What is remarkable about this cue is how musical it is for a combat cue. Lots of combat music is a confusion of changing time signatures and disjointed figures. 

John William’s Battle of the Heroes is 2 basic ideas which we hear right up front – a fast string ostinato, and a horn playing the battle motif. There’s not much else aside from punctuations between statements of this theme.

We hear the motif with a chorus singing unison, then the chorus harmonizes, then the horns play it as an ensemble. We hear it at half-speed around the climactic moment of the cue, and towards the end, as a canon.

With each restatement, John Williams adds variations and development. It is decorated with many of his trademark  Star Wars musical textures – rapid triplet horn lines, harp runs, xylophone doubling the strings, all with a grandeur that softens the idea of combat and makes it something operatic. 

Posted 7 years ago by John Piscitello

Add your comment