Obscured by the familiar grandeur of John Williams's score for Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace
was the sheer volume of the composer's prodigious musical efforts. Not only did Williams expand on the original Star Wars
trilogy's musical language with a whole new range of modern classical inspirations, but his efforts also produced more than two hours of seamless symphonic foundation for the galactic epic, enough wall-to-wall music to power three less ambitious films. This impressively packaged double-disc set offers Williams's complete Episode 1
score for the first time. It's a worthy tribute to the scoring legend's mastery of tone, dynamics, and nuance--a virtual musical tone poem that imparts much of the film's dramaturgy. Divorced from the bombastic visual assault of state-of-the-art digital effects, one is struck by the composition's emotional resonance. It's the small, quiet moments that give the story its subtle, crucial humanity; it's hard to imagine a film conceit so outlandish functioning without it. The Ultimate Edition includes a bonus track of the stirring choral centerpiece, "Duel of the Fates," with an overlaid dialogue montage, as well as a photo-rich booklet that illustrates each of the film's key scenes and musical cues. --Jerry McCulley
Let no Star Wars fan go home disappointed-this 2-CD soundtrack set brings you every note John Williams composed for one of the most anticipated films in recent history, from the opening fanfare to the last end credit! All 68 tracks are in order as heard in the film, two bonus tracks (with sound effects and dialogue) are included and more than 60 photos grace the pages of the 60-page booklet. A collector's dream!