Support Filmtracks! Click here first:
iTunes (U.S.)
eBay (U.S.)
This Week's Most Popular Reviews:
   1. Romeo & Juliet
   2. Hobbit: Unexpected Journey
   3. The Phantom of the Opera
   4. Lady in the Water
   5. Harry Potter: Sorcerer's Stone
   6. Moulin Rouge
   7. Gladiator
   8. Titanic
   9. LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring
   10. Thor: The Dark World
Newest Major Reviews: Best-Selling Albums:
   1. Chappie
   2. Fifty Shades of Grey
   3. Night/Museum: Secret/Tomb
   4. The Imitation Game
   5. Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies
   1. Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
   2. City of Ember
   3. Jack the Giant Slayer
   4. Indiana Jones Collection
   5. King Kong Lives
Section Header
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
John Williams

Performed by:
The London Symphony Orchestra

The London Voices

Orchestrated by:
Eddie Karam
Conrad Pope

Sony Classical

Release Date:
May 3rd, 2005

Also See:
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: A New Hope
Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Audio Clips:
3. Battle of the Heroes (0:32):
WMA (206K)  MP3 (258K)
Real Audio (160K)

5. General Grievous (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (241K)
Real Audio (150K)

10. Anakin's Dark Deeds (0:33):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (266K)
Real Audio (165K)

11. Enter Lord Vader (0:31):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (251K)
Real Audio (156K)

Regular U.S. release. The DVD of music videos included with the product is exclusive to this CD release.

  Nominated for a Grammy Award.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

•  Printer Friendly Version
Our Price: $9.99
Used Price: $1.69

Sales Rank: 9626

Buy from

or read more reviews and hear more audio clips at

  Compare Prices:
eBay Stores
(new and used)
(new and used)

  Find it Used:
Check for used copies of this album in the:

Soundtrack Section at eBay

(including eBay Stores and listings)

Buy it... if you consider yourself any kind of Star Wars fan whatsoever, for John Williams concludes the saga with melodramatic weight of immense depth for this critical bridge to the classic trilogy.

Avoid it... if you are accustomed to the traditional format of Star Wars scores that values memorable themes and concert arrangements, a characteristic aspect of the franchise consciously dropped by Williams for this final film.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: (John Williams) And so the saga concludes. For now, at least. The hysteria that surrounded the releases of The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Phantom Menace may have declined in the post-2000 era of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, but the Star Wars universe still commands respect from both cult and mainstream audiences worldwide. By far the darkest chapter of the six films, Revenge of the Sith is also the most graphically violent, earning the sixth Star Wars film an uncharacteristic PG-13 rating. Innumerous beheadings, impalings, and unsightly dismemberment are aplenty in this conclusion to the prequel trilogy, marking the rise of the Galactic Empire and the fall of the Jedi. By the end of Revenge of the Sith, the table is set for the original 1977 film, A New Hope, with the last scenes of this film previewing everything from the moisture farm on Tatooine to the construction of the first Death Star. Concept creator George Lucas has desperately tried to create a watertight narrative arc in the Star Wars universe, go so far as to alter his original trilogy multiple times, and Revenge of the Sith was thus the height of these efforts. For composer John Williams, who was about to enter into a period of retirement after a flurry of activity in 2005 that included this final Star Wars score, the saga elevated his career to the ultimate level of stardom, his themes for the films lingering in the lives of people who haven't seen a Star Wars movie in the theatre for several decades. The thirty-year culmination of musical ideas from Williams is assembled in Revenge of the Sith, and with upwards of three million dollars and 18 days over which to record with the renown London Symphony Orchestra, the score promised to be as engaging and monumental as those that came before it. Difficulty arises when you attempt to compare music for the Star Wars films to your average, everyday film score; like the music for The Lord of the Rings by Howard Shore at roughly the same time, you have to evaluate Williams' music for these Star Wars prequels against those that came before in the series.

Without a doubt, regardless of the criticism you are about to read, Revenge of the Sith is a continuation of high quality writing from Williams that puts other contemporary film scores to shame. But with this disclaimer in mind, Williams' score for Revenge of the Sith, as a member of the saga's overall musical tapestry, presents several complications and deviations from the established norm that will challenge faithful listeners. The most general statement that anyone could make about Revenge of the Sith is that Williams truly changed direction with the format of thematic development heard in the first four films and, to a lesser degree, in Attack of the Clones. In the classic trilogy, Williams developed ideas for characters, locations, or scenes that smack you across the face with the clear existence of their arrangements. Lengthy battle, chase, or conversation pieces received a concert arrangement of a sub-theme or motif that numbered at least three in quantity from each film. Existing in the comfortable world of Lucas' cartoonish style of presenting the saga, Williams made his themes, rhythms, and motifs readily transparent, giving each idea a larger-than-life quality that led to every small cue, whether it was the escape from Cloud City or rebel fleet preparing to go into hyperspace, maintaining a memorable idea that could be hummed by the listener long after the score had departed from the room. When The Phantom Menace revived the saga in 1999, Williams made a concerted effort to continue this format of presenting his ideas. Despite criticism leveled against the score at the time for its apparent weaknesses (and its awful editing in the film), in retrospect you can hear that Williams was attempting to extend the concert suite type of development while struggling with the demands of Lucas' ever-heightening pace of action. With "Duel of the Fates," "Anakin's Theme," and the "Flag Parade" theme joined sometimes in concert performances by Jar Jar's theme, there was little shortage of material for the public to identify with from the film. Williams decided to change his methodology for Attack of the Clones. Rather than elaborating upon three or four primary identities, he condensed them into "Across the Stars," one extremely powerful and effective theme. And it worked, if only because the idea remains one of the most poignant of Williams' entire career, and its usage is dominant in a significant number of the score's cues. Additional motifs do exist throughout Attack of the Clones, but not with the kind of clarity expected from a Star Wars score.

The days of cartoonish, self-contained themes for asteroid fields and furry little Ewoks were gone by 2005, Williams tackling the weightier drama of the Star Wars galaxy's darkest chapters with an emphasis on scene-specific underscore of a less obvious nature. In Revenge of the Sith, he introduces one major new theme in the standard concert arrangement, one rhythmic motif for a new villain, and several supporting motifs and underdeveloped, unconnected ideas for individual moments in the film. You could conceivably listen to Revenge of the Sith on album, enjoy it from start to end, but come away with only themes from the previous scores still in mind. Williams did make it clear in interviews that his intention was to quote previously existing themes in this score more than in any of the others so the score would act as a bridge between the trilogies. "In Revenge of the Sith, there are three or four pieces of new material," Williams said. "A couple of them are lamentations; they accompany some very dark turns in the action. And there's also a kind of fun piece, which includes a lot of percussion, for Grievous." The primary theme he doesn't mention is "Battle of the Heroes," an idea he wrote for the lightsaber battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi at the climax of the film. This will be the only music you'll hear from the film at concerts, and it is a choral piece on the scale of "Duel of the Fates" that propels the Jedi to their destruction with the same percussively bombastic nature. As Williams touched upon, the action music in Revenge of the Sith is based upon the highly percussive and extremely rapid theme and rhythm for General Grievous, the robotic villain also hunting Jedi in this installment. It entertains with its pompous stature and ability to push trumpet players to the limits of their ability to perform as many distinct notes in as short a time as possible. But some of the secondary themes in Revenge of the Sith are the kickers, the enticingly gripping ideas that appear only once on album and beg for extended arrangements. Two are lamentations and two mark Anakin's transformation into a Sith Lord and, interestingly, in their major presentations on album, these ideas do not cross into each other's territory. Thus, the end result for Williams in Revenge of the Sith is a score that introduces several outstanding (and sometimes spectacular) ideas that are relatively fresh in the maestro's career but does not follow through with them to a level that will stick in the minds of average movie-goers. Its personality is therefore quite nebulous, a very odd characteristic for a Williams score of this magnitude.

More than in previous scores from the prequel trilogy, Williams quotes the classic trilogy's themes in Revenge of the Sith. "In this film more than any of the other five, there are references to earlier scenes," Williams stated, "which seem to me and to George to be part of the way we want to tell the story, musically." As with the other prequel scores, this does not include significant statements of the original A New Hope title theme for both the franchise and Luke Skywalker (outside of the traditional opening and closing, of course). Prevalent in Revenge of the Sith are the two other famous themes from the series: the "Force Theme" and "Imperial March." Their battles in this score are significant, with the "Force Theme" receiving more large-scale treatment than Vader's budding theme. Now is perhaps the time to mention, however, that the original commercial album for Revenge of the Sith, on which the observations about this score are being made, is hardly complete. Only fifteen cues out of 41 recorded by the LSO for the film are presented on that product. History has taught enthusiasts of the franchise through the years that all of the major arrangements of new ideas will be presented on these albums, however sometimes a strong statement of previous themes will be struck from the final product due to its redundancy (such as the performance of the "Force Theme" when Anakin leaves his mother in The Phantom Menace). While it's vital to remember this important fact while making general declarations about the score based on the album alone, the 72+ minutes of music presented in its ranks does show Williams' clear focus on supplying individualized underscore for specific scenes rather than general concepts. As the album presentation progresses, seemingly unrelated musical ideas are offered one after another, almost always superior in quality but serving as a minor shock for listeners who expect either continuity in their Star Wars music or at least enough development of each idea to reach a naturally satisfying conclusion. Despite the plethora of interesting new ideas from cue to cue in Revenge of the Sith, it's hard not to be disappointed with its lack of clear narrative direction and a coherent, overarching spirit. When shown the film for the first time, Williams admitted at the time, "My God, so much? I'm not going to be able to write all that... it goes from scene to scene, battle to battle, and fight to fight. I have to confess it's always a little bit daunting when I first see these things." The "scene to scene" part of that statement is telling, because it is perhaps a clue to indicate why Revenge of the Sith ended up so disjointed as a whole.

In regards to the complexity of wrapping up the franchise, Williams additionally revealed, "I'll study the film and try to pick a spot that's a logical starting point for what I think I need to do, either thematically or from a textural point of view, and work out toward the latter part of the film or the beginning part. I really may jump around a little bit." In this case, Williams seems to have started with the Anakin/Obi-Wan lightsaber battle and written "Battle of the Heroes" first before working backwards through the rest of the score. The same philosophy makes sense in The Phantom Menace, for which Williams could work back from "Duel of the Fates," as well as the climactic statements of "Across the Stars" near the end of the second prequel film. But in Revenge of the Sith, the "Battle of the Heroes" theme is not integrated (and even rarely hinted at) in earlier cues. The continuity factor is almost entirely missing. By the end, it's the "Force Theme" that maintains the most power in the score, which is not particularly problematic given that it has become, in the absence of the main franchise theme from the bulk of the prequel scores, the dominant identity of the entire concept. As for other specific themes and their usage in the score, this review is once again limited to the album contents. But a thorough rundown of each new major cue in Revenge of the Sith, as well as some disclosure about which themes do and do not appear in the assembled tracks of length chosen for inclusion on the album, might give you an idea of where Williams was heading with the score. Right off the bat, as mentioned before, the main Star Wars theme itself is curiously restrained in the prequel trilogy outside of the customary performances, appearing only once in muted form during the last minute of the finale to accompany the hope placed in baby Luke. The title sequence is the source of some discontent in Revenge of the Sith, for Williams elected not to re-record it specifically for this film. Instead, a reported combination of recordings from the previous two scores' sessions were mixed to make the title cue for Revenge of the Sith. For true fans of the music from the saga, those who can identify which title performance belongs to which film based on their subtle variations, this frugal measure is a considerable disappointment. The end of the title sequence is cut short this time as well, launching immediately into frenetic action over the "Force Theme" that once again required Williams to remind the trumpet players to clearly distinguish each of their rapidly succeeding notes. Ever since the space battle in The Phantom Menace, this action material in the prequels has exhibited a remarkable ability to produce an amazing ruckus without really going anywhere.

For "Anakin's Dream," in which he has premonitions of Padme's death, Williams begins with the most substantial performance of the "Across the Stars" theme before the tension of the moment toils in a crescendo of dissonance. After his dream, several faint hints of interest are made; first, there were questions about whether Williams would ever re-use the potent theme heard twice in Return of the Jedi for the death of a Jedi (first with reverence as Yoda dies and finally as part of the huge choral finale during the saber duel between Luke and his father), and its most structured reference in the prequels (and a questionable one at that) exists here. More interesting is the premonition of Vader's later entrance scene in bass strings and subsequent performance of the Force theme by low woodwinds. With much of the score for Revenge of the Sith brooding and rumbling in the depths of the dark side, Williams' use of the lowest range woodwinds is substantial throughout the entire score. On album, the next cue is "Battle of the Heroes," the aforementioned new concert piece for the film. Its theme is very deliberately stated, with unconventional thematic pacing; you seemingly have three different sections of the orchestra all operating at different tempos, which could either be considered a brilliant move by Williams or a hindrance to your enjoyment of the piece (or both, perhaps). The track starts with a rapid string rhythm augmented by brass and features the adult choir performing at a more drawn-out parallel with the theme while trilling trumpets (connecting it clearly, along with the frequent cymbal usage and repetition of ensemble hits on key, to "Duel of the Fates") and horns race over the top. The inconsistent pacing of the different sections comes together for an ultra-dramatic performance of the "Force Theme" as an interlude and, even after several repetitions of the melody, the base rhythm is more memorable than the slower, static theme. As the primary identity for the film, the theme has to be considered a disappointment. In the powerful "Anakin's Betrayal," listeners hear the first of Williams' intriguing new sub-themes. With the full choir performing extended wordless vocals over the melodramatic ensemble tones, several moments in the composer's fantastic hidden gem for Hook are recalled. The maintained tension of the cue recalls the rhythmic figures of Presumed Innocent before its wholesale lament culminates in two awesome crescendos of mournful power (separated by a striking brass cut-off at 2:50 into the track) before respectfully bowing out at the end. In retrospect, this cue is perhaps the most impressive, easily digestible expression of beauty in the score, and the agony it contains can be chalked up as yielding among the saddest single cues of the composer's illustrious career.

The "fun" music for Williams exists in "General Grievous," a piece that jumps with some of the same character and pacing as the "Knight Bus" cue from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but with the funk meter turned down to a more appropriate level. An excellent percussive base (recorded separately from the rest of the ensemble and mixed in) forms a rhythmic splash of short brass flourishes, cymbal crashes, and constantly fluttering woodwinds that make the "Asteroid Field" theme sound like a picnic. Without a prevailing theme out of all that sound, however, the cue isn't really coherent enough to call a concert piece, and despite its ambitious rhythms, it leaves you with little to remember it by. In another twist of the unexpected, however, Williams offers an approach in "Palpatine's Teachings" that you wouldn't predict. Instead of expressing the "Emperor's Theme" heavily in this cue, Williams begins with over a minute of its deep male throat singing without stating the idea, followed by extremely low woodwind meanderings. In latter stages, the cue begins to form a muted battle between the Force theme and Imperial March, with rumblings that serve the inner battle within Anakin well. After several minutes of ominous bass string solos, a sudden quoting of a Coruscant fanfare from The Phantom Menace unfortunately breaks the mood at the end of the track. A return to the standard frenetic action music heard in two previous cues marks "Grievous and the Droids." Once again, so much noise and so little organization in rhythm or motif cause the cue to slip by with little notice; strangely, none of the unique percussion established for Grievous in his prior cue is reprised here. The driving snare drum rhythms, brief xylophone bursts, and frantic sixteenth notes on the various brass are effective but a bit stale in this cue. Another superior moment of underscore for tension exists in "Padme's Ruminations," a cue notable for its droning, synthesized bass (in almost pipe organ form). A distantly wailing female voice performs no clear theme, but it doesn't have to; the emotional grip of the score, so weighty in its sorrow, gets the point across with superb power. After an eerie, distant reminder of the "Across the Stars" theme, Williams pulls out a variation on a singular idea from Return of the Jedi during the moments of Vader's taunting of Luke right before the continuation of the final duel. The attention to subtle connections to previously wayward ideas from Return of the Jedi in this score is certainly one of its definite highlights. This slowly developing bass string and woodwind motif, in its rendition near the end of "Padme's Ruminations," is also reminiscent of the opening organ motif in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

One of the film's major curiosities exists in the actual use of the "Battle of the Heroes" theme in "Anakin vs. Obi-Wan." The duel, complete with tolling bells and rapid trumpet notes over rolling percussion, is broken up in rhythmic progression by several note-for-note regurgitations of the Cloud City duel cue in The Empire Strikes Back (the sequence during which Vader hurls equipment at Luke before smashing the shaft window). The intention of Williams and Lucas was obviously to draw parallels between the two duels (and represent how history tends to repeat itself in this saga), but while any inclusion of the Imperial March is usually most welcomed, the "Battle of the Heroes" theme, along with the carry-over elements from "Duel of the Fates," sounds more appropriate in context to the surrounding underscore and is, frankly, much more exciting. The sudden shifts back to music from The Empire Strikes Back hinder the flow of the cue until the last minute of the duel incorporates the Force theme into the "Battle of the Heroes" rhythm with great effectiveness as Obi-Wan dismembers Vader and leaves him for dead. The "Anakin's Dark Deeds" cue is, alongside "Anakin's Betrayal," a splendid piece in which Williams wanders off to another dark corner for a fresh secondary theme. Opening with what casually sounds like a light choral tribute to Howard Shore's Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings, the cue escalates into a level of rhythmic action equal to "Duel of the Fates" (with slight hints of that theme) as Anakin begins slaughtering the newly perceived enemies of the Republic. A new, descending theme is introduced at 2:15 into that track that builds in melodramatic fashion to an outstandingly excruciating finish. This minute or two of music plays perhaps a bigger role in its placement in the mix of Revenge of the Sith on screen than any other cue, a fantastic, singular theme that yearns for a more complete arrangement. Similarly, the introduction of the new archvillain in "Enter Lord Vader" leads to another secondary motif to highlight the score. Rather than reverting to the Imperial March (quite a curious move), Williams instead twists the motif from the end of "Anakin's Dark Deeds" into tormented phrases before erupting with a forceful fanfare for Vader's announcement, driven by very strong snare outbursts, heavy layers of brass, and even some harp flourishes for the fantasy element. One brief, partial reference to the Imperial March ties the character to his eventual musical identity, and listeners are left waiting for a gong strike (as in his first scene in A New Hope) that never comes. The cue concludes with a dying "Force Theme" performance yielding to the only obvious use (in low ranges) of the Emperor's theme on the album.

The last of the interesting new tracks on the Revenge of the Sith album comes in the form of heavily layered strings performing an adagio of lament in "The Immolation Scene." Once again, a unique sub-theme is presented before, after two minutes, Williams refers back to the bass string motif from A New Hope as Luke jumps in his speeder to return to the homestead and find his family slaughtered. The last of the choppy action music makes an appearance in "Grievous Speaks to Lord Sidious," punctuated by the now typical snare rips followed by a cymbal crash with which Williams has arguably overpopulated the prequel trilogy. The weakest track on the album, this generic cue leads to a faint echo of "Across the Stars" and subtle references of lamentations heard previously in the score. The last two tracks on the album are a source of interesting controversy for fans of the saga's music. They represent the manifestation of the bridge between the old and new trilogies, and in both cues, Williams makes some odd choices. For "The Birth of the Twins and Padme's Destiny," Williams pulls 90 seconds of instrumental tone from his Harry Potter scores for the birthing sequence, tingling with magic but not conveying the weight or melodrama necessary for the gravity of the event. Of note during this passage, however, are fragments of both "The Imperial March" and "Across the Stars" hidden in the floating two and three-note figures that permeate the cue. The track then shifts to a direct quoting of the funeral sequence for Qui-Gon in The Phantom Menace. Williams may have used this cue in one or more of three ways: to tie the prequel trilogy in a neat package, to establish the theme as a general funeral representation rather than one for Qui-Gon specifically, or for Qui-Gon himself (given the revelation of the character's ability to talk to the living as a ghostly spirit). The second controversial cue is the last one, "A New Hope and End Credits," which features two minutes of new score for the finale before launching into a whopping eleven minutes of end credits suites. As it would make sense, Williams provides sensitive performances of the two infants' themes, first Leia's theme and then the Star Wars title theme for Luke in low-key, loving fashion. Williams then returns to the "Binary Sunset" cue from A New Hope on Tatooine, which is where the cue starts to go awry. After a solo horn introduces the "Force Theme," the full orchestra provides a somewhat underpowered performance of the second verse of that identity, underpowered considering the magnitude of the event and its position as the last minute of the six films thus far. Even more problematic is a very poor key change into the standard title theme performance for the end credits that may make you cringe.

The selection of music for the lengthy end credits presentation exists as a sore point in Revenge of the Sith. Williams chose to provide the concert arrangements of "Leia's Theme" and the "Throne Room" finale sequence from A New Hope bracketing a reprise of the "Battle of the Heroes" concert arrangement. The performance of Leia's theme, and especially the transition from it into the "Battle of the Heroes" theme, is well executed, but that doesn't explain why five minutes of "Throne Room," (as well as its coordinated conclusion to the entire track) is heard here. Was there no inspiration to write a new arrangement? No time? A demand from Lucas? There has been much incredible music described above in this review, but Williams' choices thematically are open to a considerable number of questions. While these questions pertain to most of the score, the final two cues are the real curiosities. Why would Williams neglect to even hint at the "Luke and Leia" theme from Return of the Jedi in the birthing cue? He is certainly knowledgeable and forthcoming about his abilities to weave themes together; whether it's the hints of Leia's theme in the concert arrangement of "Han Solo and the Princess" from The Empire Strikes Back, the incorporation of Jabba's theme into the start of the racing sequence in The Phantom Menace, or the translation of the Emperor's theme into the song at the end of that same film, Williams is the master at subtle references. "Part of music for films that's very important is the melodic part, which is an opportunity for a composer to create a melodic identification for a particular character or a place, so that when you see that person, or that person is suggested even by someone's thought, that theme can be played and it's a link for the audience," Williams reminded listeners at the time of this score's release. "It's an aural identification, which provides an additional magnetism for the viewer. So in terms of atmosphere, identification of melody, action, choreographic timing elements in the music, it's really part of the corpus, the body of what a film is." If Williams really believes in maximizing this identification, then the lack of new, highly developed thematic material, as well as the end credits suites for Revenge of the Sith, are a contradiction to that statement. What's frustrating about this score is that the maestro does introduce so many flourishing and engaging new secondary themes for this film, whether it's on the lamentation half or alternately the parts that represent the rise of evil. No fewer than four strong new ideas go without full realization, and although this makes Revenge of the Sith a very engaging collection of compelling and technically adept underscore cues, its whole is sadly unsatisfying.

Learn about

The ultimate in thematic opportunities was missed with the end credits for Revenge of the Sith; with eleven minutes to work with, Williams could have reminded listeners of so much more, providing a minute or two from several more prominent and relevant themes from both trilogies. Given the composer's talent, the only logical conclusion to make about this misfire is that a sweeping summary of the saga was not allowed by Lucas. All three themes from The Phantom Menace were reprised in Attack of the Clones (including the "Flag Parade") and none of them receives treatment in the major cues provided for the album to Revenge of the Sith. Nothing is quoted from "Yoda's Theme" or "Luke and Leia," and, in at least what we have here, no use of the Death Star motif from A New Hope is available as we witness Governor Tarkin overseeing its initial construction. The theme for the Emperor is surprisingly absent, even though his meteoric rise occurs in this film. Only a complete album release will reveal Williams' attempts to incorporate more melodies in his shorter cues not heard on Sony's initial 72-minute album. That product includes a 70-minute DVD on which actor Ian McDiarmid (Senator Palpatine/The Emperor) introduces 16 music videos of major themes from the six films (listed below on this page). Williams summarized, "I was very impressed with this film, particularly the last third of it or so. The links that George has put into it really make the connections to the characters of Darth Vader, and the mother and the child; the familiar part of the mythology is so expertly woven together at the end of this film, and, I think, particularly beautifully shot." Unfortunately, Williams seems to have become entranced by the beauty and emotions of individual scenes in Revenge of the Sith and forgotten the days when the saga's music was defined by robust development of each new idea or sub-theme into something larger than life... something memorable at every turn. His music for the sixth film became seemingly lost in the era of spectacular special effects and expansive plot circles, and the cohesion of the overarching musical storyline is consequently diminished. Compared to its peers, Revenge of the Sith is, despite its great strengths in its individual cues of immense melodrama, the weakest of the six scores when compared amongst each other. In the end, The Phantom Menace reveals itself as the most characteristic Star Wars score of the prequel trilogy while Attack of the Clones features the best new theme and single cue ("Across the Stars" and "Finale," respectively). Although its dramatic posture dwarfs the rest of the trilogy, Revenge of the Sith is, in the tapestry of the Star Wars universe, the glittery but badly frayed edge. Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for the Film: *****
    Music as Heard in the Context of the Franchise: ****
    Music as Heard on Album: ****
    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 338,223 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 4.04 Stars
Smart Average: 3.78 Stars*
***** 8101 
**** 6605 
*** 3876 
** 1023 
* 457 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Re: Dies Irae
  Snake -- 9/18/13 (1:42 p.m.)
   Re: Grievous Speaks to Lord Sidious
  Bolillo -- 6/19/13 (7:56 p.m.)
   Dies Irae
  CelloBelle -- 2/18/13 (6:10 p.m.)
   Re: The Best Star Wars Score
  Misiek -- 9/18/10 (4:30 a.m.)
   Williams quotes McNeely!!!!!!
  Richard Kleiner -- 12/6/09 (10:57 p.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings: Total Time: 72:08

• 1. Star Wars and the Revenge of the Sith (7:31)
• 2. Anakin's Dream (4:46)
• 3. Battle of the Heroes (3:42)
• 4. Anakin's Betrayal (4:04)
• 5. General Grievous (4:07)
• 6. Palpatine's Teachings (5:25)
• 7. Grievous and the Droids (3:28)
• 8. Padme's Ruminations (3:17)
• 9. Anakin vs. Obi-Wan (3:57)
• 10. Anakin's Dark Deeds (4:05)
• 11. Enter Lord Vader (4:14)
• 12. The Immolation Scene (2:42)
• 13. Grievous Speaks to Lord Sidious (2:49)
• 14. The Birth of the Twins and Padme's Destiny (3:37)
• 15. A New Hope and End Credits (13:06)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes the following note from George Lucas:

    "Throughout the Star Wars films, John Williams has created a complete musical language to describe the characters and essentially tell the story of the saga. Episode III completes the Star Wars story; it also acts as a bridge to the original trilogy. In that way, the film has allowed John to add his own final chapter to the musical lexicon by creating brilliant new themes as well as drawing upon the rich legacy of music he has composed for the five other films over the past three decades. The film chronicles Anakin Skywalker's tragic turn to the dark side accompanied by such aggressively ominous music as Darth Vader's march, the Emperor's theme and a sweeping new piece that underscores the momentous duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan. In the end, the film reminds us that Anakin will eventually be redeemed through the determination and love of his children. John has beautifully captured this spirit of hope by reprising the most memorable music from the original trilogy, the themes of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. The balance of light and dark is central to Star Wars storytelling, and John has conveyed this expertly. His music for Episode III is joyous and adventurous at times, yet pulls us into the mournful and tragic as well. But as the saying goes, the darkest hour is always before the dawn, even the dawn of twin suns on a distant, arid planet."

The 70-minute DVD of music videos is hosted by actor Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine) and includes the following:

    • Chapter 1: A Long Time Ago ("Star Wars Main Title" from A New Hope)
    • Chapter 2: Dark Forces Conspire ("Duel of the Fates" from The Phantom Menace)
    • Chapter 3: A Hero Rises ("Anakin's Theme" from The Phantom Menace)
    • Chapter 4: A Fateful Love ("Across the Stars" from Attack of the Clones)
    • Chapter 5: A Hero Falls ("Battle of the Heroes" from Revenge of the Sith)
    • Chapter 6: An Empire Is Forged ("The Imperial March" from The Empire Strikes Back)
    • Chapter 7: A Planet That is Farthest From ("The Dune Sea of Tatooine/Jawa Sandcrawler" from A New Hope)
    • Chapter 8: An Unlikely Alliance ("Binary Sunset/Cantina Band" from A New Hope)
    • Chapter 9: A Defender Emerges ("Princess Leia's Theme" from A New Hope)
    • Chapter 10: A Daring Rescue ("Ben's Death/Tie Fighter Attack" from A New Hope)
    • Chapter 11: A Jedi is Trained ("Yoda's Theme" from The Empire Strikes Back)
    • Chapter 12: A Narrow Escape ("The Asteroid Field" from The Empire Strikes Back)
    • Chapter 13: A Bond Unbroken ("Luke and Leia" from Return of the Jedi)
    • Chapter 14: A Sanctuary Moon ("The Forest Battle" from Return of the Jedi)
    • Chapter 15: A Life Redeemed ("Light of the Force" from Return of the Jedi)
    • Chapter 16: A New Day Dawns ("Throne Room/Finale" from A New Hope)

  All artwork and sound clips from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith are Copyright © 2005, Sony Classical. The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 4/15/05 and last updated 9/13/11. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2005-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.