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Top Ten: Musical Moments From Star Wars

Dan Slessor picks his top ten musical moments across the series, we test our customers on their knowledge of John Williams’ themes, and an orchestral surprise at the opening of The Force Awakens at Vue.

1. “Main Theme” - Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
Is there a better way to kick off a film than with this almost impossibly rousing blast courtesy of Mr John Williams himself? If you can hear it without your pulse accelerating and being overcome by the desire to battle the evil forces of the Empire you clearly misspent your youth, doing things like playing outside, having friends, etc

2. “The Imperial March” - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Or as it’s perhaps better known, the MOST MAGNIFICENT AND OMINOUS PIECE OF MUSIC EVER WRITTEN. Really, how much would Darth Vader’s badass statement be diminished if he was instead accompanied by an Irish jig? In his head it probably plays every time he walks into a room, silencing the weaklings gazing upon him.

3. “Ewok Celebration” - The Return Of The Jedi (1983)
The greatest travesty that came from George Lucas tinkering with the original trilogy is he went and changed the darn Ewok song at the end of Jedi! Even Jar Jar Binks’ existence is less of a slap in the face! Bringing to a close the greatest trilogy of all time, it’s lively, gorgeous and draws a smile every time.

4. “Zam The Assassin And The Chase Through Coruscant” - Attack Of The Clones (2002)
At 11+ minutes the longest of the pieces making this list, it’s also one of the most kinetic, urgent and downright exciting, much like the visuals accompanying it. With Obi Wan and Anakin pursuing a would be assassin through the endless city the tribal-esque percussive thunder woven into the orchestral grandeur is simply awesome.

5. “Parade Of The Ewoks” - Return Of The Jedi (1983)
When it came to scoring everyone’s favourite fuzzy dumplings John Williams immediately grasped it was time to get playful, and the result is this wonderful nugget of music. Jaunty, lively, and more than a little bit silly it’s hard to imagine their tree-filled, somewhat hippy-ish world without it.

6. “Cantina Band” - Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
It’s jazzy, it’s funky, it makes you want to shake your butt and get into a bar fight with a mutant. Played by some seriously ‘idiosyncratic’ characters, this really is the perfect accompaniment to spending some time in a dodgy bar, rubbing shoulders with some less than salubrious individuals. And Han Solo.

7. “Qui Gon’s Funeral” - The Phantom Menace (1999)
SPOILER ALERT! Y’know, it would have been nice when the soundtrack to the first of the prequels was released if it had such a warning. Released before the film, any fan seizing their first touch of upcoming awesome learned a vital plot point, darn it. Still, it really is one of the most tender and beautiful themes of the series.

8. “Finale” - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
With almost unbearable drama, The Empire Strikes Back surges to its close, and everything is up in the air. Will Luke manage fulfill his destiny and vanquish the dark side? Will Han survive in that heinous block of carbonite? Will Chewbacca ever learn to use a comb? So many questions, and a suitably stirring soundtrack to boot.

9. “Lapti Nek” - The Return Of The Jedi (1983)
Not content with yanking the original Ewok song, Lucas swapped this out for an inferior track in the special edition too, and come on, this as close to sexy as the Star Wars universe gets! Drenched in sleazy swagger and sung by the irrepressible Sy Snootles and her snazzy band this is how the seedier element get down.

10. “The Final Duel” - Return Of The Jedi (1983)
It all came down to this moment. Father versus son. The light side versus the dark. The fate of the galaxy hanging in the very precarious balance. Pushed too far by Daddy Darth, Luke Skywalker’s blistering attack was the pivotal hissy fit of a generation, and it is literally impossible to hear this and not get chills. Literally.

John Williams' Star Wars themes is probably one of the most recognisable of all time. See the confusion that ensued when we asked Vue customers to sing it. And Indiana Jones. And Superman.
And visitors to Vue on the opening of The Force Awakens got an extra special surprise!