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"The Force Theme" is a musical theme repeated and renditioned across the musical score of the Star Wars saga. The theme is a signature line of music and one of the most recognizable of John Williams's Star Wars motifs. It is also known as "Binary Sunset," and serves as the leitmotif for the Force, being present in all films of the Star Wars saga, although it was originally intended by Williams to be the theme of Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi.

Use[edit | edit source]

In the movies[edit | edit source]

It was introduced in Episode IV A New Hope when Princess Leia Organa gives R2-D2 the Death Star plans, but its most prominent inclusion was in the scene where Luke Skywalker gazes out to the twin suns of Tatooine. Later in the film, the theme plays as Luke comes upon his burning homestead and when a TIE fighter chases him during the battle over the Death Star, It once again starts near the end of this battle, when Obi-Wan Kenobi starts talking to Luke. Lastly in A New Hope, the theme plays twice during the victory celebration scene.

In Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, it plays when Luke grabs his lightsaber using the Force in the wampa's cave, when the Rebels are retreating from the AT-AT walkers, when Yoda reveals himself as the Jedi Master Luke had been looking for, and then several times on Dagobah. As Luke calls to Leia as he hangs from the bottom of Cloud City, Leia hears him through the Force, a unique ability for someone who is untrained. "The Force Theme" can again be heard when Leia hears her brother's words.

In Episode VI Return of the Jedi, when Luke asks Leia of her memories of her real mother, "The Force Theme" is played. At the end of the film, "The Force Theme" is played when Anakin Skywalker grabs Emperor Palpatine and throws him into a chasm. As Vader is burned, the theme is reprised as he passes into the Force.

At the beginning of Episode I The Phantom Menace, the theme accompanies Qui-Gon Jinn trying to cut through the Trade Federation's door. It plays again when Qui-Gon advises Anakin just before the podrace and when Shmi tells him Anakin has no father. As Anakin leaves Tatooine to become a Jedi, the theme comes in an outburst as he leaves his mother. The theme is much audible during Anakin's test before the Jedi Council on Coruscant; Yoda tells him that the fear Anakin feels could Iead him to the dark side of the Force. It can also be heard when Obi-Wan uses the Force to summon his master's lightsaber and slay Darth Maul, during the climactic lightsaber duel in the Theed Royal Palace. The theme is hinted at in the funeral music of Qui-Gon Jinn, which is brought back in Episode III.

In Episode II Attack of the Clones, the theme plays as Anakin and Padmé Amidala depart incognito to Naboo. As Anakin stands looking out to the sunset of Tatooine, the theme returns as he decides to venture out to look for his mother, who he just learned had been kidnapped by Tusken Raiders. The theme is reprised during the First Battle of Geonosis as Anakin pleads with Obi-Wan to halt their pursuit of Count Dooku to recover Padmé, and Yoda senses the impending confrontation.

Episode III Revenge of the Sith opens with "The Force Theme" accompanying the Battle of Coruscant backdrop as the camera follows Anakin and Obi-Wan in their starfighters, and playing again as they land on the Invisible Hand. It plays when Anakin tells Padmé about her death in his dreams. Due to his nightmares, Anakin tells Yoda of his preoccupations: the theme is played with deep tones as Yoda tells him that "death is a natural part of life." The theme is reprised during Obi-Wan's and Anakin's conversation before the Jedi Master departs to Utapau, and again as he arrives. It is played again when Anakin gets into an airspeeder and goes to Mace Windu and Palpatine's duel and then when Anakin asks Windu not to kill Palpatine. The theme can be heard when Anakin and Obi-Wan both use the Force against each other. The piece "Battle of the Heroes" quotes the theme as Obi-Wan tries desperately to bring Anakin back to the light. It is played again as Darth Vader wakes up for the first time in his new suit and when Yoda reveals to Obi-Wan that his former master, Qui-Gon Jinn, became immortal. The song can be heard again when Darth Vader and Palpatine watch the construction of the Death Star. The movie closes with this theme in a reprise of "Binary Sunset," just as it opened with it.

In the film Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "The Force Theme" underscores the film's resolution. It is used in a similar fashion in several early episodes of the subsequent television series. It reappears in "Overlords," underscoring Obi-Wan's comments to his vision of Qui-Gon Jinn regarding Anakin. The episode also introduces an ascending variant of the theme, using the first few notes, as a motif for the family on Mortis—most prominently heard during establishing shots of the temple. It is also reused and connects to "Ahsoka's Theme" in "The Wrong Jedi."

In Episode VII The Force Awakens, the tune appears in the tracks "Maz's Counsel" and "Han and Leia," as well as in "The Ways of the Force," when Rey and Kylo Ren are fighting, and in "The Jedi Steps and Finale" at the end of the film, when Rey finds Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To.

A version of the tune plays three times in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: when Bail Organa is seen onscreen for the first time in the Rebellion's debriefing with Jyn Erso at the beginning of the film; once when Jyn, Cassian Andor, and K-2SO depart Yavin for Jedha; and again at the end of the film as Leia's Tantive IV jumps to hyperspace fleeing Scarif with the Death Star plans. Although the Jedi and the Force are mentioned, no Jedi appear in the film, thus the slightly altered version of the piece.

Episode VIII The Last Jedi features the theme in several tracks, most notably "The Sacred Jedi Texts," "The Last Jedi," and "Peace and Purpose." It also appears while Kylo Ren (Ben) and Rey are using physical Force bond connection for the first time touching hands in the stone hut after Rey's mirror discovery in the cave. Kylo Ren's theme and Rey's are mixed together before the Force theme comes in near the end from "The Cave" track. For the third time in a row, the Force theme closes the movie as a part of the finale.

In Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker the theme is present in "We Go Together" during Leia and Rey's hug, in

"Destiny of a Jedi", "The Final Saber Duel" when Rey is healing Kylo Ren and in the "Finale".

In video games[edit | edit source]

Portions of the theme are in the Taris and Star Forge scenes of Knights of the Old Republic, in the context of "Bastila's Theme." "The Force Theme" sometimes briefly plays when the Jedi Exile in The Sith Lords receives Light Side Points.

In popular culture[edit | edit source]

"Star Wars - Binary Suns"
(info) · (help)
A dubstep remix performed by Coyote Kisses

The dubstep group Coyote Kisses covered "Binary Sunset" in a track titled "Star Wars - Binary Suns."[1]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Themes and leitmotifs
Introduced in Episode IV
Main Title (Luke) · Rebels · Imperials · the Force (Ben Kenobi) · Princess Leia · Death Star · Jawa · Tusken Raider · dies irae
"Star Wars Main Title" · "Mad About Me" (Cantina Band) (IV) · "Dune Sea Special" (Cantina Band #2)
"Here They Come!/TIE Fighter Attack" · "The Final Battle" · "The Throne Room"
Introduced in Episode V
the Empire/Darth Vader · droids · dark side · walkers · "Han Solo and the Princess" (IV) · Yoda · Boba Fett I
Lando Calrissian · "May the Force Be with You" · "The Asteroid Field"
Introduced in Episode VI
Jabba · Jabba's Baroque Recital · revelation · funeral · "Parade of the Ewoks" · Luke and Leia (IV, IV) · The Emperor · trap
"Jabba the Hutt" · "The Forest Battle" (V) · tension · mystery (IV, V) · "Ewok Celebration" (Yub Nub) · "Victory Celebration" (VI)
Introduced in Shadows of the Empire and Rogue Squadron
Xizor's Theme · Dash's theme · Rogue Squadron theme
Introduced in Episode I
droid march · "Duel of the Fates" · Qui-Gon · Jar Jar · Darth Maul · Anakin Skywalker (V) · Shmi
"The Flag Parade" · "Escape from Naboo" · "Symponik Nabooalla" ("Augie's Great Municipal Band") (VI)
Introduced in Episode II
conspiracy (IV, II) · "Across the Stars" (IV, IV, IV) · "The Meadow Picnic"
descent (IV, II) · "The Arena" (Republic) · Palpatine's machinations
Introduced in Episode III
General Grievous · Sith mystery · "Padmé's Ruminations" (III) · "Anakin's Betrayal" (II)
"Anakin's Dark Deeds" (V, II, III) · "Battle of the Heroes" · "Padmé's Destiny"
Introduced in Knights of the Old Republic I and II
Revan · Bastila Shan · Kreia · Sith Triumvirate (II) · Nar Shaddaa · Korriban
Introduced in Clone Wars and Empire at War
Advanced Recon Commandoes · Zann Consortium
Introduced in The Force Unleashed and The Old Republic
The Force Unleashed · Rahm Kota · Juno Eclipse · Redemption · the Commander · Valkorion · Aryn Leneer
Introduced in The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Bad Batch
Admiral Yularen (V) · clones · Ahsoka Tano · Plo Koon · Padmé Amidala
Savage Opress · the Force (mystery) (IV) · Satine Kryze · Bad Batch
Rebels (VI) · Ezra Bridger · the Grand Inquisitor · "Glory of the Empire" (V) · Maul · Thrawn · Omega
Introduced in Anthology Series
Galactic Empire · Jyn Erso & Hope Suite (Jyn Erso (IV) · hope (IV)Guardians of the Whills · messenger (IV) · Rogue One (IV)
Secrets · Han Solo · Han and Qi'ra · "Empire Recruitment" · Enfys Nest · L3-37 (VI)
Introduced in Episode VII
Kylo Ren (V, V, VI, I, I, II, VII) · Rey (IV, V, VI, II, II, III, VII) · Poe Dameron · the Resistance · Snoke · "Jedi Steps"
"Adagio" · "Scherzo for X-Wings"
Introduced in Episode VIII
"The Rebellion Is Reborn" · Rose Tico · desperation (VI) · Luke in exile
Introduced in Episode IX
"Anthem of Evil" (II, II, III, VI, VII, VIII) · Knights of Ren · "The Rise of Skywalker" (victory motif (II, VII) · friendship motif)
Introduced in Battlefront II, Jedi: Fallen Order, and Squadrons
Iden Versio's Theme · Cal Kestis · Second Sister · Eno Cordova · Main Theme
Introduced in The Freemaker Adventures, Galaxy's Edge, and LEGO Holiday Special
Main Title (Freemakers) · Symphonic Suite · "Tara's Theme" · "Pinteeka Dub" · "Age of Jedi" · connection
Introduced in The Mandalorian
Din Djarin (main theme) · Grogu · Gideon · Bo-Katan Kryze · Boba Fett II
See also: Songs
Real-world music
I · II · III · IV · V · VI · VII · VIII · IX
Original Soundtrack Anthology · Ultimate Vinyl Collection
Ultimate Soundtrack Edition · Ultimate Digital Collection
Spin-off films & TV:
Ewoks · The Clone Wars: film, Seasons 1–6, Season Seven (1–4, 5–8, 9–12) · Rebels: One, Two
Rogue One · Solo · The Mandalorian (Chapter 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9-12 · 13-16) · The Bad Batch
Video games:
Shadows of the Empire · Republic Commando · The Old Republic: Collector's Edition · YouTube playlist
Battlefront · Battlefront II · Jedi: Fallen Order · Squadrons
Galaxy's Edge:
Oga's Cantina: R3X's Playlist 1
Brennan Anderson · Clint Bajakian · Stephen Barton · Peter Bernstein · Paul Dinletir · Michael Giacchino · Patrick Gleeson
Ludwig Göransson · Mark Griskey · Gordy Haab · Jesse Harlin · Jerry Hey · Chris Hülsbeck · Nick von Kaenel · Dean Kiner
Kevin Kiner · Sean Kiner · Frank Klepacki · Peter McConnell · Bear McCreary · Joel McNeely · Lin-Manuel Miranda
Angela Morley · Jesi Nelson · Danny Piccione · John Powell · Ryan Shore · Jeremy Soule · Joseph Trapanese
James L. Venable · Paul Webb · John Williams · Joseph Williams
London Symphony Orchestra · London Voices
City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra · Royal Scottish National Orchestra
New London Children's Choir · Seattle Sinfonia Orchestra
Los Angeles Master Chorale · Jefferson Starship · The Hu
Sheet music books
The Phantom Menace · Attack of the Clones · Revenge of the Sith
Music from the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition · Selections from Star Wars
Star Wars: A Musical Journey: Episodes I-VI · Star Wars Episodes I, II & III Instrumental Solos
Star Wars for Beginning Piano Solo · The Force Awakens · Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Music videos
"Lapti Nek" · The Duel of the Fates · A Hero Falls
Bantha Music · Christmas in the Stars · Lapti Nek Dance Remix · Tusken Music · Headspace
In other languages
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