What comes to mind when you think about Star Wars and music? John Williams, obviously, but which track?
You may well be thinking of the Star Wars theme itself, or the ever popular “Imperial March” (often called Darth Vader’s theme). But according to new data from Pandora, exclusive to Mashable, that’s not what most fans are hearing.
The most popular Star Wars track is “Duel of the Fates,” perhaps better known as “the one from The Phantom Menace.” Full of ominous choral music and a heart-quickening tempo, the tune was the first classical track to ever be featured on MTV when it debuted in 1999.
“Duel of the Fates” has been played 10.6 million times on Pandora — significantly ahead of the “Imperial March” at 6.7 million. Surprisingly, the next 7 most popular tracks are all from the prequels, mostly Revenge of the Sith:
1. Duel of The Fates (Episode I): 10.6 million
2. The Imperial March (Episode V): 6.7 million
3. Battle of the Heroes (Episode III): 4.1 million
4. Anakin vs. Obi-Wan (Episode III): 3.6 million
5. Star Wars and the Revenge of the Sith (Episode III): 3.4 million
6. Anakin’s Betrayal (Episode III): 2.7 million
7. Across the Stars (Episode II): 2.3 million
8. Grievous Speaks to Lord Sidious (Episode III): 2.1 million
9. Enter Lord Vader (Episode III): 2 million
10. Imperial Attack (Episode IV): 1.8 million
Some 750,000 Pandora users have started a John Williams station. In total, the company says, his tracks have been played 446 million times.
Despite being the first song played by Williams at the Star Wars Celebration panel remembering the life of Carrie Fisher, “Princess Leia’s theme” is lagging at just 880,000 spins.
“Fates” single-handedly started a vogue for choral music at the movies. Don’t bother trying to learn the lyrics; they’re in Sanskrit. It’s a rough translation of an ancient Welsh poem; one Indian Star Wars fan believes the best translation is “all the dread is mainly in your head.”
Yet it’s still more menacing than anything else in Menace.
And of course there’s a killer dance remix, courtesy of comedic YouTube musicians The Auralnauts: