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"Star Wars" Myth Dispelled by Kentucky Symphony Conductor

Heard the one about the Star Wars theme song being a sort of ripoff of another orchestral number, "Born Free" by composer John Barry?

Back in the 1970's, shortly after the George Lucas film premiered with the iconic composition by John Williams, statements were made that the Star Wars theme was nothing more than "Born Free" played upside down.

With the new Star War films in theaters now, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra music director James R. Cassidy is analyzing the two songs.

“I’ve repeated that myth myself for the humor of it,” Cassidy said. "If you take a few bars and play the main theme of both songs back to back, you’ll hear faint similarities, and you can understand why many people might believe that one is an inversion of the other.”

This is "Born Free":

And this is the theme from Star Wars:

"It’s actually not a true inversion intervalically speaking, and there is a rhythmic difference, but they do sound somewhat similar," Cassidy said.

"John Williams, now 83, wrote the scores to the 6 previous Star Wars films employing Wagner-esque leitmotivs to musically introduce returning characters and ideas. I am thrilled to hear his latest installment to the saga that I’ve followed for 38 years."

-Staff report

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