Determined to find out more, I check the stations homepage when I got home, to learn that the name of the arrangement is called The Planets by Gustav Holst. The very title alone sent shivers down my spine, as no other outer-worldly piece could inspire a composer who has made world-famous film scores to science fiction monuments such as Star Wars, E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Since I surely can't be the sole person on the globe who has made the connection, I google "The Planets" and John Williams, and sure enough, the first link I'm offered is to an original recording of The Planets, with two bonus tracks- get this, the Star Wars main title and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
After some more mucking around, I turn up the webpage of other people who think likewise;
"Gustav Holst's "Mars: Bringer of War" will sound familiar to science fiction buffs, as much of the score of Star Wars consists of John William’s variations. In particular, compare the climax of this movement to the music accompanying the destruction of the Death Star."It's these cues which reassure me from time to time that I haven't yet lost my sanity.