"Battle of Endor III" from Return of the Jedi // Composed by John Williams
By popular vote, I am excited to share a piece that fits the category of "Redemption/Freedom/Return/Triumph"! However, I don't think that those who voted for "Loss/Heartbreak/Grief/Angst/Pain/Regret" will be disappointed by this selection. It was very interesting seeing what types of pieces you all like to hear (and I hope read about in my analysis haha). I am very happy this category won though, because it contained my favorite of all the thematic suggestions that I received: "Freedom". To me, this moment in "Battle of Endor III" perfectly exemplifies "freedom". I've talked alot about how variations in appearances of "The Imperial March" mean different things. More militaristic and upbeat = the Empire. Slower and darker = Vader and the person who lies within. This cue is an outlier though. As the violins whisper an upper octave rendition of the infamous theme, we are presented not with the strength of the Empire, not the evils of the Dark Side, and not the wrath of Darth Vader. This appearance of "Imperial March" carries everything that is the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker. Everything he lost. All of the pain he endured at the hands of his Master. Though this piece of music carries such a heavy sense of loss, it also possess the one thing that Anakin never had in his life until now, in his dying moments: freedom. This moment is his redemption, his return, but more importantly than anything else, this moment is Anakin's freedom from all the pain, loss, and Darkness that has characterized his life. These few notes, to me, carry more weight than any other musical cue in the SW saga.