‘Star Wars: The Story in Music’ Concert Debuts New Concert Arrangements (Reports)

August 27, 2023, Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, MA
Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart
Jeremiah Kissel, narrator


  • Star Wars Main Title

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

  • The Flag Parade
  • Anakin’s Theme
  • Duel of the Fates

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

  • Across the Stars

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

  • General Grievous
  • Enter Lord Vader

Episode IV: A New Hope

  • Princess Leia’s Theme
  • Binary Sunset
  • Cantina Band (arr: Ramin)

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

  • The Asteroid Field
  • Yoda’s Theme
  • The Imperial March


Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

  • Jabba the Hutt
  • Luke and Leia
  • Parade of the Ewoks
  • The Forest Battle

Episode VI: The Force Awakens

  • March of the Resistance
  • Rey’s Theme
  • Scherzo for X-Wings
  • The Jedi Steps

Episode VII: The Last Jedi

  • Chrome Dome
  • The Rebellion is Reborn

Episode VIII: The Rise of Skywalker

  • The Speeder Chase
  • Farewell (Rey and Ben)
  • Rise of Skywalker


  • Star Wars End Title



Report by Jason Leblanc (original post)

OK, my initial thoughts are that this a cool idea for a concert, and that it was largely successful at doing what I felt like it was trying to accomplish. However I kept thinking of improvements they could do to make it even better… I will be curious to see if the Boston and Japan concerts are tweaked at all.

Biggest takeaway for me was of course hearing General Grievous, Enter Lord Vader, Chrome Dome, Speeder Chase, Farewell, and Rise of Skywalker live. More detailed thoughts on everything later, but for sure, Speeder Chase and Rise of Skywalker are wonderful additions to a live John Williams concert, and I hope I can see himself conduct them somehow someday!

Report by ‘DangerMotif’ (original post)

One of my favorite concerts i’ve ever been to. I was a little nervous about the narrator but it worked out very well, and Duel Of The Fates was amazing. My only issues where some performance issues, mainly in the brass, most probably due to most of the players being on tour. And that I think it lost a little steam during the sequel trilogy. Amazing concert and much prefer the going the movie suite route instead of jumping around.

Report by ‘Falstaf’ (original post)

Seems like I’ll have to be making some updates to the Concert Arrangements section of the SW Thematic Catalogue! Based on initial impressions of the stuff that’s genuinely novel in the program:

  • General Grievous: Essentially the same as the ROTS OST track 5 up until the splice that happens at 2:19, where this arrangement just ends. So, 3m7 + 4m4, but not 4m4A.
  • Enter Lord Vader: Essentially the same as ROTS OST track 11. (Entirety of 5m6)
  • Binary Sunset: Nothing more or less than the sunset sequence from ANH, so the middle of “The Princess Appears” (3m1), starting from the the brief arpeggiated intro, through force theme, and with a sustained G-pedal to conclude rather than a transition to the rebel fanfare as in the original cue.
  • Chrome Dome: Essentially identical to TLJ OST track 15 (7m69)
  • Speeder Chase: Presumably taken from the Concert Arrangement from the TROS Signature Edition, or a portion of it. Has a new, tiny (1 measure?) swell to kick things off, followed by a slight reworking of the material 0:00-0:14, then proceeds exactly as the track 5 does. That is, up until the moment that corresponds to ~1:45 on the track 5. Everything following that timestamp is gone, replaced by a short but entirely new and quite sparkly new ending based on the cue’s heroic theme. Kind of an odd arrangement — would work brilliantly if more of the material was preserved from the latter portion of the track.
  • Farewell (Rey and Ben): Just the opening portion of OST track 16, through the complete statement of Rey’s theme. No kiss music, no Ben’s death, etc. So, almost certainly just a segment of the large-scale concert arrangement we know JW prepared, but not its entirety. Narration on top covers basically the entire plot of TROS after Pasaana.
  • Rise of Skywalker: Essentially the same as TROS OST track 3, up until the end of the tutti statement of Victory (3:30 on the track), segueing immediately to the ESB version of the End Credits (in Eb, so barely justified by the Bb cadence in Rise). Incredibly clumsy transition into credits music, but hey, haven’t they all been since AOTC?! ;)

Report by ‘BSOinsider’ (original post)

Quite a few cuts were used to keep the concert close to the 2 hour mark. The specific cuts are listed by another user earlier in this discussion.

Speeder Chase was HL Signature, with a sizable cut from 61-114. Yes, measure 61 in HL corresponds to just about 1:45 on track 5.

Farewell (Rey and Ben) was just the opening 15 bars of the 70 bar piece.

Rise of Skywalker was also cut short with an added transition as you describe. I anticipate that that specific transition spot will be reworked before the Boston and Japan performances.