Top 10 Star Wars Soundtrack Pieces

With all of the ups and downs of the ever-expanding Star Wars universe, one factor that has consistently delivered is the music. John Williams’ undeniable wizardry has added its own level of magic to a pretty darn magical setting. The theme and several notable pieces are unmistakable even in the smallest doses. Many people view those few notable pieces as the only highlights while dismissing the rest as background filler. In reality, there’s no shortage of tracks that magnificently tell their stories with all the emotion that comes from its parentage.

 

I put some thought into it and came up with a list of my favorites. I’ll elaborate my decision with each choice. Every song title header is a hyperlink to a YouTube recording to make things easy if you’d like to check it out. Also, if you feel differently, or have your own favorite tracks, PLEASE leave them in the comments! There’s no such thing as too many options or opinions with the score of my favorite saga. Drumroll please…..

 

  1. Rey’s Theme

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A major highlight from The Force Awakens, Rey’s Theme is the most hopeful track on this list. It perfectly emulates the sense of adventure that was hard to find after Episode IV. It’s also a wonderful match for Rey’s character; carrying on John William’s knack for composing music that is practically synonymous with the character it’s written for. The theme compliments its character on a level beyond what is seen.

 

  1. Anakin’s Betrayal

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Easily among the most sorrowful pieces in the Star Wars soundtrack catalogue, Anakin’s Betrayal plays during the execution of Order 66. As the Jedi fall, Anakin’s allegiance to the light fades in desperation to the darkness. It’s a powerful track that underscores a turning point in the saga’s lore.

 

  1. The Throne Room/End Title

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It’s difficult to hear this track without visualizing the fanfare on Yavin 4 after the destruction of the first Death Star. You can just see RD2D bleeping away through a formal ceremony and Chewbacca making a fashion statement. Some of the end title music on the other movies feels like a rehash of the same tune whereas the seamless transition from the Throne Room to the end credits makes this far more likely to be played in its entirety whenever it pops up on my playlist.

 

  1. Imperial March

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What kind of top ten list would this be without mentioning the Imperial March? No elaboration needed there!

 

  1. The Destruction of Xizor’s Palace

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Yes, I am aware this piece was not featured in any of the Star Wars films. Here’s the best part – it’s a soundtrack written for a book. Shockingly, this selection also made the cut even though it was not composed by John Williams. The entire soundtrack was composed by Joel McNeely and performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for the fantastic book SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE by Steve Perry. If you haven’t read the novel, and are even remotely a Star Wars fan (I assume you are since you’ve made it this far in my rambling list), definitely check it out. Even though it’s part of the Legends line which exists outside of the post-Disney canon, it’s a hell of a story. They made it a big crossover event with some Darkhorse comics, a Nintendo game, and various toys. I won’t elaborate on the story but I will say that The Destruction of Xizor’s Palace is a longer piece which is set during the climax of the book. It’s filled with ups and downs with some nice nods to the Imperial March. The entire SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE soundtrack is a hidden gem in the mastery of Star Wars themes.

 

  1. The Battle of Endor I

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This long track plays alongside some of Return of the Jedi’s most important moments. The Battle of Endor is technically two tracks but the first is my favorite. Due to the way it is spread throughout the movie’s final act, the only way you can hear it in its entirety is to listen to the soundtrack. I do recommend any Star Wars fan check it out to relive the Rebellion’s last ditch effort (filmed, at least) to topple the Galactic Empire. There are certain moments that will delight you as you remember the exact moment in the movie it was set to.

 

  1. Battle of the Heroes

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Obi-Wan’s clash with Anakin is essentially the culmination of the prequel trilogy. Battle of the Heroes stresses the significance of this moment without a lightsaber to be found. The combination of chorus and orchestra accompanying percussion highlights allows you to visualize the grandiose spectacle of a brotherly bond coming to a dramatic end while surrounded by Mustafar’s hellish landscape. Although similar to the track ‘Anakin vs. Obi-Wan’, I feel it is a better representation of what the scene sought to accomplish.

 

  1. Torn Apart

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Ah crap! Not the feels again! Taking place in The Force Awakens during the scene that made me tear up in all three of my theatrical viewings AND my first Blu-ray viewing, Torn Apart tells a story of hope giving way to trepidation before collapsing entirely under the weight of darkness. Once it’s tone becomes tragically dire, it shifts into a more vengeful and fast paced finish. This track is perfect.

 

  1. Duel of the Fates

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The track that promotionally reintroduced the world to Star Wars while throwing us into a slightly longer time ago in a galaxy far, far away. This song alone set a high bar that its film simply couldn’t reach. Putting the film aside, Duel of the Fates is utterly fantastic. The vocals are powerful even if you can’t tell what the hell they are saying. Duel of the Fates showed us what Phantom Menace could have been without shying away from embracing that all on its own.

 

  1. Anakin’s Dark Deeds

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I rather enjoyed Revenge of the Sith. I’m captivated every time I see Anakin’s final decent into the Dark Side. The track has an ominously quiet opening that crescendos in an instant into dramatic choir lines underscored by a powerful orchestra. All throughout it’s like a tug of war between these dramatic crescendos and emotional segways of string and brass. A strong low brass component will always pull me in thanks to time playing the trombone long ago. ‘Anakin’s Dark Deeds’ is a perfect representation of one of the saga’s most pivotal character developments. When this pops up on my playlist, I usually end up repeating it once or twice because of its ability to move me.

 

 

So there you have it! Was your favorite on the list? If any of these are new to you I highly recommend you give them a shot.

LEGO Star Wars: Carbon-Freezing Chamber

March 1st was a release date for many of LEGO’s Spring line here in the States. As per usual, Star Wars had a very notable presence in this release wave. I was thrilled to see a renewed focus on recreating some of the most recognizable scenes for Star Wars lore in LEGO form. Moreover, I was even more excited to see that several of these sets were reasonably priced compared to many of the other high-ticket (and high brick count) releases leading up to now.

 

One set in particular caught my eye. I scoured the Richmond, VA area Target stores looking for this prized addition! It felt like I checked or rechecked a new store every other day only to be disappointed at their delayed receive to shelf time frame. Over the weekend I hit the jackpot, finally, and found my prize – the Carbon-Freezing Chamber!!

 

I giggled with geeky delight when I first saw the images of this set! The living room of my house is Star Wars themed (my hot wife’s idea, believe it or not). We have paintings of a zombified Storm Trooper, Vader, and Boba Fett. Our curtains have a stylish yet subtle Death Star print. The crown jewel is definitely our full-sized Han Solo in carbonite rug. My point behind revealing all of this, is that recreating the freezing chamber scene, one of the most famous scenes of the saga, is an opportunity that simply cannot be passed up.

 

LEGO Star Wars: Carbon-Freezing Chamber #75137

 

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I’ll start with the minifigures because they are utterly fantastic! First is a new mold – the Ugnaught. I can’t say this is a character I’d ever sought as a minifigure. These weird little aliens were at the controls when Han Solo was lowered into the steamy chamber. Even though I never thought enough about him to want a minifigure, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t found a place in my collection of obscure characters in the imaginative plethora that is Star Wars.

 

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Next up is one of my obvious top favorites, Boba Fett. This print is very similar to the desert skiff Boba. There is a bit more definition in the coloring giving the bounty hunter a cleaner look and his fabric cloak is cut to better emulate the pose he took in this famous scene. Mandalore’s finest hasn’t appeared in that many sets (even fewer priced below $30) so he’s a perfect component of the Carbon-Freezing Chamber.

 

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Han Solo in his glory days – it doesn’t get much better! I didn’t have Han in this outfit before now so I was thrilled to have him. His facial expressions are particularly well done here. Best of all – A LEGO VERSION OF HIM FROZEN! This piece alone is worth the cost of the entire set. The way it’s designed to allow the normal figure to step into, and securely remain in, the slab is brilliant.

 

 

Minifigures aside, the actual build was equally entertaining. It’s pieced together in an almost modular way that connects into a way that forms appropriately curved platform. My single complaint is that the stairs are two pre-built pieces. Had they made it something you had to build from scratch then there’s a chance the end product wouldn’t have looked as flawless but it still threw me off. They did make up for this a bit by having every orange translucent piece separate (see the previous picture of Boba Fett for a closer look).

 

The playability factor here is tremendously high. Clever mechanisms are built in for an elevator and for the platform Han stands on to be tipped back. Once tipped back it can be rotated using the same mechanism so he returns to the upright position in his famous frozen form. The control panel for the Ugnaught is thankfully printed rather than decal-applied because I despise decals!

 

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Here’s the rotating mechanism mid-turn.

 

Presentation is everything and this set nails it. Maintaining a LEGO collection can be frustrating due to the amount of space fully constructed sets take up. This concern often is the deciding factor in whether or not I buy a set. Minifigures are easy thanks to their low profile but full sets can take up a heck of a lot of space. With that said, I will be keeping this set intact on my shelf. Even fully constructed, the Carbon-Freezing chamber doesn’t occupy an inconvenient area. It’s made like a podium to present its faithful representation of the movie I love.

 

The awesome design and perfect minifigures are made even better by the fact that it’s priced at $24.99 (in most stores). I hope LEGO continues to put out sets at that price point that depict scenes as perfectly as the $100.00 and up sets. My next target is the Escape Pod #75136 which is set at the same level.

 

My rating of LEGO Star Wars: Carbon-Freezing Chamber #75137 is a perfect 10 out of 10.

 

10 out of 10

 

If you’re a collector and having found this one yet then it’s worth searching for. If you’re reading this as a Star Wars fan who hasn’t really dabbled in LEGO, this set could be the one that hooks you!

LEGO Star Wars Kylo Ren

 

Everything is awesome when it comes to LEGO’s brick by brick plot to take over the world. It’s easy to be a vocal supporter of these blocky overlords when they continue to innovate and captivate through releases like the Star Wars Buildable Figure lines. I loved every single piece of the General Grievous set that came out with the first wave. It’s no surprise that Kylo Ren drew my attention when the the second wave arrived!

 

LEGO Star Wars Kylo Ren 75117 (Quick Review)

 

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This was a much quicker build than General Grievous because Kylo Ren is obviously a smaller statured character than the menacing robot. LEGO did a good job compensating for the smaller piece count with some clever added functions for increase playability. My builds don’t get much play time on a display shelf, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the addition of playtime flexibility. One item that was particularly well executed is the use of fabric cloak/cape sections. If this hadn’t been done correctly (like it was) then it could have come off as too rigid or robotic looking.

 

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Kylo’s head piece is very well molded. It would have been neat to have some sort of removable section instead of one pre-built piece, however, the detail makes it an incredibly accurate depiction of the short-tempered villain. Having it be anything other than the one solid piece probably would have made it look disproportionate so it was a good move. 

 

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The lightsaber is well executed in terms of proportions. My main complaint is that it should have some kind of rough texture to properly allude to the uniquely unstable nature. If they’d added this detail it would have been absolutely perfect.

 

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All in all, this is a hell of a set. I’m more eager now than ever to get the remaining Buildable figures. My daughter has repeatedly asked for the Captain Phasma as a birthday present later this month. Once she builds that, I predict Kylo will have a temper tantrum along with the others in some sorely deserved playtime.

 

My rating of the LEGO Kylo Ren Buildable Figure is 9 out of 10.

 

9 out of 10