Star Wars and John Williams fans rejoice! This is the best news to come your way in a long, long time. What many consider the most acclaimed and enduring film music in history, the original soundtracks of Star Wars Episodes I-VI will be re-issued by Sony Classical in three new, definitive editions on vinyl, CD and DVD, and high-resolution download. From what we can tell, it does not appear as though these re-issued editions will contain extended pieces or unreleased tracks that made their way into previously-released complete collections of the original trilogy. The vinyl and CD editions will include exclusive elements that will appeal to collectors.
Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection includes 11 LPs encompassing each of the six film soundtracks – from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace to Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi – in deluxe gatefold sleeves faithfully replicating the original artwork. Audio was transferred from the original LP masters using the highest resolution (up to 192kHz/24bit) and pressed with heavy 180 gram vinyl. The six double-LP sets are presented in a black, soft-touch laminated slipcase with an embossed, hot silver foil Star Wars logo, which includes a digital download card for one complete box set (all six soundtracks).
Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Collection includes the original six soundtracks in mini album jackets on 9 CDs, plus a bonus CD featuring a new audio interview with Harrison Ford (Han Solo) alongside an interview with John Williams. Also included is the DVD Star Wars: A Musical Journey, a one hour special hosted by actor Ian McDiarmid (Chancellor Palpatine) highlighting select musical themes alongside key sequences from the films. Rounding out the set are a fold-out poster and three collectible stickers.
Star Wars: The Ultimate Digital Collection features a bundle of the six original soundtracks that Sony says will be available for the first time as high definition downloads (192kHz/24bit). The one confusing thing about Sony’s Hi-Res announcement is that it points users to iTunes. iTunes does not offer true high-resolution downloads yet it lists the Star Wars digital collection for pre-order. The Star Wars digital collection says that is it Mastered for iTunes, which indicates that it is encoded with the AAC codec and not Apple Lossless. We will be curious to see if true 192kHz/24bit files are offered on some of the other high resolution download sites.
As everyone knows, the music for every Star Wars film has been composed by the legendary five-time Oscar-winning composer, John Williams. John Williams will once again be composing the music score for the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
All three of Sony Classical’s new soundtrack editions will be released worldwide January 8, 2016, after Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters.