"The Flag Parade" is a theatrical motif written by John Williams for the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and its respective soundtrack. It was composed between October 1998 and February 1999 and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) during the month of February. The piece has a majestic style at a tempo of 92 bpm, with a time signature of 4/4 in the beginning and 2/4 during the main melody. The composition is one minute fourteen seconds long and is in the key of C major. The theme is used during the scene that shows the flag ceremony before the Boonta Eve Classic podrace near Tatooine's Mos Espa settlement. The composition is also used in the Mos Eisley "heroes versus villains" Assault Mode in the video game Star Wars: Battlefront II and again during the first cut scene in "Chapter 5: Mos Espa Podrace" of "Episode I" in LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game.

Conception and development[edit | edit source]

John Williams wrote the score for the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and the respective soundtrack,[12] as had been the case with the previous three Star Wars films from the original trilogy.[13][14][15] "The Flag Parade" was written for use during the flag ceremony scene directly before the Boonta Eve Classic podrace outside of Tatooine's Mos Espa settlement.[8] The piece, along with the entire score, was written between the months of October 1998 and February 1999 and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra during the month of February.[2] The original soundtrack was released by Sony Classical on May 4, 1999,[3] and the Ultimate Edition was released on November 14, 2000.[4] The original soundtrack was re-released on February 6, 2012 to coincide with the 3-D release of The Phantom Menace in theaters.[5] The album was also released on vinyl by "IAmShark" in 2013.[6] On September 25, 2015, it was announced that Sony Classical would be releasing the Phantom Menace soundtrack along with the other five films' soundtracks in three new sets: the Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection, the Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Edition, and the Star Wars: The Ultimate Digital Collection on January 8, 2016.[7]

Summary[edit | edit source]

The parade of flags prior to the start of the race

"The Flag Parade" has a majestic style at a tempo of 92 bpm, along with a time signature of 4/4 at the beginning and 2/4 during the main melody. The composition is one minute fourteen seconds long and is in the key of C major.[9] It starts with a loud cymbal crash and a brass fanfare, with trumpets followed by a descending phrase in which French horns are featured. Next in the fanfare is a trumpet part which consists of two sets of nine triplets with a quarter note at the end of each set. The fanfare continues with the trumpets and low brass playing between each other. The French horns then come in with the main melody, which contains two pickup sixteenth notes followed by four quarter notes, nine triplets, and two additional quarter notes. They continue with an eight note, two sixteenth notes, another two eight notes, and two more quarter notes.[1]

This is repeated again without the last quarter note. The whole melody is backed by a percussion and low brass beat, which is mainly composed of quarter notes and occasional eight note/two sixteenth notes beats. This is succeeded by another trumpet fanfare, which is followed by a repeat of the main melody again played by the French horns. Next is a string phrase followed by another trumpet fanfare-like part. Lastly, the horns play the primary melody for the third time, with the trumpets occasionally coming in with short phrases. The ending of the melody is played by the low brass and trumpets, who take turns on each phrase. The theme then fades out with a snare drum rhythm.[1]

Use[edit | edit source]

In the soundtracks[edit | edit source]

The Phantom Menace music book

The piece appears solely in the soundtrack for The Phantom Menace. In the original version, the theme is contained in the seventh track called "The Arrival at Tatooine and The Flag Parade." In the Ultimate Edition, the theme receives its own track, the thirty-first track, titled "The Flag Parade."[1]

In the movies[edit | edit source]

The piece is used in the flag ceremony scene just before the start of the Boonta Eve Classic podrace in The Phantom Menace.[8]

In the Expanded Universe[edit | edit source]

The composition also makes an appearance in the "heroes vs. villains" Assault Mode in Mos Eisley, and as General Grievous's theme in the video game Star Wars: Battlefront II.[10] The piece is utilized again during the first cut scene in "Chapter 5: Mos Espa Podrace" of "Episode I" in LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game.[11]

In other media and merchandise[edit | edit source]

The sheet music for the piece was published in the music book for The Phantom Menace, which was released by Bantha Music for the following instruments and editions: trumpet, piano, easy piano, clarinet, tenor sax, and alto sax..[9] The theme itself was played over the speakers at the "Tomorrowland Terrace" restaurant in Disneyland Park between showings of the Jedi Training Academy.[16]

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 · funeral · "Parade of the Ewoks" · Luke and Leia (IV, IV) · The Emperor (Sith) · trap
Jabba the Hutt" · "The Forest Battle" (V) · "Victory Celebration" (VI)
Introduced in Dark Forces, Shadows of the Empire, and Rogue Squadron
mystery (IV, V) · 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 and Rebels
Admiral Yularen (V) · clones · Ahsoka Tano · Plo Koon · Padmé Amidala
Savage Opress · the Force (mystery) (IV) · Satine Kryze
Rebels (VI) · Ezra Bridger · the Grand Inquisitor · "Glory of the Empire" (V) · Maul · Thrawn
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 · tension (II) · Snoke · "Jedi Steps"
"Adagio" · "Scherzo for X-Wings"
Introduced in Episode VIII
"The Rebellion Is Reborn" · Rose Tico · desperation (VII) · 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)
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 · 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
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