- The Empire Strikes Back (10/10)
The best, most refined soundtrack of the whole Saga. After getting the restored “Imperial Edition” from here, I cannot emphasize how much the improved audio quality has brought out each layer of instruments and the complexity of TESBs tracks. Yoda’s Theme, The Imperial March, Battle in the Snow, The Love Theme are all incredible tracks that add up to a very diverse and emotional soundtrack. I’ve listened to it dozens of times and I love the experience every time.
- A New Hope (9.5/10)
I rank this second best if only just because Williams isn’t as refined as in TESB. It just lacks the depth and diversity of ESBs tracks. Yet, it is truly fantastic! The Star Wars theme, the Jawa/Desert theme, TIE Fighter Attack, The Last Battle, The Throne Room, all are deservingly iconic tracks! This is also the catchiest and loudest of all the Saga’s soundtracks.
- The Phantom Menace (9/10)
Yes, The Phantom Menace. Say what you wish about the movie but the music brought me to a Galaxy far, far away. Otoh Gunga’s mysterious and ominous theme, Anakin’s Theme, Victory Theme, The Trade Federation March, and the (now) ubiquitous Duel of the Fates. Diverse, complex and emotional soundtrack that adds a lot to the music of the Saga without feeling detached from the style.
- Return of the Jedi (9/10)
This is very close for me to TPM, and I enjoy them both very much, but I rank it lower as it reuses some music. Jedi is a great score with nice, even if less varied themes. The Battle of Endor theme, the Ewok theme, the last duel between Vader and Luke, Jabba’s Sail Barge. Yes, they reuse a lot of cues but it’s a beautiful and catchy soundtrack.
- The Force Awakens (7.5/10)
Hard to rank from here down. As much as I try to, I cannot force myself to love TFAs soundtrack. I like it but it doesn’t resonate emotionally as those of the Original Trilogy, or TPMs. Ray’s Theme, The Scavenger are the highlights here and some of the best Williams has written for the Saga. Kylo Ren’s theme and March of the Resistance are also interesting pieces that twist older cues, and I’ve become fonder of them, but overall the soundtrack is bland. Not bad, just not captivating.
- Revenge of the Sith (7/10)
Loud, bombastic, repetitive. Padme’s Ruminations was a touching piece but I always feel like it doesn’t belong stylistically to anything else in the Saga. The Revenge of the Sith theme is probably the highlight here although it’s a bit too long for its own good. There are two tracks that are essentially variations of the same - Battle of the Heroes and Anakin vs. Obi-Wan. Good tracks that are so long that they become repetitive (especially the former). Overall, I think it’s too edited, too drab and too boring. Serviceable, but not in the style or quality of the soundtracks above.
- Attack of the Clones (7/10)
I’d rank it higher than ROTS of only it had more than just two original tracks! Among the Stars is a masterpiece that almost saves the movie when it plays, and Chase through Coruscant was a joyful and suspenseful track that truly reminded me of ANHs cues. Other than that, it’s just a rehash of TPM. A soundtrack I’ve never owned, never listened through more than once and I cannot remember anything else from it other than the two tracks mentioned above.