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  • Sam Smythe

Top 3 Star Wars film tracks I used in Battlefront

While working on developing the music for the 2015 video game Star Wars: Battlefront, lead composer Gordy Haab and myself (additional composer) had quite the task from DICE Studio's audio team. The music for the game would be a mix of actual selections from John Williams' original scores for the Star Wars films plus completely new, original music written for the game by Gordy and myself.

Of course the music for this game had to sound like authentic John Williams-style Star Wars. Not only did we have to write like John Williams, but oftentimes we had to expand on his original film music tracks that were selected by DICE. We were to extend the them by a certain amount of minutes to create a uniform, longer piece of music. This didn't mean that we could just copy what he was doing, it was more a process of writing music that is completely original but sounds in the vein of the Williams piece. More on how we did this in a later post.

So we were given specific clips from the original films and asked to write music that either starts with the John Williams music and then transitions into our new music seamlessly, or vice versa.

Here are my top 3 assigned John Williams tracks for music I wrote in Star Wars: Battlefront:

1. "The Asteroid Field" from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

I LOVE this piece of music. I especially love the section where the clip below starts. The shear brilliance in John Williams' orchestration for this section is stunning. The shiny melody on violins and trumpet, the frittering high woodwind patterns, the pizzicato low string pulse...😍 Perfecto. I've used this track as inspiration in many pieces of music I've written for several different Star Wars games including the recently released Star Wars: Squadrons.

2. "The City in the Clouds" from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Since the planets that the game takes place on are from the original trilogy's films, we of course referenced the music from those planets in John Williams' scores. The planet Bespin is a large gas giant with billowing clouds suspending a lavish metropolis, Cloud City. A lot of the musical sonic concepts from this planet are based on dense swirling musical elements with a big, grand melody on top. Take a listen to a section that inspired one of my assigned pieces of music for the game.

3. "The Death Star" from Star Wars: A New Hope

Being sucked into the Death Star with Lord Vader himself must have been quite the dread-filled experience for the crew of the Millennium Falcon . The opening brass that begin this classic scene from A New Hope is quite iconic and was definitely a directive for a piece of music I wrote for the Death Star part of the game.


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