“A dark presence enters the ship. The ominous commander of the Imperial Forces, Darth Vader: tall and threatening in his flowing black cape, and a face forever masked by a foreboding metal breath screen. Darth Vader, who moves forever in a cloud of awesome evil.”

One of the best, (eh, worst?) baddies of all time.

You’re on the Sound Beat.

“Vader grips the rebel’s throat. “”If this is a councilor’s ship then where is the Ambassador?””

Would have been nice to play Vader’s theme, the famous Imperial March….

Thing is, John Williams hadn’t composed it yet. It first appeared, courtesy of the London Symphony Orchestra, in the original trilogy’s second film, the Empire Strikes Back. James Earl Jones famously voiced the character, and almost as famously wasn’t credited for the first two films. He’d claim at the time that his work was just “special effects”…something, I don’t know, VOICE ACTORS might disagree with. You’re listening to “The Story of Star Wars”, a 20th Century Fox LP from 1977.

Sound Beat is produced at the Belfer Audio Archive, Syracuse University Libraries.

Image courtesy of Roger Schultz, used under Creative Commons license.