Star Wars is practically synonymous with action. There are space battles. Lightsaber duels. Princesses and pirates and wizards engaging in all manner of derring-do. Nothing propels that action like a solid film score. Star Wars audiences eagerly lean into their theater seats like riders on a rollercoaster whenever John Williams’ chords burst through the speakers. Here are some of our favorite Star Wars musical scores. Electrify your summer playlist with these bits of symphonic voltage.

10) Confrontation on Eadu

Michael Giacchino easily steps into John Williams’ shoes and absolutely nails the score for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While Arrival at Jedha and the Jyn Erso and Hope Suite are strong contenders for this list, the spot goes to Confrontation on Eadu. The tension rises with the tempo. Themes of Williams’ Tie Fighter Attack mingle into the film’s iconic main theme. Punctuating Rogue One’s turn from espionage thriller to full-on war epic, this piece is as iconic a Star Wars score as any of our other entries.

9) Princess Leia’s Theme

Soft but unyielding, Princess Leia’s Theme is every bit as powerful as Leia herself. Yes, she seems like the conventional ‘damsel-in-distress’ when we first hear her desperate plea for help. Leia immediately demonstrates that she is powerful in her own right, and the horn solo of her leitmotif is an icon of her power. She stands, seemingly alone, against Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader’s Imperial war machine. The adventurous twist given to her theme when swinging across the Death Star canyon proves that this princess can save the day without farm boys or scruffy nerf-herders.

8) Yoda’s Theme

It takes a lot of magic to take a two-foot puppet life and not just bring it to life, but turn him into an iconic cornerstone of a film’s mythology. Williams accomplishes this with the–at first– simplistic and then soaring use of Yoda’s theme as the Jedi master levitates an X-Wing. A musical lesson about connecting everything from the tree to the rock and the ship to the shore, Yoda’s Theme denotes an appreciation in the simple beauty of the mundane. It speaks to how one can see the magical if we could only widen our perception.

7) Rey’s Theme

When we first meet Rey, she seems trivial to the larger story of Star Wars. Her theme appears, at least initially, to be equally trivial. It has a subtle start that comfortably flows into an almost pastoral motif. The repetition builds with the rising volume. Suddenly. the listener is thrust into an anthem for a new heroine and a new era of Star Wars. Rey’s Theme accompanied her throughout her journey from junker to Jedi Padawan and ultimately the next generation of Skywalker.

6) Battle of the Heroes

The musical score of a culmination that everyone anticipated with some dread. The choral accompaniment lends tragedy to the mournful notes as Anakin and Obi-Wan battle over fiery Mustafar while Yoda and Sidious fight in the Senate chambers. This piece is indigenous to Revenge of the Sith, incorporating notes motifs from the Force theme and Duel of the Fates as the galactic conflict between good and evil takes a dramatic turn.

5) Duel of the Fates

Heralding the frenetic build-up to the 1999 release of The Phantom Menace, this piece introduced a new generation of fans to that galaxy far, far away. Action-packed, with plenty of beats to lend it that pseudo-religious feel to reflect the philosophical conflict between Jedi and the Sith. Williams dropped bits of  Duel of the Fates into musical scores for all of the prequel films.

4) Imperial March

The Empire is coming! The Empire is coming! Audiences were given a thread to follow as Lucas delved into the structure of the Imperial forces for his second film. This iconic piece marches onto the screen with the reveal of the Imperial fleet’s Super Star Destroyer. Though it was briefly replaced by the Droid Army’s theme in The Phantom Menace, the Imperial March revealed a little of itself by the film’s end. The theme enjoys a dramatic return in Attack of the Clones as the Clone Army assembles for its war against the Separatists, and Bail Organa reveals his first silent show of rebellion.

3) Han Solo and the Princess

A rich and dynamic piece, with audible peaks and valleys to reflect the budding romance between the titular characters. The piece is initially employed as a background theme in the first hour of The Empire Strikes Back. Han Solo and the Princess eventually rises to stand tall over the Imperial March and Yoda’s Theme.

2) Binary Sunset/ The Force Theme

If the force is an energy that binds us all, then Williams’ Binary Sunset is the piper’s call that beckons. First heard as Luke Skywalker stares into a Tatooine sunset, this piece continues to provoke thought with its long, contemplative opening notes. It’s also an adaptable theme that connotes the plot’s dramatic movement.

1) Main Title

It couldn’t be anything else. In addition to acting as the main theme, the Main Title is a leitmotif–or short, recurring musical phrase–for Luke. Whether it’s played by a live orchestra or pumped from the speakers of a Nintendo Game Boy, this piece grabs your attention and drags it to a galaxy far, far away. Reinterpreted, remixed, parodied even, but never overcome. The Star Wars main theme is eminently recognizable, and its influence as a cultural artifact is clear. Anyone who hears those first four notes will instantly grasp its meaning. It is, at the end of the day, an anthem. A call to adventure reflecting Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero of Many Faces’ influence on George Lucas.

That’s our list, from a certain point of view. What are some of your favorite Star Wars tunes? Ewok Celebration? Mos Eisley Cantina Band? The Max Rebo Band? Whatever your flavor, there is almost certainly some version of Star Wars music for you. Grab some headphones, crank up the volume, and trust the Force to find that perfect playlist!

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