Jukebox Heroes: Star Wars Galaxies' soundtrack

Justin Olivetti
J. Olivetti|12.03.13

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Jukebox Heroes: Star Wars Galaxies' soundtrack
Ah, Star Wars Galaxies. Even almost two years after your demise, it doesn't seem possible to shake you loose from our thoughts. Maybe the NGE was a blessing in disguise, a never-depleting power source of rage that will forever give life to your memories. In any case, it's time to talk about the one aspect of the game that was there before SWG was created and will go on indefinitely afterward: the soundtrack.

Talking about Star Wars Galaxies' soundtrack puts me in an odd position because a great deal of the OST is lifted directly from John Williams' movie scores. And what hasn't been said about those classics, really? But there are a few tracks here and there that I could pick out as being unique to the game, although the actual composer who did the job escapes my Google Fu.

So let's take one last trip to a Galaxies far, far away, shall we?

1. To Start a Journey

Right here is probably one of my all-time favorite pieces from Star Wars -- and I really doubt I'm alone on this. It's not the rock-out opening credits, but a slower, sadder piece that's just drenched with all manner of emotions. It's wistful, it's longing, it's greatness on the verge of discovery. It's also slightly magical, especially in its opening notes, and I believe that's why this suited the SWG login-in screen perfectly. Every MMO wishes it had something this incredible in its musical arsenal.

2. Ambush!

This is another lifted-from-the-films piece, but it's so dang good to ignore. It's this tense, utterly exciting track that keeps the action going from the first second until the last. You kind of want to be in something going 200 MPH when you hear it.

3. Break-neck Speeds

I can't recall this one as clearly from the film, but it's definitely got that Williams vibe so I wouldn't doubt that it came from somewhere. What I love most about this track is the very talented wood percussion that's blazing in the background. It's like there's a woodpecker back there infused with the Force, and he's giving it all he's got. In any case, another terrific action piece.

Our own Jef solved the mystery of this one: "This track is from Episode 1 where they're running the blockade around Naboo in the queen's starship (and R2D2 goes outside of the ship to fix the shields or something). Sad that I know that, but there it is."

4. Life Day Celebration

This is not just the first non-Williams track that I'm including here, but also a very jarring shift to what sounds like Christmas music done 1920s-style. I'm not rolling around in its audible fields of glory or anything, but I felt I should include it to get outside of the box a bit.

5. Birth of a Player City

I've been partial to this track for a while. The flutes set the stage for a rather relaxing tune that has no room for any negative emotions. It's easy to float through its 78 seconds in a sort of goofy bliss.

6. Entertainer Music

I have to finish off with a trademark oddball track, so I'm going to throw in a compilation of some of the Entertainer tunes from the game. It's somewhat long, so at least listen to the first part, "starwars1," for a good example of the toe-tapping jazzy beat. The unfortunate part of these is that the breaks between transitions and loops are noticeable enough to be jarring.

That's just skimming the surface of the entire Star Wars Galaxies soundtrack, so if I missed one of your favorites, why not share it in the comments?

MMOs aren't just about looks; they also have great soundtracks that often go unnoticed. Heroes don't stand for that! Every Tuesday, Jukebox Heroes will check out a game's soundtrack and feature the best tunes to share and discuss. Your DJ for the hour is Justin Olivetti, and the request line is open!
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