Uh… so I never posted this draft, huh? Let me reshuffle a few things, and there we have it!
The John Williams tournaments have come to a close! Let’s start with the winners outside of main themes.
Star Wars was the big winner here, but the Indiana Jones franchise did have one honorable 4th place result, with Raiders of the Lost Ark‘s “Map Room: Dawn” preventing a Star Wars sweep.
Beating out Raiders was “Duel of the Fates,” which was the best thing about the movie it appeared in, Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace. And if it sounds like I’m damning with faint praise, sorry about that. It’s a solid piece by Williams, to be totally sure.
From the finals, silver prize went to a leitmotif from the original Star Wars. Known as either Luke’s Theme or the Force Theme depending on your mood, the piece from the soundtrack is “Binary Sunset,” and it’s a highlight of Williams’ ability to portray character through music. And it came within four votes of winning against #1.
And last but not least… as a matter of fact first, there is what can probably best be described as an orchestra absolutely nailing the concept of “Lawful Evil” musically
The Empire Strikes Back’s “Imperial March” encapsulates the authoritarianism of the Galactic Empire perfectly. This is just amazing orchestration.
Congrats to the Imperial March!
Now, as to theme songs, in fourth place was the swelling composition that captured the undeniable majesty of what it would be like to see dinosaurs walking the earth. Welcome… to Jurassic Park:
Few things could beat dinosaurs except for the Man of Steel himself. The deceptively simple yet ultimately powerful march (and I wonder if he was making a point there?) which John Williams wrote for Superman carried it to a comfortable third place finish.
I decided not to go with the movie version of this because it’s over the opening credits and it’s unlistenable with the stupid “whoosh” foley effects put over top of the theme
The top two was a nail-biter. And since voting concluded some late votes have come in. But at time of closing, the second place entry was only beaten by a mere two votes. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
And in first place, the man in the fedora. The one who got hugged and kissed by Short Round a bare few hours before I wrote this up. And the music that, as Harrison Ford has grumbled “has followed me everywhere for forty years.” From the movie whose belated renaming I won’t acknowledge because of course, Indiana Jones IS one of the Raiders of the Lost Ark:
Skip to 1:08 if you want to get right to the March and avoid any uncomfortable reminders of Indy and Marion’s early history
Okay everyone, I had a blast doing this even if there were some technical difficulties on my side. Hopefully you had a good time too. Feel free to put your personal lists below. Louie out.