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Monday, March 7, 2011

The 10 Best Pieces of Star Wars Music


There’s no doubt that Star Wars has the best movie soundtracks of all time. There’s really no debating that actually. But if you were to burn a Star Wars “mix tape” CD to listen to in your car, what are the ten tracks that absolutely should go on it? Below we’ve collected the ten pieces of Star Wars music that are an absolute must on such a CD.

Star Wars Main Title
Um, duh? Does this really need an explanation? The only real decision is which track version of it to use as on the soundtracks each movie has a different ending to the main theme as it transitions into the first scene. Personally, I always use the one from A New Hope, but the decision on this one is up to you.

The Imperial March (The Empire Strikes Back)
No Star Wars CD would be complete without what has become Vader’s theme. It’s one of the best things to come out of the amazing Empire Strikes Back soundtrack, and with it Williams gave the Star Wars saga yet another classic theme that will last for all eternity.

The Throne Room (A New Hope)

When I die, this is one of the pieces that will be played at my funeral. The finale to A New Hope is an amazingly powerful piece and another one of the themes that Williams crafted for the saga that will be immortal. As with the Main Title and the Imperial March, this is one of those themes that you see popping up in unexpected places; such as NFL highlight reels.

Clash of Lightsabers/Escape from Cloud City (The Empire Strikes Back)
The entire finale to Empire is epic, and is probably the best of all six movies; the Endor battle included. There are two tracks on the soundtracks that are specifically good. The first is this one which covers the Luke/Vader battle and the escape by Lando, Leia, Chewie, and the Droids. The second one is…

Rebel Fleet/End Title (The Empire Strikes Back)
Anyone who played Star Wars Galaxies at beta and launch will have this track burned into their head as the first part is what is used on the character select screen of that game. This is the finale of Empire with Luke & Leia on the medical frigate, and then the end credits. The Empire credits are great as they give you the major themes of the movie from Vader’s to Leia’s and Yoda’s.

The Forest Battle (Concert Suite)

This one isn’t actually in Return of the Jedi. It’s a concert version of the Endor forest battle that was done just for the soundtrack, but it’s by far the best version of it. Lucasfilm likes to use pieces of this a lot in trailers, specifically the last bit of it, and it was used in trailers and commercials for Episode II.

Leia’s News/Light of the Force (Return of the Jedi)
This is the part where Leia tells Han that she is really Luke’s sister, thus Han’s confused look as to why they were sucking face on Hoth. The awesome part of this track is actually the Vader funeral pyre. The bit from the movie is there, but the official soundtrack actually has an extended version of it where the Force theme flares up to full.

A New Hope & End Credits (Revenge of the Sith)
While the track above is just a fraction of it; the full version of this on the soundtrack CD is an epic 13-minute goodbye to Star Wars that was seriously cut down in the actual film’s end credits. Yes, Williams revisits the Throne Room here, but that’s his way of saying goodbye to Star Wars. This track is also the only time in the prequels where we heard Princess Leia’s theme, but the epic Throne Room finale (with the Force theme in there) is what makes it amazing.

Anakin’s Betrayal (Revenge of the Sith)
The only Prequel track on this list, and while some may have wanted me to include Duel of the Fates or Battle of the Heroes, if I had to pick only one Prequel track; this would be it. The Order 66 scene in Revenge of the Sith is where that movie set itself apart from the Prequels that people thought were somewhat childish as the Jedi Purge began.

Yoda’s Theme (The Empire Strikes Back)

Finally, I had to include Yoda’s theme on the list. After the Imperial March, it’s one of the more memorable themes in the entire saga and it also came from Empire. Williams made Yoda’s theme the perfect fit for an aging Jedi Master who saw the time generations ago when the Jedi were at their prime. Before the dark times. Before the Empire.