To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first Star Wars movie, and just in time for Christmas, Sony Classical is releasing a one-time deluxe edition of Williams' lush, timeless themes on Tuesday, November 6, 2007. The Music of Star Wars: 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition is housed in an elegant numbered box set featuring new cover art depicting the main Star Wars characters. The box contains eight CDs. Six of these are mastered from the Expanded Edition versions of the soundtracks from three Star Wars episodes:
-- Episode IV - A New Hope (two CDs)
-- Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (two CDs)
-- Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (two CDs)
Each of the above is housed in a gatefold mini-jacket that is a scale reproduction of the original LP cover art.
The seventh CD is Star Wars: The Corellian Edition. This is a collection of the most popular Star Wars themes from all six episodes - on one CD, for the first time. The new recording takes its name from the Corellian System, a fictional group of "core worlds" at the heart of the Star Wars galaxy. The 13- track Corellian Edition CD can be purchased separately. (The stand-alone version, housed in a single jewel case, became available in stores October 2, 2007. Its track lists and credits are printed on a newly designed six-panel, fold-out mini-poster.)
The eighth CD in the premium box set is a CD-ROM. Its digital artwork files faithfully reproduce all of the inserts - including gatefolds and posters - that were packaged with the original LP vinyl recordings of the themes from Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI.
The Music of Star Wars: 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition also includes:
-- an exclusive new 15" x 15" fold-out poster celebrating Episodes IV, V
-- three collectable 4" x 4" stickers, each featuring a four-color
reproduction of the CD cover from the Expanded Edition soundtrack of
one of these episodes;
-- new notes on the history of the first Star Wars soundtrack; and
-- track lists and credits for the CDs.
In 1977, John Williams had just finished serving as music director for Steven Spielberg's breakthrough feature Jaws. Spielberg, impressed with the high level of dramatic tension that Williams' score had imparted to the film, recommended him to another upcoming producer-director, George Lucas, who was hard at work on a project titled Star Wars.
Since then, Williams has composed the music and served as music director for one of the most phenomenally successful franchises in cinema history - the six episodes of Lucas's space-adventure saga, which take place "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away." Williams' score for the first Star Wars movie won the Academy Award for 1978, edging out another of his own scores (for Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind).
As Lucas planned and shot Star Wars "prequels" out of chronological sequence, the first movie was re-titled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The sixth and final installment, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, opened in May 2005. In an interview with National Public Radio, Williams said he had "never imagined in the 1970s that I'd still be working on the Star Wars project 30 years later."
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