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Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (soundtrack)

1 rating: 5.0
A soundtrack

The last installment in the STAR WARS prequel trilogy, REVENGE OF THE SITH offers stunning music by legendary film composer John Williams. Like the other five soundtracks in the series, the music here is almost entirely orchestral. However, for this … see full wiki

1 review about Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the...

One of the Top 10 Reasons soundtracks rule

  • Sep 13, 2009
Rating:
+5
Pros: George and John = great team.

Cons: This CD does not know the meaning of the word “con”

The Bottom Line: It’s times like these when it seems John Williams wants to take James Horner’s place as my favorite composer. Oh you sly devil you.

So I was looking through all my reviews today and spotted my Star Wars soundtrack reviews. I paused, scrolled around, and then looked up Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and checked. My reaction upon not seeing my name anywhere?

“Oh my God! Where have I been?”

Indeed. I am totally baffled because I even sat in the movie and thought, “I’ve got to get the soundtrack to this movie,” and let me tell you, that doesn’t happen often. I own a lot of soundtracks, but they’re usually an afterthought. This time I wanted the soundtrack, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Ah I knew it would be awesome. I just love the power and emotion John Williams and the orchestra are able to pack into the music – it’s just awesome. With 15 tracks total, I’ll try not to ramble too much with each. So here we go, on our final journey through to a galaxy far, far away and the sounds that come with it via John Williams.

1.) Star Wars/Revenge of the Sith – 7:31 We start out with the main Star Wars title music, and if you don’t know what that is…then why are you looking at this? Normally things taper off after that, but not this time around because we’re in the middle of a battle – hence the tapping drums and blaring horns. Surprisingly, things stay relatively mellow, aside from the tense tempo, throughout the rest of the track.

2.) Anakin’s Dream – 4:46 Sad, quiet Jedi violin gives way to Anakin’s frightening nightmares, fading in and out and slowing into his despairish and darker music that we will hear quite often on this CD.

3.) Battle of the Heroes – 3:42 Here is one of the three face-paced fight tracks that we get to hear. If you’ve been missing the chorus and quick trumpets of “Duel of the Fates,” it is brought back in spades, adding in elements of the Empire’s theme and the thrills of battle and Anakin’s slow transformation.

4.) Anakin’s Betrayal – 4:03 This song seems almost to drip with its own tears of despair and disbelief as to what has occurred. It is a perfect meshing of instruments and chorus to bring about the full blossoming effect, dipping down for a little and then finishing on notes just as powerful as the first.

5.) General Grievous – 4:07 The quick plucking of the strings and low vibrating notes of the brass alongside interludes of the Empire’s theme grow and rise, gaining more diversity in the instruments as it snowballs on its way to an abrupt finish.

6.) Palpatine’s Teachings – 5:25 This track is one of the more easily identifiable ones when it comes to picking its spot in the movie. Very quiet, very low vocals, and very cunning tones sliding their way in…quietly the Empire and Jedi theme clash.

7.) Grievous and the Droids – 3:27 Very different from the previous track, we jump right back into battle with a bit of an early flourish. Things quiet down for a while and then brass their way back up into the fight. Even the flutes get their say in.

8.) Padmé’s Ruminations – 3:16 Another low track as Padmé stares out over at the Jedi Temple. There is something sinister making itself known, and the lone singer tries to keep it at bay, but even she cannot hold back the impending darkness, which ends on an uneasy note.

9.) Anakin vs. Obi-Wan – 3:57 Didn’t get enough of track #3? Well here is some more, complete with Empire theme pieces and the exact feeling of the track title. Notice how the Empire’s theme is growing stronger and more frequent…

10.) Anakin’s Dark Deeds – 4:05 Starting off with a very quiet chorus, they soon jump it up a notch, and we have an extension of tracks 3 and 9. This time, we add even more chorus to the mix, and who doesn’t love chorus? I know I do. The sudden drop-off into the desperate melodies similar to those in “Anakin’s Betrayal” is so compelling, it still makes me want to tear up.

11.) Enter Lord Vader – 4:14 Slow and winding, but not for long. Break into the march, but not long there either. We dip back and forth between events and so get different pieces of music – evil, good, worrisome, and even a little hopeful.

12.) The Immolation Scene – 2:41 Probably one of the more melancholy tracks on this CD (tying alongside track 4), there is no cutoff into battle or anything else – all is going downhill and the strings will take you there all the way.

13.) Grievous Speaks to Lord Sidious – 2:49 The first bits of this track are the best with Grievous’s theme ringing out with its marching beat and even a touch of very confident chorus. However, then it sinks down softly and stays low the remainder of the track.

14.) The Birth of the Twins/Padmé’s Destiny – 3:37 Things seem gentle and soft, but the underlying tense mood soon comes out as Anakin’s dream escapes its earlier restrictions and comes to life, ending in a final sinking chorus and fading Jedi theme.

15.) A New Hope/End Credits – 13:05 That lone horn for the Jedi theme gives us the entrance into the 4th movie – but not today! Flourish with the famous ending credit theme, which recaps much of the previous tracks, including the Anakin/Obi-Wan fight in case you didn’t get enough of that (and the answer is no, we didn’t!). Keep listening and you’ll even get to hear a fantastic rendition of the music played during Luke and Han’s award ceremony from A New Hope. And I do mean fantastic.

Huge fan of this soundtrack. Huge fan. Like I said before, I fell in love with it while watching the movie and wanted it then and there, which doesn’t happen very often. John Williams just has this mastery over music, and he never lost his touch with the Star Wars movies even after such a long gap between movie trios. Talent, ladies and gentlemen, the man has truckloads of it.

As usual, I love the use of the chorus, and though you can tell Williams has a tendency to favor the horns, he uses them in such a way that you don’t tire of them. Besides, he brings in plenty of other instruments that some composers don’t seem to bother with (or if they do, you never hear them) that simply add to the great texture that he’s created for your ears to touch on. Beautiful. The only tiny issue I have is that these tracks are not in order. Trust me, Grievous does not speak to Lord Sidious after Obi-Wan and Anakin have battled. I’m not exactly sure why some soundtracks are out of order and others aren’t, and though at times it can be distracting, for this CD there really is no problem. It doesn’t rely on the order to get the power of the music across – I’m too busy enjoying myself to focus on what was going on in the movie at that time. Certain tracks simply lend themselves to certain moods, as tracks 3, 9 and 10 are great to run to – if you run as fast as I do, or, as many of them do, becoming a bit of muse for me.

I almost forgot to mention the bonus DVD. Star Wars: A Musical Journey. Basically a ton of your favorite songs from the six movies with beautiful background clips to go with them. Narrated by the Emperor himself (or not, if you choose to), it's a pretty nifty goody that you don't often get with a soundtrack purchase. Huzzah.

5 stars, always and forever. If you’re at all into soundtracks, John Williams, or Star Wars, please do yourself a favor and snatch this one up – you will not be disappointed. If you are, you are not allowed to listen to soundtracks anymore. I said so.

NT

Recommended:
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Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Details
Composer: John Williams
Performer: London Symphony Orchestra

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