John Williams
Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope


5.0
classic

Review

by sithofheaven USER (3 Reviews)
July 13th, 2011 | 30 replies | 6,398 views


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "[T]he most memorable film score of all time" - American Film Institute. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

When referring to individual tracks, I’ll be going by the 1997 RCA Special Edition.

Star Wars. Just saying those two words makes me feel more comfortable, more at home. Whenever I watch my 1997 VHS‘s of the Original Trilogy, I’m not only transported to a “galaxy far, far away”, I’m taken (pardon the cliché) back to my childhood. Star Wars is like this for millions of fans throughout the world, and no matter how much Lucas alters the Holy Trinity (I’m looking at you, Greedo), it will be like this for decades to come.

What makes Star Wars so timeless? The classic tale of good versus evil? Hope overcoming oppression? Or is the audience identifying with Luke Skywalker’s struggle for his identity? While all of these are certainly factors, there is another that people might overlook. The music. When we see Star Wars, the first thing that hits us after the immortal “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” isn’t Luke, or the Rebellion, or even anything indicating a struggle between light and dark.

It’s the most powerful movie theme ever written. This is our introduction to Star Wars. The “Main Title” represents everything about Star Wars without saying a word. It’s epic, adventurous, romantic, and above all it is triumphant. It’s the hope of the Rebellion as a whole, and Luke Skywalker more specifically. This is the quintessential piece of Star Wars music, and if you don’t hear it in your head every time you see the logo, I suggest you go watch A New Hope several dozen more times. Let me be clear: The smartest thing Lucas ever did in regards to Star Wars was having John Williams score it.

Not once during the film’s two hours does the musical quality of a scene falter. From the innocent (“The Dune Sea of Tatooine/Jawa Sandcrawler”, “The Moisture Farm”) to the frantic (“Imperial Attack”, “Landspeeder Search/Attack of the Sand People ”, “Burning Homestead”), the soundtrack ebbs and flows from grand and adventurous to subdued and innocent while at all times maintaining an epic quality. Williams even manages to express this in the background din of a shady bar (“Cantina Band” and “Cantina Band #2”).

While the “Main Title” is the quintessential piece of Star Wars music, “The Hologram/Binary Sunset” is the most emotional. From the tension of the strings, to the subtle horns, and finally the climactic Binary Sunset itself, this song is the most identifiable piece of music on this album, and any human with any sense of emotion will instantly connect with the feeling of hopelessness and the sense of longing. This is the other standout track of the first half of this album.

The second disc is equally as grand. The tracks here are much more looming (fitting, given the situation the characters find themselves in during the second half of the movie). The horror of “The Destruction of Alderaan”, the absolutely immense “Wookie Prisoner/Detention Block Ambush ” (which features a great interspersing of the main title and the frantic chaos that this soundtrack associates with the Empire), and the transition from despair to action found in “Ben Kenobi's Death/Tie Fighter Attack ” all contribute to the action of the main character’s fateful adventure aboard the Death Star.

The best track from the second half, rivaling even the main title itself, is “The Throne Room/End Title ”. As the title indicates, this is truly something royal. As soon as it begins, there is no doubt that the heroes have triumphed. It also transitions back into the main title, so that the greatest movie theme in history bookends the movie itself. An absolutely stunning way to end this album.

It is not wise to generalize when discussing music or film, but truly, who hasn’t seen Star Wars that isn’t deliberately avoiding it? This music will all sound familiar to you, and it should. But hearing each piece in its entirety is something awe-inspiring, on par with the film itself as a stand-alone masterpiece. May the Force be with you, and if it isn’t, you will find it in this soundtrack.


user ratings (67)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Rev
July 13th 2011



9404 Comments


this isn't fanboyish at all

sithofheaven
July 13th 2011



140 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I need to try harder then.


Parallels
July 13th 2011



6641 Comments


And I get flack for reading a Star Wars novel.

qwe3
July 13th 2011



21355 Comments


oh hey john williams review did you mention anywhere in the review how annoying it is that all his shit from like this period sounds the same

Ovrot
July 13th 2011



10488 Comments


dun dun dun du dun-na dun-na-na DUW DUW DUW DU DUW DADADA DYUW DAW DAW

Digging: Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene

Parallels
July 13th 2011



6641 Comments


Battle of Yavin is excellently pleasing.

pizzamachine
July 13th 2011



12571 Comments


YES A STAR WARS REVIEW! Instant pos.

wabbit
July 13th 2011



6984 Comments


didn't read but summary was too awesome not to pos.

Acanthus
July 13th 2011



9537 Comments


Iconic yes, a must have no.

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

taylormemer
July 13th 2011



4916 Comments


Polydor release isn't distorted, this one is evidently overly produced during the remastering process, but it's hard to obtain as it's of course no longer under distribution.

Also, nice writing, but overly predictable... boring even. And do away with the puns and cliches, please.

sithofheaven
July 13th 2011



140 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I can't seem to find either of those except for the blatant (and lampshaded) cliche in the introduction.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 13th 2011



49970 Comments


http://youtu.be/-7T98bF0O60
Pretty funny Whitest Kids U Know sketch making fun of John Williams

Digging: Armchairpolitician - Seven Segment Decoder

Parallels
July 13th 2011



6641 Comments


bububububbububombom

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 13th 2011



6987 Comments


I just couldn't stop myself from clicking this when i saw it on the front page. Awesome, pos!

North0House2
July 13th 2011



5840 Comments


I love Star Wars. :3

Digging: Amen Dunes - Love

foreverendeared
July 14th 2011



14678 Comments


Good review, but two big complaints: the awkward transition from the 2nd into the 3rd paragraph, and all the bold text. PLEASE get rid of it, and if you must, use italics instead.

sithofheaven
July 14th 2011



140 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Most of the reviews I read here have the tracks bolded, and I like that idea. I guess the bolded sentences can be italicized.

foreverendeared
July 14th 2011



14678 Comments


I think it looks cleaner and more professional if you simply use quotations for tracks. That's just my opinion, but that's also the way staff does it.

Ovrot
July 14th 2011



10488 Comments


listen to him
he has a beard

sithofheaven
July 14th 2011



140 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Dammit, it does look better. Also, wiki has "medley" as part of the titles but this site doesn't so I
took those out.



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