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Section Header
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
(1983)
1986 Polydor

1989 RCA
Gerhardt

1993 Fox
Anthology

1997 RCA
Special Edition

1997 RCA
Re-Pressing

2004 Sony
Classical Set

2004 Sony
Classical Individual

2007 Sony
Corellian Edition

2007 Sony
30th Ann. Set

Composed, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:
John Williams

Co-Produced by:
George Lucas

Orchestrated by:
Herbert W. Spencer

Performed by:
The London Symphony Orchestra

1993, 1997, and 2004 Albums Produced by:
Nick Redman

1997 and 2004 Albums Produced by:
Michael Matessino

RCA Re-Recording Produced and Conducted by:
Charles Gerhardt

RCA Re-Recording Performed by:
The National Philharmonic Orchestra

Labels and Dates:
Polydor/Polygram
(1986)

RCA Victor
(Gerhardt)
(1989)

20th Century Fox
(Anthology)
(November 9th, 1993)

RCA Victor
(Special Edition)
(January 14th, 1997)

RCA Victor
(S.E. Re-Pressing)
(August 26th, 1997)

Sony Classical
(Individual and Set)
(September 21st, 2004)

Sony Classical
(Corellian Edition)
(October 2nd, 2007)

Sony Classical
(30th Ann. Edition)
(November 6th, 2007)

Also See:
A New Hope
The Empire Strikes Back
The Phantom Menace
Attack of the Clones
Revenge of the Sith
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Raiders of the Lost Ark

Audio Clips:
1989 RCA Gerhardt:

4. Jabba the Hutt (0:33):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (266K)
Real Audio (165K)

6. The Ewok Battle (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (251K)
Real Audio (156K)

8. Into the Trap (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (251K)
Real Audio (156K)

11. Finale (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)


1993 Fox Anthology:

CD3, 2. Approaching the Death Star (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

CD3, 7. The Death of Yoda (0:28):
WMA (184K)  MP3 (226K)
Real Audio (140K)

CD3, 11. Into the Trap (0:28):
WMA (182K)  MP3 (226K)
Real Audio (140K)

CD4, 3. The Fleet Goes into Hyperspace (0:32):
WMA (206K)  MP3 (258K)
Real Audio (160K)


1997 RCA Special Edition:

CD1, 8. The Emperor Arrives (0:32):
WMA (206K)  MP3 (257K)
Real Audio (160K)

CD2, 7. The Duel Begins (0:36):
WMA (234K)  MP3 (290K)
Real Audio (181K)

CD2, 9. Light of the Force (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

CD2, 10. Victory Celebration (2:24):
WMA (896K)  MP3 (1,160K)
Real Audio (290K)


2004 Sony Classical:

CD1, 7. Sail Barge Assault (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (251K)
Real Audio (156K)

CD2, 1. Parade of the Ewoks (0:33):
WMA (215K)  MP3 (267K)
Real Audio (166K)

CD2, 5. The Battle of Endor I (0:28):
WMA (182K)  MP3 (227K)
Real Audio (141K)

CD2, 6. The Lightsaber (0:33):
WMA (215K)  MP3 (267K)
Real Audio (166K)

Availability:
All of the CD albums were regular commercial releases at their outset. Both the original 1986 album and 1989 RCA Gerhardt album historically have been available used for about $5 to $7.

The 1993 Fox Anthology was believed at the time to be the most collectible soundtrack CD set in existence, and has retained its original street value because of its relative scarcity and packaging.

The 1997 RCA Special Edition albums came in two forms, the black booklet format available early that year and the slimline format in August, 1997 to coincide with the VHS release of the revised films. The latter albums (with poster art on the covers) have fallen completely out of print, and while new copies of the 'black book' formatted RCA albums of early 1997 are also difficult to find, they have remained readily available for sub-retail price on the used market.

The 2004 Sony Classical products are bargain priced, though you receive no additional packaging benefits from buying the trilogy as a set outside of the silver and black holding box.

The 2007 Sony Classical albums contain no additional new contents or remastering. The "Corellian Edition" compilation, which was leaked as a promotional teaser in some 2005 pressings of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, is sold alone as a regular commercial release (with two different cover art variants) and is included as CD7 in the concurrently offered "30th Anniverary Collector's Edition." That set, featuring original LP packaging, was electronically numbered up to 10,000 copies and initially retailed for $80. Its value soon plunged, in part due to production problems that caused the wrong combination of CDs to be included in the set. Amazon.com temporarily pulled the product due to complaints.

Awards:
  Nominated for an Academy Award and a Grammy Award.









Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
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Buy it... on the 1997 "Special Edition" albums over all others because they feature the best combination of outstanding packaging and a nearly complete presentation of John Williams' slightly diminished but still very powerful sequel score.

Avoid it... on the 1985 to 1993 albums because of poorer, archival sound quality and incomplete presentations, as well as the 2004 and 2007 re-pressings that are identical to the 1997 albums in contents but without the superior packaging.



Williams
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: (John Williams) The tagline "The Saga Continues" meant only one thing in the early 1980's: hysteria over George Lucas' franchise of Star Wars films. By 1983's Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, the phenomenon had saturated the mainstream with a seemingly unlimited quantity of toys and other related promotional collectibles. The movie's advance teaser poster, featuring the production title of "Revenge of the Jedi" and intriguingly swapping the colors of lightsabers in its depiction of the famous duel from The Empire Strikes Back, became a wildly hot one sheet for poster collectors. While some of the problems that Lucas faced with the production of The Empire Strikes Back had been alleviated by his departure from industry unions as a method of maintaining more control over his movies, Return of the Jedi suffered as a result, its costs driven up because of that independence. More than half of its $32 million budget was consumed by the special effects work of Industrial Light & Magic, the screen wizards' time booked to capacity to meet the ever-increasing demands of the saga's plotline. Although relatively few new worlds were developed for Return of the Jedi, the immense scope of the battle sequences in its latter half (aided by the invention of THX sound technology) drove the spectacle to new heights. Much disagreement during the script's finalization about the fate of several major characters eventually succumbed to Lucas' wish for a purely happy ending to the trilogy. A final confrontation between the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire in Return of the Jedi follows the resolution of the events of The Empire Strikes Back, a second Death Star again requiring the rebels to attack. This time, with the evil Emperor on the battle station, Luke Skywalker risks his own destruction by willingly engaging with Darth Vader and Emperor to bring the former back from the "dark side" of the Force. Through the subsequent re-releases of the film, Lucas stirred controversy by tinkering repeatedly with Return of the Jedi, eventually adding scenes and characters from the prequel trilogy to neatly wrap up the narrative of the six-picture saga. During its initial run, the third film marginally passed The Empire Strikes Back in gross profits but failed to garner the same astonishing, record-setting success in audiences' and critics' books as its predecessors. It is almost universally considered the weakest of the three original Star Wars films, despite being very entertaining and necessarily conclusive.

For most enthusiasts of the Star Wars universe, the series never got better than The Empire Strikes Back, and the same argument could be made about John Williams' music for the franchise. By the time Return of the Jedi opened in theatres in 1983, seven out of the top ten grossing films of all time featured a Williams score, and his conducting work with the Boston Pops had increased his mainstream visibility even further. Since impressing the world once again with The Empire Strikes Back, Williams had written the classics Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in successive years, the latter earning the composer his fourth Academy Award. He had presented himself a significant challenge by producing a score for the first Star Wars sequel that eclipsed the original classic; if the standard of excellence for Return of the Jedi were to have been raised any higher, then Williams would have had no choice but to conjure the greatest score ever written for Hollywood. Few scholars would contend that Williams accomplished this feat, but at the very least, the maestro maintained a level of outstanding quality for Return of the Jedi that many listeners still consider superior to any of the prequel scores that followed in the 1990's and 2000's. Recording once again with the London Symphony Orchestra and the same crew, Williams pumped out a score even longer than The Empire Strikes Back, with more material eventually released on album than the total length of the film. A lingering note of dissatisfaction about Return of the Jedi has always involved its restricted sound quality, which, despite improvements industry wide by the 1980's, has always suffered from a dull soundscape that defied those technological advances (this flaw is especially noticeable in the cue "Into the Trap"). Nevertheless, if you allow yourself to become enveloped in the score's four new themes, the interpolation of the previous themes, and the usual excellent standard of Williams' writing, then the merits of the score's ideas will easily counter such quibbles for most listeners. When you look at the logistical nightmare of attempting to weave more than ten major themes together into one score, the immense length of the recording is not much of a surprise. Some might argue, though, that Return of the Jedi is a more cluttered and less focused overall product than the others in the classic trilogy. The score has the disadvantage of lacking a singular thematic identity that was able to become the kind of powerhouse to rival the title theme and "Imperial March," a reality made necessary by the film's plot.

Among the new thematic ideas are Jabba the Hutt's surprisingly jovial tuba piece (playing along the politically incorrect lines of belching tubas representing fatness), an equally cute and percussively creative theme for the Ewoks, an identity for Luke and Leia's changing familial understanding, and finally a demonic male-choral idea for the Emperor. At the time of the film's release, the Ewok and Luke & Leia themes were the ones that you'd hear most often in concerts. Also arranged for easy public consumption were the "Sail Barge Assault" and "Forest Battle" cues (as well the occasional Jabba the Hutt arrangement), but Williams' emphasis on the two aforementioned themes is clearly defined more specifically by their appearance in the end credits suite for Return of the Jedi. While structurally equal to Williams' earlier quality, neither addition was as attractive to the mainstream as previous Star Wars themes. The one for Luke and Leia is similar in pleasant atmosphere and instrumentation to the Princess and Han Solo themes from the previous films, weaving in pieces of those ideas in auxiliary performances but understandably never stoking the passion of either. The prancing Ewok theme is not surprisingly the least palatable idea in the score, becoming downright irritating for some listeners with its frenetic energy and perkiness. Attached to it are the native-like source drum cues associated with the little Wookie stand-ins, and these appropriately primitive contributions resemble little of Williams' other motifs for the trilogy. The interesting aspect of all these themes is that the other two lesser ideas eventually proved to have the far better shelf life, both the themes for the Emperor and Jabba the Hutt jumping immediately to the prequel trilogy (and the former theme quite extensively). Perhaps the best choice Williams made in regards to Return of the Jedi was the extensive development afforded to the major identities from the prior films. The "Imperial March" still commands a significant presence, expressed in massive statements involving the two Death Star arrival scenes and reinventing itself in a whimper during Darth Vader's demise. The infamous march for the Empire once again steals the show, most obviously in the ambitious full statement during the Emperor's special effects-driven landing upon the Death Star. But the varying levels of conflict within Vader's character allowed Williams the opportunity to experiment with softer, less bombastic representations of the theme that would remain confined to Return of the Jedi and in hints during the prequels. Its final powerful statement in this trilogy is a remarkable fragment during the height of "Into the Trap."

Also resurrected in Return of the Jedi from the previous scores are the ideas for "Han Solo and the Princess" (in their long-awaited reunion at Jabba's palace and the revelation at the conclusion of the battle of Endor), Princess Leia's theme from the original film (dramatically as she is wounded), and Yoda's tender and thoughtful melody (for his revelatory death scene). Most importantly, the theme for the Force makes two extremely prominent appearances (among others) in the film, first at the moment of contemplation about the "dark side" when Luke defeats Vader in the final duel and secondly with grand and somber beauty during the funeral pyre for Vader at the end (nicely bringing the theme back full circle to the burning of Luke's homestead in A New Hope). A few general observations about the overarching demeanor of the music in Return of the Jedi and individual moments of interest merit some attention as well. First, an intangible detraction from Williams' work here is the lack of the weighty drama that was heard in The Empire Strikes Back. The previous score's desperation, built into its constant rhythmic movement, does not transfer to the third score, probably because the situation in Return of the Jedi is less dire in a romantic sense. Another general characteristic of the score is its capacity for chaos above and beyond the others. Williams was forced to jump around significantly within cues during the film's last 30 minutes because of the juxtaposed battle sequences happening simultaneously in the story. This technique was used extensively again by Lucas in The Phantom Menace, and in both cases the constant shifts caused the music to sound artificially cut in places (which it really was in some places), harming the narrative flow so vital in the first two scores of the franchise. The final observation about Return of the Jedi is both a positive and negative, and it involves the fact that the score has significantly more "singular" cues, whether it involves background source music, outright songs, or score tracks. Unlike the contained "Cantina Band" scene in the first film, Return of the Jedi applies source-like songs or primordial music in Jabba's palace and in the forest with the Ewoks. In both cases, this material conflicts with the orchestral music surrounding it. "Lapti Nek" and its subsequent replacement song for the Special Edition are both curious but insufferable, and the Ewok feast source music serves only to slow the pace of the score in and apart from the film. In fact, the film's badly dragging Ewok feast and storytelling sections owe some of their dull appeal to the basic thumping of Williams' source music for them.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the two major non-orchestral cues in Return of the Jedi were both replaced for the Special Edition release of the film in 1997. While Jabba's source material actually got worse, the groovy celebration music is now less specific to the Ewoks than the original so that it could generally cover scenes of rowdy crowds on Bespin, Tatooine, and Coruscant. That celebration music fits well with the similarly conceived cue at the end of The Phantom Menace, becoming sort of Williams' universal method of providing party music, but the sound quality is far too rich here for the end credits suite that follows. In fact, the abrupt edge between them makes for an uncomfortable ending for the revised film as of 1997. On the upside, though, are a number of singular cues of impressive success. The ensemble bravado of the major action scenes in A New Hope is revisited in "Sail Barge Assault," "The Fleet Enters Hyperspace," and "The Main Reactor," each of those cues worthy of continued appreciation on the complete album presentations. The best hidden nugget in Return of the Jedi is Williams' "death motif," heard with somber nobility in "The Death of Yoda" but developed with far more interesting consequences in "The Dark Side Beckons." In the latter cue, the theme is chillingly expressed by the deep adult chorus from the Emperor's theme during the reigniting of the final duel sequence between Luke and Vader. One has to wonder why Williams didn't utilize this theme for Anakin's last duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith to finish off the trilogies with similar thematic bookends, especially given how incredibly powerful its impact is on that one scene in Return of the Jedi. Another questionable decision by Williams along those same lines is the lack of some sort of reprise of the "Throne Room" identity for the Rebel Alliance when it proves victorious; in fact, it could have informed the conclusion of "The Main Reactor" just as well as the brassy expressions of glee and relief as the last rebel ships exit the exploding Death Star. Overall, Return of the Jedi is an outstanding score on its own despite the flaws that any collector of the franchise's music will find in it. Williams' inability to write one major overarching melodic identity for the film and his continued fragmentation as he attempted to address so many ideas on a limited canvas was a recipe for disappointment. The sound quality issues linger as well, the strings often deemphasized to the point of ineffectiveness in the mix of certain cues. But considering the expectations, Williams did about as well as one could hope, and there are enough brilliantly addressed sequences (especially in the reprises of established themes) to warrant the highest rating for this final entry in the trilogy.

Extremely tough competition in 1983 made it no surprise when the score for Return of the Jedi failed to capitalize on its Oscar nomination. Its diminished stature carried over to its original offerings on album as well. Like its predecessors, much of the same information about the history of the soundtrack for Return of the Jedi on album applies once again, but with a continuing twist in the LP release. By 1983, the future of LPs was in doubt and the technology of the compact disc was first breaking into commercial markets. With the viability of an LP release questionable at best, the original album was restrained to only a single record in length. Given that Return of the Jedi is longer than the other two scores in the classic trilogy, this presentation caused an immediate and crushing shortage of music available from the film. But history was far from finished with Return of the Jedi on album, with the eventual stream of CD offerings proving that every time you think you've purchased the definitive and final version of this score (and the others from the classic trilogy), you can wait a few years and be treated to yet another re-release in the stores. While the existence of all of the music from the classic Star Wars scores is taken for granted today, the first fifteen years were quite lean for fans of the composer and trilogy. In fact, it would take a full twenty years before the entire finished products (with nearly every available cue released) finally reached fans in time for the Special Editions in theatres. Much of the information that follows in regards to each of the various releases of the music is relevant to not only this score, but the others in the classic trilogy as well, so you'll read very similar accounts in the Filmtracks reviews of those scores. After their initial, separate releases on LP records and their early CDs, the editions of the scores on subsequent discs have always been released as a trilogy, despite your ability to usually buy them separately upon each update of all three. A carbon copy of the Return of the Jedi LP was translated onto the score's debut CD in 1986 at the same time as A New Hope (whereas The Empire Strikes Back had already been available on an inexplicably shortened CD for over a year). The aforementioned muted sound quality that prevailed on that LP is also a painful hindrance on the Polydor CD, making it an extremely frustrating 45-minute listening experience even aside from the wealth of music missing from the product. As they had done with both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, aficionados of the series once again searched for comfort in the only other recording of music from the series: Charles Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic Orchestra.

The only substantial alternative source of music from this score (and the others in the saga before 1993) was the Gerhardt re-recording of 46 minutes of the score with the NPO. For years, Gerhardt and the NPO had recorded famous film scores from mostly the Golden Age of Hollywood, but as a few of their final collaborations, they recorded the three classic Star Wars scores near the times of their release. In fact, Return of the Jedi turned out to be very final entry in this magnificent series. Gerhardt's versions of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi were both released in 1989 by RCA, with superb sound quality and an usually excellent standard of performance that Williams himself had claimed to be honored by. The NPO's brass section did make some noticeable mistakes in this performance, although it's compensated for by a rousing instrumental version of the original Ewok celebration music. For three years, this Gerhardt CD was the only digital source for some cues absent from the official 1986 release, including Williams' extended concert arrangement of Jabba the Hutt's theme (with strikingly whimsical strings) and the presentation of "Fight in the Dungeon" as an extra bonus. Still, even with these extra tracks, only one fifth of the total music from Return of the Jedi was released in some form on CD. It's no surprise, therefore, that the ultimate Star Wars trilogy Anthology released by 20th Century Fox in 1993 was considered a godsend by fans. That Anthology finally offered 103 minutes of music from the film, including several vital cues from the middle section of the story that had been completely neglected by previous releases. While the addition of material from Return of the Jedi was significant, it was not as earth-shatteringly important as the Anthology had been for The Empire Strikes Back. That said, the Anthology (produced by some of the biggest names in film score production) featured additional music that was certainly welcomed with great anticipation. There were, however, problems with the presentation of that music, despite the best intentions of those producers. The set placed as much music as possible from each film on an individual CD for each of the three scores but then pressed additional unreleased cues on a fourth CD that spans all three. Thus, to hear vital cues such as the memorable "Leia is Wounded/Luke and Vader Duel" and lengthy "Brother and Sister/Father and Son/The Fleet Enters Hyperspace" you had to seek the fourth CD to enjoy them separately in the era prior to the digitization of collections. Add on a large, custom-sized package (roughly DVD set size by today's standards) and hard-to-read individual CD covers within, and you had some ill-received protests from some fans.

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Regardless of its issues, the Anthology set of 1993 is looked upon with fondness by many Star Wars fans today simply because it filled a major void in collections at the time. A few years later, however, the Anthology was rendered largely outdated by the massive, highly advertised RCA "Special Edition" releases of 1997. By January of that year, George Lucas had announced the production of The Phantom Menace and revealed newly enhanced versions of the original three films for a 20th anniversary theatrical release. On album, enthusiasts were treated to double-CD releases of each Star Wars score in film order with alternative cues and extensive attention to detail in the mixing and arrangement of the contents. Including several source and alternate cues, a whopping total of 148 minutes of music from Return of the Jedi on its Special Edition set made it the definitive release. Keep in mind, however, that unlike the previous two scores, there still remains 15 to 20 minutes of music from Return of the Jedi that is not heard on even the most complete available albums. Most of that music, however, is not vital (or was previously released elsewhere), and a list of that material can be found at the bottom of this page. Extensive notes and pictorials graced both the 1993 and 1997 releases, with the glittery CDs of the latter series a nice touch. Later in 1997, these albums were re-packaged by RCA and offered in slimline alternatives that feature the Special Edition poster art, but these fell out of print about five years later. In 2004, the Sony Classical label, which had been releasing the prequel scores, acquired the rights to the classic trilogy's music and decided to re-press the 1997 releases with new artwork. These 2004 albums offer Sony's Direct Stream Digital remastering, and while this technique does provide some minimal extra clarity on high-end stereo systems, casual listeners will notice no significant differences from the 1997 albums. Thus, if you own the Special Edition albums and don't require slightly improved sound, there is no reason to seek the 2004 ones. In fact, the 2004 re-pressings are badly lacking in packaging compared to previous releases, with absolutely none of the fantastic notes and pictorials presented in the 1993 or 1997 products. Also disappointing are Sony's shameless 2007 releases (the "Corellian Edition" compilation and "30th Anniverary Collector's Edition"), both of which redundant, unnecessary, and irritatingly packaged. Overall, owning Return of the Jedi is perhaps not as necessary in a very casual soundtrack collection when contrasted against its siblings in the classic trilogy. Still, for any significant film music enthusiast, it is a must-have score, and with its outstanding packaging and mostly complete presentation of the music, the 1997 Special Edition album (the original full version bound in black booklets) continues to be the best Return of the Jedi product available. It's definitely not a trap.   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for the Film: *****
    Music as Heard on the 1986 Polydor Album: *
    Music as Heard on the 1989 RCA Gerhardt Album: ****
    Music as Heard on the 1993 Fox Anthology: ****
    Music as Heard on the 1997 RCA Special Edition: *****
    Music as Heard on the 2004 Sony Classical Album: ****
    Music as Heard on the 2007 Sony Classical Albums: **
    Overall: *****

Bias Check:For John Williams reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.74 (in 69 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.59 (in 336,773 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.





 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  


Regular Average: 4.17 Stars
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   Re: Using tubas to represent fatness
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   Using tubas to represent fatness
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 Track Listings (1986 Polydor Album): Total Time: 45:37


• 1. Main Title (The Main Story Continues) (5:09)
• 2. Into the Trap (2:36)
• 3. Luke and Leia (4:43)
• 4. Parade of the Ewoks (3:24)
• 5. Han Salo Returns (at the Court of Jabba the Hutt) (4:07)
• 6. Lapti Nek (by Jabba's Palace Band) (2:48)
• 7. The Forest Battle (4:01)
• 8. Rebel Briefing (2:19)
• 9. The Emperor (2:40)
• 10. The Return of the Jedi (5:00)
• 11. Ewok Celebration and Finale (7:57)




 Track Listings (1989 RCA Gerhardt Album): Total Time: 46:25


• 1. Main Title/Approaching the Death Star (3:27)
• 2. Parade of the Ewoks (3:23)
• 3. Luke and Leia (5:17)
• 4. Jabba the Hutt (3:43)
• 5. Return of the Jedi (5:26)
• 6. The Ewok Battle (2:57)
• 7. Han Solo Returns (3:21)
• 8. Into the Trap/Fight in the Dungeon (4:20)
• 9. Heroic Ewok (2:12)
• 10. Battle in the Forest (4:11)
• 11. Finale (8:06)




 Track Listings (1993 Fox Anthology Album): Total Time: 103:11


CD3: (73:45)

• 1. Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare with CinemaScope Extension*** (0:22)
• 2. Main Title/Approaching the Death Star (5:18)
• 3. Han Solo Returns (at the Court of Jabba the Hutt) (4:06)
• 4. Fight in the Dungeon** (3:38)
• 5. The Return of the Jedi (4:59)
• 6. The Emperor Arrives** (2:05)
• 7. The Death of Yoda** (6:03)
• 8. Parade of the Ewoks (3:25)
• 9. Luke and Leia (4:43)
• 10. The Emperor Confronts Luke** (3:26)
• 11. Into the Trap (2:36)
• 12. First Ewok Battle/Fight with the Fighters** (7:18)
• 13. The Forest Battle (4:01)
• 14. Final Duel/Into the Death Star** (3:37)
• 15. The Emperor's Death (2:41)
• 16. Darth Vader's Death** (2:31)
• 17. Through the Flames** (1:36)
• 18. Leia Breaks the News/Funeral Pyre for a Jedi (2:19)
• 19. Ewok Celebration/Finale (7:58)


CD4: (74:59, 28:26 from Return of the Jedi)

• 1. Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare with CinemaScope Extension*** (0:22)
• 2. Star Wars: Main Title (Alternate)** (2:16)
• 3. Return of the Jedi: Heroic Ewok/The Fleet Goes into Hyperspace** (3:05)
• 4. Star Wars: A Hive of Villainy** (2:12)
• 5. Star Wars: Destruction of Alderaan** (1:31)
• 6. The Empire Strikes Back: Drawing the Battle Lines/Leia's Instructions** (4:02)
• 7. Return of the Jedi: The Ewok Battle** (2:48)
• 8. The Empire Strikes Back: Attack Position** (3:04)
• 9. The Empire Strikes Back: Crash Landing** (3:35)
• 10. Star Wars: Cantina Band (2:46)
• 11. Return of the Jedi: Lapti Nek (2:48)
• 12. Star Wars: Cantina Band #2** (3:44)
• 13. Return of the Jedi: Faking the Code** (4:10)
• 14. Return of the Jedi: Brother and Sister** (3:08)
• 15. Star Wars: Standing By** (1:14)
• 16. Return of the Jedi: Leia is Wounded/Luke and Vader Duel** (2:57)
• 17. The Empire Strikes Back: Carbon Freeze/Luke Pursues the Captives/Departure of Boba Fett* (11:08)
• 18. The Empire Strikes Back: Losing a Hand** (5:20)
• 19. Return of the Jedi: The Return of the Jedi (Alternate)** (5:03)
• 20. Return of the Jedi: Leia Breaks the news (Alternate)/Funeral Pyre for a Jedi (Film Version)* (2:27)
• 21. Return of the Jedi: Ewok Celebration (Film Version)/The Empire Strikes Back: End Credits (Film Version)* (6:22)

* Contains previously unreleased material
** Previously unreleased music
*** Composed by Alfred Newman (1954)




 Track Listings (1997 RCA Special Edition): Total Time: 148:01


CD1: (Total Time: 73:15)

• 1. 20th Century Fox Fanfare (Alfred Newman, 1954) (0:22)
• 2. Main Title/Approaching the Death Star/Tatooine Rendezvous* (9:21)
• 3. The Droids are Captured* (1:17)
• 4. Bounty for a Wookiee* (2:50)
• 5. Han Solo Returns** (4:01)
• 6. Luke Confronts Jabba*/Den of the Rancor/Sarlacc Sentence* (8:51)
• 7. The Pit of Carkoon*/Sail Barge Assault (6:02)
• 8. The Emperor Arrives/The Death of Yoda/Obi-Wan's Revelation* (10:58)
• 9. Alliance Assembly* (2:13)
• 10. Shuttle Tydirium Approaches Endor (4:09)
• 11. Speeder Bike Chase*/Land of the Ewoks* (9:38)
• 12. The Levitation*/Threepio's Bedtime Story* (2:46)
• 13. Jabba's Baroque Recital* (3:09)
• 14. Jedi Rocks*@ (2:42)
• 15. Sail Barge Assault (Alternate) (5:04)


CD2: (Total Time: 74:45)

• 1. Parade of the Ewoks (3:28)
• 2. Luke and Leia (4:46)
• 3. Brother and Sister/Father and Son*/The Fleet Enters Hyperspace**/Heroic Ewok (10:40)
• 4. Emperor's Throne Room (3:26)
• 5. The Battle of Endor I (11:50)
      (Into the Trap/Forest Ambush*/Scout Walker Scramble/Prime Weapon Fires)
• 6. The Lightsaber*#/The Ewok Battle (4:31)
• 7. The Battle of Endor II (10:03)
      (Leia is Wounded/The Duel Begins/Overtaking the Bunker*/The Dark Side Beckons/The Emperor's Death)
• 8. The Battle of Endor III (6:04)
      (Superstructure Chase*/Darth Vader's Death/The Main Reactor)
• 9. Leia's News/Light of the Force*** (3:24)
• 10. Victory Celebration*$/End Title (8:34)
• 11. Ewok Feast*/Part of the Tribe* (4:02)
• 12. The Forest Battle (concert suite) (4:05)

* Previously unreleased
** Contains previously unreleased music
*** Alternate recording for "Light of the Force"
# Contains partial film version of "The Emperor Arrives"
$ Composed and Recorded by Williams in 1996 for the Special Edition
@ Composed and Arranged by Jerry Hey in 1996 to replace "Lapti Nek"





 Track Listings (2004 Sony Classical Album): Total Time: 148:01


CD1: (Total Time: 73:15)

• 1. 20th Century Fox Fanfare (Alfred Newman, 1954) (0:22)
• 2. Main Title/Approaching the Death Star/Tatooine Rendezvous (9:21)
• 3. The Droids are Captured (1:17)
• 4. Bounty for a Wookiee (2:50)
• 5. Han Solo Returns (4:01)
• 6. Luke Confronts Jabba/Den of the Rancor/Sarlacc Sentence (8:51)
• 7. The Pit of Carkoon/Sail Barge Assault (6:02)
• 8. The Emperor Arrives/The Death of Yoda/Obi-Wan's Revelation (10:58)
• 9. Alliance Assembly (2:13)
• 10. Shuttle Tydirium Approaches Endor (4:09)
• 11. Speeder Bike Chase/Land of the Ewoks (9:38)
• 12. The Levitation/Threepio's Bedtime Story (2:46)
• 13. Jabba's Baroque Recital (3:09)
• 14. Jedi Rocks (2:42)
• 15. Sail Barge Assault (Alternate) (5:04)


CD2: (Total Time: 74:45)

• 1. Parade of the Ewoks (3:28)
• 2. Luke and Leia (4:46)
• 3. Brother and Sister/Father and Son/The Fleet Enters Hyperspace/Heroic Ewok (10:40)
• 4. Emperor's Throne Room (3:26)
• 5. The Battle of Endor I (11:50)
      (Into the Trap/Forest Ambush/Scout Walker Scramble/Prime Weapon Fires)
• 6. The Lightsaber/The Ewok Battle (4:31)
• 7. The Battle of Endor II (10:03)
      (Leia is Wounded/The Duel Begins/Overtaking the Bunker/The Dark Side Beckons/The Emperor's Death)
• 8. The Battle of Endor III (6:04)
      (Superstructure Chase/Darth Vader's Death/The Main Reactor)
• 9. Leia's News/Light of the Force (3:24)
• 10. Victory Celebration/End Title (8:34)
• 11. Ewok Feast/Part of the Tribe (4:02)
• 12. The Forest Battle (concert suite) (4:05)




 Track Listings (2007 Sony Corellian Edition): Total Time: 54:57


• 1. The Phantom Menace: Star Wars Main Title and The Arrival at Naboo (2:56)
• 2. The Phantom Menace: The Flag Parade (2:12)
• 3. The Phantom Menace: Qui-Gon's Noble End (3:48)
• 4. Attack of the Clones: Jango's Escape (3:49)
• 5. Attack of the Clones: Yoda and the Younglings (3:57)
• 6. Revenge of the Sith: General Grievous (4:07)
• 7. Revenge of the Sith: Anakin's Dark Deeds (4:05)
• 8. A New Hope: Imperial Attack (6:45)
• 9. A New Hope: Ben Kenobi's Death/TIE Fighter Attack (3:55)
• 10. The Empire Strikes Back: Yoda and the Force (4:06)
• 11. The Empire Strikes Back: The Clash of Lightsabers (4:10)
• 12. Return of the Jedi: Sail Barge Assault (5:05)
• 13. Return of the Jedi: End Title (6:04)




 Track Listings (2007 Sony 30th Ann. Edition): Total Time: 148:00


CD5: (73:15)

• 1. 20th Century Fox Fanfare (Alfred Newman, 1954) (0:22)
• 2. Main Title/Approaching the Death Star/Tatooine Rendezvous (9:21)
• 3. The Droids are Captured (1:17)
• 4. Bounty for a Wookiee (2:50)
• 5. Han Solo Returns (4:01)
• 6. Luke Confronts Jabba/Den of the Rancor/Sarlacc Sentence (8:51)
• 7. The Pit of Carkoon/Sail Barge Assault (6:02)
• 8. The Emperor Arrives/The Death of Yoda/Obi-Wan's Revelation (10:58)
• 9. Alliance Assembly (2:13)
• 10. Shuttle Tydirium Approaches Endor (4:09)
• 11. Speeder Bike Chase/Land of the Ewoks (9:38)
• 12. The Levitation/Threepio's Bedtime Story (2:46)
• 13. Jabba's Baroque Recital (3:09)
• 14. Jedi Rocks (2:42)
• 15. Sail Barge Assault (Alternate) (5:04)


CD6: (74:45)

• 1. Parade of the Ewoks (3:28)
• 2. Luke and Leia (4:46)
• 3. Brother and Sister/Father and Son/The Fleet Enters Hyperspace/Heroic Ewok (10:40)
• 4. Emperor's Throne Room (3:26)
• 5. The Battle of Endor I (11:50)
      (Into the Trap/Forest Ambush/Scout Walker Scramble/Prime Weapon Fires)
• 6. The Lightsaber/The Ewok Battle (4:31)
• 7. The Battle of Endor II (10:03)
      (Leia is Wounded/The Duel Begins/Overtaking the Bunker/The Dark Side Beckons/The Emperor's Death)
• 8. The Battle of Endor III (6:04)
      (Superstructure Chase/Darth Vader's Death/The Main Reactor)
• 9. Leia's News/Light of the Force (3:24)
• 10. Victory Celebration/End Title (8:34)
• 11. Ewok Feast/Part of the Tribe (4:02)
• 12. The Forest Battle (Concert Suite) (4:05)


CD7: (54:57, 11:09 from Return of the Jedi)

• 1. The Phantom Menace: Star Wars Main Title and The Arrival at Naboo (2:56)
• 2. The Phantom Menace: The Flag Parade (2:12)
• 3. The Phantom Menace: Qui-Gon's Noble End (3:48)
• 4. Attack of the Clones: Jango's Escape (3:49)
• 5. Attack of the Clones: Yoda and the Younglings (3:57)
• 6. Revenge of the Sith: General Grievous (4:07)
• 7. Revenge of the Sith: Anakin's Dark Deeds (4:05)
• 8. A New Hope: Imperial Attack (6:45)
• 9. A New Hope: Ben Kenobi's Death/TIE Fighter Attack (3:55)
• 10. The Empire Strikes Back: Yoda and the Force (4:06)
• 11. The Empire Strikes Back: The Clash of Lightsabers (4:10)
• 12. Return of the Jedi: Sail Barge Assault (5:05)
• 13. Return of the Jedi: End Title (6:04)

(total time only reflects unique material from Return of the Jedi)





 Notes and Quotes:  


The 1986 Polydor and 1989 RCA Gerhardt albums contain no information about the film, score, or recording. The 1993 Fox Anthology has extensive notes and pictorials in an oversized booklet with information written by John Williams, Nicholas Meyer, and Lukas Kendall. The 1997 RCA Special Edition albums with the black book format include extensive notation from album arranger Michael Matessino regarding the film, score as a whole, and each cue. A recording log for Star Wars in this 1997 album also includes information about each take. The 1997 RCA Special Edition slimline format lacks the same level of detail. The 2004 Sony Classical products (available both as a set and individually) include a fold-out poster, but sadly no extra information about the film or score. The packaging of Sony Classical's 2007 "Corellian Edition" is minimal, though the label's "30th Anniversary Collector's Edition" includes the original LP packaging for each score and a bonus CD-ROM with additional material. The detailed Matessino notes about the scores are once again missing from the 2007 products.

Music from Return of the Jedi not contained on 1997, 2004, or 2007 albums:

    • Lapti Nek (Film Version) (2:48)
    • Lapti Nek (English Version, "Fancy Man") (2:46)
    • Lapti Nek (Album Version)* (2:48)
    • Leia's News (Alternate)* (1:19)
    • Ewok Celebration (Film Version)* (1:56)
    • Ewok Celebration (Album Version)* (1:56)
    • Jabba the Hutt (Concert Arrangement)** (3:43)
    • Max Rebo Band Instrumental Music*** (3:00)
    • Unused Source Music (Not in Film)*** (1:30)


    * Cue is included on the 1993 Anthology set
    ** About (1:20) of this recording was tracked into "Han Solo Returns" on the 1986 album and 1993 Anthology.
    *** These selections were not included because they could not be found.


CAUTION: Due to a packaging error, some copies of the 1997 RCA release may have two "Disc 1"s and no "Disc 2." If you are purchasing one of the remaining new copies of them now, be sure to check your set immediately to make sure you received a complete product. The same problem reportedly existed with some copies of the 2007 "30th Anniversary Collector's Edition."





   
  All artwork and sound clips from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi are Copyright © 1986, 1989, 1993, 1997, 2004, Polydor/Polygram, RCA Victor (Gerhardt), 20th Century Fox (Anthology), RCA Victor (Special Edition), RCA Victor (S.E. Re-Pressing), Sony Classical (Individual and Set), Sony Classical (Corellian Edition), Sony Classical (30th Ann. Edition). The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 3/12/97 and last updated 9/2/11. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1997-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.