Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Composed and Produced By: John Williams
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
A true movie fan loves everything about the movie, including the movie’s soundtrack. A soundtrack can breathe life into a more ordinary film or make a fantastic film soar to unfathomable heights. Composer John Williams has had incredible success in the soundtrack genre (Star Wars, E.T. Indiana Jones, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Munich, just to name a few). His musical scores are moving in their beauty and incredible power. He is and will always be the perfect choice to compose any movie soundtrack.
Being a huge fan of both John Williams and all things Star Wars, it should come as no surprise that I would rush out to buy the Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Soundtrack the moment it hit the store shelves. This final instalment of the Star Wars movie series is incredibly dark as we learn about the final acts that turn Anakin Skywalker toward the path of the Dark Side of the Force. A dark movie calls for an equally dark soundtrack, but not so dark that the action from the film is forgotten. John Williams once again enlists the aide of the London Symphony Orchestra and handles the task set before him masterfully.
The first track of this 15 track album starts things off with Star Wars: A New Hope’s title song and culminates in The Revenge of the Sith, effectively informing the listener that this instalment of the Star Wars series will have a very dark undertone. In Battle of the Heroes, John Williams uses London Voices to provide eerie background vocals, slowly building up to the action of the scene at hand. Both General Grevious and Grevious and the Droids are fast-paced tracks perfectly designed for fast-moving action sequences. Palpatine’s Teachings is dark and ominous. Listeners will recognize a small strain of A New Hope’s main title song that is quickly squashed in the wake of the more ominous tones of the Dark Side. Padme’s Ruminations contains more ominous music with a hint of spooky vocals, provided by London Voices, which, when combined, give the listener an idea of the depths of despair Padme has fallen into. In Anakin vs. Obi-Wan, Williams’ employ of horns and loud spurts of music bring about a feeling of excitement and action. Within this track, listeners will recognize hints of Darth Vader’s theme as well as mixes of A New Hope’s title song as Anakin’s struggles with the Dark Side bring him closer to his destiny. In Anakin’s Dark Deeds, those vocalists are back. Added to the dark music, they serve as dramatic flare and give the listener an idea of the full emotional scope of the scene. Listening to the entire track, one senses that, toward the end, Anakin feels extreme remorse for what he has become, but he soon finds strength in the Dark Side and the music reverts to darker, harsher tones. The entire soundtrack is testimony to JohnWilliams’ ability to create a musical score that perfectly represents the movie for which it was composed. Each track of the Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Soundtrack perfectly illustrates the theme of the movie.
As a special treat, the Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Soundtrack contains a bonus DVD called Star Wars: A Musical Journey. The DVD quite literally takes you on a musical journey through the Star Wars saga, using clips from the films set to parts of the musical score for all six movies. The journey is narrated by none other than Darth Sidious himself, Ian McDiarmid. The journey contains 16 videos which tell the tale of the rise and fall of the evil Imperial Empire. Each chapter of Star Wars: A Musical Journey contains an introduction by Ian McDiarmid, followed by a music video comprised of scenes and concept art from the entire Star Wars saga. The journey contains the following chapters:
A Long Time Ago
– a mix of scenes from all 6 movies - set to the Star Wars themes used in
each film throughout the saga
Dark Forces Conspire – a mix of scenes illustrating the rising power of the Sith in Episodes I and II – set to Episode I: Duel of Fates
A Hero Rises – scenes of Anakin in his youth – set to Episode I: Anakin’s Theme
A Fateful Love – scenes of Anakin and Padme – set to Episode II: Across the Stars
A Hero Falls – Anakin’s fall from grace – set to Episode III: Battle of the Heroes
An Empire Is Forged – a mix of scenes illustrating Darth Vader’s rise to power – set to Episode IV: The Imperial March
A Planet Farthest From – scenes from Tatooine – set to Episode I: The Dune Sea of Tatooine / Jawas Sandcrawler
An Unlikely Alliance – scenes including the heroes of A New Hope – set to Episode IV: Binary Sunset / Cantina Band
A Defender Emerges – a mix of scenes containing Princess Leia – set to Episode IV: Princess Leia’s Theme
A Daring Rescue – includes clips of each daring rescue and escape throughout the saga – set to Episode IV: Ben’s Death / The Fighter Attack
A Jedi Is Trained – includes clips of Yoda – set to Episode V: Yoda’s Theme
A Narrow Escape – scenes from narrow escapes involving flight throughout the saga – set to Episode V: The Asteroid Field
A Bond Unbroken – scenes of Luke and Leia – set to Episode VI: Luke & Leia
A Sanctuary Moon – scenes of the incredible final battles of Episodes I and VI – set to Episode VI: The Forest Battle (Concert Suite)
A Life Redeemed – scenes illustrating Anakin Skywalker’s redemption – set to Episode VI: Light of the Force
A New Day Dawns – celebratory scenes from the saga – set to Episode VI: Throne Room / Finale
Also available on this DVD is the trailer of the video game Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. From the trailer, one can surmise that the video game will be as exciting as the movie on which it is based.
To say that the Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Soundtrack was enjoyable is to thoroughly understate the experience. In fact, it is not something that can be adequately described. To understand, you must experience the adventure yourself – an adventure that I promise will be most rewarding!
Click here for more music by composer John Williams!
For more Star Wars, check out:
Star Wars: Book One
Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines
Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic
Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: The Final Prophecy
Star Wars: The Unifying Force
Star Wars: Dark Nest
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