|RCA VICTOR 09026-68748-2 (Bookbound)||Composed and Conducted by John Williams|
|Format: 2CD||Produced by John Williams|
|Total Playing Time: 148:03||Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra|
|Date of Purchase: April 10, 1997||Director: Richard Marquand|
|Cat. No. SC28||Academy Award Nomination|
German Title: Die Rückkehr der Jedi-Ritter
CD 1 (73:18)
RETURN OF THE COMPOSER
THE SPECIAL EDITION
The road leading to this complete presentation of the music from RETURN OF THE JEDI has been long but worthwhile. The original soundtrack album as released on Friday, May 20, 1983, five days before the premiere of the film, differed from its predecessors in a number of ways. Three years earlier, a 2-LP EMPIRE soundtrack had been released that was very much like the phenomenally successful STAR WARS album. By 1983, however, the vinyl format was beginning its demise, and uncertainty about the future viability of soundtracks dictated the release of one LP for JEDI instead of two. Some additional music later appeared on re-recordings, but even including these only twenty percent of Williams' work was actually available In 1993 a boxed-set anthology presented a considerable portion of unavailable material, but many sought-after cues continued to elude soundtrack aficionados. Now on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of STAR WARS and the theatrical release of the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition, the entire score for JEDI has been assembled into a seamless chronological presentation, with all music completely re-mastered from original elements for unprecedented quality. Also included are two newly recorded tracks for the Special Edition. The debut of this complete score is an invitation to the ultimate musical odyssey as well as a testament to John Williams' tireless creativity and to the enduring appeal of the music of STAR WARS.
The TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FANFARE (1) by Alfred Newman (head of Fox's music department from 1939 1960) once again provides a prelude to the classic STAR WARS MAIN TITLE (2) by John Williams, transporting viewers and listeners to a galaxy far, far away, where an Imperial Shuttle is seen APPROACHING THE DEATH STAR (2). The music opens eerily, creating a military mood and then building to the famous "Imperial March" from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK as Darth Vader's ship lands on the colossal, uncompleted bat tie station. Several broad strokes of the theme are heard as the Dark Lord disembarks, informing the station's commander of the imminent arrival of the Galactic Emperor After a bold resolution of Vader's theme, the music continues with TATOOINE RENDEZVOUS (2), most of which accom panies a sequence eliminated from the film. In it, Vader uses the Force to contact his son, Luke Skywalker. The tone of the music changes with the appearance of a synthesizer and dis sonant strings, which Williams uses to gracefully transform the setting to the desert planet Tatooine. The next thirty minutes of music are imbued with dark complexity as Luke and his companions embark on the rescue of Han Solo from the notorious gangster, Jabba the Hutt. Eerie tonalities of welling woodwinds and abrasive brass seem to emerge directly from the dingy, cavernous environment as the heroes encounter a repulsive den of bizarre alien creatures. The sequence begins with the brief telepathic exchange between Luke and Vader, which is broken by the appearance of droids Artoo-Detoo and See-Threepio, accompanied by Luke's theme and a playful bouncing wind melody as Luke places a newly constructed lightsaber inside Artoos domed head. This motif continues as heard in the film with the arrival of the droids at Jabba's imposing desert fortress. The track concludes with unused short phrases for the opening of the palace door and the droids' encounter with Bib Fortuna, Jabba's majordomo. As THE DROIDS ARE CAPTURED (3), the strings and brass create an atmosphere of jeopardy as the robots are shown the carbonite effigy of Han Solo before being escorted to a droid labor pool. BOUNTY FOR A WOOKIEE (4) begins with a sustained piercing chord, followed by brass and wind phrases leading to Jabbas theme on the tuba as the mercenary Boushh appears with Chewbacca. A violin phrase leads to a quieter, woodwind rendition of Jabba's theme which plays under the negotiation for Chewbacca's bounty, with brass emerging as Boushh threatens Jabba with a thermal detonator The eerie atmosphere continues in HAN SOLO RETURNS (5), with a series of flourishes of dissonant strings, brass, and percussion accompanying the stealthy movements of Boushh and building to the unfreezing of Han Solo. A moment later, a brass crescendo leads to EMPIRE's love theme as the bounty hunter is identified as a masked Princess Lela. Jabba's theme then interrupts as the crime lord and his cronies trap the pair and take them prisoner. In LUKE CONFRONTS JABBA (6), various flourishes of strings, brass, winds, and percussion appear over a foundation of sustained low notes (augmented by synthesizer) as the Jedi Knight arrives the next day, using the Force to bypass Jabba's guards and face the formidable mobster Jabba's theme appears briefly, followed by a tense build-up of strings, and an explosion of brass as the floor drops away and Luke plummets into the DEN OF THE RANCOR (6). The score's first action cue is filled with threatening brass and winds, and punctuated by clanking percussion as Luke battles the gigantic monster kept in a cave beneath Jabba's audience chamber. Both the Force theme and Luke's theme appear mid-way through the cue. Luke kills the beast by bringing down a spiked gate upon it, and SARLACC SENTENCE (6) begins, the timpani and synthesizer marking the creature's last gasp of life. Strings and brass return as Luke, Han and Chewie are brought before Jabba, who decrees that these defiant enemies will be thrown into the mouth of a desert-dwelling beast, while Leia and the droids will remain Jabba's servants. THE PIT OF CARKOON (7) is heard as Jabba's sail barge arrives at the Sarlacc's nesting place. Jabba's theme plays over tense strings as Luke threatens the underworld leader one final time. With mocking laughter as the only response, the SAIL BARGE ASSAULT (7) commences. Punctuated horn blasts lead to a full statement of Luke's theme as Artoo propels the concealed lightsaber into his master's hand. Williams now delivers a satisfying musical pay-off to the Tatocine sequence a bold action cue filled with familiar orchestrations of the Rebel fanfare as the heroes unite in battle against Jabba's bandits. Vigorous trumpet statements of Luke's Theme are heared as the Jedi displays his newly refined talents, and Jabba's theme occurs as Princess Leia uses her slave chain as a death weapon against her over-bearing master. The piece ends with a victorious brass crescendo as the sail barge is transformed into a huge inferno in the desert and the Rebels make haste to depart Tatooine. A new dramatic sequence begins as THE EMPEROR ARRIVES (8) at the Death Star, starting with the first of three successive cues in which both Luke and Vader are separately counseled by their masters and mentors. A "call to arms" for solo trumpet and horn precedes a full-bodied statement of Darth Vader's theme, the music quieting into the first occurrence of the Emperor's theme, a wonderfully malevolent motif for which a men's choir is employed. Another statement of Vader's theme ends the scene, the action moving to APPROACHES ENDOR (10) begins with descending horns as Dagobah for THE DEATH OF VODA (8). Continuing an innovation established in EMPIRE, Williams beautifully integrates the themes for Luke, Yoda, and the Force as the Jedi Master gives final counsel to Luke from his deathbed. As the end nears, Williams initiates an abbreviated version of Voda's theme by making the third note a half-step lower and the fourth note a half-step higher, narrowing the melodic intervals. Back at his X- wing, a distraught Luke is surprised by the sudden appearance of the spectre of Ben Kenobi. OBI-WAN'S REVELATION (8) was written as underscore for the old Jedi's disclosure of the mystery of Luke's past, but only the very end is used in the film. It features an appropriately celestial arrangement of Ben's theme that ultimately leads to Leia's theme as the identity of the Princess is revealed. Another "call to arms" fanfare takes the action to the Rebel armada, where the fleet is massing for a major offensive against the Galactic Empire. Underscoring the mission briefing given by the Rebel leaders aboard the headquarters frigate, ALLIANCE ASSEMBLY (9) is a stately military cue featuring an optimistic progression of chords arranged for brass and strings, culminating with flutes playing Luke's theme. The piece rounds out as the action moves to the docking bay. SHUTTLE TYDIRIUM APPROACHES ENDOR (10) begins with descendings horns as Han, Luke, Leia, Chewie, and the droids launch in a stolen Imperial craft. Their mission: infiltrate the Imperial complex on Endor and deactivate the Death Star's protective shield. Once under way, the action quickly moves to the command tower on the battle station, where ominous chords of strings, low winds, and choir are heard as the Emperor dispatches Vader and the Starfleet. For the shuttle's approach to the forest moon, descending horns and strings are used, with themes for Vader and the Force juxtaposed as son and father each detect the other's proximity. SPEEDER BIKE CHASE (11) begins the action on the moon of Endor as the Rebels spot Imperial biker scouts in a forest clearing. Suspenseful chords lead to a burst of trumpets as Han's ambush fails and the chase begins. The music segues to LAND OF THE EWOKS (11) as Luke returns to Han, with descending horns and winds entering as they realize the Princess is missing. The action then - moves to the unconscious Leia and her discovery by a lone Ewok. Williams introduces the whimsical, primitive Ewok theme during the humorous encounter, but it comes to an abrupt end as a sniper is detected in the nearby woods. When Lela suddenly finds herself held at gunpoint by a biker scout, the Ewok provides a diversion. Williams weaves Princess Leia's theme into an explosion of brass and percussion as she overpowers the trooper and shoots the sniper, unfortunately destroying the pair's speeder bikes in the process. The Ewok theme then leads to sharp trumpet bursts that take the action to the Death Star. The Imperial theme is heard as Vader enters the throne room to inform the Emperor of the presence of his son and Rebel commandos on the sanctuary moon. The Emperors theme returns in the scene, followed by Leia's theme and the love theme as Han and Luke continue the search for the lost Princess. A passage for winds enters as Chewbacca loads the others to what turns out to be an Ewok hunting trap. Playful winds and strings are hoard as the group is caught in a net. After R2-D2 provides a means of escape, rumbling percussion and eerie winds and strings underscore the appearance of the Ewoks as they surround the heroes and hail Threepio as a deity. THE LEVITATION (12) of Threepio at the Ewok village is Luke's resourceful way of convincing the forest dwellers to release the captives. Soaring strings are heard over the Force theme, and the piece finishos with a number of flourishes as Leia is reunited with herfriends THREEPIO'S BEDTIME STORY (12) features primitive" orchestrations of the themes for Luke, the Force, Vader, and the love theme as the droid imparts the Rebels' galactic adventures to the Ewoks in order to win their support. Source music from the Jabba the Hutt sequence is presented at the end of Disc One. JABBA'S BAROQUE RECITAL (13) is hoard as the crime lord is first introduced following track 21. This is followed by JEDI ROCKS (14), a song newly composed and arranged by Jerry Hey for the expanded Special Edition sequence in which Jabba's guests are entertained by an ensemble of alien musicians (following track 3). The disc closes with SAIL BARGE ASSAULT [alternate] (15), a straightforward action cue that was dropped when it was decided to use more of Luke's theme and the Rebel Fanfare for the sequence, which in this version are heard only at the beginning. The occurrence of Jabba's theme and the brass finale are similar to the final version (track 7), and there is also an interesting use of a passage later incorporated into the concert version of "The Forest Battle" (CD2, track 12).
The second disc begins with formal concert suites of the two themes that depict the essential elements of the story's climax. PARADE OF THE EWOKS (1) is a marching version of the theme for the diminutive Endor natives who will withstand an onslaught of Imperial technology using primitive but effective weaponry. LUKE AND LEIA (2) completes the story's trio of Romantic melodies. Unlike the innocent "Princess Leia's Theme" from STAR WARS and the wildly fanciful "Han Solo and the Princess" from EMPIRE, "Luke and Leia" is infused with a virtuous maturity that embodies the enlightenment of the two characters and the full comprehension of their destinies. The concert suite gracefully leads back to underscore with BROTHER AND SISTER (3), which plays as Luke confides the family history to Leia. Beginning with a poignant string phrase, the Force theme is then prayed by the oboe, followed by the return of the abbteviated Yoda's theme introduced as the Jedi Master dies (CD1, track 8). Williams now truncates it further by taking the second note of the theme down a major third instead of a fifth, removing its melodic quality entirely and transforming it into a foundation on which the new theme for Luke and Leia is introduced by the cellos. The Force theme returns as Luke leaves to face Darth Vader, followed by a brief restatement of the Luke and Leia theme which modulates its way into EMPIRE's love theme as Han Solo appears to comfort Leia, FATHER AND SON (3) continues the action with sinister orchestration and pounding percussion as an Imperial walker delivers the surrendered Luke to Lord Vader a forest landing platform. After statement of the m a dramatic, gothic passage underscores the exchange before the Force theme appears. Eerie strings are heard as Luke's determination to redeem his father is developed. The scene ends with a bold rendition of Vader's theme as Luke is taken away, and a brief statement of Luke's theme as Vader ponders his son's words. Rhythmic winds begin THE FLEET ENTERS HYPERSPACE (3), heard as Han, Chewie, and Leia plan their strike on the Imperial base, The Ewok theme returns as Threepio is informed of a secret entrance, which leads to a grand trumpet arpeggio as, back at the Rebel armada, the snub fighters take flight led by Lando Calrissian. In the Millennium Falcon, Williams incorporates the "throne room" motif from the final scene of STAR WARS as Lando leads the fleet into hyperspace. Shades of the motif heard in "Tatooine Rendezvous" (CD1, track 2) appear in HEROIC EWOK (3) as the furry allies lead the Rebels to an Imperial control bunker complex. The Ewok theme is used as one of the creatures steals a speeder bike, leading away all but one of the guards. As the track ends, Han captures the remaining soldier and the Rebels enter the bunker. Vader's theme is heard as Luke is escorted to the EMPEROR'S THRONE ROOM (4), with various permutations of the Emperor's theme heard over the initial encounter. THE BATTLE OF ENDOR I (5) marks the beginning of a remarkable feat by Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra Ä over thirty minutes of continuous action music for the climax of the trilogy. Into the Trap underscores the capture of the Rebels at the bunker and the arrival of the fleet in the Endor system. The Imperial theme is heard as Lando sees the Death Star for the first time, and a portion of Luke's theme occurs as the fighters assume attack position. A syncopated brass phrase leads to the Rebel Fanfare as TIE fighters engage them and the Rebels realize that the Death Star's shield has not yet been deactivated. Forest Ambush returns the action to the control tower as Luke's temptation by the Emperor begins. On Endor, Han and the Rebels are surrounded by a legion of troops, but the Imperial theme is heard as the droids lead the stormtroopers into an Ewok trap. Breakneck action music marks the beginning of Scout Walker Scramble as pandemonium erupts, with Ewoks, Rebels, stormtroopers, Imperial Speeder bikes, and walkers scattering in all directions, the forest suddenly exploding with combat. As Han and Leia return to the secured bunker door, the action moves to outer space, where four classes of Rebel fighters and the Falcon are protecting the Rebel cruisers from TIE fighters and interceptors. The Imperial theme is heard as the Star Destroyers mysteriously hold position. Soon the reason is clear: the Death Star is actually armed and operational - as revealed when the Prime Weapon Fires, wiping out Alliance frigates with one blow. The action music for the rest of the track accompanies the continuation of combat both on and over the planet, the Rebels losing ground on both fronts. THE LIGHTSABER (6) begins with Vader's theme and continues with the Emperor's theme as Luke finally succumbs temptation and summons his weapon from the Emperor' side. On Endor THE EWOK BATTLE (6) underscores an optimistic turn of events - the seizing of a scout walker by Chewie and the Ewoks, who at last turn firepower on the Imperials and lead the enemy forces into an array of Ewok traps - all as Williams elaborates on the Ewok theme and punctuates th action with "native war calls." THE BATTLE OF ENDOR II (7), starts with a run of bras which quiets as Leia Is Wounded. The love theme is heard a Leia shoots two troopers. A moment later, Chewie arrives with the commandeered walker. The action cuts to the Death Star as The Duel Begins. Themes for the Emperor and the Force represent both the mutual and individual conflicts of Luke and Vader. The orchestra builds briefly as Luke leaps to an over head platform, followed by the Force theme and a bombastic rendition of the Emperor's theme as the combat continues. Overtaking the Bunker is heard as Han disguises himself as a officer in order to capture the remaining Imperials and set explosive charges on the shield generator controls. In The Dark Side Beckons, a synthesizer augments the climactic sequence where Vader searches for Luke beneath the throne room. As the Dark Lord reads Luke's thoughts and Leia's true identity is exposed, Luke's fury is released, the orchestra and chorus reaching operatic proportions as Vader is vanquished by his enraged son. The Emperor's theme appears as he expresses twisted approval, but the Force theme is played as Luke refuses to turn to the dark side. Action music is heard as the shield generator explodes, with the Rebel Fanfare occurring as Lando finally leads the fighters toward the Death Star. The Emperor's Death features a full-bodied statement of the Emperor's theme as the raw power of the dark side is savagely unleashed on Luke. The orchestra and chorus reach a great crescendo, with the Force theme erupting triumphantly as Vader comes to his son's rescue, throwing the Emperor full force into a reactor shaft at the expense of his own life. THE BATTLE OF ENDOR III (8) begins with Lando leading the snubfighters in a Superstructure Chase, pursued by TIE fighters. Here Williams applies concert arrangements of material from STAR WARS, which culminates with the destruction of Darth Vader's Star Destroyer, the Executor. By contrast, Darth Vader's Death presents something entirely new - a bittersweet rendition of the Imperial March played in succession by violins, flute, oboe, French horn, and harp as Vader is unmasked and dies in his son's arms. The battle reaches its final climax as Lando and the fighters approach The Main Reactor scored with a grand passage for trumpets that contains a brief rendition of Luke's theme as the young Jedi escapes the collapsing Death Star. The cue reaches a joyous conclusion that marks the pulverizing of the battle station into a blinding, planet-sized ball of fire that can be seen from the forest below. The theme for Luke and Leia is followed by the love theme as Han receives LEIA'S NEWS (9) and the couple resolve the awkwardness of their romance. LIGHT OF THE FORCE (9) follows, which is comprised of two versions of the music written for the scene where Luke destroys forever the persona of Darth Vader. Both versions present stately renditions of the Force theme. After three films full of destructive explosions. tire takes on a purging power as Luke sets the funeral pyre ablaze, while overhead, Rebel fighters set off spectacular fireworks in the night sky. A chanting voice then calls the entire galaxy to a VICTORY CELEBRATION (10), a section of music composed by John Williams for the extended Special Edition finale. The new footage shows celebrations around the galaxy as fireworks are set off on Bespin and Tatooine. Finally, the grandest revelry of all is seen on the Imperial throne world of Coruscant. Returning to Endor, the Ewoks are hosting a party of their own, with guests of honor Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, See-Threepio, Artoo-Detoo, and Princess Leia. They are soon joined by Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker - the only one aware of the presence of three others: the ethereal images of Ben Kenobi, Yoda, and Anakin Skywalker, the latter now reclaimed by the light side of the Force and smiling proudly at his son as the music reaches a triumphant climax of percussion and choir. Thus the trilogy closes, and over the END TITLE (10) Williams recalls Luke's theme and the Rebel Fanfare before presenting the film's two new themes, "Parade of the Ewoks" and "Luke and Leia." The main STAR WARS theme then returns, followed bythe Rebel Fanfare and a statement of the "throne room" motif, bringing dramatic closure to the trilogy with a glorious resolution. Source music for the Ewok village is presented at the end of Disc Two. EWOK FEAST (11) is heard as Luke, Han, and Chewie are first taken to the treetop colony (following CD1, track 11). The track then segues to PART OF THE TRIBE (11), played as the Ewoks ceremonially commit to helping the Rebels (following CD1, track 12 and preceding CD2, track 3). Both cues feature combinations of innovative percussion and were the last cues recorded for the film. Disc Two comes to a close with the rhythmic and rousing concert version of THE FOREST BATTLE (12), in which Williams expands upon the material in "The Ewok Battle" (track 6) to create a musically autonomous suite which serves as a fitting "encore."
- MICHAEL MATESSINO