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Ranking the Star Wars Soundtracks — Page 2

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May I ask why? The best music in the PT soundtracks rivals that of the best Williams made for the OT. I can understand as to why someone would say don’t watch the PT but equating the music to shit just because the movies are is kind of ridiculous.

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  1. ROTS
  2. TPM
  3. AOTC(Because Across the Stars)
  4. ESB
  5. ROTJ
  6. ANH
  7. TFA

This in no way corresponds to my opinion of the films themselves. The PT is obviously far inferior But the soundtracks are fantastic. Honestly if it wasn’t for the music I probably wouldn’t even bother with fanedits or anything to make them better, but I like the soundtracks so much I find edits so that I can enjoy the films.

That’s not to say the OTs soundtracks aren’t amazing as well.

I loved TFA but it’s score didn’t do much for me. Nothing wrong with it though, did what it needed to. Except the main title seemed to lack proper impact,

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Lord Haseo said:

May I ask why? The best music in the PT soundtracks rivals that of the best Williams made for the OT. I can understand as to why someone would say don’t watch the PT but equating the music to shit just because the movies are is kind of ridiculous.

I should have typed “I never listen to the others”. I was not saying it as a suggestion. You see, I was just never very interested in getting the PT soundtracks when they came out. I only saw TPM on opening day and kind of stayed away from the merchandise and other episodes all together after that. Well Until TFA that is and I still have not picked up the soundtrack for it. There are a lot of decent soundtracks I don’t own and can not rate. I first started collecting soundtracks over 40 years ago (“Jaws” by J. Williams was actually my first soundtrack album, and I think “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was my 2nd.) and the original trilogy soundtracks and films were new and fresh at that time of my life. Films and collecting tie-in merchandise had also been a major part of my life back then. As I got older my interests and money drifted to other things, so I stopped collecting soundtracks as a hobby in the late 1990’s. Every now and then I will get one if it’s truly amazing, but I just don’t delve into soundtracks as I once did. I think moving my massive collection of albums and CDs around the country three times had a lot to do with my giving collecting soundtracks up. And yes, just because I don’t like a film I still can enjoy the soundtracks. I LOVE the soundtrack to films like “The World is Not Enough” and “Krull”, yet I loath the films they are from. I just can’t rate soundtracks I am not too familiar with.

“First feel fear, then get angry. Then go with your life into the fight.” - Bill Mollison

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  1. Star Wars
    A perfect soundtrack for a perfect movie. I can listen to the score itself and there isn’t one boring or overly long piece of music; in the movie, the music perfectly accompanies the scenes to the point that I can see almost the entire movie in front of me, just by listening to the soundtrack.
  1. Empire
    Here the music is much more subtle and intertwined with the visuals, which is a very good thing for a soundtrack, but for me, it lacks the quality to listen to it on its own, some pieces are very long. A reason for this may be that the action sequences in Empire are longer, but not as iconic as in Star Wars. The battle of Hoth simply isn’t a trench run. Just like the whole movie, it may technically be better than its predecessor, but it doesn’t have the same impact on me.

  2. Jedi
    For the same reasons as Empire, it just doesn’t have the Imperial March.

  1. Prequels
    On the first glance, it’s very similar as with Empire or Jedi, there are a few very memorable tracks and some “fillers”, but while Empire’s and Jedi’s scores work better in the movie than on their own, the PT soundtracks lack the connection to the visuals, they are just background music for scenes that I don’t care much about. For this reason I don’t bother to rate them individually.

I didn’t listen to TFA’s soundtrack yet, so I won’t rate it here.

Lord Haseo said:

equating the music to shit just because the movies are is kind of ridiculous.

I’d say I put the prequels last, not because I can’t disconnect their music from the bad movies, but rather because it’s so easy to seperate movie and music. Musically, the PT’s scores are alright, what tips the scale for me to the OT’s scores is their strong connection to the visuals.
When comparing only the best pieces, I’d say:

  1. Empire
  2. Star Wars
  3. TPM
  4. ROTS
  5. Jedi
  6. AOTC

But for an overall rating, you also have to take into account how the weaker tracks are handled and for the OT, they serve the movies, while for the PT, they are just “there”.

Ceci n’est pas une signature.

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FanFiltration said:
I first started collecting soundtracks over 40 years ago (“Jaws” by J. Williams was actually my first soundtrack album, and I think “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was my 2nd.) and the original trilogy soundtracks and films were new and fresh at that time of my life. Films and collecting tie-in merchandise had also been a major part of my life back then. As I got older my interests and money drifted to other things, so I stopped collecting soundtracks as a hobby in the late 1990’s. Every now and then I will get one if it’s truly amazing, but I just don’t delve into soundtracks as I once did.

Honest to God, I could cut & paste that paragraph as my own thoughts, experiences, and path. I’m probably a few years older because my first was Live and Let Die, followed by The Man with the Golden Gun, and Jaws after that. The soundtrack to Star Wars was one I wore out. It finally got a rest when Alien was released, which is probably my most listened-to soundtrack. It’s still a near weekly listen for me 37 years later.

There were others scattered between, as well as regularly after that, but like yourself I became more selective as the journey continued. I don’t buy them by default anymore. However, I still buy them with some regularity and they still make up probably 75% of my listening. Most recent are Spectre and In The Heart Of The Sea.

Of the Star Wars scores, these are the only three I own. I’m unfamiliar with the others, having only heard them once or never.

Star Wars
The Empire Strikes Back
The Force Awakens

I still listen to Star Wars somewhat regularly. I also listen to The Force Awakens regularly, but I skip most of it. The Scavenger, Rey’s Theme, Farewell and the Trip, and The Jedi Steps and Finale are pretty much it. I think they’re fantastic, particularly Rey’s Theme. The rest of the score sounds like Indiana Jones incidental music. I haven’t listened to The Empire Strikes Back in several years. It doesn’t move me the way it once did, which was never even close to the way Star Wars moved me. Listening to The Jedi Steps and Finale as I type this.

Regarding John Williams’ other scores; I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; I think Memoirs Of A Geisha is his finest hour. It’s a regular in my rotation.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

You’re killing me, Smalls.

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^I agree with all of your TFA standouts, but I’ve got a few more that I tend not to skip.

“Attack on the Jakku Village” - I’m not overfond of the track as a whole, but the moment when Kylo Ren’s motif first kicks in makes it worthwhile.

“I Can Fly Anything” - I like this one mostly because of the strong visual associations I have with the TIE escape scene.

“The Abduction” - Rey’s theme coming in at the end was one of my favorite musical moments in the film.

“Han & Leia” - The love theme from ESB might be my favorite piece of Star Wars music overall, so I’m a sucker for any time it shows up on the TFA soundtrack.

“March of the Resistance” - I actually like this one because it’s reminiscent of Indy. It’s also got some of the most sophisticated orchestration I’ve ever heard from Williams; the bit in the middle with the staggered strings, horns and flutes gives me a really strong and very welcome Beethoven vibe.

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Interesting points about the PT soundtracks but even when I listen to songs from the OT soundtracks I try my best to just think of it as just music. No attachment to Star Wars at all goes into my mind when listening to them.

I also want to revise my list:

  1. ESB
  2. STAR WARS
  3. TPM
  4. ROTJ
  5. ROTS
  6. TFA
  7. AOTC

Other than Across The Stars and the chase scene with the assassin there are no real stand out tracks as opposed to TFA which has many now that I’ve had time to watch the film a few times and have listened to the soundtrack periodically. Attack on The Jakku Village (my personal favorite), Rey’s Theme, Snoke, Torn Apart and The Jedi Steps among a couple others just do it for me in a way AOTC’s soundtrack couldn’t.

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I’ve been listening to the scores a lot this week and the track “The Return Of The Jedi” is a total standout (Track 5 on the ROTJ disc on the trilogy anthology set). A totally thrilling and heroic 5 minutes that has my ears on the edges of their seats… if ears had seats.

  1. ROTJ
  2. ESB
  3. SW
  4. TFA
  5. The rest - they all have strong highlights but are too tainted with associated images and feelings to fully (and objectively) enjoy.

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

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…and TFA’s soundtrack is really, really strong IMO. The more I listen, the more I love it. But I’d hesitate to rate it higher than 4, until I’ve had about 30 years of listening to fully judge it 😉

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

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Okay, so I’m not the only one that really likes TFA’s soundtrack, that’s good. It has more memorable tracks (Rey’s Theme and March of the Resistance) that the PT, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve listened to those, and the only track I remember from any of them is Duel of the Fates. I’ll give them all another listen soon and then make a ranking.

.

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Well, it seems that there’s at least one common pattern here - that AotC, bar two very good tracks, is the most disliked soundtrack of them all. Probably the movie, too. But I digress.

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joefavs said:

^I agree with all of your TFA standouts, but I’ve got a few more that I tend not to skip.

“Attack on the Jakku Village” - I’m not overfond of the track as a whole, but the moment when Kylo Ren’s motif first kicks in makes it worthwhile.

“I Can Fly Anything” - I like this one mostly because of the strong visual associations I have with the TIE escape scene.

“The Abduction” - Rey’s theme coming in at the end was one of my favorite musical moments in the film.

“Han & Leia” - The love theme from ESB might be my favorite piece of Star Wars music overall, so I’m a sucker for any time it shows up on the TFA soundtrack.

“March of the Resistance” - I actually like this one because it’s reminiscent of Indy. It’s also got some of the most sophisticated orchestration I’ve ever heard from Williams; the bit in the middle with the staggered strings, horns and flutes gives me a really strong and very welcome Beethoven vibe.

I need to give those a closer listen. I do listen to a few others from time to time and find them interesting. “I Can Fly Anything” is a neat piece.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

You’re killing me, Smalls.

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There’s actually a theme within “I Can Fly Anything” that I’ve been wondering about. I remember an interview before the film came out where John Boyega mentioned hearing “Finn’s theme” at a tracking session he sat in on, and ever since I got the soundtrack and discovered that no such track exists I’ve been thinking about what he might have meant. My best guess is the motif that kicks in around 1:14 of ICFA, when it switches from the rapid staccato stuff to that slower, sweeping melody. As far as I can tell, that theme occurs three times in the film (this is definitely something I’ll be listening closely for when my blu-ray arrives in a few weeks): the TIE escape, the attack on Maz’s castle (“that’s one hell of a pilot!”), and when what remains of the Resistance fleet leaves the exploding Starkiller Base. Since Finn is unconscious for that last scene, though, it seems like it might be more appropriate to assign the theme to Poe, but I’m not sure if he’s a central enough character to get his own music, especially if it means Finn doesn’t get a theme. Of course, Williams has used character themes in places that don’t make a ton of sense in the past, notably “Princess Leia’s Theme” immediately following Obi-Wan Kenobi’s death, so it could just be a case of that. I’m hoping the soundtrack featurette on the blu-ray sheds some light. God, I’d love it if John Williams did commentary over an isolated score track for each of these movies, but that’s some serious wishful thinking.

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Burdokva said:

Well, it seems that there’s at least one common pattern here - that AotC, bar two very good tracks, is the most disliked soundtrack of them all. Probably the movie, too. But I digress.

I think that the TFA soundtrack has a lot of great themes, such as Rey’s Theme, March of the Resistance, Sherzo for X-Wing’s, and The Jedi Steps, but I think that most of the other tracks are like filler (Rey Meets BB-8, That Girl with the Staff, Finn’s Confession, Maz’s Counsel, Snoke). They are all good, but nothing especially memorable. I also think that the great themes (stated above) aren’t as good as the themes from AOTC, or any other films really. Across the Stars, The Chase Through Coruscant, Jango’s Escape, Bounty Hunter’s Pursuit, Return to Tatooine, Love Pledge/The Arena and Confrontation with Count Dooku and Finale are all exceptional tracks that I find myself humming very often. The only reason I rank the AOTC soundtrack so low is that there really wasn’t that much music composed, although what was is brilliant, and in my opinion, better than TFA.

Not enough people read the EU.

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LuckyGungan2001 said:

Burdokva said:

Well, it seems that there’s at least one common pattern here - that AotC, bar two very good tracks, is the most disliked soundtrack of them all. Probably the movie, too. But I digress.

I think that the TFA soundtrack has a lot of great themes, such as Rey’s Theme, March of the Resistance, Sherzo for X-Wing’s, and The Jedi Steps, but I think that most of the other tracks are like filler (Rey Meets BB-8, That Girl with the Staff, Finn’s Confession, Maz’s Counsel, Snoke). They are all good, but nothing especially memorable. I also think that the great themes (stated above) aren’t as good as the themes from AOTC, or any other films really. Across the Stars, The Chase Through Coruscant, Jango’s Escape, Bounty Hunter’s Pursuit, Return to Tatooine, Love Pledge/The Arena and Confrontation with Count Dooku and Finale are all exceptional tracks that I find myself humming very often. The only reason I rank the AOTC soundtrack so low is that there really wasn’t that much music composed, although what was is brilliant, and in my opinion, better than TFA.

I 100% agree

Prequel Fan-Edit thread: http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Yet-another-series-of-prequel-edits/id/17329

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STAR WARS
THE PHANTOM MENACE
RETURN OF THE JEDI
EMPIRE
REVENGE OF THE SITH
ATTACK OF THE CLONES

THE FORCE AWAKENS

The original Star Wars music, especially the Battle of Yavin, is one of my favorite scores of all time, besides all of Quentin Tarantino’s movies. The Phantom Menace score is just as amazing in my opinion.

~The original trilogy is my life… kind of~

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That_OT_Ruler said:

The original Star Wars music, especially the Battle of Yavin, is one of my favorite scores of all time, besides all of Quentin Tarantino’s movies.

Interesting considering there’s only one Tarantino film with an original score.

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  1. The Empire Strickes Back
  2. Return of the Jedi
  3. The Force Awakens
  4. The Phantom Menace
  5. Star Wars
  6. Attack of the Clones
  7. Revenge of the Sith

† I do really like this score, but due to how lists work, it has been relegated to a lower place than I might have wanted it to. (And no, I do not accept ties.)

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ROTJ is actually my favorite soundtrack. The music during Luke and Vader’s duel is hands down the best thing Williams has ever done IMO. The Emperor’s theme is awesome, and that melancholy reprise of the Imperial March during Vader’s death scene sends shivers down my spine to this day. ROTJ wouldn’t be half the film it is if it wasn’t for those throne room scenes, and those throne room scenes wouldn’t be half as good as they are if it wasn’t for the brilliant music.

And all the score for everything with Jabba’s palace, Endor, and the final space battle is just as exciting as the previous two scores and used the best elements of them. Plus you even got “Lapti Nek” and “Yub Nub” as bonuses. Opinion may be mixed on those two but I for one love 'em and think they fit their respective scenes perfectly.

ESB comes next for introducing us to the Imperial March and some truly awesome music for the Hoth and Cloud City scenes in particular. Nothing beats that moment when Vader storms into the Hoth base to a thundering Imperial March or later in the film when the music abruptly changes pace as he demands his shuttle. (Ruined in the SE by the way.) Both are pure badass moments that define the character.

The original Star Wars is the one that started it all of course and is nearly tied with ESB overall, would probably best it if the Imperial March was written earlier. Every theme is iconic. And you can’t beat the binary sunset and the Cantina Band songs are ridiculously catchy.

Then TPM brought us Duel of the Fates which was awesome so it gets major points for that.

The rest are kind of tied IMO, not quite as memorable. AotC had a great love theme and it’s a shame it wasn’t used in equally great love scenes, and TFA has Rey’s Theme and the last bit of music when she finds Luke is awesome, so it gets points for that despite being a little more repetitive than is par for Williams. RotS is probably the weakest score, most all of it is recycled and I can’t even hum for you anything that wasn’t, but it’s still pretty good.

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I feel validated seeing that the ROTS score doesn’t do it for the last couple of posters. I seriously can’t get my head around why it’s so revered here.

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joefavs said:

I feel validated seeing that the ROTS score doesn’t do it for the last couple of posters. I seriously can’t get my head around why it’s so revered here.

SAME. It’s simply the worst.*

Also when can we all agree to stop judging a score based on how memorable it is (whatever that even means anyway)?

*of the SW scores that is which means it’s still great because John Williams.

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DominicCobb said:
Also when can we all agree to stop judging a score based on how memorable it is (whatever that even means anyway)?

Never. Because the entire point of a score to movies like Star Wars is to make memorable music that you inseparably associate with the characters and events on screen. Its power therefore can be in some respects measured by how successful it is at that.

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Density said:

I can’t even hum for you anything that wasn’t

Really? I find myself humming numerous tracks from the ROTS soundtrack.

Not enough people read the EU.

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  1. TESB
  2. SW tied with RotJ tied with TFA

and prequels? what prequels? 😃