When it comes to popular movies in our culture, it is amazing to see how many of them had John Williams composing the theme song.  Today, we deviate a bit and ask you to pick the better John Williams theme song from the two contenders.

NOTE: This is marked as part one, so you can expect the winner of this poll to go up against another in the future.

SUPERMAN THEME SONG

STAR WARS THEME SONG

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Better John Williams Theme Song - Part One

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30 Comments

  1. Jared AKA BaneDFU on

    Love the Star Wars theme so much better it has that popularity that if it just happens to be playing most people can tell what it is the superman theme i had never heard before ANYWHERE. after listening to it it sounds like an up tempo orchastra song. So Star Wars all the way

  2. Lee Goldberg on

    This is poll is ironic, since I commonly bring up the fact that these two themes are extremely similar to each other. You can start out singing one and effortlessly transition into the other.

    • Funny you mention that. Start both clips at the same time and listen. There are times when they blend together in such a way it’s hard to pick out which is which, and both themes are structured in a very similar manor. About the time the SW theme slows down for the first time is when the SM theme really picks up…

  3. I played one minute of the Superman theme to get a feel for it. After 18 sec. of the Star Wars theme, the match was OVER. Star Wars starts strong and gets to the hook fast.

  4. Maybe it’s juest because of the associations with the character, but it’s Superman theme for me. It just sounds somwhow… inspiring.

  5. I’m sorry, Superman theme.
    I want to love you but the Star Wars theme has lived on my iPod for years and I owe it loyalty.

  6. Oh man this was hard. But in the end, Superman won. I love them both so very much, but Superman’s theme elicits a far deeper emotional response in me. STAR WARS is exciting, but Superman makes my heart soar.

  7. Both themes have the same formula. Fanfare, Hero’s theme, Tender/ Heroine theme.
    In short, if ypu listen to one the other or both, then you win.

  8. hectorbustnuts on

    I voted “Superman”, as I’ve heard the “Star Wars” theme WAY too much in recent years.

    I love both, but “Star Wars” overkill has seen my vote fall in favour of the Last Son of Krypton.

  9. Antonio Sanciolo on

    Whilst the Star Wars theme has stood the test of time better, as a standalone musical piece;the poll is regarding the better THEME song. The Superman theme not only evokes dizzying sentiments of flying, falling in love and triumph, it conjurs in my head scenes and dialogue from the film. It’s the better ambassador of its film; despite both works being tremendously successful though derivative (*coff* Prokofiev *coff* Brahms) works.

  10. To quote Matthew (or Futurama if you wanna be nitpicky): “you are bad and you should feel bad!”, this is evil in so many ways, it’s literaly which kids you like more! Oh well, someone has to burn with the house I guess…

    While both are superb I prefer superman’s better because it has a more nice/happy/upbeat sound to it, Star Wars is more dark and mysterious.

    Vote for the next poll, Indiana Jones theme is better then Star Wars, pretty much the same reason as above.

  11. As a John Williams fan, that’s hard! Both are great and iconic themes. I love them both. Since my wife can recognize Star Wars 100% of the time and Superman sometimes, I will have to go with Star Wars.

  12. Star Wars without a doubt. It is far more memorable, and has penetrated the collective consciousness of the country in a way that only a few other orchestral songs have. It is right up there with “Flight of the Valkyries” and “Beethoven’s 9th Symphony” in terms of recognizability.

  13. Ughhh, I love them both so much. I was just listening to the Superman theme the other day and thinking how cool it was. Alas . . .

    I think the Star Wars theme does so much in setting up the grandiose nature of the franchise. This is in no small part due to the famous opening scrolling summary Star Wars uses, but all and all, the theme gets you pumped for the story as a whole. On the other hand, I feel Superman gets you pumped for the action but everything else else.

  14. I gotta go Star Wars just for that intro, but really, aren’t they the same song? Have you ever really heard them in the same place at the same time?

  15. I love the Star Wars theme. Absolutely. But I have to say, the Superman theme elicits a much more visceral emotional response. So I’m going with that one.

    But I have to say: riding my motorcycle while listening to the “Last Crusade” theme just might beat everything.

  16. To me, this is about which piece of music elicits the stronger emotional response. I think the Superman theme is better composed and arranged, but I did not vote for it. I hear the Superman theme, and I think of Superman. I hear the Star Wars theme, and I can smell the popcorn-and-faint-cat-piss smell of the living room where I first watched A New Hope at the age of probably four or five. I can close my eyes and see every last detail of that room, and though I’m certainly getting most of it wrong, I’m -there-, man, and I’m amazed, and I don’t completely comprehend what’s going on, but there’s dudes with glowy swords and spaceships and lasers and they’re talking a bunch and I actually don’t mind the talking because it’s all SO FREAKING COOL.

    The Star Wars theme is more powerful to me because of that- because I grew up watching Star Wars, and I have thousands of warm fuzzy memories of it, whereas the Superman movies were just movies to me. It really depends on what the individual voter saw first and loved more. For me, it was Star Wars. For others, the Superman theme recalls memories as strong as mine. For others, it’s the Jurassic Park theme, or the five-note message in Close Encounters, or one of the many well-known Star Trek pieces. Your mileage may vary. For me, the better theme is Star Wars.

  17. first, i dont like the old superman films. but the theme goes above and beyond the movie alone.. it does capture the feeling of a super hero flying through the sky. i hear that theme when im reading a superman comic.

    but then theres that damned intro to star wars. and i do love me some star wars. looking around me now lets see… replica trooper helmet… check… two force fx lightsabers.. check… played the star wars rpg in the last 3 days… check… im a geek for star wars in short.

    this was a hell of a question.. one i think i could answer differently depending on my mood. sorry luke, han, but that theme IS super man and im going with that one this time around.

    now, vader’s theme, the imperial march vs superman’s theme… (also would make an interesting “what if” issue) id have to go with the dark side on that one.

  18. Oooooo, this was a gooooood one!

    Really tough. Both of these yank my heart out of my chest and remind me of when I could completely immerse myself in the fantasy of a man who could fly or a muppet who could mangle sentences.

    In the end, I wound up going with Star Wars, but more out of reflex. The theme (or versions of it) found its way into 6 movies and untold spin-offs (video games, cartoons, the holiday special, etc.).

  19. I’m sure this is a silly reason but from my prep band days in high school playing trumpet I love the Superman theme a lot more than Star Wars. That is not to say the Star War theme doesn’t have a lot for a trumpet player to love but slower build of the Superman theme just makes those high notes really stand out more in my mind.

    But neither song is Apache.

  20. Pantsthemonkey on

    Tough choice!

    Star Wars starts strong which is great, but there comes a point where it feels like the music fades to make way for the film itself, while Superman seems to say “I’m the damn theme and I’m going to finish, by God! The movie can wait!”

    Its for this reason as well as the general feeling of inspiration the Superman Theme makes me feel that I went with Supes.

    It has nothing to do with having a solo within that song back in my high school band days. Honest.

  21. This was a tough one. Both are iconic themes, both are similar and both evoke images of the films, even thirty-plus years later! But I had to go with Superman theme. The Star Wars theme is too closely tied to the opening scenes of the original Star Wars film. The Superman theme is a bit more generic and thus stands alone as a piece of classical music just a shade better. But, really, the difference is minute. Admittedly, the Star Wars movies are better films and have held up better than the Superman movies. Another thing both themes have in common is that they have been played to death over the years! But having to pick between them is a lot like asking which of two twin sisters you’d rather date.

  22. Both are on my iPod. And the Superman theme is always in the recently played list and Star Wars not. I like them both, but Superman wins by a noticeable amount.
    That and if I sleep in to long the Wonderful Wife plays the Superman theme to get me out of bed.

  23. I’ve never been much of a John Williams fan. ALL of his music has sounded just like ALL of his other music. Especially those for Spielburg or Lucas. Of the two clips you chose (realizing there are different mixes of the same music with different lengths), the Star Wars theme looses steam just past half way and kind of wanders around looking for something to do. I’ve never like soundtrack albums or songs that just had “space” in the songs. This includes the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey. I know someone has to compose the “space” but it just seems like white noise to me. Superman seems to flow throughout the entire piece, though it is much longer. Superman also seems to be more complicated with more instruments.

    How can you judge the song without judging the movie. What would be interesting is to hear from those who chose the theme song from the movie they don’t like as well. This is probably a small number of people.

    • Hi, James, have to agree with you. I can name other soundtracks from other movies that envoke fandom’s emotions that would take a bit and don’t have the time to expand futher on the subject. Both soundtracks for me are a tie. They are tied to a movie itself…….

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