The Music of Star Wars, Episode VI: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

The Music of Star Wars, Episode VI: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Author’s note: When I took this project on, I did not take into account the fact that I would have little means to write about the score for The Rise of Skywalker without (a) writing out a lot of spoilers and (b) having any accuracy for cues without seeing the movie at least three times. So it’s January, and Star Wars hype has cooled, so lets dust off this saga and continue.

So… some stuff happened in that second movie, I guess. I was a chore to get through, but there was that lovely theme as well as some allusions to themes established in the original trilogy. So in Revenge of the Sith, we the viewers finally get to the destination we knew we would arrive at someday. This is the “good one” of the prequel trilogy, but let us not lose sight of how much we rationalize when that label is applied. This movie, much like The Phantom Menace has a scene at the end that almost fools you into believing you didn’t waste your time. In that scene, John Williams is at his best.

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The Music of Star Wars, Episode V: Attack of the Clones (2002)

The Music of Star Wars, Episode V: Attack of the Clones (2002)

After a hiatus, TMOSW is back with *sigh* the most exhausting film in the rewatch. At some point, Anakin aged 10 years and Padme aged 3, so now they’re close enough in age to be lovers. John Williams executes a fantastic theme for their union. If you have started your own rewatch in anticipation of Episode IX, you’re likely already past this one, and that’s for the best. In the last few years, there has been a renaissance of appreciation for these prequels, even Episode II. I can assure you, it is soaked in irony. This movie is bad, but find solace in knowing that it contains yet another fabulous work by Williams.

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The Music of Star Wars, Episode IV: The Phantom Menace (1999)

The Music of Star Wars, Episode IV: The Phantom Menace (1999)

The build up to the release of The Phantom Menace was one of the most exciting times in my childhood. I loved the movie, especially the podracing scene. Yeah, that was cool. Well, I’m not twelve anymore. I’m old, cynical, and finally understand what the hell is going on in this movie. The problem is, its boring as shit. BUT THAT’S NOT WHY I’M HERE TODAY. Folks, this movie ends with a blitz that almost makes you forget you just watched 100+ minutes of deadpan dialogue delivery, and John Williams is the main reason why.

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The Music of Star Wars, Episode III: The Return of the Jedi (1983)

The Music of Star Wars, Episode III: The Return of the Jedi (1983)

The great thing about the original trilogy of Star Wars is how it builds the universe within the plot of the three movies in a way that seems natural. In Empire we saw new creatures, strange planets, and a city floating in the clouds. In Return, we focus mostly on one forest moon and a space battle above it. For all of the lush, atmospheric scoring of the second chapter, John Williams gives the third room to breathe. At times, the music is more demanding and pronounced than ever. In others, its absent where earlier in the series music would have been a driving force. So lets get to The Return of the Jedi, and the end of the Empire.

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