Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (soundtrack)

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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Star Wars - Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Motion Picture Soundtrack - Cover.jpg
Film score by
ReleasedMay 3, 2005
RecordedFebruary 3–8, 2005
London Symphony Orchestra
StudioAbbey Road Studios, London
LabelSony Classical
ProducerJohn Williams
John Williams chronology
The Terminal
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
War of the Worlds
Star Wars soundtrack chronology
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
The Clone Wars

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the film score to the 2005 film of the same name released by Sony Classical on May 3, 2005, more than two weeks before the film's release. The music was composed and conducted by John Williams, and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and London Voices in February 2005. The score was Williams' sixth score in the saga. Shawn Murphy recorded the score. Ramiro Belgardt and Kenneth Wannberg served as music editors; Wannberg served as music editor for the previous Star Wars scores. A remastered version of the soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records on May 4, 2018.[1]

A music video titled A Hero Falls was created for the film's theme, "Battle of the Heroes", featuring footage from the film. In the U.K., "Battle of the Heroes" was released as a CD-single and reached No. 25 in the UK Singles Chart in June 2005.[2]

The soundtrack also came with a collectors' DVD, Star Wars: A Musical Journey, that features 16 music videos set to remastered selections of music from all six film scores, set chronologically through the saga.

This album was chosen as one of's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2005.[3]


The musical score for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the Star Wars saga's sixth installment, was recorded over five days at Abbey Road Studio with the London Symphony Orchestra and London Voices starting on February 3, 2005, with one morning allocated specifically for vocal recording.

"Battle of the Heroes"[edit]

"Battle of the Heroes" is the theme for the climactic duel between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, written upon the request of George Lucas.[4] Lucas wanted a piece that would function as a tragic version of "Duel of the Fates" in the film's final fight scenes.

The concert suite begins with a soft and tense ostinato by the violas in tremolo. Stopped horns join in to present an initial statement of the theme, immediately followed by pulsing beats with mezzopiano double basses and cellos. The ostinato builds as the harp and trombones make their entrance. Suddenly, the horns, 1st violins, and choir play the theme at a louder dynamic level. The ostinato still plays beneath it all. Twice, the theme is interrupted by brief flurries of chaotic "action music". At a key moment, the "Force Theme" makes a forceful entrance in a minor key. After the piece's main theme is heard several more times, "Battle of the Heroes" culminates in a fortissimo tutti of repeated D minor chords. This false ending is followed by the viola ostinato again. Solo flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, and horn in unison deliver a melancholic interpretation of the theme's third over the ostinato, which slowly dies away before landing on the tonic. The timpani rumble as the entire orchestra crescendos into a final D minor chord.

The theme is played during the climactic duel between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi; during use, Palpatine and Yoda also duel. At the beginning of the battle, a cue titled "Heroes Collide" ("Anakin vs. Obi-Wan" on the original soundtrack) is heard. This cue juxtaposes fast-paced variations of "Battle of the Heroes" with the "Clash of Lightsabers" cue from The Empire Strikes Back. Later in the duel, fragments of the theme return twice in a cue titled "The Boys Continue". (This cue is not heard on the original soundtrack, although both of its "Battle of the Heroes" variations can be heard in various video games.) After "The Boys Continue" (and a short, quiet cue titled "Rev. Yoda to Exile"), a cue simply titled "Revenge of the Sith" plays as Anakin and Obi-Wan exchange blows on a river of lava. This is basically a re-recording of the concert suite on the soundtrack album, but without the extended opening and ending. There are also a few minor differences in the orchestration, and the rhythm of the final tutti chords is different.

The music video A Hero Falls has been featured on DVD and Set to "Battle of the Heroes", it contains video clips from Episode III (with dialogue and sound effects). The music video can be found on the Star Wars: A Musical Journey DVD, included with the Episode III soundtrack album, as well as on the Episode III – Revenge of the Sith DVD.

In the UK, the theme was put on general release as a CD single and reached No. 25 on the UK Singles Chart in June 2005.[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic[5]4.5/5 stars
Common Sense Media[6]5/5 stars
Empire[7]5/5 stars[8]4/5 stars
Movie Wave[9]4.5/5 stars
ScoreNotes[10]9/10 stars
Soundtrack.Net[11]4/5 stars

The musical score for Revenge of the Sith has received generally positive reviews. Rob Theakston of AllMusic said, "Revenge of the Sith holds a place on the mantle with some of the classic scores that made Williams a legendary film composer. It's also a fine closing masterpiece to a series of movies filled with some of the most important musical moments in modern cinematic history."[5] Danny Graydon of Empire called it "a triumphant climax to a modern music masterpiece." Specifically pointing out "Battle of the Heroes" and "Anakin's Dark Deeds", Graydon said, "The operatic finale of this score emboldens the tragic, doom-laden atmosphere of the saga’s pivotal moment, yet is typically brisk and exciting, deftly utilising themes from the entire series."[7]

Film music scholar Royal Brown was less enthusiastic about the music and its relation to the overall film series, saying, "By the time we get to Revenge of the Sith it's not as fresh as it was. Not because Williams is doing anything wrong, but because he's pretty much locked into a particular requirement for this particular kind of movie."[12] provided a similar consensus in its editorial review describing that when "compared to its peers, Revenge of the Sith is, despite its great strengths in its individual cues of immense melodrama, the weakest of the six scores when compared amongst each other."[8] Morag Reavley of BBC Music said that the soundtrack "strikes back with all the familiar notes. They just don't sound quite as startling any more."[13]

Track listing[edit]

All music is composed by John Williams.

1."Star Wars and The Revenge of the Sith"7:31
2."Anakin's Dream"4:46
3."Battle of the Heroes"3:42
4."Anakin's Betrayal"4:04
5."General Grievous"4:07
6."Palpatine's Teachings"5:25
7."Grievous and the Droids"3:28
8."Padmé's Ruminations"3:17
9."Anakin vs. Obi-Wan"3:57
10."Anakin's Dark Deeds"4:05
11."Enter Lord Vader"4:14
12."The Immolation Scene"2:42
13."Grievous Speaks to Lord Sidious"2:49
14."The Birth of the Twins and Padmé's Destiny"3:37
15."A New Hope and End Credits"13:06
Total length:1:11:53

For those interested in listening to the tracks in order of which they play in the movie, this is the order: 1, 7, 13, 2, 6, 5, 8, 4, 11, 10, 9, 3, 12, 14, 15.

Star Wars: A Musical Journey[edit]

Star Wars: A Musical Journey is a bonus DVD included with the soundtrack album. The DVD, which runs just over an hour long, contains a collection of music video clips from the Star Wars film series set to selected themes from Williams' scores. Each clip features an optional introduction by actor Ian McDiarmid, and the music has been remastered in Dolby 5.1 surround sound.[14] This program served as the foundation for Star Wars: In Concert, almost containing an identical soundtrack.

Star Wars: A Musical Journey contains the following chapters. Each video consists of clips from the movies that seemingly fit the music score composed by Williams:

  1. "A Long Time Ago" —
    "20th Century Fox Fanfare" / "Star Wars Main Title"
  2. "Dark Forces Conspire" —
    "Duel of the Fates" (from The Phantom Menace)
  3. "A Hero Rises" —
    "Anakin's Theme" (from The Phantom Menace)
  4. "A Fateful Love" —
    "Across the Stars" (from Attack of the Clones)
  5. "A Hero Falls" —
    "Battle of the Heroes" (from Revenge of the Sith)
  6. "An Empire is Forged" —
    "The Imperial March" (from The Empire Strikes Back)
  7. "A Planet that is Farthest From" —
    "The Dune Sea of Tatooine" / "Jawa Sandcrawler" (from A New Hope)
  8. "An Unlikely Alliance" —
    "Binary Sunset" / "Cantina Theme" (from A New Hope)
  9. "A Defender Emerges" —
    "Princess Leia's Theme" (from A New Hope)
  10. "A Daring Rescue" —
    "Ben's Death" / "TIE Fighter Attack" (from A New Hope)
  11. "A Jedi is Trained" —
    "Yoda's Theme" (from The Empire Strikes Back)
  12. "A Narrow Escape" —
    "The Asteroid Field" (from The Empire Strikes Back)
  13. "A Bond Unbroken" —
    "Luke and Leia" (from Return of the Jedi)
  14. "A Sanctuary Moon" —
    "The Forest Battle (Concert Suite)" (from Return of the Jedi)
  15. "A Life Redeemed" —
    "Light of the Force" (from Return of the Jedi)
  16. "A New Day Dawns" —
    "Throne Room" / "Finale" (from A New Hope)

Recording information[edit]

Cue list[edit]

  • 1M1 20th Century Fox Fanfare (The Phantom Menace Recording)
  • 1M2 Main Titles (The Phantom Menace Recording)
  • 1M3 Boys Into Battle February 12, 2005
  • 1M4 They're Coming Around February 14, 2005
  • 1M4a "Get 'Em, R-2!" February 7, 2005
  • 1M5 The Elevator Scene February 17, 2005
  • 1M6 Count Dooku's Entrance February 14, 2005
  • 1M7 The Death of Dooku February 2, 2005
  • 2M1 Grievous and the Droids February 9, 2005
  • 2M3 Another Happy Landing February 3, 2005
  • 2M4 Revisiting Padmé February 3, 2005
  • 2M5 Grievous Travels to Palpatine February 3, 2005
  • 2M6 Scenes and Dreams February 12, 2005
  • 2M7 Be Careful of Your Friend February 13, 2005
  • 3M1 Council Meeting February 14, 2005
  • 3M2 Hold Me February 13, 2005
  • 3M2a Palpatine's TV Set February 7, 2005
  • 3M3 Palpatine's Big Pitch February 9, 2005
  • 3M5 Goodbye Old Friend February 3, 2005
  • 3M6 Going to Utapau February 13, 2005
  • 3M7 Riding the Lizard February 12, 2005
  • 3M8 Obi-Wan Fares [sic] Droids February 12, 2005
  • 4M1x Drawing Swords February 3, 2005
  • 4M1a Good Guys Arrive February 8, 2005
  • 4M3 Palpatine's Seduction February 2, 2005
  • 4M4 Rolling With Grievous February 13, 2005
  • 4M4a Fighting With Grievous February 8, 2005
  • 4M5 Dialogue With Mace February 17, 2005
  • 4M5a Padmé's Ruminations February 8, 2005
  • 4M6 I am the Senate February 14, 2005
  • 5M1 Palpatine Instructs Anakin February 3, 2005
  • 5M3 Lament February 7, 2005
  • 5M3a Bail's Escape February 14, 2005
  • 5M4 "Swimming, Droids and Yoda Farewell" February 9, 2005
  • 5M5 News of the Attack February 12, 2005
  • 5M6 Moving Things Along February 9, 2005
  • 5M7 Anakin's Dark Deeds February 3, 2005
  • 6M1 It Can't Be February 17, 2005
  • 6M2 A Moody Trip February 12, 2005
  • 6M3 Padmé's Visit February 2, 2005
  • 6M4 Heroes Collide February 2, 2005
  • 6M5New **Choir Only** Not Assigned
  • 6M6 Yoda Falls February 3, 2005
  • 6M7 The Boys Continue February 8, 2005
  • 6M8 Rev. Yoda to Exile February 12, 2005
  • 6M9 Revenge of the Sith February 3, 2005
  • 7M1 The Immolation Scene February 8, 2005
  • 7M2 Anakin Crawling February 8, 2005
  • 7M3 The Birth of the Twins February 7, 2005
  • 7M4 The Death of Padmé February 7, 2005
  • 7M5 Plans for the Twins February 8, 2005
  • 7M6 Padmé's Funeral February 7, 2005
  • 7M7 A Home for the Twins February 7, 2005
  • 7M8 End Credits February 17, 2005


  1. ^ "Disney Music Group Set To Release First 6 Remastered Star Wars Original Motion Picture Soundtracks On May 4". Burbank, California: Walt Disney Records. PR Newswire. March 21, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Battle of the Heroes - Star Wars". Official Charts Company. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "John Williams - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  4. ^ DVD featurette "Within a Minute"
  5. ^ a b Theakston, Rob. "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  6. ^ Kamen Goldmark, Kathi. "Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Soundtrack Music Review". Common Sense Media. Archived from the original on December 27, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Graydon, Danny. "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Empire Review". Empire. Bauer Media Group. Archived from the original on June 26, 2006. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (John Williams)". Filmtracks Publications. April 15, 2005. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  9. ^ Southall, James. "Williams: Revenge of the Sith". Movie Wave. Archived from the original on May 6, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  10. ^ "Revenge of the Sith". ScoreNotes. Archived from the original on November 23, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  11. ^ Goldwasser, Dan (May 6, 2005). "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Soundtrack (2005)". Soundtrack.Net. Autotelics, LLC. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  12. ^ Freymann-Weyr, Jeffrey (May 22, 2005). "John Williams and the Music of 'Star Wars'". NPR. National Public Radio, Inc. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  13. ^ Reavley, Morag (2005). "John Williams Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Review". BBC Music. BBC. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  14. ^ Vukcevic, Filip (May 6, 2005). "Star Wars: A Musical Journey". IGN. Ziff Davis. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original on December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.

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