Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Star Wars Ep. II: Attack of the Clones (Williams, 2002)

Star Wars Ep. I:
The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Ep. II:
Attack of the Clones
Star Wars Ep. III:
Revenge of the Sith

     2002 saw the release of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, a direct sequel to Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and followed in turn by Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.  John Williams' 5th entry in the Star Wars series is highlighted by a soaring love theme ("Across the Stars") and an epic-length chase cue through the skies of Coruscant, driven by various percussion textures.  On the soundtrack, the Coruscant chase cue is extended with percussion cadenzas and features added electric guitar.  For Star Wars fans of old, one of the most exciting elements is the final cue in which Darth Vader's theme (the Imperial March) makes a full and gloriously sinister appearance.

     Like all of the Star Wars soundtracks before it, this one was also made up of musical suites of cues designed to create a kind of "home concert program", with the dynamic elements spread around.  The film itself often used edited versions or alternate takes of the original cues.  It also drew heavily from retracked action cues originally recorded for The Phantom Menace, especially in the final Battle of Geonosis (Trade Federation March, The Battle Rages On, Droid Army Attack motif, Attack of the Giant Fish, Escape from Naboo, The Queen & Group Land On Naboo, etc).  Besides the themes returning from the previous 4 films (Luke, the Force, Yoda, Vader, the Emperor, Duel of the Fates, the Trade Federation March, Anakin's theme), Williams added several new themes, with the Love theme being the most developed.

  • Love theme ("Across the Stars"): a soaring and romantic theme which rises and falls earnestly, but has additional sub-themes which are melancholy and dark.
  • Meadow theme: lilting rhythm with high figures, innocent and pastoral.
  • Dooku motif: sinister motif, slow and brooding (occurs much more in the actual film than the soundtrack).
  • Kamino fanfare and theme: a fanfare followed by broad swaying figures and harp sweeps.
  • Dilemma ostinato: arpeggio motif, mysterious and irresistibly hypnotic.

Trk Dur Title Film Sequence, Themes
1 3:46 Star Wars
Main Title
Ambush on Coruscant
  • 0:00: Main title and crawl (fanfare, Luke theme).
  • 1:25: Senator Amidala's starship and escort fighters approach Coruscant (foreboding string/brass textures).
  • 1:39: On Kamino, a native cloner flies an aquatic flying animal through the rain (Kamino fanfare leading to Kamino theme).  Obi-Wan is led to Jango Fett's quarters and meets Boba Fett (thoughtful strings/muted brass).
  • 2:11: Obi-Wan's Jedi starfighter arrives at Kamino.  He lands and enters the city (descending brass, Kamino fanfare, Kamino theme in strings/brass, winds).
  • 3:00: Obi-Wan is escorted to an audience with the Prime Minister of Kamino (Dooku motif in low brass/ethereal high textures, quiet rhythmic figures). 
2 5:33 Across the Stars
(Love Theme)
Concert Suite
  • 0:00: Arpeggio motif in harp/soft strings
  • 0:13: Theme A on oboe over strings/harp, flute joins
  • 0:55: Arpeggio motif developed with pizz. strings
  • 1:03: Theme A extended on strings, trombones
  • 1:41: Theme A on brass/strings
  • 2:01: Theme B on strings (melancholy)
  • 2:26: Theme C on strings/brass/winds (darker variation), modulating
  • 3:06: Theme A on strings, trombones
  • 3:42: Theme A on brass/strings/timpani
  • 4:02: Theme B on brass/swirling strings, winds/swirling strings
  • 4:26: Theme C on accented strings/brass accents
  • 4:37: Theme A on harp/soft strings 
  • 5:02: Arpeggio motif with Theme A coda on oboe/strings/harp
3 11:07 Zam the Assassin and the Chase Through Coruscant
  • 0:00: On a Coruscant balcony, Jango Fett gives Zam some poison kouhun worms to use on Senator Amidala (ethnic percussion and dissonant textures).
  • 0:24: Delivered by probe droid, the poison worms enter Amidala's bedroom, as Obi-Wan and Anakin discuss politics in the other room (ethereal textures with piano ornaments/muted brass/winds, building string figures and drums). 
  • 1:08: Sensing danger, Anakin rushes in and destroys the worms.  Obi-Wan leaps out through the window and grabs onto Zam's probe droid which takes him on an aerial ride over Coruscant's Galactic City.  Anakin acquires an airspeeder and pursues (action figures, rhythmic brass accents with percussion and wind/string ornaments/interludes).
  • 2:18: Zam sees Obi-Wan approaching, shoots at him and makes a run for it (drum solo).  Obi-Wan falls but Anakin catches him in his airspeeder (brass accent rhythm, accents).
  • 2:51: Obi-Wan and Anakin continue to pursue Zam through Coruscant's industrial sector (new syncopated chase rhythm, electric guitar (unused in film), xylophone tremoli, falling figures, fanfares, etc.).
  • 4:20: (drum solo, rhythmic strings, el. guitar, unused)
  • 5:25: Obi-Wan reprimands Anakin for losing Zam (brass layers, held strings/brass accents).  Anakin leaps over the side of the airspeeder and dives down to Zam's ship (falling figures).
  • 6:02: Anakin struggles aboard Zam's airspeeder and drops his lightsaber (low drums, chase rhythms on brass and strings, fanfares).  He forces Zam to crash (brass fanfares, drums, brass accents, falling strings, etc).
  • 7:27: Zam exits her airspeeder and runs through the crowd with Anakin in pursuit (rhythmic strings/drums/muted brass, drum solo, etc).  Obi-Wan lands (muted brass and fast string figures).
  • 8:41: Obi-Wan catches up with Anakin after Zam runs into a club.  He gives Anakin his lightsaber back.  They quietly search for Zam inside the club (piano/held strings/muted brass, quiet figures).
  • 9:24: Obi-Wan turns down some death sticks (bass clarinet figure).  Zam tries to sneak up on Obi-Wan, but he disarms her (increasing brass layers/rhythmic pulse, low strings).
  • 10:19: Outside, the Jedi interrogate Zam, but she is killed by Jango's poison saberdart (dark winds/strings, timpani roll into sad cor anglais/harp, suspense textures).  At the Jedi Temple, the High Council tells Obi-Wan to track down the bounty hunter (small fanfare into wind accents/high strings).
4 3:55 Yoda and the Younglings
  • 0:00: On the freighter bound for Naboo, Artoo is turned away at the counter, as Padmé and Anakin talk about the life of a Jedi and forbidden love (lyrical flute/harp/muted brass figure, relaxed strings, Love theme on winds).
  • 1:08: Obi-Wan visits Yoda's Youngling training class and explains that he can't find a planet (noble brass, Yoda's theme on flute/clarinet, curious winds/muted brass).
  • 2:03: The room darkens and a star map is projected (children's choir/harp/strings).  A Youngling proposes that the planet Obi-Wan is looking for is missing from the archives (celli enter).
  • 3:06: Yoda is concerned since only a Jedi could have erased the archive data (Force theme).  Meanwhile, the refugee ship carrying Anakin and Padmé arrives at Naboo (strings into Love theme fanfare).
5 1:44 Departing
  • 0:00: Padmé and Anakin offer their final sentiments to Dormé and Obi-Wan before they leave for Naboo (warm brass figures, strings, patient winds/brass/strings).
  • 0:49: The couple leave their friends and Anakin begins his first official assignment as Padmé's protector (Force theme on flute, clarinet figures continue from before).  The freighter to Naboo takes off (brass figures into fanfare, soft strings).
6 3:57 Anakin and Padmé
  • 0:00: Anakin tries to impress Padmé with the Force and levitates vegetables at the dinner table (soft high textures, Meadow theme on flute/chimes/harp, celli) .
  • 0:59: Later that night, Anakin pours out his heart to Padmé (Love theme on vibraphone, worried strings, flute).
  • 2:11: Padmé tells him that their love is not practical despite their feelings (melancholy Love theme B on falling strings, thoughtful winds/strings, clarinet solo).
  • 3:06: Anakin proposes that they keep their relationship a secret one, but Padmé resists (low strings, Love theme B).
  • 3:38: (scene change, unused, probably to Kamino, urgent brass swell)
7 3:48 Jango's Escape
  • 0:00: On Kamino, Obi-Wan rushes to Jango Fett's launch pad in order to capture him.  They begin fighting (brass/wind action figures/accents, timpani/anvil, drums with brass accent rhythm, etc).
  • 1:25: Jango falls over the edge of the platform and pulls Obi-Wan after him (falling figures).  Obi-Wan falls onto a lower level but by the time he returns to the pad Jango has launched his ship and escapes (swirling strings, urgent brass rhythm, rhythmic strings, etc).
  • 2:48: Padmé's Naboo starship approaches and lands on Tatooine (landing fanfare).
  • 3:08: Padmé and Anakin ride a rickshaw in Mos Espa and find Watto (Tatooine street motif with flutes/percussion/cymbalom, etc).
8 4:14 The Meadow
  • 0:00: While picnicking in a meadow, Padmé and Anakin discuss first loves and politics (playful Meadow theme in winds with chime accents, supported by strings and brass ornaments, innocent figures).
  • 1:37: The young couple flirt (lilting figures into Love theme).  Anakin pretends to be injured in order to tease Padmé (worried strings, lilting Meadow theme).
  • 2:29: Obi-Wan says goodbye to his Kamino host and heads out to his Jedi starfighter to contact Masters Windu and Yoda at the Jedi Temple (low textures, Dilemma ostinato in various wind/string instruments).  Yoda is disturbed that he did not sense the existence of the clone army earlier (foreboding low brass).
  • 3:40: Anakin has a nightmare about his mother (swirling strings/muted brass).  In the morning he stands pensive before the sunset (fateful brass/strings).
9 3:23 Bounty Hunter's Pursuit
  • 0:00: When Obi-Wan follows Jango's ship into an asteroid field, Jango launches a torpedo at Obi-Wan (brass/string/percussion action figures).  The Jedi releases spare parts canisters to detonate the torpedo, and pretends to be destroyed.  Jango lands on Geonosis and descends into an underground bunker (string rhythm, descending figures).  Obi-Wan follows him down (string rhythms).
  • 1:27: Obi-Wan is given a tour of the cloning facilities on Kamino and told about Jango Fett (low strings/muted brass and ethereal textures, curious wind figures/high strings).
  • 2:46: From a balcony, Obi-Wan gets a look at the clone army troopers (drum accents, Trade Federation March).
10 6:57 Return to Tatooine
  • 0:00: Anakin and Padmé arrive at the Lars residence and are greeted by C-3P0 (light strings/high textures, Tatooine indigenous percussion motif,  celeste textures, brass cadence).
  • 1:02: Anakin and Padmé meet the Lars family (regal but somber strings).
  • 1:24: Cliegg Lars tells Anakin that his mother was captured by Tusken Raiders (Dilemma ostinato in low strings/harp, poignant strings).
  • 2:48: As the sun sets, Anakin resolves to find his mother (Dilemma ostinato in flute/poignant strings/brass, harp).  He hugs Padmé goodbye (Force theme).
  • 3:35: Anakin rides through the desert in the red sunset, and interrogates some Jawas (Duel of the Fates theme in strings/brass/choir).
  • 4:09: Obi-Wan explores the interior of Geonosis and discovers a droid factory.  He overhears Count Dooku talking with Viceroy Gunray about Padmé (falling low winds/brass, falling strings/harp, flute/dissonant winds, pizz. bass, held suspense textures). 
  • 5:51: Obi-Wan eavesdrops as the Count addresses the Separatists at a meeting.  The council discusses their combined droid army (Dooku motif in low brass/string cluster glissandi dialogue with low winds/choir, flute/harp end cadence).
11 5:54 The Tusken Camp and the Homestead
  • 0:00: Anakin approaches the Tusken camp where his mother is being held captive (woodblocks/muted brass/synth, tremolo/pizz. strings).
  • 0:48: Anakin finds Shmi and frees her (eerie flute/female choir, falling string/harp figure).  She speaks her last words and dies (Shmi motif on mournful flute, horn, poignant strings, dark figures).
  • 2:29: Anakin becomes angry and begins slaughtering the Tusken Raiders (swelling wind/string figures, swirling strings/brass accents, low string tremoli).  At the Jedi Temple Yoda is disturbed and senses Anakin's pain and suffering (Dilemma ostinato variation, Vader theme on muted brass/flute).  On Geonosis, Obi-Wan tries to contact Coruscant but it is too far away (wind ostinati continues). 
  • 4:00: He sends a relay message to Anakin instead (staccato "telegraph" rhythm).  He is sighted by a Geonosian (low suspense strings/brass accents).  Artoo receives Obi-Wan's message (flute/brass accents).
  • 5:04: Anakin returns to the Lars residence with Shmi's body wearing a very stern expression (dark fanfare, foreboding low figures/male choir, brass accents).
12 8:29 Love Pledge and the Arena
  • 0:00: Before Anakin and Padmé are about to be taken out to a gladiatorial pit, they talk about their love for one another (low swell, suspense strings, Love theme in strings, oboe, celli, violins, flute/synth, violins).  Their chariot is pulled out into the arena (soaring Love theme on strings/brass/percussion).
  • 1:51: Anakin and Padmé are chained up next to Obi-Wan (xylophone/wind/snare rhythm motif with brass/piano figures, string accents, building with synth accents, snare roll). 
  • 2:42: (partially used/re-sequenced) Three giant monsters enter the arena.  The 3 heroes free themselves and fight the creatures (Arena march on brass and drums (variation of Trade Federation March), with synth and swirling string ornaments/additional percussion/brass layers).
  • 5:51: Anakin eventually tames and mounts one of the creatures (brass accents, march developed).
  • 6:09: Padmé joins Anakin on his beast (Love theme motif), with Obi-Wan soon following suit (fast string rhythm accelerates).  Destroyer droids enter the arena and surround them.  Mace Windu arrives and tells Dooku that "this party's over" (drum solo, ending brass/wind flourishes).
  • 6:58: While pursuing Count Dooku's speeder bike, Padmé falls out of the Republic gunship (fast rhythm with brass/strings/xylophone, Love theme on strings, brass, urgent strings motif, brass).  Obi-Wan convinces Anakin to leave her behind and continue the chase (Force theme on brass/poignant strings, urgent strings motif, fanfare into falling brass).
  • 8:14: Obi-Wan and Anakin confront Count Dooku inside his launch hangar (low suspense chord).
13 10:45 Confrontation with Count Dooku and Finale
  • 0:00: (unused, swirling strings/choir/harp, Force theme, string/timpani cadence, suspense strings/brass)
  • 0:43: Count Dooku's solar sailor approaches Coruscant and lands in an industrial sector (swirling strings/choir/harp, foreboding low motif).
  • 1:15: Dooku is greeted by Darth Sidious when he lands (siren-like vocals/harp/suspense strings)
  • 1:48: At the Jedi Temple, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu and Yoda discuss the growing influence of the Sith and the Clone War (worried flute figure/synth, strings, piano scales, harp arpeggio, string tremoli and dissonant winds).
  • 2:48: The Army of the Republic boards Star Destroyers which soon launch for battle, as Palpatine and other members of the Senate look on from a balcony (growing string figures, Vader theme in brass with extended fanfare).
  • 3:38: Anakin and Padmé have a secret marriage on Naboo, with Threepio and Artoo as witnesses (soaring Love theme in strings/brass).
  • End credits:
    • 4:43: Luke's theme, Rebel fanfare, Luke's theme.
    • 5:36: Love theme A.
    • 6:34: Love theme B.
    • 6:59: Love theme C.
    • 7:39: Love theme A.
    • 8:34: Love theme B. 
    • 8:58: Love theme C.
    • 9:09: Love theme A on harpsichord/harp.
    • 9:40: Anakin's theme on horns, Love theme ending on flute, Vader theme on low strings, harp.
14 3:02 On the Conveyor Belt (Target exclusive)
(Unused bonus track)
  • 0:00: After landing on Geonosis, Anakin and Padmé are attacked by the insectoid natives.  The find their way to a droid factory (eerie muted brass/col legno strings/winds, percussion rhythm joined by brass accents, string gliss, tremolo strings).
  • 0:50: The couple fall onto a conveyor belt and dodge the machinery (wind and brass scherzo with string/percussion accents/ornaments).

     For a much more detailed look at the original cues, see the topic at the JWFan Network forum (which made the above table much easier to assemble).

Star Wars Ep. II: Attack of the Clones Wikia Entry
Across the Stars Wikia
Star Wars Musical Scores Wikia
John Williams Wiki Entry
JWFan Network Star Wars Themes topic
JWFan Network Complete Cue List: Attack Of The Clones
Filmtracks Review

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