Sony Classical has pacted with Lucasfilm to release the soundtrack to the next installment in the “Star Wars” saga, “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.”
While no release date has been set, the disc will hit retail before the film opens May 21. Prior to the album’s bow, Sony Classical will release to radio a single derived from the score, most likely in April.
“Once we identify which theme makes the most sense musically, our plan is to begin a radio promotion effort with the assistance of the pop promotion department at Columbia Records,” Peter Gelb, president of Sony Classical, told Daily Variety.
The disc will solely feature the score by John Williams, who has won an Oscar and two Grammys for his “Star Wars”-related scores. The London Symphony Orchestra, with Williams conducting, began recording the music last week, and sessions will continue over the next two weeks.
A second trailer for “The Phantom Menace” will hit theaters in March, according to Lucasfilm vice president Howard Roffman, “but it remains to be seen whether the music will be ready.”
Gelb said Sony Classical will issue “the strongest possible first CD” as determined by Williams. Despite astronomical success with James Horner’s “Titanic” score and solid sales with its followup, “Back to the Titanic,” Gelb said there is no current plan for a second CD. “We’ll wait and see.”
Roffman, who attended a scoring session in London, indicated that much of the music will have a familiar ring to “Star Wars” fans, as “the first couple of cues really connect to music from the previous movies. The music, like the story, is a prequel of stories that will have familiar motifs and themes heard in different ways.”