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A few weeks ago I put out a question on Twitter not really expecting an answer, to be honest. It was asking what piece of Star Wars music do you most relate to as a person. There are plenty of things about the Star Wars saga that people resonate with. Everything from the characters on both sides to the life lessons of love, pain, and redemption. One thing that seems to not get brought up as often, if ever at all, is how the music can be just as important in that conversation.

I have a musical taste that most would consider “extreme.” The majority of things I listen to fall along the heavy metal spectrum, most commonly in the realm of death metal. It’s fast, loud, heavy – not only musically but lyrically as well – and incredibly complex. It takes a level of focus to listen and garner full awareness of what you are listening to and that can be said about the Star Wars scores too. The work John Williams, Kevin Kiner, and most recently Michael Giacchino, have accomplished with the  ‘Oxygen’ of Star Wars will go down in history. But why do I like it so much? And why is it that important?

Unsurprisingly, most of the themes and tracks that I connect with from Star Wars happen to fall in line with either the Empire or the dark side. With such a focus on the Empire in Rogue One, a lot of the tracks in that soundtrack hit me close. “Hope” is a track that is just about as “metal” as you can get with Star Wars. Not only does it perfectly match the scene that is taking place in the film but it exudes an aura of power and despair that is asymmetrical from its title. I tend to consider myself to be a more severe person than most. I tend not to show it outwardly but I put the most pressure and scrutiny on myself as opposed to seeing it from others. With “Hope,” the strongest part of the track for me is the haunting chorus and booming horns. Michael Giacchino definitely hit it out of the park with this one.

I don’t think I could’ve made it through this without mentioning “The Imperial March” either. Is there another track or theme that can feel so powerful? It has a weight and gravity to it that is unmatched. The theme itself can be found peppered throughout Star Wars scores from the movies to the television shows to even the audio books. There is just something about it that pushes me forward. Much like “Hope,” it is able to invoke a sense of invincibility when listening to it. The innate strength of it is fortifying even when you wouldn’t think so. I often find myself humming it occasionally when I’m at work while wondering if my co-workers even realize it. I can definitely confirm it is a good motivator for trying to get something done.

So what about you? Do you have any Star Wars tracks or themes that you feel best capture you personally? There is a wealth of material to choose from for every kind of taste out there. Leave a comment below or you can email with your thoughts.

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3 Comments

  1. Melinda
    March 28, 2017 at 08:58 Reply

    The music always has been an integral part of Star Wars — right from the very beginning. Can anyone say otherwise? The story and its themes give us something to talk about (which we’ve been doing for decades 😉 ), but it is the music that moves us. No doubt about it. As you so astutely pointed out.

    While I love the entire scores of each of the films and televisions series, I must say my favorite themes are “The Force Theme/Luke’s Theme”. (I identify more with the Light Side of the Force characters. 🙂 ) It’s hard to explain, but I’d have to say that the music reaches down deep into my soul, and lifts me up. The sweeping strings and horns propel me to believe that anything is possible … much like Luke must have been considering when he was gazing at the binary sunset — even though he felt tethered to the moisture farm. I love how it was woven into Rey’s Theme as well. Breathtaking. 🙂

    Even though I do not identify with the Empire/Dark Side, I agree with you — those pieces to which you referred are exquisite. 🙂

    MTFBWY 🙂

  2. Melinda
    March 28, 2017 at 09:04 Reply

    By the way, Mike, do you have any idea what location the photo of John Williams portrays? It looks a lot like our own symphonic hall here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the First Violinist, pictured just behind John Williams’ outstretched right arm, looks like our very own Frank Almond, but it’s difficult to say for sure since he is turning away from the camera, not to mention part of his face is hidden behind Williams’ arm. If it is the concert I’m thinking of, I had the honor of being in the audience when the great composer led the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in a night of some of the composer’s most iconic music. What a night that was! 🙂

  3. Natasha O'Shaughnessy
    April 16, 2017 at 08:21 Reply

    Ahh I have just dropped in to CwK as I am taking a break from learning a new piece of music for piano exam! It degenerated into DUN DUN DUN DUN-DA DUN…. Has to be a favourite.

    To choose an all time favourite is pretty tough as for me it greatly depends on mood.

    On the light side it has to be Binary Sunsets as it is one of the most beautiful and emotive pieces for me personally. So I agree with you, Melinda that all the Force themes are touching, probably for the same reason.

    I also love Across the Stars and just adore Your Father would be proud from Rogue 1.

    I must also say that I love the Lightsabre duel from Return of the Jedi.

    Ahhhh and then there is the Force Awakens Trailer music. Was that not something else?!

    We are so fortunate to have all these wonderful scores which cover all the range of emotions.

    I too listen to Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails and Sisters of Mercy from time to time to time and do agree with the comment about Rogue 1’s Hope. Masterful.

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