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Ride of the Valkryies?

October 24th, 2003 · 3 Comments

Speaking of Star Wars (since I mentioned Darth Siddius in a recent post)….while we were staying with our friends in Port Angeles, we listened to Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries on the stereo. I told Ted I thought it was in the Star Wars soundtrack. He disagreed. We made a blog bet: whoever lost would post. I’ve done a little web resarch and come up with nothing. So here I am posting, and wondering…why did Ride of the Vallykyries remind me of Star Wars? Is there a connection there? Why did it sound familiar? Maybe I had the piece of music confused – maybe something else was playing on the stereo? And no, I have never seen Apocalypse Now, which does contain Wagner’s piece.

I did find though a cute comparison between the Ring/Wagner and Star Wars/Lucas: Does Star Wars ‘Ring’ a Bell? George Lucas’ Star Wars vs Richard Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelungs

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gordon Weakliem // Oct 27, 2003 at 8:53 am

    AFAIK, all the Star Wars movies have completely original soundtracks composed by John Williams. I remember having the soundtrack album when I was a kid and Williams wrote about his influences in the notes. I don’t remember Wagner being mentioned, but that was a long time ago. It’s pretty likely that he looked to Wagner for the martial themes, esp. with the Empire. Also, Holst’s “The Planets” reminds me of the Star Wars soundtrack.

  • 2 Gordon Weakliem // Oct 29, 2003 at 9:05 am

    http://www.jitterbug.com/origins/music.html lists a few of the explicit influences (Lucas apparently put together a draft soundtrack using music he liked) and though Wagner isn’t listed among the influences, there’s a mention of the “leitmotiv” technique that Wagner was famous for, as well as a link to a comparison to Star Wars to the Ring Cycle. I also found an interview with Williams at http://www.cswu.cz/johnwilliams/interview/jw-swtrilogy.html, where he talks about the Wagnerian and Operatic connections.

  • 3 me // Oct 31, 2003 at 11:54 pm

    Thanks for all this information, Gordon! I’ve enjoyed reading the links in your comments. Maybe I was hearing something after all….:)