In 1977, John Williams composed music for a medium-budget science-fiction movie directed by George Lucas. He planned following this up with five more films based on the same intergalactic theme. Strangely, this first film would not be the first of the saga, because of financial difficulties and inadequate technology in special effects to portray a futuristic vision of the world; consequently, it was Episode IV, a prelude to the first trilogy of Star Wars which was the only one of the six movies to be made successfully at that stage of cinema history.
The phenomenal success of Episode IV encouraged Lucas to continue his voyage in space with successive episodes, V in 1980 and VI in 1982. For each movie Lucas experiments with new cinematographic technology to create new breakthroughs in the fantastic world of Space.
Lühl released a CD with his STAR WARS transciptions for two pianos. Because of the considerable length of the complete Star Wars music, it was hence necessary to make a selection for this CD of the most important pieces which retrace the Saga best.
Below you can watch some of Lühl's live concert videos in a chronological film order.
The Main Title is the initial fanfare heard six times in the Saga. Here, Williams wrote a concert piece by reusing the musical material of the first two minutes of this main fanfare with an ending which takes up the credits using again Leia’s theme.
Version for piano solo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIwEDj2hdyM
Version for 2 pianos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyraoC-TFSk
The Flag Parade is a martial theme from Episode I which does not appear in the other episodes, but was restructured by Williams from the film to produce a concert piece entirely on its own, longer and richer in its musical progression.
Version for 2 pianos: http://rutube.ru/video/f303a44d1a8608045901922cd1e0e88f/
Anakin’s theme was composed with the goal of showing a young and naive character already attracted to the dark Side of the Force. Williams, at the end of the theme subtly inserts a musical reference to the Imperial March from Episode V. From Episode I to the Imperial March Anakin ages and goes over to the dark side. The two themes from the Saga’s beginning are finally interwoven.
Version for piano solo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf1NaONvRdE
Version for 2 pianos: http://rutube.ru/video/673f0cf4e9872f8748d949d7453e7f12/
Version for piano & orchestra: http://rutube.ru/video/9dee91bf4dd6cd5c5f30671f2b320134/
The Adventures of Jar Jar briefly quotes Anakin’s theme, lightning the burlesque side of the character, an aspect which we will find again in Episode IV with the Ewoks.
Duel of the Fates brings in a large choral theme. It is a duel between the choir and the powerful orchestra. This film is one of the threads linking the first trilogy, but doesn’t appear again after Episode III. There is a piano duel on stage as well as a light sabre duel on the screen.
Version for piano & orchestra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPBGwov_c1I
Versoion for 2 pianos: http://rutube.ru/video/447726fef2241508b94df681be8dc553/
Featuring original film footage: http://rutube.ru/video/21d6abbcc1265f3dce1bd68cd0f8aca6/
Across the Stars makes reference to the great Hollywoodian films, portraying the panoramic breath and the epic side of a long sentimental tragedy. The end of this piece of music comes directly from the film’s credits and not from the concert piece, because in the credits Anakin and Darth Vader first appear musically.
Versoion for piano solo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztuacJOLQgM
Version for 2 pianos : http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3cq7aa_star-wars-ii-across-the-stars-for-2-pianos_music
Version for piano & orchestra: http://rutube.ru/video/a314d839a52ccf1631b3783d5020fdab/
Battle of the Heroes, also a choral theme of Episode III, was too short in the symphonic version to finish the first part of a concert programme, but the end credits are of great importance for the transition between the two trilogies and consequently the two parts of a concert programme. Not only is it four minutes longer but it allows us to hear the final sequence of the credits for the Star Wars films, absolutely necessary for the end of every episode’s ending, and Leia’s theme, a character present from her birth at the end of Episode III and the key role in the second trilogy.
Version for piano & orchestra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNhrvsVWdg0
Version for 2 pianos: http://rutube.ru/video/0a7ecd27f1129de13db0644a89e6e4dc/?ref=search
Featuring original film footage: http://rutube.ru/video/41a8c16f9fc2577aa0c67222613ff603/
Finally, we enter into Episode IV with Leia’s theme whose ending recalls Across the stars. The harmonic breadth of the theme gives epic energy to the preceeding music.
Version for piano & orchestra : http://rutube.ru/video/0a474edd8b5da74233034fac7f95d262/
Throne room & End Title (from Episode IV) According to his personal way of composing, Williams used to compose a genuine piece of symphonic music for the end scroll. Following the majestic fanfare, this piece has been freely expanded by Williams during the end credits.
Version for 2 pianos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxzjokDFOKg
Featuring original film footage: http://rutube.ru/video/e013820b32d3b78147580bbb94838e04/
Yoda’s theme, the wise Jedi aged 900 years which had already been a part of a musical transformation which became a concert piece at the time of Leia’s theme and the Imperial March. Here, it is played in its entirety.
Version for 2 pianos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXpKiXbTwpY
Han & Leia (Episode V) Han kisses princess Leia inside the Millenium Falcon; a decivie turn of the tide for what is about to follow (mayby also in the future episodes 7, 8 and 9?)
Version for 2 pianos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hgOg42DUrA
The Imperial March is also a formidable masterpiece, not on just the aesthetic plane but also on the musical plane. The subtle hints during the first part of Anakin’s theme and at the end of Across the Stars reveal their true faces.
Version for piano solo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQCb0AYeKVE
Version for 2 pianos : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67nLnwZvVuo
Version for piano & orchestra : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GJLTca1kbo
Featuring original film footage: http://rutube.ru/video/a4ab23129fb576afb43395f148c2d0cc/
The following three pieces are part of a concert suite of four pieces from Episode VI including the theme of the villain Jabba (theme and character appear briefly elsewhere in the revised version of Episode IV,1997).
The Parade of the Ewoks reminds us of the burlesque meeting with Jar Jar in Episode I.
Version for 2 pianos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cinbn5i028
Luke & Leia (Episode VI) portrays the scene in which Luke Skywalker tells princess Leia that they are in fact brother and sister; a poignant moment in the saga.
Version for 2 pianos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WopjoYQfei4
Forest battle (Episode VI) is a symphonic compilation of several scenes which occur during the great forest battle between the Ewoks, Han Solo and his team and the Imperial troops.
Version for 2 pianos: http://rutube.ru/video/3d0ac09a53557e40b1bb732ce39e4bb4/
Featuring original film footage: http://rutube.ru/video/5407131194fadd1ceae11a4ae7240dc4/