|RSO RS-2-4201||Composed and Conducted by John Williams|
|Format: 2LP||Produced by George Lucas|
|--||Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra|
|Date of Purchase: July 19, 1984||Director: George Lucas|
|Cat. No. SC7||Academy Award|
German Title: Krieg der Sterne
Record 1, Side 1
1. Main Title (5:20)
Record 1, Side 2
5. Ben's Death and Tie Fighter Attack (3:46)
Record 2, Side 2
15. The Last Battle (12:05)
THE FILM -
Six years ago, George Lucas, the creator of AMERICAN GRAFFITI, began his first draft of a film that is certain to become a milestone in the space fantasy genre. The high-energy adventure unites the hardware of contemporary science fiction with the romantic fantasies of sword and sorcery. STAR WARS is an imaginative entertainment experience which takes the audience to an unknown galaxy thousands of light years from earth.
"l've always loved adventure films," commented writer-director George Lucas. "After l finished AMERICAN GRAFFITI, l came to realize that since the demise of the western, there hasn't been much in the mythological fantasy genre available to the film audience. So, instead of making 'isn't-it-terrible-what's-happening-to-mankind' movies, which is how l began, l decided that l'd try to fill that gap. l'd make a film so rooted in imagination that the grimness of everyday life would not follow the audience into the theater. In other words, for two hours, they could forget."
Producer Gary Kurtz and writer-director George Lucas, the team responsible for the highly successful AMERICAN GRAFFITI, began production three years ago to create this impressive space adventure. A whole new special effects shop was constructed to take advantage of computer technology to implement some of the most elaborate miniature and optical effects ever produced on film. The same care has gone into casting the unusual roles. Lucas, casting with the same approach he used on AMERICAN GRAFFITI, chose new, fresh talent for three of the five major roles. In the other two roles, he cast British veterans, Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing.
STAR WARS follows a young man, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), through exotic worlds uniquely different from our own. Leaving the small arid planet of Tatooine, Luke plunges into an extraordinary intergalactic search for the kidnapped rebel Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) from the planet Alderaan. Luke is joined in this adventure by Ben Kenobi (Alec Guinness), the last of the Jedi Knights, who were the guardians of peace and justice in the old days before the 'dark times' came to the galaxy: Han Solo (Harrison Ford), the dashing cynical captain of the Millennium Falcon, a Corellian pirate starship: Chewbacca, a Wookiee - a race of tall anthropoids with quasi-monkey faces and large blue eyes: and the robots, See-Threepio (C-3PO) and Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2). This odd band of adventurers battle Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing), the evil Governor of the Imperial Outland regions, and Darth Vader, the malevolent Dark Lord of the Sith, who employs his extrasensory powers to aid Governor Tarkin in the destruction of the rebeilion against the Galactic Empire. In the battle of Yavin, Luke engages in a terrifying climactic space dogfight over the huge man-made planet destroyer, Death Star.
George Lucas has summed up his feelings on the final realization of his half-dozen years of work: "It's fun - that's the word for this movie."
Two years ago around the time JAWS was being completed. director Steven Spielberg introduced George Lucas to composer John Williams and told Williams about STAR WARS. Steven's recommendation to George began to see fruition in December 1975 when George started discussing his film with John and gave him a script to read.
At first they talked about some music being composed and pre-recorded for the Cantina sequence. Eventually, George found a record that he liked and used for a temp track to give him a rhythmic continuity shot to shot.
Prior to STAR WARS, John Williams completed the score for BLACK SUNDAY and a Violin Concerto. Eariy 1977, Williams went up to Marin County and saw the second cut of the film. During the next two months, he wrote the score for STAR WARS.
JOHN WILLIAMS' APPROACH
Quite often filmmakers take records and put them in workprints as temporary (temp) material. John Williams commented. The music is usually restricted to something that they have heard or they remember hearing. This can limit the composer's own creativity if he follows in that direction rather than finding something that might be more exciting. However. in the case of George, the records he put on the track did one thing for me. It convinced me that George knew the idiom of the music he wanted in the picture.
George felt that since the picture was so original and so highiy different in all of its physical orientations - creatures unknown. places unseen. and noises unheard of - that the music should be on a fairly familiar emotional level. He didn't want electronic or concrete music. Rather, he wanted a dichotomy to his visuals, an almost 19th century romantic, symphonic score against these yet unseen sights.
What George's temp track did was to prove that the disparity of styles was the right thing for this film and l think his instincts were correct. This established the stylistic direction l went to in STAR WARS, which is first, tonal, and second, orchestral. It is all acoustic and natural.
I think its a very unusual approach to a futuristic film, but I think the music relates to the characters and to the human problems even for the non-humans. l think this film is wildly somantic and fanciful. George and l felt that the music should be full of high adventure and the soaring spirits of the characters in the film.
At one point. George talked of integrating selections from the classical repertoire with the score. 2001 and several other films have utilized this technique very well. But what l think this technique doesn t do is it doesn't take a piece of melodic material, develop it and relate it to a character all the way through the film. For instance, if you took a theme from one of the sections of Holst's "The Planets" and played it at the beginning of the film, it would not necessarily fit in the middle nor at the end of the film. On the other hand, I did not want to hear a piece of Dvorak here, a piece of Tchaikovsky there, and a piece of Holst in another place.
For formal reasons. I felt that the film wanted thematic unity. What l wanted to hear was something to do with a character here and something to do with the same character more developed there. l believed we needed melodic themes of our own which l could sort of bend around and put through all the permutations that l would need in the dramatic situations. George and l agreed that it gives the film a greater unity, a greater solidarity than it would have if we were to use a few odd bits from the repertory - however well they might fit a situation.
Normally l try not to read scripts because you tend to form your own images of the characters and locales in.your mind. Then when you look at the visualization of it in the film, it doesn't necessarily correspond to your preconceptions.
I would rather sit down in a projection room and watch the film from start to finish without any talking - like an audience. I prefer to react to its rhythmic impulses and feel its kinetic thrusts. From a composer's point of view, scripts lack the dynamics of the film that corresponds to music.
Princess Theme: l wrote a very romantic theme for Princess Leia. I thought of it in terms of when Luke sees her for the first time and he says how beautiful she is. It is a fairy tale type princess melody.
Luke's Theme: When l thought of a theme for Luke and his adventures, I composed a melody that reflected the brassy, bold, masculine, and noble qualities l saw in the character. When the theme is played softly, I tended towards a softer brass sound. But l used fanfarish horns for the more heraldic passages. This theme, in particular, brings out the full glow of the glorious brass section of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Ben Kenobi's Theme: l think of Ben Kenobi's theme as reflecting both him and, also, the Jedi Knights and the Old Republic that he remembers. It also serves to represent the Force, the spiritual-philosophical belief of the Jedi Knights, and the Old Republic. Like the Princess' Theme, it has a fairy tale aspect rather than a futuristic aspect. There is a lot of English horn in Ben's Theme which is often heard under dialogue. At other times, the melody becomes the heroic march of the Jedi Knights.
Darth Vader's Theme: Long ago, Darth Vader betrayed Ben Kenobi and the Jedi Knights. Now Vader represents the bad side of the Force. For his theme, l use a lot of bassoons and muted trombones and other sorts of low sounds.
I also wrote a theme for the little scrap and robot collectors on Tatooine, the Jawas, who sell R2-D2 and C-3PO to Luke's uncle. In addition, l composed a short motif for the Imperial forces' ultimate weapon, Death Star.
I felt the use of all these themes and the orchestrations give the score a kind of classic operatic quality.
l have never used an organized symphony orchestra before for a film. None of my assignments have either coincided with the availability of an orchestra and/or the need for one. In Los Angeles, there is only one orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It is rarely available for the kind of time one needs to record a motion picture score.
We recorded the score in London because the film was shot there. But besides that, there is no better place than London to do musical recording. We were very lucky because we wanted a symphonic sound and we were in London where great orchestras are available. In London we had a choice of four orchestras. We got the London Symphony Orchestra and l think they played beautifully. I have always been fond of them. I know the LSO a little bit better than the other orchestras because of my friendship with André Previn, their principal conductor. I felt that the LSO was, at least for me, the best They were wonderful, and they really brought something to this score.
Composer John Williams chose 74 of the approximate 90 minutes of the score for inclusion in the soundtrack album. Musical selections were not placed in the same order as in the film and several of them were combined.
Main Title Side 1: Track 1
Main title and prologue roll-up, the opening shots show an Imperial star destroyer, equivalent to an intergalactic battleship in the Imperial fleet, chasing and overtaking a Rebel blockade runner. The music segues to the final part of the end title music.
Musically. it begins with Luke's theme. The Princess' theme appears briefly: and then, prior to the segue, I use the Rebel spaceship fanfare at the appearance of the Rebel blockade runner. I combined a part of the end title with this opening music to give the beginning of the record the feeling of an overture. (5:20)
Imperial Attack Side 1: Track 2
Rebeis nervously wait aboard the Rebel blockade runner. Suddenly Imperial stormtroopers break in and a laser gun battle begins. During the initial attack, Princess Leia programs R2-D2 to find Ben Kenobi and get help. Robots, R2-D2 and C-3PO, leave for Tatooine in an escape pod. Darth Vader tortures an officer for information. Meanwhile, stormtroopers search for and capture the Princess. She is brought before Vader but will not provide him with information about the secret Rebel headquarters. An angry Vader orders a search for the departed robots.
The music is based a great deal on the Rebel spaceship fanfare. During the fighting, l interjected some battle music. Also, some quotations of the Princess theme can be heard as well. (6:10)
Princess Leia's Theme Side 1: Track 3
This third track is a straight-forward musical presentation of the theme. (4:18)
The Desert and The Robot Auction Side 1: Track 4
The escape pod from the Rebel blockade runner lands on the dry arid Tatooine desert. R2-D2 and C-3PO disembark, argue and walk off in separate directions. The music segues to the robot auction scene. The small, hooded Jawas, who are scrap and robot collectors, display their robots, including R2-D2 and C-3PO for Luke Skywalker's uncle. Luke and his uncle buy R2-D2 and C-3PO.
The desert music serves as an introduction to this first planet in the film. It reflects the robots' feelings about this untouched, unfriendly-looking planet. I segue from this to the Jawa theme which is heard over the auction. (2:51)
Ben's Death and TIE Fighter Attack Side 2: Track 1
This track begins near the end of Ben Kenobi's light saber fight with Darth Vader aboard the Death Star. The fight acts as a distraction so Luke, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO are able to board the Corellian pirateship and escape. Luke is sad at leaving Ben behind. As the ship leaves the Death Star, four TIE fighters follow in pursuit. Han and Luke battle the TIE fighters and win.
For "Bens Death" I used part of the Princess Theme in the beginning. l felt it had the most sweeping melody of all the themes in the score. This wildly romantic music in this tragic setting represents Luke's and the Princess' reaction to leaving Ben behind. (3:46)
The Little People Work Side 2: Track 2
R2-D2 is walking alone in a Tatooine canyon during the night. Suddenly he is captured by the Jawas. They carry him back to their huge sandcrawler, place a restraining bolt on R2-D2 and dump him into their scrap metal and robot storage hold. R2-D2 finds C-3PO already a prisoner in the sandcrawler. The next morning, Imperial stormtroopers find the escape pod abandoned by the two robots in the desert. (4:02)
Rescue of the Princess Side 2: Track 3
Luke, Han Solo and Chewbacca are trapped in the Death Star detention area corridor after they free Princess Leia from her cell. The group fights with the Imperial stormtroopers. The Princess blasts the garbage chute grating and the group finally escapes down the chute. The music segues to Luke and Princess Leia being chased by stormtroopers. Suddenly they are trapped at the Death Star's central core. Luke throws out a rope and they swing across the deep chasm to escape. The music segues to Han and Chewbacca being chased by stormtroopers. They escape through a rapidly closing blast door.
This music is a kind of swashbuckling version of the Princess' theme. It is a little bit tongue-in-cheek in tone with a very strong "Erroll Flynn" flavor like the music from a late 1930s adventure film. (4:46)
Inner City Side 2: Track 4
Luke, Ben, Han and Chewbacca approach Alderaan in the Corellian pirateship and see an Imperial TIE fighter. They give chase and are suddenly stunned by the sight of an enormous man-made satellite rocket, Death Star. They quickly attempt to retreat but are drawn into a Death Star hangar by a strong magnetic tractor beam. Segue to the Tatooine desert where Luke and Ben find a broken C-3PO. Ben and Luke bring C-3PO and R2-D2 to Ben's desert home. (4:12)
Cantina Band Side 2: Track 5
Ben and Luke enter a Mos Eisley cantina in search of a space pilot to get them off Tatooine. Ben meets Chewbacca while Luke gets in a fight with several surly creatures. Ben comes to his rescue. "Can you imagine," George Lucas suggested, "several creatures in a future century finding some 1930s Benny Goodman swing band music in a time capsule or under a rock someplace - and how they might attempt to interpret it?"
This is the only track that does not use members of the London Symphony Orchestra, and it is the only source music in the film. We used nine musicians, mostly jazz. They included one trumpet, two saxophones, one saxophone who doubled on clarinet, a Fender Rhodes piano, a Caribbean steel drum, assorted percussion, a drum and an Arp synthesizer for the bass. We mixed them so they sound a little bit strange, almost familiar but not quite. We filtered them so that it clips the bottom end of the sound. We attenuated the low end a little bit and reverbed them so that it slightly thins them out. (2.44)
The Land of The Sandpeople Side 3: Track 1
Luke and C-3PO search for the lost R2-D2 in the Tatooine desert. They are spotted by Tusken Raiders, the desert bandits of the area. While Luke and C-3PO find R2-D2 in a canyon, they are suddenly attacked by Raiders. C-3PO falls and breaks off his arm. Luke defends himself, is knocked unconscious and carried off. While the Raiders are ransacking the landspeeder, a strange animal cry resounds in the canyon which scares off the Raiders. Ben Kenobi mysteriously appears from the canyon shadows and rescues the group.
I used Luke's theme at the beginning. Then l introduced some music for the Tusken Raiders which is atonal and utilizes some wild percussion. The percussion included tuned logs. steel plates and slap sticks. (2:50)
Mouse Robot and Blasting Off Side 3: Track 2
Luke and Han Solo, dressed as Imperial stormtroopers, take the handcuffed Chewbacca down to the Death Star detention area. The group overpowers the guards and rescues Princess Leia from her cell. Segue to Han fighting with Imperial stormtroopers in the docking bay at Mos Eisley on Tatooine. Han escapes in his Corellian pirateship with his first mate, Chewbacca, Luke, Ben, R2-D2, C-3PO, and is chased by several large Imperial star destroyers.
I based this on Ben's theme. (4:01)
The Return Home Side 3: Track 3
As Ben, Luke, R2-D2 and C-3PO head towards the Mos Eisley spaceport, they come upon the wrecked sandcrawler. They find the Jawas dead and Ben realizes Imperial stormtroopers are tracking down the robots. Luke panics and races to his aunt and uncle's homestead only to find them dead and the farm destroyed. Meanwhile, Darth Vader has taken Princess Leia to the Death Star. There he tortures her to get her to reveal the secret Rebel headquarters.
Here l used references to Ben's and Luke's themes. Also, there is a kind of travelling version of the landspeeder motif which is that bouncing horn figure. The motif is always linked to Luke's theme in the score. (2:46)
The Walls Converge Side 3: Track 4
Luke, Han, Princess Leia and Chewbacca jump down the garbage chute into the trashmasher. Suddenly Luke is grabbed by a tentacle of the Dia Nogu and Han fights to pull Luke back. Then the walls begin to close together and the group helplessly fights to stop them. Finally C-3PO and R2-D2 come to the rescue and, at the last minute, stop the walls from crushing the group.
This music has no thematic connection with anything else. I wanted to create a dark threatening sound which would represent the jeopardy of the group. I intentionally used low end music so it would co-exist with the grinding sound effects of the big steel walls. (4:31)
The Princess Appears Side 4: Track 1
In the repair shop on Uncle Owen's farm, Luke begins cleaning up the newly acquired R2-D2 and C-3PO. Luke accidentally hits a connection on R2-D2 which causes a small portion of the hologram of Princess Leia asking for help to appear. Segue to Luke watching the sunset and thinking about finding the missing R2-D2 and leaving Tatooine forever.
Originally, I scored the scene with Luke's theme. When George heard it, he asked if l could replace it with Ben's theme. George's feeling was that since Luke dreamed of leaving Tatooine and becoming an adventurous spacepilot, Ben's theme is better in that context. It gives a reflective, contemplative feeling to the score. (4:04)
The Last Battle Side 4: Track 2
Princess Leia, Luke, Han, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO arrive at the secret Rebel headquarters on the fourth moon of Yavin. The Rebels are briefed about the dangerous Imperial Death Star and a retaliatory attack is planned. Luke joins the rest of the Rebel pilots as they prepare their X- and Y-wing fighters to meet the approaching Death Star. The Rebel fighters attempt to make their bombing runs as Darth Vader leads his Imperial TIE fighters into a dramatic dogfight over the Death Star. Finally Luke, on his final run, drops a bomb and hits the vital shaft. The few remaining Rebel ships retum to the base.
This section includes a lot of difficult but very exciting battle music. It's a kind of potpourri of all the musical material in the film. I included most, if not all, of the themes in the film. They are pushed around, in and out, here and there, to lend themselves to the rapidly changing story line. (12:05)
The Throne Room and End Title Side 4: Track 3
Luke, Han and Chewbacca walk down the aisle of the large throne room. Princess Leia presents them with medals and C-3PO introduces the newly repaired R2-D2. This is followed by the end title music over the production credits.
A big fanfare begins the throne room scene. I used Ben's theme as a triumphant parade fanfare as the group walks down the aisle. It represents the re-establishment of the values Ben believed in over the tyranny of the Galactic Empire. I used a theme l am very fond of over the presentation of the medals. It has a kind of "land of hope and glory" feeling to it, almost like Coronation music... Over the end credits, as George's name appears, l return immediately to Luke's music and the Rebel spaceship fanfare. This is followed by a medley of all the musical material over the production credits which ends in a blaze of wonderful brass from the London Symphony Orchestra. (5:28)
(Liner Notes by Charles Lippincott