VGM Playlist #4 – ‘Star Wars’

This is a series of posts and playlists showing off video game equivalents to the themes of Classic FM’s Saturday Night at the Movies shows

As we tumble into May, we get ever closer to ‘Star Wars Day’ where everyone will have a great laugh because May the 4th sounds a bit like ‘May the Force’ (though at least it’s not ‘Pi Day’…) and so everyone and their wellington boots will be having their annual Star Wars special themed episodes and here Classic FM is no different.

My disparagement of whimsical fake holidays aside, I actually don’t mind the Star Wars franchise; while the overall universe and histories of everyone in it doesn’t really interest me, the original trilogy are fun films with great scores behind them. Even better, there have been some excellent spin-off games and associated soundtracks over the years, using John Williams’ fantastic original score as a framework to put their own spin on the themes of the world. Or if you’re a LEGO game, have an excuse to use the original score however you like.

There are two popular names that crop up on the video game side of Star Wars music. First, we have Jeremy Soule who wrote cues for Knights of the Old Republic (the soundtrack was made with synthesizers at the time) as well as the score for Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. In both of these, original themes were created by Soule which have gone on to be used in future games (both in the series for KOTOR and in the Galaxies MMORPG.

The second name is Mark Griskey and though less well-known in the game music circles developed Soule’s work for KOTOR II while also incorporating some new themes. Furthermore, original themes were composed alongside classic Williams’ pieces from the original trilogy (The Force Theme, The Imperial March, and The Rebel Fanfare) in order to create the soundtrack to The Force Unleashed.

Add to these Chris Hulsbeck’s work on the Rogue Squadron series as well as another couple of original themes from Jesse Harlin in Republic Commando and you can see that composers in the interactive world have definitely left their mark on the most famous franchise in history

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