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THE BEST STAR WARS SOUNDTRACKS, RANKED

storm troopers marching star wars soundtrack

Star Wars is the ultimate film franchise, with unforgettable characters, awe-inspiring set pieces and absolutely epic soundtracks. Naturally, were here to explore the latter. 

Its soundtracks have been setting standards since 1977 when Star Wars (now known as Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV) was released. But which film has the best soundtrack? And what are the best Star Wars songs? Journey with us into a galaxy far, far away to discover the answers.

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Ranked: the Star Wars music

1. Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Composed by: John Williams

The second instalment in the prequel trilogy, Attack of the Clones focuses on the adventures of 35-year-old Obi-Wan Kenobi and the teenage Anakin Skywalker as they attempt to stop the evil Sith. 

By no means is the soundtrack to Attack of the Clones bad, its just the most forgettable soundtrack in the franchise so far (it doesnt help that the film is one of the lowest-rated Star Wars films ever created). 

Having said that, theres one song that we hold close to our heart and thats ‘Across the Stars’. Also known as the ‘Love Theme’, it captures the chemistry between Anakin and Queen Amidala of Naboo, Padmé. 

‘Across the Stars’

2. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Composer: John Powell and John Williams

This film focuses on a young Han Solo, treating audiences to the story of the rugged rebel pre-New Hope.Solo. It’s s a unique entry in the Star Wars universe; humorous and grounded, it swaps sci-fi vibes for a space Western feel.

The film may be light years away from the Skywalker Saga, but the soundtrack will be familiar to fans. Composed by English composer John Powell in collaboration with John Williams, the two created a collection of scene-stealing songs that add an extra element of excitement to the film. Unarguably, the best song is ‘Enfys Nest Theme, which plays during the standout train sequence.

‘Enfys Nest Theme’

3. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (Episode VI) (1983)

Composer: John Williams

Return of the Jedi was the highly anticipated final chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy that centred on Luke Skywalker and the rebel battle against the Galactic Empire. As you may or may not know (actually, come on, you must know), he does this while coming to terms with the revelation that the villainous Darth Vader is his father. 

As you can imagine, Return of the Jedi is paired with an emotionally stirring soundtrack. The album is filled with poignant compositions that are now considered classics – of course, this includes the impassioned ‘Luke and Leia’ track. 

‘Luke and Leia’

4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode VIII) (2017)

Composer: John Williams

Rian Johnsons Star Wars – Episode VIII: The Last Jedi was a breath of fresh air: it modernised the franchise in all the right ways and was a hit with avid fans and casual filmgoers alike. It follows the journey of a range of old and new characters (including Rey, Finn, Poe, Luke Skywalker and General Leia Organa) as they rebel against the nefarious First Order. 

Following on from his work on The Force Awakens, John Williams took things in a new direction with this second instalment of the sequel trilogy. The most rousing track, ‘Holdos Sacrifice’, plays during what is arguably the film’s most intense scene. 

‘Holdo’s Sacrifice’

5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Episode IX) (2019)

Composer: John Williams

The final chapter of the Skywalker Saga, which follows Rey’s journey to finding herself, defeating Kylo Ren and guiding the rebels to victory – is not to everyone’s liking. In fact, its the lowest-rated Star Wars film ever. But one thing that everyone can agree on is that the soundtrack is impressive. 

Just like the film, the soundtrack is filled with big moments. Theres ‘Anthem of Evil’, a haunting piece with a ghostly lead vocal; ‘Destiny of a Jedi’, a multilayered study of the complex relationship between a Jedi and the force; the brilliantly nostalgic-sounding ‘The Old Death Star’; and our favourite, ‘Finale’, which succinctly wraps up the Skywalker Saga. 

‘Finale’

6. Rogue One (2016)

Composer: Michael Giacchino

Rogue One was the first Star Wars anthropology film – it paved the way for Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Mandalorian and all of the other live-action films and TV shows currently in development. The female-led flick focuses on a gang of resistance fighters who plan to steal the blueprints for the Death Star. It goes without saying the film is set just before the OG film, A New Hope. 

Rather than relying on John Williams (who, at the time, was busy creating the soundtrack to 2017s The Last Jedi), Disney employed American composer Michael Giacchino. Famed for his work at Pixar, Giacchino delivered with aplomb. His best work comes at the climax of the film when ‘Jyn Erso and Hope’ augments the emotive finale. 

'Jyn Erso and Hope'

7. Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

Composer: John Williams

When it was announced in the early 2010s that a new Star Wars trilogy was on its way and John Williams was returning to compose the music, we almost died of excitement. As you can imagine, we had high expectations. 

Fortunately, The Force Awakens – the first film that introduced Rey, Poe and Finn and reunited audiences with Han and Leia – more than lived up to our expectations, with a soundtrack that was nothing short of impeccable, especially ‘March of the Resistance’ which is brilliantly redolent of the OG Star Wars films.

‘March of the Resistance’

8. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Episode III) (2005)

Composer: John Williams

Revenge of the Sith is the final instalment in the prequel trilogy that shows the audience how the once innocent Anakin Skywalker turned into the hateful Darth Vader. It required a high-octane soundtrack as multidimensional as its leading characters. 

Unsurprisingly, John Williams delivered. The film wouldnt be what it is without his music; especially in the final scene with the Anakin vs Obi-Wan Kenobi fight. The composition that plays throughout this moment – aptly titled ‘Battle of the Heroes’ – is utterly electrifying. 

‘Battle of the Heroes’

9. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (Episode I) (1999)

Composer: John Williams

The Phantom Menace is the most divisive film in Star Wars history – you either love it or hate it. In retrospect, we love it – but were not sure if thats because it reminds us of our youth or because were genuinely thrilled by the action-filled space opera. Whats it about? In short, its the story of Anakin Skywalker’s childhood and the rise of the Sith.

However you feel about the film, well sure youll agree that The Phantom Menace features some of the best songs in the franchise: ‘Duel of the Fates’ is one of the highlights of John Williams’ entire career. Just thinking about it gives us the chills. 

‘Duel of the Fates’

10. Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV) (1977)

Composer: John Williams

It’s difficult to understand exactly how much Star Wars (retroactively titled Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope) was a game-changer. The film practically reinvented cinema with its aesthetics, imagination, next level SFX and instantly iconic soundtrack. 

The film was the first to debut the sounds of the galaxy far, far away, including the sagas quintessential opening ‘Main Theme’, but surprisingly, we award it second position on our best Star Wars soundtrack list…

‘Main Theme’

11. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V) (1980)

Composer: John Williams

At the top of our list is the soundtrack to The Empire Strikes Back: a film thats commonly considered to be the best Star Wars film ever. Directed by Irvin Kershner, the film follows Luke, Leia and Han (accompanied by droids C3P0 and R2D2 and wookie Chewbacca, as well as introducing the incomparable Yoda) as they battle against the evil Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire. 

John Williams’ epic orchestral masterpiece mirrors the raised stakes of the second film in the original trilogy. We mean, who can forget the sounds of the ‘Imperial March’ (also known as ‘Darth Vaders Theme’)? 

‘Imperial March’

Top 5 Star Wars Songs

Need to listen to more Star Wars music? Check out our top 5 below (in no particular order).

‘Main Theme’

‘Cantina Band’

‘Duel of the Fates’

‘The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)’

‘Battle of the Heroes’ 

Your Time to Shine

Hoping to create the next big Hollywood film franchise? Increase your chances of winning an Oscar by having high-quality production music on your side. 

Our ever-expanding catalogue is brimming with thousands of tracks which you can discover by exploring our film style categories. From adventure to animation to vintage to detective, we have you covered, no matter what genre youre working with.

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