Star Wars (soundtrack)

This article is about the score for the film Star Wars. For the Wilco album, see Star Wars (album).
Star Wars (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Cover of the original 1977 release.
Film score by John Williams
Released 1977, 1997, 2004
Recorded March 1977
Studio Anvil Studios, Denham
Genre Classical
Length 74:58
Label 20th Century Records (later by RSO Records, RCA Victor, and Sony Classical)
Producer George Lucas, Nick Redman (2004)
John Williams chronology
Black Sunday
Star Wars
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Star Wars soundtrack chronology
Star Wars
The Empire Strikes Back
Professional ratings
Review scores
Movie Wave

John Williams' score for Star Wars was recorded over eight sessions at Anvil Studios in Denham, England on March 5, 8–12, 15 and 16, 1977. The score was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra with Williams himself conducting. The score was orchestrated by Williams's frequent associate Herbert W. Spencer, who also orchestrated The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The score was recorded by engineer Eric Tomlinson and edited by Kenneth Wannberg, and the scoring sessions were produced by Star Wars director George Lucas and supervised by Lionel Newman, head of 20th Century Fox's music department.

The film premiered on May 25, 1977 and by late summer a disco version of the film's theme by Meco became America's number one song. In 2005, the American Film Institute named the original Star Wars soundtrack as the most memorable score of all time for a U.S. film.[1] In 2004, it was preserved by the Library of Congress into the National Recording Registry, calling it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." In 2016, the album was re-released by Sony Classical Records on vinyl, CD, and digital formats alongside Williams' other Star Wars soundtracks. The vinyl release is pressed on 180g vinyl, and features the original 20th Century Records logo.

Original pressing

The original 1977 release of the soundtrack, entitled Star Wars - Original Soundtrack, included a poster of a painting by science fiction artist John Berkey, depicting the final battle over the Death Star from the film's end.[2] The album was released as a double LP which was formatted for an autochanger record player; one disc had sides one and four with the other having sides two and three. This allowed a person to stack sides one and two on the player, then flip the stack over for sides three and four, allowing the listener to have over half an hour of uninterrupted music interspersed with key bits of dialog before they needed to flip the discs over.[3]

Track listing for the first release on LP

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Main Title"   5:20
2. "Imperial Attack"   6:10
3. "Princess Leia's Theme"   4:18
4. "The Desert and the Robot Auction"   2:51
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Ben's Death and TIE Fighter Attack"   3:46
6. "The Little People Work"   4:02
7. "Rescue of the Princess"   4:46
8. "Inner City"   4:12
9. "Cantina Band"   2:44
Side three
No. Title Length
10. "The Land of the Sandpeople"   2:50
11. "Mouse Robot and Blasting Off"   4:01
12. "The Return Home"   2:46
13. "The Walls Converge"   4:31
14. "The Princess Appears"   4:04
Side four
No. Title Length
15. "The Last Battle"   12:05
16. "The Throne Room and End Title"   5:28

Total Time: 74:58

Track listing for the first release on CD

Disc one

  1. "Main Title" – 5:21
  2. "Imperial Attack" – 6:16
  3. "Princess Leia's Theme" – 4:22
  4. "The Desert and the Robot Auction" – 2:52
  5. "Ben's Death and TIE Fighter Attack" – 3:46
  6. "The Little People Work" – 4:01
  7. "Rescue of the Princess" – 4:46
  8. "Inner City" – 4:13
  9. "Cantina Band" – 2:45

Disc two

  1. "The Land of the Sandpeople" – 2:49
  2. "Mouse Robot and Blasting Off" – 4:01
  3. "The Return Home" – 2:45
  4. "The Walls Converge" – 4:32
  5. "The Princess Appears" – 4:03
  6. "The Last Battle" – 12:06
  7. "The Throne Room and End Title" – 5:27

Star Wars Trilogy: The Original Soundtrack Anthology

Star Wars Trilogy – The Original Soundtrack Anthology: "Star Wars"
Film score by John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra
Released 1993
Genre Classical
Label Arista Records on behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Film Scores, a Bertelsmann Music Group Company
Producer Nick Redman

In 1993, 20th Century Fox Film Scores released a four-CD box set containing music from the original Star Wars Trilogy. This release marked the first time that the complete contents of the original double-LP releases of the scores from the first two films became available on CD. Disc one in the set was devoted to Star Wars, with further tracks on disc four.

Since every cue is recorded several times, usually with varying orchestral differences, the final decisions on what takes of cues are used and/or how they are edited to create the tracks was decided by the music editor Kenneth Wannberg. In the time between the original LP release and the Anthology's release, this breakdown was lost. Because of this, many takes of cues used on the Anthology are not the same. This is most obvious on the cue "The Throne Room". Also, the tracks were re-arranged to better follow their chronological order in the film.

Disc One
No. Title Length
1. "20th Century Fox Fanfare with CinemaScope Extension"    
2. "Main Title"    
3. "Imperial Attack"    
4. "The Desert/The Robot Auction"    
5. "The Little People Work"    
6. "The Princess Appears"    
7. "The Land of the Sand People"    
8. "The Return Home"    
9. "Inner City"    
10. "Mouse Robot/Blasting Off"    
11. "Rescue of the Princess"    
12. "The Walls Converge"    
13. "Ben's Death/Tie Fighter Attack"    
14. "Princess Leia's Theme"    
15. "The Last Battle"    
16. "The Throne Room/End Title"    
Disc Four
No. Title Length
1. "20th Century Fox Fanfare with CinemaScope Extension"    
2. "Star Wars Main Title" (Alternate)  
4. "A Hive of Villainy"    
5. "Destruction of Alderaan"    
10. "Cantina Band"    
12. "Cantina Band #2"    
15. "Standing By"    

Track listing for the Special Edition reissue

Star Wars: A New Hope (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Film score by John Williams
Released 1997, 2004
Recorded 1977
Genre Classical
Length 1:45:09
Label Sony Classical
Producer John Williams
Star Wars soundtrack chronology
Star Wars: A New Hope
The Empire Strikes Back
Disc One
No. Title Length
1. "20th Century Fox Fanfare" (Alfred Newman, 1954) 0:22
2. "Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner"   2:14
3. "Imperial Attack"   6:42
4. "The Dune Sea of Tatooine/Jawa Sandcrawler"   5:01
5. "The Moisture Farm"   2:25
6. "The Hologram/Binary Sunset"   4:08
7. "Landspeeder Search/Attack of the Sand People"   3:20
8. "Tales of a Jedi Knight/Learn About the Force"   4:28
9. "Burning Homestead"   2:50
10. "Mos Eisley Spaceport"   2:16
11. "Cantina Band"   2:46
12. "Cantina Band #2"   3:54
13. "Binary Sunset" (Alternate)
(contains hidden track "Star Wars Main Title" [take 19] (complete recording session version; takes 16-20))
Total length:
Disc Two
No. Title Length
1. "Princess Leia's Theme"   4:27
2. "The Millennium Falcon/Imperial Cruiser Pursuit"   3:51
3. "Destruction of Alderaan"   1:32
4. "The Death Star/The Stormtroopers"   3:35
5. "Wookiee Prisoner/Detention Block Ambush"   4:01
6. "Shootout in the Cell Bay/Dianoga"   3:48
7. "The Trash Compactor"   3:06
8. "The Tractor Beam/Chasm Crossfire"   5:18
9. "Ben Kenobi's Death/TIE Fighter Attack"   3:51
10. "The Battle of Yavin"
  • I. "Launch from the Fourth Moon"
  • II. "X-Wings Draw Fire"
  • III. "Use the Force"  

1:11 3:22

11. "The Throne Room/End Title"   5:37
Total length:



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[4] Platinum 1,000,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[5] Gold 100,000

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also


  1. "AFI's 100 years of film scores".
  2. "John Berkey Remembered". Lucasfilm Ltd. 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
  3. "John Williams (4), London Symphony Orchestra, The – Star Wars original soundtrack release". Discogs. discogs. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  4. "American certifications – John Williams – Star Wars (soundtrack)". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  5. "British certifications – John Williams – Star Wars (soundtrack)". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 7 November 2014. Enter Star Wars (soundtrack) in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
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