Tag Archives: John williams

Songs in Star Wars

Which songs comes to mind when you see the following pictures?

Star Wars Binary Suns songs

What about this one?

Emperor songs

And this one?

Duel of the Fates Songs

If you’ve seen the Star Wars films, it’s likely one of John William’s pieces of music. They’ve been famous and well-known since their arrival inside our ears in 1977. Like almost no others, the soundtrack for the Star Wars movies have stuck in our minds, but why? Lots can be said about the stellar compositions of John Williams, the wonderful work of the London Sympathy Orchestra, or the choir, but one of the most important things we can take from these songs is the idea of themes and repetition.

Songs in the Stars

Take this as an example: Perhaps the best sequence in the prequel trilogy is Order 66. Clone Troopers cut down Jedi from behind, Anakin betrays the Jedi and slaughters hundreds at the temple, and the Force splits asunder. This song plays as we watch the tragedy. At approximately 1:55, the soundtrack changes from the familiar brassy sound to a string-focused melody and mournful choir. Now, listen to Battle of the Heroes. Quite similar, aren’t they? It’s easy to come up with a reason for this. Order 66 plays during a dramatic, emotional moment, and Battle of the Heroes reprises many of the same elements to revive those emotions. Tragedy, loss, betrayal.

There’s also the “Force Theme,” the official name for the song playing during Luke’s wistful look at the setting Tatooine suns. The song (also known as “Luke’s theme,” “Binary Sunset,” and “Obi-Wan’s Theme”) plays through the entire trilogy in different formats, but the most powerful version is in episode IV, showing us, along with Luke’s far-away look, the adventure awaiting us. It’s no wonder trailers for both “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One” feature the song. The Rogue One trailer also uses a modified version of the Imperial March during the first half.

We could go on for days. The “Love Theme” first introduced for Han and Leia in Episode V is re-used in Episode II. Yoda’s theme shows up in every movie the small Jedi appears in. “Dies Irae,” a classic gregorian choir melody, shows up in numerous places. All of these help us follow the emotions the movie wants, and only improves the experience.

Thanks for reading! Come back next week for more fun fan information!