From the eerie depths of the Death Star to Luke Skywalker's quest for justice and identity, the music pervading the original Star Wars soundtrack created an unprecedented advance in motion picture music. Following the story line with amazing detail and sensitivity, John Williams' wonderfully orchestrated music transformed the science fiction wonder of the Star Wars universe into a believable reality far beyond what George Lucas could have done solely with his characters and special effects.
In Star Wars: A New Hope, the original edited soundtrack is present in its entirety along with previously unreleased segments of music representative of the new footage featured in the special edition re-release of the movie. Although the actual additions do not contribute anything significantly new to the musical dialogue, veteran Star Wars fans will be pleased that the supplementary pieces maintain the fluidity of the music instead of disrupting the original soundtrack's distinct sound.
During the title credits, Luke's theme opens the movie with an adventuresome flare and becomes the most prominent melody line throughout the film. Williams says that he "composed a melody that reflected the brassy, bold, masculine, and noble qualities" of Skywalker, and he doesn't disappoint. From then on, through the whole movie, each scene has a unique musical quality, weaving the melodic themes of each character into the mood where appropriate. The soundtrack finishes with the majestic "Throne Room" brass fanfare and the "End Title" theme--a combination of the movie's great theme melodies--to close the book on the first chapter.
In the package insert, Michael Matessino chronicles the instrumentation and plot background of each piece, offering details about last minute changes, insightful quotes from John Williams and details that will definitely interest the discerning musical aesthetic. At the end of the first half of the soundtrack, extra recorded takes of the opening main title credits are included to acknowledge the original musical progression, and along with Matessino's comments, to illustrate the process involved in determining the final cut. After so many years since the first release, these explanations in the special edition are an invaluable resource of information and technical definition.
Hope for a blockbuster return of Star Wars hasn't changed the beauty of the movie or its soundtrack. Over the past twenty years since the original recording by the London Symphony Orchestra, John Williams' musical masterpiece has permeated popular culture and become one of the most recognized movie soundtracks of all time. No one will ever forget the triumphant cry of the title credit prologue or the jazzy quirkiness of the Cantina Band jam. By combining his unparalleled dimension of sound with the already brilliant development of characters and scenes, Williams forged a musical imprint into the minds of moviegoers everywhere. Star Wars: A New Hope reinstills what the original soundtrack embodied and gives a whole new generation the opportunity to discover the magic of Williams' music and the greatest science fiction epic of all time.