Look, surprising you isn’t in my job description. And me writing a Star Wars story on the eve of The Rise of Skywalker’s release certainly won’t do that, but the story having nothing to do with The Rise of Skywalker might. Everyone clear?
Streaming tyrannosaurus Spotify have revealed their list of the most streamed Star Wars soundtracks (guess it’s indirectly related to Skywalker after all. Ho hum) and the winner of the most-played gong is even less surprising than I’ve led on. Long containing one of the most popular pieces of music in John Williams’ near 40-year association with the franchise, The Phantom Menace at least has one reason to celebrate, as it’s been crowned top dog. It makes sense, too, as “Duel of the Fates” may well stand as the most memorable score to the least memorable movie. Thanks to John for salvaging something out of that turgid mess.
Second on the list, meanwhile, one finds another runt of the Star Wars litter. Revenge of the Sith is only slightly less of a slog than Menace, but Williams worked similar wonders with his composing despite being presented with all the dramatic depth of a primary school nativity – and that’s being harsh on primary school nativities.
Elsewhere, filling out the rest of the top 5 you’ll spot The Force Awakens sneaking bronze ahead of The Empire Strikes Back and Attack of the Clones. Commiserations to Return of the Jedi for picking up the wooden spoon – being the ugly duckling of the Original Trilogy it seems has done it no favours. We’ll put the prequel’s popularity down to Williams’ magic and recency bias.
Keen observers will have noted The Rise of Skywalker is to be the final Star Wars contribution of the great man’s career. Where will it rank in the listening habits of audiences in a year’s time, though? We’ll see, but I’m not holding my breath for a great result.