Soundtrack by John Williams

NOTE: I have some knowledge of the plot (but no special knowledge), and I do mention some scenes which have been shown in trailers. You might consider some of these SPOILERS.

Track listing for the original release:

  1. Main Title and Ambush on Coruscant
  2. Across the Stars (Love Theme)
  3. Zam the Assassin and The Chase Through Coruscant
  4. Yoda and the Younglings
  5. Departing Coruscant
  6. Anakin and Padmé
  7. Jango's Escape
  8. The Meadow Picnic
  9. Bounty Hunter's Pursuit
  10. Return to Tatooine
  11. The Tusken Camp and The Homestead
  12. Love Pledge and The Arena
  13. Confrontation with Count Dooku and The Finale

Main Title and Ambush on Coruscant

The Main Title is the familiar scroller music. Ambush on Coruscant begins ominously, as you might expect. Rolling waves of scales set a gorgeously distressed tone.

Across the Stars (Love Theme)

Fluidly phrased strings and brass swell majestically. The same theme is repeated at the end, much more quietly -- not bleakly, but as if a memory. This is, as Lucas has said, the first real love affair in the series. Its theme is, fittingly, beautiful and memorable.

Zam the Assassin and The Chase Through Coruscant

Zam's theme is presented as an almost random-sounding blend of discordant themes, building tension. During The Chase Through Coruscant, we hear pulse-pounding rhythms and, to the surprise and dismay of some fans, electric guitar. It's used sparingly, however, and I think it works.

Yoda and the Younglings

This track features a rare bit of choral work supported only by a harp, then the Love Theme, then quotes Yoda's Theme. After a minute or two of quiet experimentation by the Younglings, I presume, we hear the Force Theme, and then a bit more of the Love Theme. I suspect this track will mean more to me in context, after I've seen the film.

Departing Coruscant

The Force theme opens this nostalgic, majestic, and too-brief backward glance at Coruscant. There's not much to say here because there's not much to hear.

Anakin and Padmé

Lilting flutes, to represent Padmé I suppose, lead into a quiet statement of the Love Theme by a piano.

Jango's Escape

Sudden desperation! Bells clang in the background as a jumble of quick frenetic bits repeat their warning. Fanfares pronounce daring acrobatics as Jango Fett eludes his captors.

The Meadow Picnic

The Love Theme is in full flower here, set amid small flittering notes and, presciently, some ominous undertones which eventually overtake the beautiful melody, only to be pushed away at the end.

Bounty Hunter's Pursuit

Slower than Jango's Escape, but still insistent and wonder-filled. The title is ambiguous: is the bounty hunter in pursuit of someone, or is the bounty hunter being pursued? When I find out, I'll wait a while before spoiling it here.

Return to Tatooine

Like a childhood memory from long ago and far away, this theme floats at first on gossamer wings of soft scales. It takes solid form in the Force Theme, then Duel of the Fates, and eventually settles on a foreboding low brass theme.

The Tusken Camp and The Homestead

Wooden percussion, faint in the background, opens this tribal piece. Several minutes later, a crisis begins, inaugurating a run of those same scales, which lead into the first appearance of the Imperial March, which will become Darth Vader's theme.

Love Pledge and The Arena

Strings state the Love Theme, which is then amplified by a reed (clarinet?), and then reechoed by the entire orchestra. The Arena is a martial-sounding march, punctuated by furious battle (quite possibly the Last Stand), with the Force theme coming into play.

Confrontation with Count Dooku and The Finale

Here we hear the Imperial March in proper, as terrifying and thrilling as ever it was, made more so by being interwoven with the Love Theme. It is painfully clear why Jedi are forbidden passionate love along with other strong emotions, and why Anakin refuses to be limited in that fashion. We then hear the classic Finale theme, followed by a small reprise of each theme, ending with a contrast between a hopeful high flute and the ominous low Vader theme that ended Young Anakin's Theme in the last film.