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Music Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Soundtrack

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In 1977 George Lucas’s Star Wars was released; since it was a futuristic film Lucas wanted something viewers would find familiar.  He had composer John Williams create a score that harkened back to the films of yesterday.  That score, especially the main theme, is one of the most recognized themes today.  In 2005, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of The Sith was the last of the Star Wars movies and fans thought that would be the last Star Wars soundtrack.  Little did they know that three years later in 2008 an animated film – Star Wars: The Clone Wars would be released as a lead-in to the upcoming television series.

Composer Kevin Kiner has the unenviable task of following Williams’ brilliant scores, but he does a good job.  To start off The Clone Wars is a bit lighter than the previous Star Wars films, and more aimed at children so the soundtrack is a bit lighter.  It’s a bit different than previous soundtracks in several ways. Past soundtracks have around two hours of music on 15 tracks.  The Clone Wars soundtrack has 32 tracks with a total runtime of 67 minutes with the average track running around two minutes with several tracks running four minutes because it’s a key moment in the film.

The Clone Wars soundtrack starts off with a percussion version of the memorable theme and then delves into the film.  The soundtrack belongs in the Star Wars Universe, and uses instruments never heard before in a Star Wars soundtrack.  Kiner uses synthesizers, electric guitars, erhus, duduks, ouds, and taikos; all make their Star Wars debut here.  There are some great tracks, my personal favorite is track five entitled “Obi-Wan To The Rescue” which uses rock guitar and I can imagine Obi-Wan taking on a platoon (or three) of Battle Droids.

The soundtrack has a jazz based tune for the nightclub track, which is somewhat reminiscent of some 40’s tracks and the cantina song from Episode IV. You might think such a piece would be out of place in a Star Wars soundtrack, but it works.  What’s good about this soundtrack is it takes the familiar sounds of Star Wars and uses instruments like the rock guitar and synthesizers to create a new sound, but still familiar to the listener.

Kliner has mentioned that he’s recorded over 400 minutes for the Clone Wars television series.  Hopefully that means several new Star Wars soundtracks will be released over the next few years.  Kliner and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra have created a worthy successor to the Star Wars saga and Star Wars: The Clone Wars belongs in any fans collection.

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  • Darth_Jihad

    When are we going to see that extra 400 minutes of Kevin Kiner’s contribution to Star Wars? The Clone Wars TV show has an amazing score that any true collector would love to have in their collection.
    I’m just waiting for that day where I can add the Clone Wars television soundtracks to the rest of my Star Wars soundtracks.

    I’ve googled, yahooed and binged for searches regarding the release of the television soundtrack and so far to no avail. Am I really the only person who’s concerned about the music’s public release? And speaking of release to the public, when is LF going to release the Ultimate Edition soundtracks of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith?

    There’s a lot of music missing from the soundtracks of the Star Wars saga. George wouldn’t be losing any money by releasing the music. In fact he’d make money just off of me alone. Come to think of it, George Lucas has been making money off of me since I was 3, the least he could do is bow to the desires of the fans. I know I’m not the only one out there who’s missing the music. Someone else wants this to happen even more than myself, they just haven’t said anything yet.

  • Mr Annono-Mouse

    Unfortunately, Ultimate Editions of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith will not be released due to a loss distributing The Phantom Menace one. Also i would love a TV soundtrack for the Clone Wars there are many brilliant songs as with the film score.