Anthony's Film Review
Star Wars: A Musical Journey
(DVD-Only Release, 2005)
A breathtaking look at the sweeping musical score of the Star Wars films...
Besides the jaw-dropping special effects and action, I like the Star Wars films for its musical score brilliantly composed by John Williams and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. There are many memorable themes from the films, including the famous title theme, Darth Vader's theme, and the theme for the lightsaber duel in The Phantom Menace. I own the CD soundtracks for all the films. As I listen to them, I appreciate the harmonious sounds along with the emotions they invoke and the scenes they go with. I was pleased to learn that when I bought the CD soundtrack for Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, I would get a bonus DVD inside the case to go with it.
That DVD is titled Star Wars: A Musical Journey, a 70-minute presentation of the best of John Williams' musical pieces for Star Wars accompanied with clips from the films. The audio for the clips is mostly removed in order to fully enjoy the sounds of the orchestra. Besides clips, there are also concept sketches and other illustrations to accompany the scores. Ian McDiarmid, who played Palpatine in Episodes III and VI (plus Episode V for the Star Wars Trilogy DVD release), is the host of this DVD presentation. Before each of the sixteen musical chapters on the DVD, he narrates a brief summary of the events in the saga pertaining to the musical piece.
Though most of the music on the DVD is from the original trilogy, the whole film pays a wonderful tribute to the entire sage from Episode I to Episode VI. And it does not necessarily present clips from the six parts in order. It also shows scenes from various films even within the same DVD chapter. For instance, one of the chapters plays "The Asteroid Field" from The Empire Strikes Back, and the scenes not only include the asteroid chase from Episode V but also scenes of Obi-Wan Kenobi flying through an asteroid field in Episode II. You may also see clips of both Darth Vader juxtaposed with the young Anakin Skywalker.
Even the order of the music presented is not entirely chronological. Darth Vader's theme may be from Episode V, but it is played on this DVD right after a piece from Episode III because it marks the rise of the Galactic Empire. The celebration music at the end of Episode IV is actually the very last piece of the DVD because it is a theme of victory in tune with the ending of Episode VI. I have no problem with this arrangement. In fact, it makes the whole DVD a lot better. Star Wars is not a series of six films. It's really one long saga in six parts.
This DVD is put together perfectly. Overall, I really enjoyed watching it from start to finish. I like having Ian McDiarmid as the host of this DVD, and the musical selections with their accompanying visuals are excellent. This is an item that any Star Wars fan will cherish, especially one who loves the music of the great John Williams.
For more information about Star Wars: A Musical Journey, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of the following:
Main Star Wars Films
Other Star Wars Films