John Williams’ score for Star Wars is iconic, no doubt about it. But you know what it’s missing? Funky synthesizers, for starters. Thankfully, Japanese composer Osamu Shoji came along to address that particular oversight. In 1978, he released a spaced out take on the Star Wars score that sounds like something Daft Punk and Vangelis might record after dropping some serious acid together — and I mean that in the best and weirdest possible way. Via
“Princess Leia’s Theme” is quite lovely and surprisingly soulful while I like to imagine Han Solo piping “The Space Odyssey” over the Millennium Falcon’s sound system when he wants to relax during the Kessel Run. And of course, Shoji’s take on the Star Wars theme has all the bombast you’d expect, but with added sound effects, like synthesizer laser blasts.
Osamu Shoji passed away in 2018. Mostly Retro has more information on his career, which included soundtracks for classic animé films like Adieu Galaxy Express 999, Cobra, and most notably, Wicked City. But I doubt any of them are as delightfully weird as his Star Wars score.
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.