TLJ Soundtrack, Which are the Hits?

Discussion in 'Star Wars' started by JRoss, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So I'm just about to sit down and listen to the soundtrack for the first time. I wanted to ask you guys if you have any thoughts on which tracks are the standouts from this film?

    For TFA I really enjoyed Rey's Theme, March of the Resistance and The Ways of the Force
    From RotJ my favorites were the new uses of the Force Theme, the Ewok Village celebration at the end and the Emperor's Theme
    My favorite from ESB was the Imperial March
    From ANH it was a tie between the first minute of the throne room and Binary Suns
    I have never sat down to listen to AotC or RotS.
    From TPM I really like Duel of the Fates and the Podrace Fanfare.
     
  2. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was just about to start a thread on this topic! In my opinion, the TLJ soundtrack is best described as "John Williams' Greatest Star Wars Hits". There's absolutely nothing remarkable or new in this score. It's just a rehash of older stuff from the first two trilogies, and of course TFA. Even the end of the opening theme contains the segue from ANH.

    I'm very unimpressed with this, because Rey's Theme showed JW still had it in him to make a unique, standout piece for a SW film. None such exists in TLJ. Maybe something will eventually grow on me after repeated viewing/listening, but I don't hold out hope.

    That being said, John Williams is 85 and has pumped out some of the greatest film scores in history during his career. So, nothing against him as a composer. We all get to "that" point eventually. I suspect Episode IX will be his farewell soundtrack.

    Anyway, I thoroughly enjoy seeing him conduct at the Hollywood Bowl every year (been going for 17 years now), so I'll look forward to that in September, and hopefully many more years to come!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  3. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    From what I've heard so far I agree with you. Absolutely NO disrespect to the man, but this one is not as memorable as the others. Originally I did not care for the TFA soundtrack but I've come to appreciate it as a very strong entry in the series.

    I also suspect that EpIX is going to be his goodbye, assuming that he is around for it. I'm glad that theyv'e been grooming Michael Giacchino for the role. I'm sure that if Williams passes before EpIX that Michael will do his best work on it. I did not like the Rogue One soundtrack, but then I found out that Giacchino only had a few weeks to do it, as he was an emergency replacement. Considering his work on other movies, I'm sure that he would have pulled out a masterpiece if he had enough time.
     
  4. EnsignRicky

    EnsignRicky Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah I'd have to agree, this one is at the bottom of the list. The movie was all over the place and the score has no choice but to reflect that. I get the impression that John Williams had as much trouble as Mark Hamill did wrapping his mind around the insanity that is Rian Johnson.
    It does play very much like a greatest hits album with a constant barrage of Rey's and Kylo's respective themes, though sadly very little of what we thought would be Luke's theme from the end of the last film. There is however a new theme for the character of Rose but it's as uninspired as her name and about as important to the score as she was to the film.
    The Canto Bight track seemed clever at first as it breaks into music that clearly sounds like it is being played by the Cantina Band. However, you can barely hear it in the finished film and there is absolutely no visual payoff to why they would even get the idea to make the music sound like that in the first place.
    Otherwise, in a serious break from tradition, there are no concert pieces to be heard and the bulk of the score is made up of an eclectic smattering of call back themes from previous films, including an obligatory yet jarring none the less inclusion of Princess Leia's theme to forever remind listeners that yes, this was the one when Carrie Fisher died.
    Anyway, the best time to have listened to this score in my opinion, ironically would have been before seeing the film. At least at that point you could still enjoy the music of the Maestro without the imagery of the Fool.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  5. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    @EnsignRicky Nah, that can't be right. Movie was actually brilliant. Managed to strongly relate its themes and give a clear direction of Johnson's vision. This one comes down to fatigue on Williams' part, or maybe a desire to revisit the past.
     
  6. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    This. TFA gave us the beautiful Rey’s Theme but TLJ, nothing new.
     
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  7. EnsignRicky

    EnsignRicky Commodore Commodore

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    Guys. It doesn't matter if he's 105, he's composing and conducting the score, not performing it; The man's mind is as sharp as a tack and he still does one or two other movies a year. If there's any fatigue to be found here, it's in the franchise not John Williams.

    And I doubt much desire or nostalgia comes into play. At the end of the day this is just another job to him and If he's told to put a Falcon flourish here or the Force fanfare there or plop Yoda's theme over in the corner, well that's exactly what he's going to do.
     
  8. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    LOL, we never said there was anything lackluster in the performance.And he's done fantastic work in stuff that wasn't great (we'll assume for a moment that TLJ wasn't, for the sake of your point). Just see Seven Years in TIbet, The prequel trilogy, Temple of Doom, Jurassic Park II, etc.
     
  9. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I loved the TFA soundtrack but the TLJ one was just too repetitive. it's still good because it's John Williams. It's not a bad score...just too much of the same.
     
  10. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    Does anyone know the name of the music that was played in the trailers, and when Rey is training with the lightsaber in the film? It's one of the few that seemed like a decent standout to me but it doesn't seem to be on the official track listing (that I know of). It's the one around the :30 mark.

     
  11. Timby

    Timby Anyone who opposes me will be destroyed. Administrator

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    He's absolutely slowing down. He couldn't do Bridge of Spies for Spielberg because of his health, Silvestri stepped in for him on Ready Player One because he couldn't work on that and The Papers at the same time, and he travels less and less frequently.

    He's still absolutely got it and can bring it when he's inspired, but let's not be afraid to call a spade a spade.
     
  12. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    After this many Star Wars films, there is bound to be plenty of themes already that fit the scenes of most of the film. So there wouldn't need to be as many new pieces for the film as the themes already exist for the most part. There were of course some new themes or variations on the newer themes, but sometimes the old favorites work as intended. The TIE Fighter battle theme hasn't been used since Return of the Jedi when the Falcon enters the Death Star II, but it was welcome when the Falcon starts weaving in and out of combat on Crait.
     
  13. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sorry, this is nonsense. Williams has penned a unique theme for every SW score since ANH. As mentioned numerous times in this thread, Rey's theme was an incredible piece that stood out as the sound of the film. But there was also Kylo Ren's theme, as well as the Resistance attack music. So, that's three new tunes in TFA. But all of a sudden, it's all been done and we must accept repetition? Nope.
     
  14. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Rose's Theme is easily the standout for this score - and rightly so. And while it's true that it generally has fewer new themes than we are accustomed to, it's superior to, say, AOTC because of the way Williams provides variations on older themes (especially Leia) rather than offering incidental music (the asteroid chase between Jango and Obi-Wan).

    In any case, if anyone is looking to read up on the new material, here's a useful link:

    http://www.filmmusicnotes.com/new-musical-themes-and-their-meaning-in-the-last-jedi/
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  15. EnsignRicky

    EnsignRicky Commodore Commodore

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    I respectfully disagree. Across The Stars, alone is a better piece of music than anything heard on this score
     
  16. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Across the Stars is a better single track (and arguably theme) than anything in TLJ. But it's also highly derivative of a theme from Battlestar Galactica (1978). The AOTC score, on the whole, however, is mismanaged ... mostly because Lucas hadn't actually completed the film before Williams had to score it.
     
  17. EnsignRicky

    EnsignRicky Commodore Commodore

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    I have never heard that allegation before. Which theme are you referring to? Cassiopeia And Starbuck? Boxy's Problem? I'm assuming it's one of the quieter themes, but unless you mean some incidental music from the series proper, I'm not placing anything off the top of my head.
     
  18. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's Cassiopeia and Starbuck v. Anakin and Padmé. This is a quick and dirty mashup, but you'll get the idea:

     
  19. EnsignRicky

    EnsignRicky Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, my browser is way out of date and doesn't play movies in here but I know the piece.
    I don't hear it myself but if someone felt strongly enough about it to make a video; I'll just say, fair enough.
    I'm just trying to picture John Williams listening to Battlestar Galactica.
     
  20. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Credibility lost.