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Comments about the soundtrack for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (John Williams)

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Re: regarding Duel of the Fates and Anakin's Theme
• Posted by: Mister Frodo
• Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2006, at 8:44 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: regarding Duel of the Fates and Anakin's Theme (J.)
• Now Playing: Star Wars Episode I Ultimate Edition: Anakin is Free

> I've read quite a few reviews of the Revenge of the Sith score now and
> many people seem to be disappointed at Williams' non-inclusion of Duel of
> the Fates or Anakin's Theme on the soundtrack release. A poster at AICN
> made a very good point about regarding Duel of the Fates. He referred to
> this theme as representing the different paths Anakin could have chosen:
> the Light or the Dark.

> In Attack of the Clones many were happy, yet baffled for its inclusion
> when Anakin was on his way to search for his mother. What's interesting is
> his reaction to his mother's death is when he chose his path. He acted out
> in anger and emotion and slaughtered the tuskens. Therefore, the Duel
> theme makes sense (on a personal level) and being that he's already chosen
> his fate (perhaps without knowing), Duel of the Fates has no place in
> Episode III (concerning Anakin at least).

No, on the Episode III DVD, George Lucas talks about how he didn't want to use Duel of the Fates for the Anakin-Obiwan fight because he felt it should be more personal. That's why we have Battle of the Heroes. I believe that Duel of the Fates is more of a default duel theme of good vs. evil (that's why it appears when Yoda duels the Emperor.) But your point is good too. As a good vs. evil theme, it can be used in Episode II when Anakin is searching for his mother.

> Of course, it was used during the duel of Maul, Obi-Wan, and Qui Gon. So
> how do I explain THAT? Well, in a much broader sense, the theme represents
> the conflict of the Light and the Dark... two good jedi duelling one evil
> sith. I'm sure Williams could have found some excuse to include it, but
> this final episode involves a much more personal conflict than the
> previous two films, so I'm glad Duel of the Fates (though a great theme)
> wasn't included on the soundtrack release and I'm hoping it's not in the
> film.

It is used in the film, when Yoda and the Emperor fight. I guess you hadn't seen the film yet.

> As far as Anakin's theme... I've always felt this particular them
> represented his innocence and his goodness. It also foreshadows his doomed
> fate, but by Episode III, he's not innocent and his goodness is leaving
> him fast. He's basically met that fate. Considering the soundtrack and the
> novel, I don't see a place for Anakin's theme.

I was little upset Anakin's Theme got little attention in both Episode II and III. It is in Episode III, but only in the film, not on the soundtrack, and it only appears once. This is, as you said, to highlight Anakin's last veins of innocence as it's used right before he resolves to save Padme (thus bringing him to the Dark Side.)

> A few others:

> Luke and Leia's theme would have been nice, but I don't think it takes
> away from anything with it not being there. They aren't developed
> characters yet and taking the overall story in a linear approach, their
> importance isn't quite known in Episode III (we all know, of course... but
> if these films were made in order, we wouldn't really know).

> The Death Star motif... I'm actually not familiar with it (gasp), but
> again, it's not developed yet, so it's absence doesn't hinder anything for
> me.

> Yoda's theme is tricky. I don't want to hear it in it's sweet, playful
> form. It wouldn't fit that way. An exciting variation would be nice,
> though (a la the Dooku vs. Yoda scene in Attack of the Clones). We'll see.

Yeah, they put it in as well, even though it doesn't appear much. I don't know why this didn't make the soundtrack.

> The Emperor's theme is not so tricky. It's absence on the soundtrack
> release scares me. More than any of the above mentioned themes, this one
> is actually NEEDED in this film. I was disappointed that it wasn't
> included on the soundtrack, but I'll be EXTREMELY disappointed if it
> doesn't play a decent role in the film.

Thankfully, it does play a role in the film. I'm still disappointed that neither the Episode II nor III soundtracks feature much Emperor's Theme. It plays a part in each film. Why doesn't Sony put it on the albums?!

> A New Hope and End Credits is a brilliant track. I don't understand the
> disappointment with this one. It gives us Leia's theme, Luke's theme, and
> the force theme within the first minute. THERE is your themes for Luke and
> Leia... we don't need the theme from Jedi. I like the end credits part
> (the star wars/luke theme)... it sounds more subdued, which is appropriate
> for this episode.

The Force theme is used as a reference to Binary Sunset in A New Hope. That's why it appears.

> I've listend the Revenge of the Sith the whole way through once so far. I,
> for one, am highly impressed. This holds more emotional weight than ANY of
> the previous scores. It's definately not as thematic, but neither was
> Attack of the Clones. I liked every track this go round and think it's the
> second best of all the scores. Empire will always be the best (one of the
> best if not THE best score ever written for any movie, IMHO). I'll
> probably update when I've listened to it a few more times.

Yeah, I agree. People seem to not like Episode III because it only has one major theme, but they ignore that Episode II had the same thing. I think the score for Episode III is awesome, emotional, and just plain brilliant. If Sony Classical doesn't release a 2-disc album soon, I'll get on my knees and beg. Seriously. I WANT IT.

> One more theme missing from the release... the music that played during
> the duel of Vader and Luke. That is my favortie cue from Jedi (the
> beautiful choral piece). I was expecting it for some reason, but now I'm
> kind of hoping it doesn't appear in this film. Between that theme and the
> Battle of the Heroes theme... well, the Jedi one is more important and
> more beautiful. It represented a family duel between Vader and Luke, where
> as Heroes is between old friends Obi-Wan and Anakin. So I'm glad Williams
> composed a different piece for this new duel. I feel the duels should not
> be really connected and by having the different themes, I feel this was
> accomplished.

Yeah, the Luke-Vader theme from Jedi could have been used, but instead Williams opted to use the Imperial March from the duel in Empire Strikes Back. I guess this was supposed to connect the two duels. Oddly enough, the Imperial March only plays during the first part of the Yoda-Emperor fight. Odd.

> Well, that's my two cents. Take it for what it's worth. I'd love to here
> others' thoughts on this. Later.

A good post. You might have had a little more information had you seen the movie first. But yeah, it was pretty insightful. Good job.

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