The Best Music From Star Wars Episodes 1-6
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Star Wars Music
The galaxy far far away engrossed us with its epic tracks from the beginning text scroll in each film to the ending score. Composer John Williams, who created the tracks for movies like Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, and Superman, lent his talents to our favorite sci-fi movies with spectacular finesse.
Star Wars features amazing stories, characters, and sets, but we'll always remember the fantastic music Williams brought to the series. But don't take my word for it, listen to some of the best pieces from each movies and hear for yourself!
Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Track: Duel of the Fates
Phantom Menace released to widespread criticism. Personally, I still enjoy the film, despite its flaws (looking at you, Jar Jar), and John Williams impresses as much as ever with his score. Duel of the Fates plays during the iconic lightsaber battle at the climax of the film and helps redeem the often-criticized Episode 1.
Duel of the Fates would be reused in the next two prequel movies, and it's hard to blame the filmmakers considering its euphoric harmony.
Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
Track: Across the Stars
Say what you will about Hayden's portrayal of Anakin, but Across the Stars enthrallingly encompasses the romance between Anakin and Padme. It's a beautiful track that invokes emotions of both love and tragedy, a perfect summary of the relationship between the two.
A quick aside: Hearing this makes me wonder what Anakin and Padme would have done had they known their romance would end in disaster. What about you, would you choose to avoid inevitable doom, or instead cherish your brief love, despite its sorrowful fate?
Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
Track: Battle of the Heroes
Despite some overacting, I enjoyed Revenge of the Sith. It has by far the most lightsaber duels of any Star Wars film, chief of which is the titanic clash between Obi-Wan and his fallen pupil, Darth Vader. Battle of the Heroes is exciting, dramatic, and helped burn that clash into our minds.
By the way, if you haven't already, I highly recommend reading the novel of Episode 3, written by Matthew Stover, which expands scenes that the movie rushed through due to time constraints. Anakin's motivations are better explained, Qui-Gon's voice is heard speaking directly to Yoda, it's more believable how Palpatine defeated four Jedi Masters, etc.
Episode 4: A New Hope
Track: Binary Sunset
Where to begin? The original movie delighted our ears from beginning to end. When choosing a favorite piece, I personally favor the atmospheric Binary Suns, which played when Luke gazes at the stunning twin stars shining over Tatooine as he ponders his future. A New Hope also introduced us to the Star Wars Main Theme, Ending Theme, and many other audio masterpieces.
True fans remember the real hero of Episode 4, a rotund rebel by the name of Porkins. Never forget.
Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back
Track: The Imperial March
Empire introduced what many consider to be Darth Vader's leitmotif, the menacing Imperial March track. A powerful song for an incredible movie. Empire also featured Yoda's Theme, The Asteroid Field, and many more gems from Williams.
As a side note, I've had several fans ask me what made the Empire so bad, why did it need to be overthrown? You're likely aware that it was ruled by a manipulative, conniving Sith (Palpatine), and that it often punished minor infractions far too harshly, but did you know that it also heavily discriminated against aliens?
Episode 6: Return of the Jedi
Track: Victory Celebration
We're cheating a bit, because ROTJ only uses this number in the remastered version. The original film utilized an Ewok song that I enjoy, but I feel Victory Celebration better captures the promise of new beginnings with the end of the tyrannical Empire.
Here's some trivia: What was Return of the Jedi's original title? Revenge of the Jedi. George Lucas changed the name shortly before release, feeling that Jedi wouldn't seek revenge. Episode 3 later made use of the word in its title, a nice homage to the original trilogy.
Your favorite Star Wars track is?
Hopefully you've learned or revisited a favorite Star Wars song. With the success of The Force Awakens, Star Wars continues to entertain new and old generations and deliver classic music to fans. Feel free to share your favorite song in the poll or the comments below, and I'll see you at our next Star Wars review!