By Karla Walker | The third installment of the beloved original trilogy, “Return of the Jedi” builds on the memorable themes that composer John Williams first created for his Oscar-winning score in “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

The floating and forboding visage of Emperor Palpatine, first glimpsed in the “Empire Strikes Back,” was finally given a persona when the dark figured strolled onto the deck of the rebuilt Death Star.

Later, as he sat upon his throne and plotted against the Rebel Alliance, Williams created an ominous theme for him. As Colorado Symphony Music Director Brett Mitchell explained, Williams broke new ground with a men’s chorus that sung in a chant-like style in their lowest range.

This technique is fairly standard now but in 1983 it was novel and laid the groundwork for video game music like “Final Fantasy” and “Middle Earth: Shadow of Modor.”

There are many musical ties between Jedi, Empire and Star Wars. Mitchell explores the themes in the video below.

Instantly recognizable, the “Imperial March,” made its appearance in “The Empire Strikes Back” and is musically part of the opening scene in Jedi as the new Death Star is revealed.

The march is one of many leitmotifs scattered throughout the score for Star Wars and usually heralds the dark and imposing appearance of Darth Vadar. As Mitchell says in the video below, you can’t go to a professional sporting event without hearing it.

The Colorado Symphony will perform the score of “Return of the Jedi” live as the film is screened on Feb. 27, Feb. 28 and Feb. 29 at the Boettcher Concert Hall.

CPR’s Jim Hill contributed to this report.


Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in Concert

In the climactic sixth episode of the Star Wars saga, Darth Vader readies the second Death Star to unleash the final blow to the Rebel Alliance. Luke Skywalker joins R2-D2, C-3PO and Princess Leia to free Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt and launch a desperate attack upon the entire Imperial Fleet. Watch the c?omplete film unfold as your ?Colorado Symphony performs John Williams’ legendary score.

Movie screened with live orchestra performing full film score. Stay for the credits, you’ll be glad you did!

Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts in association with 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm Ltd., and Warner/Chappell Music.

© 2019 & TM LucasFilm Ltd. All rights reserved. ©DISNEY?
MPAA Rating: PG

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