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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:16 pm    Post subject: Music in Star Wars Reply with quote

I wanted to make a general thread to discuss music.

Do you like Star Wars music? If so, just in the movies, or do you ever enjoy listening to the soundtracks on their own?

Do you play Star Wars music during a game session in the background as a mood-setting element? Do you just put in a CD and press play or random for the whole session, or do you play specific tracks at specific times in the adventure?

Either way, do you use John Williams film music from other movies? Which ones? Do you use non-Williams film music? Which ones? Do you use non-film music? What genres? Classic Rock? What? What artists/albums/songs?
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:17 pm    Post subject: Star Wars music thematic analysis Reply with quote

I'm a big film score nerd with no formal musical training whatsoever. I've just recently completed a project I started years ago looking at the thematic elements of Star Wars music, and thought I would post it here for anyone else who is interested in this sort of thing. If not, please feel free to ignore this post.

This list is by no means meant to be portrayed as exhaustive, but this covers the most significant thematic material.

Leitmotif : a recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation.


First appearing in Star Wars (A New Hope)

Star Wars/Main Title/Main Theme/Luke Skywalker's Theme/Overture (all films) - Associated with Luke, heroism, adventure, and the Skywalker family in general. The main theme has primary and secondary motifs (parts a and b). Luke's theme is arguably the most iconic Star Wars theme.

Force Theme/Obi-Wan Kenobi's Theme/Binary Sunset/Throne Room, part a (all films) - Associated with The Force, Obi-Wan, Jedi and destiny. Only slightly less iconic than Luke and Vader's themes, Obi-Wan's theme is one of only two themes that appear in all the films.

Princess Leia's Theme (RotS, RO, ANH, TESB, RotJ, TFA, TLJ) - Associated with Leia. Curiously, this is this theme that plays when Obi-Wan disappears on the Death Star, not the Force Theme. I suppose it could suggest a dramatic emphasis on Leia’s Rebel cause which Obi-Wan gave his life for.

Rebel Fanfare/Rebel Motif (RotS, RO, ANH, TESB, RotJ, TFA, TLJ +) - A short motif related to the Main Theme and associated primarily with the Rebel Alliance, and future and present rebel heroes, the theme also appears in the end credits of all the films. The Action Ostinato is a complementary motif that usually plays as a baseline underneath the Rebel Fanfare but also plays by itself.

Tie Fighter Attack/Here They Come! (ANH, RotJ, TFA, TLJ) - A counter-motif of the Rebel Fanfare that's mainly associated with space battles, the Tie Fighter Attack theme is featured in the escape from Death Star I and reappears in the space Battle of Endor.

Imperial Motif (RO, ANH) - Associated with Grand Moff Tarkin, the Empire, and to a lesser extent, Darth Vader. This theme anticipates some aspects of the iconic Imperial March which replaces this theme in the rest of the films. There is also a minor Darth Vader motif in ANH, but that was also replaced by Imperial March in all the other films.

Death Star Motif (ANH, RotJ)

Tatooine Motif (TPM, AotC, ANH)

Scum Closing In (ANH) - Used when Luke's speeder is driving through Mos Eisley, and in the trash compacter scene.

Victory March/Throne Room March/Throne Room, part b (ANH+) - The Throne Room is the Rebel award ceremony at the end of the original film, but the theme also appears in the end credits of the classic films. The Victory March is a counter-motif to the Force motif which plays in the same sequence.

Dies Irae (AotC, RotS, RO, ANH) - A Non-Williams classical motif that Williams referred to on three tragic occasions: When Anakin confesses to slaughtering the entire Sand People tribe to avenge the death of Shmi Lars, when Jedi are being slaughtered by Vader and clone troopers across the galaxy, and in connection to Owen and Beru Lars' murder at the hands of Vader's stormtroopers. Historically, the motif is an apocalyptic theme of wrath and judgement. Michael Giacchino uses this theme in RO to underscore Cassian going over his plan in the U-Wing on Eadu (not revealing that he plans to kill Galen Erso). Dies Irae is also used in RO as a pessimistic counterpoint to his optimistic Hope theme in the Yavin Alliance Council discussion and Krennik vs. Jyn and Cassian in the Scarif data vault. Historically, Dies Irae is an apocalyptic theme of wrath and judgement.

Other ANH music - Jawa Theme, Tusken Raiders motif, Stormtrooper motif


First appearing in The Empire Strikes Back

The Imperial March/Darth Vader's Theme (TPM, AotC, RotS, RO, TESB, RotJ, TFA, TLJ) - Associated with Vader and the Empire, this iconic theme was used prominently in the first two sequels. It's use in the prequels is much more subtle, but fitting. In TMP it underscores Yoda telling Obi-Wan, "The Chosen One, the boy may be. Nevertheless, grave danger I fear in his training." In AotC it appears three times, sequentially more prominent each time. It underscores Yoda sensing Anakin's disturbance when slaughtering the Sand People, part of when Anakin confesses that act to Padme, and the assembly and departure of the clone armies (future Imperial stormtroopers) at the end of the film. Imperial March fittingly appears frequently in RotS, the rise of the Empire and Darth Vader. In RO, Imperial March is used only in conjunction with Vader’s appearances.

Han Solo's Theme/Han and the Princess/Love Theme from The Empire Strikes Back (TESB, RotJ, TFA, TLJ) - Unsurprisingly related to Princess Leia's Theme, it's the only Star Wars theme officially representing Han Solo. Ironically, Han Solo's Theme appears in it's most heroic, action-oriented form after Solo is frozen in carbonate.

Yoda's Theme (TPM, AotC, RotS, TESB, RotJ, TLJ) - Associated with Yoda. This theme always reminds me of Han and the Princess and vice versa, maybe because they were born out of the same creative burst, or maybe just because they are both featured most prominently in TESB (Yoda's Theme does even appear on Cloud City).

Lando's Palace/Cloud City March/Bespin March (TESB) - Associated with Cloud City and Lando Calrissian. There is also a more minor Betrayal at Bespin motif.

Droids motif (TESB) - A minor short motif associated with R2-D2 and C-3PO, together and individually. As far as I know, this motif is never used again in other films.

Other TESB music - The Asteroid Field, Boba Fett's Motif


First appearing in Return of the Jedi

Jabba the Hutt's Theme (TPM, ANH, RotJ) - Associated with Hutts. Although it first appeared in RotJ, it was later used in Jabba's scene added to ANH, and in conjunction with Jabba and Gardulla the Hutt's appearance in TPM.

The Emperor's Theme/The Sith Theme/Darth Sidious (TPM, AotC, RotS, RotJ) - An ominous theme associated with Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine, the Sith and the Dark Side of the Force. The theme was also ingeniously transformed into the upbeat, celebratory diegetic music (called "Augie's Municipal Band" and "The Parade") for the peace parade on Naboo at the end of TPM, hinting that the election of Palpatine to Supreme Chancellor signifies the beginning of his rise to Galactic Emperor.

Parade of Ewoks/The Ewok Theme (RotJ) - There are a couple associated motifs for the Ewoks.

Luke and Leia (RotJ, TLJ) - Inspired by Yoda's, Leia's and Luke's themes, this theme is associated with Luke and Leia being twin siblings. Another related motif, Brother and Sister, also appears as a prelude to Luke and Leia.

Victory Celebration (TPM, RotJ) - This is the more dramatic and emotionally mature theme that has replaced "Yub Nub" since 1997. The Victory Celebration motif actually subtly appears in TPM in conjunction with Anakin, as a dramatic bookend with his later return. Elements of the new RotJ celebration music also fittingly appear in TPM celebration at the end of the film.

Other RotJ music - Battle Victory Fanfare, Yoda's Revelation, Alliance Assemble


First appearing in The Phantom Menace

Duel of the Fates (TPM, AotC, RotS) - The epic masterpiece of the prequels, associated with the clash of Jedi vs. Sith, Light Side vs. Dark Side, and good vs. evil. In TPM it underscores most of the lightsaber battle between Maul, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. In AotC it goes inward as it plays during Anakin's quest to find his mother, representing him racing towards his own inner struggles between light and dark. In RotS it appears during Yoda's battle with Palpatine (I believe in RotS it was not newly recorded but just tracked and edited from the concert suite/end credits version from TPM). Duel of the Fates is my personal favorite film score theme. Aspects of Duel of the Fates inspired the Darth Maul motif ("Korah, Ratamah").

Anakin's Theme (TPM, AotC, RotS) - An innocent-sounding theme (with a hint of sadness) derived from Imperial March, and used decreasingly through the prequels. Anakin also has a minor secondary motif.

Army Invasion Theme/Trade Federation March/Droid Invasion Theme (TPM, AotC, RotS) - Associated with the Droid armies of the Trade Federation in TPM and the clone armies of the Republic in AotC. It is also used in the Battle of Kashyyyk in RotS (droids vs. clones and Wookiees). (A very similar piece of music in AotC seems to represent the Separatist Confederacy.) There is also a more minor associated motif that also appears throughout the prequels known as Secondary Droid March.

Prequel Action Theme/Escape from Naboo (TPM, AotC, RotS) - This energetic theme is a general action theme for the prequels, first appearing in the score during Queen Amidala's escape from Naboo (with Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Ja-Jar and Artoo). It also appeared in the last lap of Anakin's pod race. In AotC it appeared when Yoda and the clone army rescue the Jedi and Padme on Geonosis. In RotS it appears when the Separatist ship is damaged and begins to fall to the surface of Coruscant.

The Funeral Theme (TPM, RotS) - Heard during Qui-Gon and Padme's funerals, plus Vader being made into his classic cyborg visage.

Shmi's Motif (TPM, AotC)

Other TPM music: Qui-Gon's Theme, Jar Jar's Motif, The Flag Parade


First appearing in Attack of the Clones

Across the Stars/Love Theme from Attack of the Clones (AotC, RotS) - The moving and tragic theme for Anakin and Padme's romance, composed of three parts (a, b and c). It vaguely resembles Luke and Leia's theme from RotJ. My kindergartener (who said he wants to marry Padme) loves this theme. There is also an additional minor love motif that appears in AotC and RotS known as Secondary Love Theme/Naboo Theme/Pastoral Love Theme/The Meadow Picnic/Anakin and Padme.

Conflict Motif/Galactic Conflict (AotC) - Bearing a resemblance to Boba Fett's Motif, this major motif represents the Separatists, Count Dooku, Jango Fett and the mystery of the assassination plot. "Jango's Escape" (from Kenobi on Kamino) was developed out of the conflict motif.

Mystery Motif (AotC, RotS) - Associated with mystery and decent.

Anakin's Descent Motif (AotC, RotS) - Associated with Anakin's descent towards the Dark Side, this motif is a part of Anakin's Betrayal in RotS.

Grand Army of the Republic Theme/Arena Battle March/The Arena (AotC, RotS) - Associated with the Republic military, this march first appears in AotC in the Arena on Geonosis. Both AotC scenes it is in feature future Republic war hero Anakin in the place where the Clone War begins. In RotS, it is used at the introduction of the Battle of Kashyyyk, Vader leading the 501st to attack the Jedi Temple, and the Republic's victory at the Battle of Utapau.

Other AotC music - Chase Through Coruscant/Zam the Assassin's Theme, Longing for Mother Motif/Mourning Theme, Republic Motif, Kamino Motif, Separatist Theme, Dooku's Motif


First appearing in Revenge of the Sith

General Grievous' Theme (RotS) - Associated with the character of General Grievous, his motif and the prequel action theme were also married to begat the exciting Grievous vs. Kenobi action music.

Anakin's Betrayal/The Betrayal Lament (RotS) - Based on Anakin's Descent motif, this tragically beautiful theme plays during the Order 66 sequences and Anakin's final meeting with Padme. The Immolation Theme seems to be developed out of this theme.

Battle of the Heroes (RotS) - The epic theme of the climactic clash between Obi-Wan and Anakin/Vader. Lucas asked Williams to create a tragic Duel of the Fates and boy, did he deliver. This grand operatic theme is the genius offspring of The Force/Obi-Wan's theme and Imperial March/Vader's theme, and based on Dies Irae (See ANH above). I see Battle of the Heroes and the hauntingly beautiful Immolation Scene as William's magnificent thematic swan songs of Lucas' Star Wars saga.

Other RotS music - Arrival Theme, Sith Motif, Escape Motif, Mustafar Motif


First appearing in The Force Awakens

Rey's Theme (TFA, TLJ) - This robust theme for Rey has multiple parts and many various renditions throughout the film. It's beautiful.

Kylo Ren's Theme (TFA, TLJ) - Associated with Kylo Ren.

Resistance March (TFA, TLJ) - Associated with the General Organa's Resistance against the First Order.

Sequel Action Theme (TFA, TLJ) - This is a definite, distinct theme recurring throughout the film and even appearing in the end credits suite, but I'm not sure what to call it. It seems to mostly be associated with Finn and scores action.

Snoke's Motif (TFA, TLJ) - This theme is very similar to the Sith motif appearing only in the opera scene of RotS where Palpatine is talking to Anakin about Darth Plagueis the Wise.

Poe's Flying motif/I Can Fly Anything (TFA, TLJ) - Appears whenever Poe is flying.

Other TFA music - Jedi Steps


First appearing in Rogue One

Jyn Erso’s Theme (RO) - The main theme of RO which seems to be inspired by the classical motif Dies Irae and William's theme for Rey from TFA. Jyn Erso’s Theme is nice, and serviceable.

Imperial Theme (RO) - The new major theme for the Empire inspired by the short little Imperial Motif from ANH, the Imperial March, and William's Nazi theme from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Imperial Theme is the most memorable from the film. Krennic’s Theme is a minor RO theme associated with the Imperial Theme.

Guardians of the Whills (RO) - Chirrut Îmwe's mystical and somewhat sad theme inspired by the Force Theme and Across the Stars, the tragic love theme from AotC. The latter may seem an odd choice to inspire the Whills theme, but Across the Stars in part represents the beginning of the fall of the Jedi Order, while the pillaging of the Jedha temple and destruction its city represents the last remnants of the Jedi being swept away. Or maybe the composer just loves Across the Stars.

Hope Theme (RO) - This is the most important new minor theme, inspired by Main Star Wars Theme and representing optimism. Rebellions are built on hope.

Other RO music - Erso Family Theme, Rogue One Suspense Theme


EDITS: Updated for Rogue One and The Last Jedi
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Jedi Skyler
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do enjoy the music, inside AND out of the movies.

Back when I got to actually do tabletop gaming, our GM would always have the music playing in the background. It NEVER hurts in that setting, and I agree wholeheartedly with doing that, even if you just have it playing, rather than using specific sections to augment specific points in the action.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have playlists set up in my laptop for Fantasy RPGs, Star Wars, and an AC DC mix for some tabletop wargaming!

So yes music is on and thematic in my game room!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Music in Star Wars Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Do you like Star Wars music? If so, just in the movies, or do you ever enjoy listening to the soundtracks on their own?

Yes and yes. I own all the feature soundtracks, including the Clone Wars one. I imagine I'll acquire the TV series soundtrack at some point also, although I overwhelmingly prefer Williams, esp. original trilogy material.

Whill wrote:
Do you play Star Wars music during a game session in the background as a mood-setting element? Do you just put in a CD and press play or random for the whole session, or do you play specific tracks at specific times in the adventure?

I've used both methods, depending on amount of prep time. When running heavily scripted or published adventures, I have been known to study the episodes, note track numbers and titles in the margins, and then create playlists based on those notes.

My current game is very low-prep and improvisational (a topic I'd very much like to discuss another time, in another thread). Since it's impossible to anticipate appropriate tracks, I either cue an obvious one in the moment (if doing so won't slow play) or select an album that best fits the starting scenario and let it run.

Whill wrote:
Either way, do you use John Williams film music from other movies? Which ones? Do you use non-Williams film music? Which ones? Do you use non-film music? What genres? Classic Rock? What? What artists/albums/songs?

As a listener, I far prefer Williams' work in the original trilogy. Narrowing further, my favorite is A New Hope, hands down (due in no small part to many childhood hours parked in front of the family turntable while this soundtrack played). From that soundtrack, Ben's Death and TIE Fighter Attack slays me every time. It's the track that most completely transports me to '77 and, yes, there are tears involved.

As a gamer, I find prequel tracks pair well with the "let it play" method. Maybe it's due to lack of familiarity on my part but they seem less loaded with context. In contrast there are tracks from the original trilogy that I will avoid, fearing distraction among players due to strong associations. I worry less about that distraction with tracks from the prequels, excepting Duel of the Fates.

Without hesitation I would use music from the Droids cartoon, if it was available. I haven't yet used Kiner's music in my games although, as mentioned above, I do own the Clone Wars feature soundtrack. Maybe I'll give it a try this weekend!

I use various music, usually instrumental, when playing other games but I only use Star Wars music when I'm playing Star Wars.

... Although now I'm tempted to slip a few tunes by Jefferson Starship or Diahann Carroll into an upcoming game. Twisted Evil
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Barrataria
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:58 pm    Post subject: It's all excellent Reply with quote

One part of the new film I have complete confidence in... soundtrack! I have most of the first 6 and play them when I'm writing or especially plotting SW games.

Like Codskale I am very fond of the Clone Wars soundtrack. I really like the radio-style opening theme and enjoy having a Star Wars opening song I can use for game sessions that isn't quite the main theme. Other than the cantina music I think it's a great collection.

Finally.... I think the Imperial March has to be on the short list for greatest movie song of all time. Second only to the Rocky theme maybe? That gets played a lot at sports events and otherwise, and seems to be acknowledged as an official "rally" song. The Imperial March pops up all the time in pop culture, and punctuates a point (usually a satiric or political one) like no other. Oh, and my niece made us sing it to her one year instead of Happy Birthday! Smile It's both iconic and technically excellent.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I greatly enjoy the music of Star Wars, I am disappointed with the recording of Return of the Jedi. Every version I own sounds dull and flat, like it is missing the higher range of tones. For example, the strings sound very muted.

Has a corrected CD or download been made available? Luke and Leia's Theme is one of my favorite tracks, especially how it was used in the opening of one of my favorite games, X-wing Alliance (seen here at 4:18).

I'd love to get my hands on a better version of the Jedi soundtrack, if someone knows where I can order one.
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Barrataria
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RyanDarkstar wrote:
I'd love to get my hands on a better version of the Jedi soundtrack, if someone knows where I can order one.


I've had no luck tilting at that windmill... I absolutely HATED the "jizz" (seriously? Lucas needs to ask his kids to read this stuff) music they used to replace the original and awesome Max Rebo/Sy Snootles song . And the soundtrack albums I've found have a symphonic recording... not the same at all.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cap'nCodskale wrote:
Yes and yes. I own all the feature soundtracks, including the Clone Wars one. I imagine I'll acquire the TV series soundtrack at some point also, although I overwhelmingly prefer Williams, esp. original trilogy material.

...I haven't yet used Kiner's music in my games although, as mentioned above, I do own the Clone Wars feature soundtrack. Maybe I'll give it a try this weekend!
Barrataria wrote:
I have most of the first 6 and play them when I'm writing or especially plotting SW games.

Like Codskale I am very fond of the Clone Wars soundtrack. I really like the radio-style opening theme and enjoy having a Star Wars opening song I can use for game sessions that isn't quite the main theme. Other than the cantina music I think it's a great collection.

I have both Kliner albums, but I only bought the TV one this year and maybe only listened to it once so far. Even though I don't care for TCW series or theatrical feature, I love the "movie" soundtrack. I'm really looking forward to an American release of a Rebels soundtrack. There has been some great scoring for that show, some of it incorporating classic trilogy themes including an in-universe version of Imperial March played in the first season's Empire Day episode.

Cap'nCodskale wrote:
As a gamer, I find prequel tracks pair well with the "let it play" method. Maybe it's due to lack of familiarity on my part but they seem less loaded with context. In contrast there are tracks from the original trilogy that I will avoid, fearing distraction among players due to strong associations. I worry less about that distraction with tracks from the prequels, excepting Duel of the Fates.

I disagree that the prequel scoring is in any way inferior to classic music (I feel Williams' high quality scoring is a very consistent attribute over the course of the whole film series), but I do respect your preference (or anyone else's). However your perception that there is less context with the prequel music must be based on your lack of familiarity, as you suggested. Look above in my second post. Not only is there a lot of appropriate use of existing classic trilogy themes in the prequels, some of the new prequel themes are quite well developed and used throughout the films. I suggest reading about the leitmotifs above, taking note of the episodes they each appear in and giving a good listen to the prequel soundtracks to discover the context for yourself. You may find a deeper appreciation for them.

Cap'nCodskale wrote:
As a listener, I far prefer Williams' work in the original trilogy. Narrowing further, my favorite is A New Hope, hands down (due in no small part to many childhood hours parked in front of the family turntable while this soundtrack played). From that soundtrack, Ben's Death and TIE Fighter Attack slays me every time. It's the track that most completely transports me to '77 and, yes, there are tears involved.

My tears come when listening to the Battle of Yavin starting at the point when Biggs gets blown up through the destruction of the Death Star. But I also love Tie Fighter Attack. Often my kindergartener son or I will just randomly "Bum bum bum bum-bum bah-bah-bah-bah-bah" out of nowhere, and then the other one of us jumps in for the second line then we loudly belt out the rebel fanfare portion (Bada-ba bada-ba bada-ba-badabah!). Or sometimes we will even just say "Here they come!" to get it going. My wife just shakes her head at our Star Wars film score nerdiness. When we were listening to the RotJ soundtrack one time, my 6-year-old son even noticed a statement of the Tie Fighter Attack motif inappropriately appearing in "The Return of the Jedi" (Sail Barge Assault, but in the actual film the beginning of the motif was edited out so only the end remains, nearly unrecognizably).

RyanDarkstar wrote:
While I greatly enjoy the music of Star Wars, I am disappointed with the recording of Return of the Jedi. Every version I own sounds dull and flat, like it is missing the higher range of tones. For example, the strings sound very muted.

Has a corrected CD or download been made available? ...I'd love to get my hands on a better version of the Jedi soundtrack, if someone knows where I can order one.
Barrataria wrote:
I've had no luck tilting at that windmill...

I have the 1997 release, and to my knowledge the 2004 rerelease, all RotJ track appearances on post-1997 compilations, and digital releases have sadly all been from the poor 1997 remaster. I've read there were even other mistakes like certain sections of the orchestra were mixed into the wrong channels. I do not think a corrected CD or download has been released. But all the soundtracks were just rereleased in a vinyl set and I haven't heard about the RotJ discs for that (I am not forking over the cash for it). I do however have the original 1983 RotJ CD release and the 1993 Anthology set.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: It's all excellent Reply with quote

Barrataria wrote:
One part of the new film I have complete confidence in... soundtrack!

From seeing The Force Awakens three times, it is obvious that two of the new main leitmotifs are a theme for Rey and a march for the Resistance. I am confident that over time I will grow to love TFA music, because it happened with each prequel score and John Williams is awesome in general.

As far as use of existing themes, the biggest no-brainer is the Force theme appearing in several ways throughout the film. Han and The Princess appears prominently in appropriate scenes, and Leia's theme more briefly appears too. Luke's theme appears a few times in the film itself (beyond the opening crawl and end credits), and at least one time it scored Han Solo's heroics. Rebel Fanfare appears a few times, the most prominent use in my mind being in conjunction with the Falcon. I haven't noticed any prequel themes being used per se, but it seems that there may be some subtle prequel influences in melody and orchestration that warrant a deeper investigation.

Here is TFA soundtrack available for listening: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYS8O7ZO9o2P4pTIA0eYKVnM8_PCUYH5b
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Barrataria
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: It's all excellent Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
From seeing The Force Awakens three times, it is obvious that two of the new main leitmotifs are a theme for Rey and a march for the Resistance. I am confident that over time I will grow to love TFA music, because it happened with each prequel score and John Williams is awesome in general.


3 times?!?!?! What are you, some kind of Star Wars nerd?

I've been surprised to see multiple posts on message boards bagging on the soundtrack, saying things like "I didn't even notice the music most of the time." That, to me, is a feature and not a bug.

That said, I wasn't blown away by anything like Duel of the Fates or something. But, I can't say any particular piece in Ep II or III really stuck with me like that one.

Finally... it's funny to see some discussion of whether or not this is "classical" music... because this very day I listened, really listened, to the Imperial March for the first time in quite a while. Just stunning. Suck it, haters! It's fabulous... and saying that there isn't one of those on this soundtrack, IMO, is like asking why Babe Ruth didn't hit 62 homers the year after he hit 60, or why Michelangelo didn't paint the roof of the stable outside the Sistine Chapel too.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: It's all excellent Reply with quote

Barrataria wrote:
Whill wrote:
From seeing The Force Awakens three times, it is obvious that two of the new main leitmotifs are a theme for Rey and a march for the Resistance. I am confident that over time I will grow to love TFA music, because it happened with each prequel score and John Williams is awesome in general.

3 times?!?!?! What are you, some kind of Star Wars nerd?

One of my best childhood friends since before RotJ, who I always see Star Wars with, had to work Thursday night so he couldn't go. So Thursday night I took my wife who had never seen Star Wars in the theater. I took my friend Friday morning (spoiling him on nothing). Then on Monday morning I took my son when he wouldn't be missing school (also his first theatrical Star Wars experience). And yes, I am a Star Wars nerd. Cool

Barrataria wrote:
I've been surprised to see multiple posts on message boards bagging on the soundtrack, saying things like "I didn't even notice the music most of the time." That, to me, is a feature and not a bug.

That said, I wasn't blown away by anything like Duel of the Fates or something. But, I can't say any particular piece in Ep II or III really stuck with me like that one.

Finally... it's funny to see some discussion of whether or not this is "classical" music... because this very day I listened, really listened, to the Imperial March for the first time in quite a while. Just stunning. Suck it, haters! It's fabulous... and saying that there isn't one of those on this soundtrack, IMO, is like asking why Babe Ruth didn't hit 62 homers the year after he hit 60, or why Michelangelo didn't paint the roof of the stable outside the Sistine Chapel too.

Well said. I agree there is nothing iconic like Duel of the Fates or Imperial March in TFA, and I wasn't expecting there to be either.

As far as the criticism of not noticing the film score, to me that's a good thing. A good film score is supposed to be an inherent part of the whole cinematic experience. I've found that bad scoring stands out as much more noticeable than good scoring. I don't go to movies listening intently to the score - If you do then you are not really watching the movie. Rey's theme was just obvious the very first time I watched the film, and the Resistance march jumped out at me the third time watching the film. I wasn't trying to notice them. To me good scores blend into the film and help tell the story. When I listen to a soundtrack, that is a completely different experience than watching a movie. At this point my impression is that TFA was well-scored, but I will listen to the soundtrack a few times and have a better impression of the music.

I just read a 5-page thread at the John Williams Fan Network forums and everyone was gushing over TFA score there.
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Barrataria
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe... it's because it's such a good film? As you say unless it's a musical the soundtrack should be telling the story in harmony with the film, not distracting attention. I might have noticed the TPM score more because I disliked the film or was often distracted while watching it. In fact I have it on right now and I'm remembering all the great choral work.

In the same vein, I know a sound engineer here whose first question to me was "how's the sound" and I had to say... I dunno! Again, as you say, that's a good sign I think because everything sounded like it "should" have, to me anyway. For him I'll be listening more carefully next time round, and for you I'll listen to the soundtrack more carefully.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:23 am    Post subject: Re: It's all excellent Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Here is TFA soundtrack available for listening: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYS8O7ZO9o2P4pTIA0eYKVnM8_PCUYH5b



And Disney has made more TFA music available for free listening here. This is an "FYC" album, which means "For Your Consideration". It is the version of the soundtrack that is made available for the Oscar academy to consider for Best Film Score. In the past, this would be a special limited physical CD mailed to academy members (and not for sale), but now they just put it online and make it available for everyone for free. There is a little overlap with the OST (Original Soundtrack), but there is some completely different music and different takes/versions.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must say, they've done a masterful job making sure you can't just rip these directly from the site. They were far less careful with the music from SW:Rebels and TCW.
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