First, let us get the obvious bit out of the way. Whether you are a dyed-in-the-wool fanatic or someone who is only vaguely aware of the adventures of Luke Skywalker and his pals, there is no more recognisable a piece of film music than John Williams’ soaring main theme from Star Wars. The scores to some of the most iconic productions of all time are quite simply stunning, and this collection of soundtracks from the first six films, brings the music together for the first time in one handy place. The scores from the original trilogy do stand out but the prequels are interesting for their variations on a theme, and of course for the soaring Duel Of The Fates. There is even a disc featuring interviews with Harrison Ford and Williams himself, and a “musical journey” narrated by Ian McDiarmid that, while playing like an elongated trailer, is worth watching.
The main problem is in whom this is for. The availability of streaming services ensures no shortage of soundtrack options and the resurgence of vinyl (this collection is also available in this format but for this review we are tackling the CD set) provides some nostalgia for those who want it. Who then will fork out nearly forty English pounds for a few CD’s?
The next issue comes in the form of the packaging. While the main box itself is fairly aesthetically pleasing, the discs inside are contained in flimsy cardboard sleeves, which give the whole thing a distinct impression of cheapness. A few mini postcards feel almost condescending for their inclusion.
In musical terms this would make a decent gift for the Star Wars fan in your life, but only if you’d explored other alternatives. And make sure they have a CD player! Well, you never know.
STAR WARS: THE ULTIMATE SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION / ARTIST: JOHN WILLIAMS / LABEL: SONY MUSIC CLASSICAL / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW