Play it Maestro! 10 Favorite Disney Star Wars Tracks
Updated: Apr 5
The Star Wars Saga is filled to the brim with amazing music, and the Disney era is no exception. From the big screen to the small screen, from the old to the new, Star Wars music has had no shortage of quality.
Picking favorite score tracks is usually easy for me, but this time it was very hard. 5 movies, 4 seasons of Rebels, 8 episodes of The Mandalorian, a theme park attraction, and tons of video games, there's just so much to choose from. So let's take a look at all the wonderful music from the past 5 years.
Honorable Mentions (In No Particular Order):
Reminiscence Therapy from Solo: A Star Wars Story by John Powell
Sabine Suite from Star Wars Rebels by Kevin Kiner
Galaxy's Edge Symphonic Suite from Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge by John Williams
Crait Loading Loop A from Star Wars: Battlefront 2 by Gordy Haab
I Can Fly Anything from Star Wars: The Force Awakens by John Williams
The Battle of Crait from Star Wars: The Last Jedi by John Williams
Finale from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by John Williams
Guardians of the Whills Suite from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Michael Giacchino
Lando's Closet from Solo: A Star Wars Story by John Powell
Training The Plebs from The Mandalorian by Ludwig Göransson
10. The Rebellion Is Reborn from Star Wars: The Last Jedi by John Williams
Kicking off the list is the main theme for Rian Johnson's 2017 masterpiece. The main melody for The Rebellion Is Reborn is a theme for Rose Tico, which is very reminiscent of John Williams' work on Jurassic Park. Rose's Theme, like the character, is hopeful, beautiful, and lovely, but can be badass when it needs to be. In addition to Rose's Theme, the track also introduces us to a new theme for Luke Skywalker, which is more somber and dramatic than Luke's first theme (You all know the one). The best part of the track is the story it seemingly tells. John Williams in a way is telling us that the Rebellion does not end with Luke and he'll pass the torch of Rebellion to a new generation, a generation represented by Rose. While neither theme makes a return in The Rise of Skywalker, they certainly got their time to shine.
9. Jyn Erso and Hope Suite from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Michael Giacchino
Michael Giacchino was given a daunting task; the position of being the first composer for a live action Star Wars movie who isn't John Williams. When being interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, Giacchino stated he was very excited for us to hear Jyn Erso's Theme the most. And his excitement was well placed, because her theme is the musical standout in the score. Giacchino truly cares for Jyn just as Williams cared for Princess Leia and Rey before her. The suite starts with Jyn's sense of loneliness, but segways into a theme to represent her team (the Hope theme). Finally, her theme comes full circle and ascends to wonder. While we'll most likely never hear this theme again, Rogue One definitely got a good deal.
8. March of the Resistance from Star Wars: The Force Awakens by John Williams
I'm a sucker for a good march in all honesty. Williams created arguably to the two most iconic film marches with his Superman March and The Imperial March. In addition to his galaxy famous theme for Darth Vader, Williams has also created marches for The Trade Federation, the Clone Troopers, and the First Order. March of the Resistance is in a unique position, being John Williams' first march for a heroic faction in the Star Wars universe. It has a rousing and heroic feel that makes you want to go outside and fight a Stormtrooper. No matter where you are in the world, March of the Resistance still gives you the warm and fuzzy feeling of jumping into an X-Wing and blowing something up. Poe Dameron would be proud.
7. The Rise of Skywalker from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by John Williams
John Williams' last main theme for the Star Wars saga could have been anything. It could have been for a specific character, relationship, or an epic duel piece. However, it ended up being for many things. The main 8 note melody represents the fellowship amongst our heroes, which doesn't appear until the third act of the film. Those 8 notes to me are some of the most beautiful melodies Williams has ever created. In addition to the suite containing themes for the trio and even a hint of Ben Solo, The Rise of Skywalker doesn't make any loud or epic gestures, but rather turns its attention to the intimate and the beautiful. Truly the perfect way to end a 42 year legacy.
6. The Mandalorian from The Mandalorian by Ludwig Göransson
One of Star Wars' greatest influences is westerns, but rarely does a Star Wars project lean into western prospects heavier than The Mandalorian. Whether its the shows direction or the visual design, the western influences are unmissable. Yet, the western influence is the most clear in the music. Ludwig Göransson's music for the show may stray away from the typical John Williams sound we're used to, the music takes on an identity all its own and its great. I don't think flutes have ever sounded this badass. There's just something to Göransson's music that makes you want to go out and just walk slowly no matter who's watching. Should make any masked hero smile on the inside.
5. The Jedi Steps and Finale from Star Wars: The Force Awakens by John Williams
A film's final moments and the end credits are great places to hit the audiences with musical passion. The ending to The Force Awakens made us all hold our collective breath when Rey finally came face to face with Luke Skywalker. The Jedi Steps doesn't appear anywhere in the film until the final scene, and despite that the theme graces the scene from top to bottom. When the End Credits roll, Williams reprises the iconic Star Wars theme and then showcases the film's main themes in a wonderful medley. Themes for Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, Poe, and The Resistance take center stage in quite possibly Williams' best End Credits suite of not just the saga but of his whole career.
4. Farewell from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by John Williams
Saying good bye is never easy, and John Williams makes it even harder. In each third installment of a trilogy, Williams gives us a major tear-jerking track. In Return of the Jedi, it was Darth Vader's Death and in Revenge of the Sith it was The Immolation Scene. Farewell gives us the same emotional gut punch as the other two, but in a different way. The track plays under 2 big emotional moments in The Rise of Skywalker; Ben's sacrifice and the kiss. Many of the film's most prominent themes appear in this track, including a leitmoif that may represent the connection between Rey & Ben as well as the redeemed Ben Solo theme. Rey's Theme also makes an appearance and it has never sounded more tragic, but thankfully tragedy doesn't last long. Despite Ben's sacrifice and supposed death, the track concludes on a hopeful note, reprising the film's main fellowship theme. The theme is at is best here because the dramatic choir gives it that magical touch. John Williams makes sure to remind the audience that there's beauty even in death. After all, no one's ever really gone.
3. The Adventures of Han from Solo: A Star Wars Story by John Williams
Finally, after 41 one years, Han Solo finally gets a theme to call his own. For a time, he only ever had a love theme he shared with Princess Leia. Williams knew which Han Solo he was creating a theme for. He wasn't scoring for the world weary, experienced, or rugged Han Solo, he's scoring for a younger, more excited, and hopeful Han Solo. It was a sight to behold to see Alden Ehrenreich's Han Solo fly the Millennium Falcon and drive a speeder hearing this main theme blast triumphantly. John Powell also does an amazing job adapting the theme throughout the film as well. There are many reasons I want the adventures of Alden Ehrenreich's Han Solo to continue, but I would be lying if I said wanting this main theme to return isn't a huge reason why. I guess two Johns do make a right.
2. Rey's Theme from Star Wars: The Force Awakens by John Williams
Almost to the home stretch. Arguably the most famous piece of music to come from John Williams in the 2010's, Rey's Theme has become a fan favorite ever since it graced our ears in 2015. Williams tells a story with his music, almost as if you were listening to condensed version of the film. The piece starts out (as does the film) with Rey wandering around, longing for something greater. As it transitions to those infectious chimes, the piece takes us (and by extension Rey) on an amazing journey through the galaxy, telling us a story of friendship, love, and heroism. Finally, as it makes it to those iconic 12 notes, the theme ascends to amazing heights, flying above everything Williams has ever created. The theme makes its return in The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker and it never gets old and never loses that sense of childlike wonder. The theme also matures throughout the trilogy, growing more and more heroic as the trilogy goes on. I listened to this amazing track exactly 100 times the day I got the soundtrack and its been stuck in my head ever since. I wholeheartedly believe that this is Williams' best Star Wars theme. I expect nothing less for Rey Skywalker.
1. Mine Mission from Solo: A Star Wars Story by John Powell
And finally, we're at the end. Is it surprising to have a Star Wars music track at number and it isn't done by John Williams? In a way, it is. However, this goes to show just how great John Powell's score for Solo really is. Mine Mission isn't the biggest track on the score, but it sure feels that way. It starts with a lovely version of L3-37's Theme, which transforms into a full on march. I can't stress enough how much I love marches. Chewbacca's Theme appears for a time, followed by a brief reprisal of Han's Theme. The track play over quite possibly the most lowkey segments of the Kessel Run, and yet the music is just as grandiose as Break Out or Reminiscence Therapy. What makes Mine Mission so good is that Powell's influence and style is the dominant sound on the track. Powell's love for action music and modern sensibilities mixes very well with that traditional Star Wars energy. It's not much of a surprise that this is the track that earned Powell (as well as Williams) a Grammy nomination. While I can't put all my thoughts into words, it's safe to say that Mine Mission is my favorite piece of Star Wars music ever made.