Fall 2015

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57 FALL 2015 / CINEMONTAGE C omposer John Williams never used an organized symphony orchestra prior to the score for the original Star Wars (1977), which was recorded in London with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) because the movie was shot there. His formal approach was to provide a dichotomy to director George Lucas' visuals, "an almost 19th-century, romantic, symphonic score against these yet unseen sights," the composer explained in the Star Wars soundtrack album's liner notes. Following is a snapshot of the core themes, most of which make an appearance in reprise in The Force Awakens: Main Title: It's operatic and triumphant, and has become the iconic signature theme for the franchise, combining Luke's theme, Princess Leia's theme and the Rebel spaceship fanfare. Luke's Theme: Williams thought of the heroic qualities in Luke Skywalker, full of "fanfarish horns," which brings out the fullness of the LSO in all its glory. Princess Leia's Theme: A lovely fairytale princess-type of melody, according to Williams, as seen from Luke's adoring perspective. Ben Kenobi's Theme: This is also known as The Force Theme, reflecting the noble qualities of the revered Jedi Knight as well as the spiritual qualities of the Jedi philosophy. It can be both melancholy, underscored by an English horn, and a heroic march to signify the Jedi in action. Han Solo and the Princess' Theme: This is the romantic love theme for Han and Leia. "Such stylized melodies are deceptively simple but difficult for a composer to come by, and, when placed in a space setting, evoke a wonderful feeling of romance and adventure," Williams recalled in the liner notes for The Empire Strikes Back soundtrack album. f - Bill Desowitz Jedi Playlist The Music of 'Star Wars' Music editor Ramiro Belgardt, left, with composer John Williams at Williams' home.

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