"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]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
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