1 – Duel of the Fates Theme

WEDNESDAY, January 15, 2020

Duel of the Fates Theme…

The lyrics are based on a fragment of an archaic Welsh poem Cad Goddeu (Battle of the Trees), and sung in Sanskrit. It is first heard during the final lightsaber duel in The Phantom Menace.

It’s mostly morphing…

The most important thing: This is another piece that is about morphing minors. His first chord is Em, in the key of E minor, then it morphs to Cm. One note goes up, another goes down and the third stays, a double morph with movement in contrary motion.

This is not the only thing he does, but that is the exact same chord movement he uses in the Darth Vader Theme. Then he moves to the key of G minor, which is like a morph but leaving out a step. If you go from Gm to Eb, that’s a double morph, then from Eb to Gm is a single morph. He has set up all these minor chords – Em, Cm and Gm, then he morphs from Gm to Ebm. It’s all incredibly simple, but then with driving rhythms and amazing orchestration it is incredibly powerful.

You can’t hear things like this without knowing the patterns…

The reason I can hear all this is that I know his tricks. I know how the man thinks, so I expect certain chord combinations. Each composer uses certain chords, scales and rhythms, which become kind of a compositional handwriting.

Battle of the Heroes…

This is not exactly the same by any means. This is in D minor, but it has a related feel. It comes later in the Revenge of the Sith.

Yoda vs Darth Sidious Fight Scene – Revenge of the Sith

Williams starts with Darth Vader Theme, but then moves into Fates Theme here. There is a track, music only, that sounds like an abbreviation of theme, but the video integrates it all.


5 thoughts on “1 – Duel of the Fates Theme

  1. This music really captures what it entails. When I heard it, it sound like a fight scene, the brass and other instruments battling for attention. When I saw the clip, I saw it fit in nicely to what I imagined.

  2. All of these themes borrow a lot of elements from each other with the intensity of the horns and how the play around with how the scene is choreographed. Another instance in which John Williams excels in the music department.

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