Video: Iconic musical themes from Star Wars explained

DENVER — To celebrate Star Wars Day, Colorado Public Radio Classical has published an article with two accompanying videos featuring Brett Mitchell exploring the soundtracks of the first two “Star Wars” movies: “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Composer John Williams created some of the most memorable musical themes in 1977 with the soundtrack to "Star Wars: A New Hope."

When filmmaker George Lucas met with Williams to first talk about the score, he told Williams that "Star Wars" was essentially an "old-fashioned" film and that he wanted a big, symphonic score reminiscent of the scores from the Golden Age of Hollywood by Erich Korngold, Max Steiner and others.

What he got was some of the most memorable, culturally iconic music ever created. 

"Aside from George Lucas, nobody deserves more credit for the success of ‘Star Wars’ than John Williams," actor Mark Hamill has said.

 You can still hear themes from the original movie in the most recent "Star Wars" films -- a testimony to how enduring they are.  

Colorado Symphony Music Director Brett Mitchell walks CPR Classical's David Rutherford through the score to  the first film, "A New Hope," in the video above and "The Empire Strikes Back" in the video below.