instant classic. There's also a tragic rendition of her theme, when she gets captured by Kylo Ren. Along with a graceful variant when the Falcon arrives on the peaceful world of Takadona.
- Also from The Force Awakens we have "March of the Resistance" which is the Theme Song Power Up for the Resistance during an aerial battle at the film's midpoint. Ever wondered what the Rebellion version of the Imperial March would sound like? Now you know, and it's exactly awesome as that description implies, combining the militaristic snare and propulsive beat of the Empire's leitmotif with an upbeat, punchy and appropriately courageous Resistance tinge to match the heroics of Poe Dameron and his X-Wing cavalry.
- The epic battle music continues with "Scherzo for X-Wings" which plays over the film's climactic dogfight and "Farewell and The Trip" which plays during the denouement and it really conveys the feeling that the darkness has passed and that good has triumphed once more although at a great cost. "Scherzo" is particularly notable for how it re-uses the main Star Wars theme. Sure, the main couple of notes have been used here and there throughout the movies to add weight to a triumphant moment for the heroes, but this is the first time since the franchise's beginning that John Williams finally turned the main theme into a full blown Theme Music Power-Up!
- "The Jedi Steps and Finale", an enchanting theme that grows more dramatic when Rey discovers Luke Skywalker. The end credits contain a lovely medley of Rey's theme, Kylo Ren's theme, The Resistance theme, and finally ending in a graceful combination of Rey's and The Force theme.
- Kylo Ren enters the Battle, the sinister and badass piece that plays during the Imperial invasion of Takodana.
- "Torn Apart" perfectly captures Kylo Ren's dilemma, patricide, and Chewbacca's grief and rage.
The Last Jedi
- "Main Title and Escape." It's always wonderful to hear the main theme again, complete with the fluttery flute riff during the transition between the two parts of the piece that had been absent since A New Hope. The "Escape" section of the opening number is pretty awesome too, with the action music growing less heroic and more frantic and perilous with every second during the attack on the Dreadnaught, reaching its tragic climax when Paige dies to save the Resistance.
- "Ahch-To Island" picks up right where The Force Awakens left off with "The Jedi Steps," which is interrupted with an appropriately gut-wrenching phrase when Luke simply tosses the saber over his shoulder. Then we get a brief snippet of the lovely "Binary Sunset," and a longer reprise of "Rey's Theme" as Rey follows Luke around the island as he goes about his daily routine, establishing that Luke is at a similar place at the beginning of this film to Rey at the beginning of the previous one.
- "The Sacred Jedi Texts" starts off with a powerfully bombastic rendition of the Force theme before finally settling into a mellow rendition of Yoda's theme to underscore the nostalgia and peace behind Yoda's brief return.
- "The Rebellion is Reborn" combines the theme from "Ach-To Island" with the theme for Rose Tico. Rose's theme in particular is simply lovely, and evokes the sweeping and dramatic beauty of Princess Leia's theme from "Empire" while simultaneously being its own distinctive theme.
- "Revisiting Snoke" might sound low-key compared to Emperor Palpatine's theme, but it's still deliciously ominous through and through, especially with Darth Vader's leitmotif returning and Kylo Ren's leitmotif to cap it off.
- "The Supremacy" mixes some of the saga's best themes, combining Kylo Ren's theme, the always-welcome Resistance March, "Binary Sunset", and finally a truly heartbreaking version of Leia's Theme, to represent one of the most powerful moments in the saga, as Leia uses the Force to pull herself back to the ship after being blown out into space. If you're not in tears by the end, you weren't listening.
- The extremely disorienting "The Cave" may not be the flashiest, but it very effectively sets the mood for Rey's surreal experience on Ahch-To, and conveys her disappointment about not getting any meaningful answers.
- What's not to love about The Battle Of Crait? The "damn the torpedoes" rendition of the Resistance theme near the beginning is cool enough, but the triumphant reprise of Rey's theme and "Here They Come!" from A New Hope when the Falcon makes its dramatic re-entry then lures the TIE fighters into a chase in the crystal caves of Crait drive the awesomeness into the stratosphere. "They really hate that ship!", indeed.
- The titular The Last Jedi plays during Luke's "duel" with Kylo Ren, and is essentially a musical retelling of the events in the film. You can hear Kylo's rage in the second half as he charges at Luke, and his Villainous Breakdown as he realizes Luke had completely duped him.
- "The Spark" unites Luke's theme and Leia's theme with both characters interacting for the last time. Doubly heart wrenching given Carrie Fisher's death. And ending it with an altered version of the Imperial March, only Luke is doing the marching in context of the scene.
- "The Fathiers" is bouncy, exciting, and dramatic in a "Western horseback chase" sense that serves as an appropriate back-up for one of the most purely entertaining action sequences in the movie.
- "A New Alliance," aka the scene where Rey and Kylo lay waste to Snoke's guards features potentially the most bombastic version of the "Force Theme" in the history of the saga, underscoring Kylo's decision to turn on Snoke and kill him, before dropping us straight into heart-pounding badassery right up until the end.
- "Canto Bight" is simply a delight, with jazzy samba rhythms on piano, trumpet, and steel drums that call to mind a "rich man's version" of the classic Cantina Band sound, appropriate for one of the galaxy's most opulent hot spots.
- From the complete score, "Holdo's Resolve" is a short but intense piece that plays when the movie alternates between three powerful scenes, namely Kylo and Ren fighting over Anakin's lightsaber, Phasma ordering Finn and Rose's executions, and most importantly, Holdo preparing to ram her ship against the Supremacy, with the song's crescendo reaching its climax with a deafening silence as the First Order's fleet is laid to waste by an incredible hyperspace ramming maneuver.
- "Chrome Dome" feebly continues from "Holdo's Resolve" following the devastation caused by Holdo's sacrifice, but then switches over to heavy war drums as Phasma walks through the inferno and gets on a one-on-one fight with Finn.
- "Peace and Purpose". "Binary Sunset" plays as Luke watches a twin sunset, as he fades away, most likely passing on as a force ghost. The other half is a bittersweet yet hopeful tune that shows that hope is still alive in the galaxy.
- "Finale" plays over the coda on Canto Bight, with a whimsical version of the main theme played on chimes, before segueing into "Binary Sunset" when the stable boy demonstrates his Force abilities and stares out at the night sky, suggesting that hope is reborn in the galaxy. Then, following the tradition set by the closing credits of the previous films in the saga, we get reprises of several pieces, including Rose's theme, a piano version of Leia's theme over the tribute to Carrie Fisher, the Resistance march, the Rebel fanfare, Rey's theme, Yoda's theme, the Battle of Crait, and "Here They Come," and the piece is bookended with Rey's theme played on the chimes we heard at the beginning, signifying who the title character is. And listen carefully to the reprise of Rey's theme right at the end: it's shifted from a minor key to a major key, to match Luke's.
The Rise of Skywalker
- "Fanfare and Prologue" which plays during the opening crawl and when Kylo meets the resurrected Emperor. The final chapter in the Skywalker Saga begins.
- "Journey to Exegol". A powerful statement of Kylo's theme that plays during the opening scene, showing his... hands-on role as Supreme Leader.
- The title track, "Rise of Skywalker". John Williams said he would bring together all of his themes from the Skywalker Saga, and while it appears he didn't quite do that... he was successful in creating the new theme for the last movie. The tune twists and turns, seemingly combining and blending the themes to every single Light-side character into one new, beautiful, uplifting melody to wrap up the entire saga.
- "Anthem of Evil" is a haunting, sinister-sounding track that fits the newly returned Darth Sidious like a glove.
- "The Final Saber Duel" is a downright frantic piece that perfectly conveys the equally matched desperation of Rey and Kylo as they cross blades on the Second Death Star, before shifting from intense to solemn and culminating in one final, utterly heartbreaking version of Leia's Theme as she calls out to her son through the Force one last time.
- "Destiny of a Jedi" is one classic theme after another as Rey struggles with her heritage. Cycling through Luke's, Leia's, Rey's, Yoda's, and the Force theme, if "Rise of Skywalker" is THE light side, then this is the journey to it.
- "Reunion". You can feel the joy come from the music as this sequel's trio reunite.
- "A New Home." Rey buries the twins' lightsabers on the one place that started it all - Tatooine.
- "Finale" comes off as a greatest hits compilation for all of Star Wars. Beginning with the iconic Force theme, it goes through Rey's Theme, the Imperial March, Rise of Skywalker, and Anthem of Evil before ending with one last reprise of the main Star Wars theme - Luke's theme, the theme of the original Skywalker from 42 years before. One last bow from John Williams, and from the Skywalker Saga itself. When the opening version of the Star Wars theme is played in the credits, you know this is the final film in the Skywalker Saga.
A Star Wars Story Films
Michael Giacchino had to complete the Rogue One score in a hurry, but gave it his all.
- "Hope". The title is a Non-Indicative Name at first, with the beginning playing over Darth Vader's Curb-Stomp Battle against the Rebel troops and the end showing us the hope as Princess Leia gets the Death Star plans, setting up the plot of the original Star Wars film, A New Hope.
- Jyn Erso's lovely and graceful theme. And the piece when Jyn and Cassian die is soul-crushingly powerful.
- The "Imperial Suite" almost rivals the iconic Imperial March in awesomeness.
- Chirrut Imwe's theme is both tranquil and epic. The choirs used are lovely as well.
- Jedha City Ambush carries sheer wit, tension and valour as the rag-tag Rogue One crew defend themselves against the vicious assault of the fearsome Imperial forces.
- AT-ACT Attack is a huge track taking all the battle music in Star Wars to astronomical levels, from the sheer dread and full power of the Imperial army and their military cargo walkers to the unwavering, unfaltering bravery of the arriving Rebel fleet sent to hold the enemy off for as long as they can.
- Throw in "Star-Dust", the Lonely Piano Piece which plays when the Death Star is fired for the first time. It's hauntingly beautiful, and perfectly underscores the tragedy, as well as the hologram message Jyn receives from her father. Rogue One's score may not have been John Williams material, but it could be epic and powerful at all the right beats in its own way.
- "Good Luck Little Sister", particularly the two renditions of Krennic's theme that bookend the track. One frantic, one bombastic, but both deliciously evil.
John Powell does an excellent job combining the John Williams style with the more modern aesthetics found in film scores these days.
- "The Adventures of Han", Han's leitmotif for the movie. Its style is instantly recognizable, as it was composed by none other than John Williams himself. It's both a nostalgic and energetic piece, as if it was merging the sounds of the original and prequel trilogies.
- "Reminiscence Therapy", the music that plays during the Millennium Falcon vs TIE fighters chase through the nebula, is absolutely stunning, with a blend of new themes such as Han's and Chewie's leitmotifs and classics such as "The Asteroid Field", "TIE Fighter Attack", and the Star Wars theme itself.
- Enfys Nest's Leitmotif, with a heavy choir section reminiscent of "Duel of the Fates." It works even better after the reveal that she's actually fighting for a good cause.
- Similar to Rebels, Solo features an in-universe variation of The Imperial March, which shifts the tune into a major key to transform it into an upbeat recruitment tool. Made all the better by the fact that this version is quickly contrasted with a bombastic rendition of the true Imperial March as Han confronts the true face of the Empire on Mimban.
- Flying with Chewie rolls in tension and relief and beauty into one track to show Chewie and Han's relation as they go flying in the Falcon.
- Break Out reeks of freedom, valour and derring-do as Han and his crew break out thanks to Lando and go on the attack.
- Train Heist is a chaotic number starting off calmly before getting faster to capture the tension and danger as Han gets the odds stacked against him while performing a train heist.