Though the movie was somewhat disappointing (Ii’m not a rabid Star Wars purist, but I do admit the film could have been better), John William exceeds expectations, filling his own very big shoes for the score to Episode I: The phantom Menace. Like any good Star Wars music fan, I bought the album when it was released and had most of it memorized by the film’s premiere (midnight showing!).
Williams pulls out all the stops, creating an original album that is closely tied to the Star Wars universe without being derivative of the first trilogy. His original themes are excellent: the action and conflict of The Duel of the Fates, the luster and majesty of the Theme for the Old Republic, the grinding militarism and menace of The Trade Federation Battle March and the tenderness of young Anakin’s Theme, which, if you listen closely, you can hear an echo of the Imperial March.
And to this day, whenever I hear the segue from the end celebration march to the closing fanfare, I still tense up with the memory of the theater packed with Star Wars fans exploding into cheers and applause.
Gives me goosebumps still.