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Comments about the soundtrack for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (John Williams)
Concerning the Imperial March in Episode II...

J. Dner
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Choga
Allard Vuyk
Brain
Serge Desir
Concerning the Imperial March in Episode II...   Tuesday, April 23, 2002 (12:51 p.m.) 

I have read many posts and a few reviews lately and I have found that there is controversy concerning the use of the Imperial March in Attack of the Clones.
Let me start out by saying that this score is 99.9 times better than The Phantom Menace. If this music is any indication of how the film will be... well, I believe we will all be in for one heck of a good time.
Now, back to the Imperial March. There are a few reasons as to why it is used in Attack of the Clones. They are:
1) To signify the empire (remember, Imperial March wasn't only used for Darth Vader. Watch The Empire Strikes Back again and notice that this theme represents the empire as well as Vader.
2) To signify the underlying change in Anakin. Anakin does evolve into Vader eventually, so I believe we will find that the Imperial March may be used a time or two when Anakin shows his dark side (this is also the case of Duel of the Fates, which is also recieving some controversy).

Why isn't it in A New Hope?
The Imperial March wasn't used in A New Hope simply because the movie was focussed on Luke Skywalker and, well, a new hope for the republic. Vader was in the movie, but we never really learn much about him. The whole death star subplot is exactly that - a minor subplot.
In The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader and the empire played a much more relevant role. The movie was much darker and the focus was more on the empire. Therefore, an imperial theme was needed, thus leadin to the Imperial March, which became known as Vader's Theme because Vader was very much a part of the Empire.
In Return of the Jedi, the Imperial March doesn't play nearly as important a role as it did in TESB. We didn't hear it at all in The Phantom Menace because the empire wasn't even really heard of yet.

So, in conclusion, the Imperial March is just as much a theme for the empire as it is for Darth Vader. So it has a very effective and important function in Attack of the Clones. Thank you for reading!

Reply and let me know what you think.

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Choga
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  In Response to:
J. Dner

  Responses to this Comment:
Matt
J. Dner
Re: Concerning the Imperial March in Episode II...   Tuesday, April 23, 2002 (8:21 p.m.) 

> Why isn't it(the imperial march) in A New Hope?
BECAUSE WILLIAMS HADN'T COMPOSED YET
There was an Imperial(or death star) theme, but it wasn't the "Imperial March".

As for it not being used because the Death Star is only a subplot. . . . well, I'm not going to go into whether or not it's "a minor subplot". However, lets just go ahead and assume it's merely a subplot. To be thematically consistant, A New Hope should still have the Imperial March. Yoda makes a brief appearance in Return of the Jedi, but his theme is used. Wouldn't you say that's only a subplot? For the Special Edition of A New Hope, Jabba the Hut's theme was imported from Return of the Jedi for only 30 to 40 seconds of screen time. Subplot??? Get my drift? Overall, the score to the Star Wars saga is designed around the themes for each of it's characters, groups, and settings. If Williams and Lucas are going to use the Imperial March in the prequels, then it will have to be in A New Hope to remain thematically consistent, even if briefly. The Empire has a lot of screen time in that movie.

It's a mistake to use the Imperial March in the prequels so blatanly, because it ruins the consistency of the movies. For a non musical analogy, imagine if they painted R2D2 pink in Episode III without explaining why, but then he was back to his normal self in the following movies. Wouldn't that be wierd???

In a perfect world:

Anakin/Vader theme:
Lucas/Williams would have let Anakin's theme evolve a little more without turning into the Imperial March, getting darker, but not that dark. In the third movie Anakin's downfall is complete, BUT we aren't allowed to see that he turns into Darth Vader. The audience is either left up in the air, or led to believe he was killed off. Obi Wan lies to Luke anyway. The subtle warping of Anakin's theme in the prequels would be foreshadowing for the full use of the Imperial March in ESB, and Vader's revelation to Luke that he is his father. Hopefully Lucas will preserve the original shock value to that moment for people first watching these movies 50 years from now.

Imperial theme:
Either use a variation of the theme from a New Hope or compose a new one that is junior to that one. The theme for the Empire can evolve as the Empire grows, from a newly compsed theme in the prequels, to the theme in ANH, and finally into the Imperial March in ESB. After all, Vader isn't in control of the Imperial Forces until ESB(Tarkin is in ANH) so it would make sense that the theme for the Empire would be the same as Vader's theme in ESB.

That's how I'd do it anyway. Oh, and before someone blasts me for being a hater of the music, I love all the music, flawed in parts as it may be, and even though I don't want to have to buy another special edition, I secretly hope Williams redoes the score to A New Hope, just so we have another Star Wars score to listen to.

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Matt
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  In Response to:
Choga

  Responses to this Comment:
Dragaeris
Re: Concerning the Imperial March in Episode II...   Wednesday, April 24, 2002 (6:12 a.m.) 

I'd just like to post a quick warning to you all: don't be so quick to condemn the score for things such as lack of thematic development or unity, because we have not yet seen the movie itself! Experience tells us (as happened with The Phantom Menace) that a HUGE amount of music was written for the film that did not end up on the first CD release. I for one was a bit disappointed with the Phantom Mencace CD because it contained less of the original material than I had hoped for. However, the entire score as heard in the film made up for this (the Force theme, especially, was used several times in the film, and only once I believe on the CD).

Anyway my point is: don't get yourself all worked up over the Anakin's theme not developing more subtlely into the Imperial March, because it may happen in the rest of the score that wasn't released onto the CD album.

And as long as we're on the subject, I should put in my two cents about the Imperial March. I feel that the score to A New Hope should stay *exactly* the way it is. That score was a landmark score, a masterpiece in almost every way. True, there is a thematic hole as far as the Empire is concerned, but it does not bother me. The score for A New Hope is a perfect fit to the film, and making any changes to it now would be a mistake. The only options I can see would be to insert clips of the Imperial March from either the Empire or Jedi scores, which would severely disrupt the flow and continuity of the score, or to re-score and re-record entire sections of the film. This too would disrupt the score, since they would be combining music recorded twenty-five years ago with music recorded last week. No matter how good the mixers and producers are, it just won't be the same. It may have worked with the new Victory Celebration from Return of the Jedi, but that was replacing the terrible Ewok song so I don't think anybody really cared. As far as A New Hope goes, I definitely hear a shift in the music when the new Jabba scene comes on, and to my ears it is not a very welcome change.

Leave A New Hope alone!!! It works the way it is!!!

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Dragaeris
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  In Response to:
Matt
now that we've seen the movie   Sunday, May 19, 2002 (9:56 p.m.) 

The imperial march definately has a place in Attack of the Clones. Especially the final sequences, where we see (SPOILER))))-------------->>prototype Star Destroyers. And, Palpatine effectively receives total power in the Republic--a supposedly temporary dictatorship he turns into the Empire. People have complained the march seems "wimpy" in AOTC. Well, that's because the Empire is not fully realized yet.

AND we will get to see Anakin purging the Jedi in Episode III. It will most likely be one of its main plot points. Its when he tries to "purge" Obi-Wan that he's knocked into the molten pit (probably on Geonosis) and has to be put in the famous suit.

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J. Dner
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  In Response to:
Choga
Re: Concerning the Imperial March in Episode II...   Wednesday, April 24, 2002 (12:20 p.m.) 

BECAUSE WILLIAMS HADN'T COMPOSED IT YET
There was an Imperial(or
> death star) theme, but it wasn't the "Imperial March".

True. Now, Williams did compose a wonderful little Death Star/Empire theme for A New Hope. He never used it again in Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi. Therefore, if he messed up by not using "The Imperial March" in A New Hope, then he messed up by not using the other empire theme in ESB and ROTJ.

> It's a mistake to use the Imperial March in the prequels so blatanly,
> because it ruins the consistency of the movies. For a non musical analogy,
> imagine if they painted R2D2 pink in Episode III without explaining why,
> but then he was back to his normal self in the following movies. Wouldn't
> that be wierd???

Yes, that would be incredibly strange. However, IMHO, I think it is very clever of Williams to use the Imperial March in AOTC. It wouldn't have fit in TPM, but foreshadowing Anakin's future with this theme is a nice addition, IMHO.

> Anakin/Vader theme:
Lucas/Williams would have let Anakin's theme
> evolve a little more without turning into the Imperial March, getting
> darker, but not that dark.

Maybe that would of been nice, but he didn't on this album. Maybe he did in the movie. All the music isn't on this one album. Who knows what he did?
Anywho, thanks for replying!



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Allard Vuyk
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  In Response to:
J. Dner

  Responses to this Comment:
J. Dner
HŚkan Tallgren
Re: Concerning the Imperial March in Episode II...   Wednesday, April 24, 2002 (4:59 a.m.) 

I have to argue your statement that the Imperial March represents the Empire. I believe that the March is associated with Darth Vader and Anakin only, for it is heard in TPM and in AOTC, in which the Empire is not formed yet, and ceases to play after Vader`s death. The March is played in the later trilogy when Vader is not on screen to indicate his presence as part of the Empire. It is a flaw that it is played in full in AOTC, it should only appear as a growing part of Anakin`s theme. However, John Williams may have decided to sacrifice some consistency to enhance certain scenes musically, for this is a Star Wars movie and the Imperial March may be even better known than the title theme. The audience demands it, and I think when we`ll see the movie, it`ll fit perfectly.

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J. Dner
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  In Response to:
Allard Vuyk
Re: Concerning the Imperial March in Episode II...   Wednesday, April 24, 2002 (12:08 p.m.) 

> I have to argue your statement that the Imperial March represents the
> Empire. I believe that the March is associated with Darth Vader and Anakin
> only, for it is heard in TPM and in AOTC, in which the Empire is not
> formed yet, and ceases to play after Vader`s death. The March is played in
> the later trilogy when Vader is not on screen to indicate his presence as
> part of the Empire. It is a flaw that it is played in full in AOTC, it
> should only appear as a growing part of Anakin`s theme. However, John
> Williams may have decided to sacrifice some consistency to enhance certain
> scenes musically, for this is a Star Wars movie and the Imperial March may
> be even better known than the title theme. The audience demands it, and I
> think when we`ll see the movie, it`ll fit perfectly.

Bits and pieces are heard in TPM. True, there is no empire in TPM, but the beginning stages of an empire (Darth Sidious/Senator Palpatine and even the trade federation) are forming.

When Vader died (after he killed Emperor Palpatine), the empire died with him. That is why the imperial march is not heard anymore.

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HŚkan Tallgren
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  In Response to:
Allard Vuyk
Imperial March in TPM   Friday, May 3, 2002 (10:59 a.m.) 

I haven't read every single comment in this thread, but if none has brought it to the light, I'd like to contribute!

The Imperial March can also be heard in TPM score in Anakin's Theme, I believe in the middle of the song as well, but at least at the end of it. Very clearly if you think about it. Of course to make us think of the dark destiny that Anakin is heading to...

(Please forgive me if this was already clear to everyone!)

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Brain
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J. Dner
My view :-)   Wednesday, April 24, 2002 (1:09 p.m.) 

I would like to tell you my view on this one
First of all, I love the imperial march as many others do and I think it's good to hear it in this film. Remember, it is not blatantly strewn across all tracks like in TESB but at the end of the film. Now I am sure that Williams has perfectly good reasons for including this imperial march in the last scenes. I think that we will have to wait to see the film before making any comments on the usage of this theme.

Also, I donít know whether to call this Vader's theme or not. Sure enough the track listing does say "The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)", but it is used in so many other places that I donít think it should be called Vader's theme. For example, the brilliant booming rendition heard in ROTJ when the emperor arrives. I suppose I donít really mind what it is called but I have always referred to it as "The Imperial March" and everyone knows exactly what I'm talking about

So, in AOTC this song could be used for a scene with Anakin but I find it hard to believe since it is a very bold piece. I think it will represent something along the lines of Senator Palpitine arriving from somewhere with his troops/guards or something like that, perhaps reflecting the use in ROTJ. In reality I have no idea, but I thought I'd air my thoughts to some of you nice people

Also, I found that the imperial march used in AOTC is slightly different (but only slightly I stress). The background instrumental to the "DAA DAA DAA Daa DA DAAA Daa DA DAAA" is subtly different that the original version. I donít know how to describe it in musical terms sorry, but listen to both versions and hear the difference. I actually like the version used in AOTC contrary to some reviews.

Some of the points made about the continuity of the piece can be said...but again it makes no sense to argue about that sort of thing when we have no idea what is happening in the film. I could say that since my hypothesis of an entry theme for the Senator/Emperor is likely, and that the imperial march would not need to be used in ANH at all as we never see the emperor
"But we see the Emperor in TESB!" I hear you say. I tell you, this particular part of the imperial march is only used when the emperor arrives! It has only been heard once in ROTJ and at no other time!!! Even the version when Darth Vader arrives on the surface of Hoth is completely different.
Now I hear you say "But the version in AOTC's is also different". Well, it is but only very slightly...but not that different compared to the rest. I say that they are very similar in tempo and volume that they could be called the same section of the imperial march (i.e. this is supposed to represent the same section that starts at 2:16 on "The Imperial March" track, or at 0:21 on "The Emperor Arrives" track)

There you have it, this is what I think.


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Serge Desir
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  In Response to:
J. Dner

  Responses to this Comment:
J. Dner
Re: Concerning the Imperial March in Episode II...   Wednesday, April 24, 2002 (1:10 p.m.) 

> I have read many posts and a few reviews lately and I have found that
> there is controversy concerning the use of the Imperial March in Attack of
> the Clones.
Let me start out by saying that this score is 99.9 times
> better than The Phantom Menace. If this music is any indication of how the
> film will be... well, I believe we will all be in for one heck of a good
> time.
Now, back to the Imperial March. There are a few reasons as to
> why it is used in Attack of the Clones. They are:
1) To signify the
> empire (remember, Imperial March wasn't only used for Darth Vader. Watch
> The Empire Strikes Back again and notice that this theme represents the
> empire as well as Vader.
2) To signify the underlying change in
> Anakin. Anakin does evolve into Vader eventually, so I believe we will
> find that the Imperial March may be used a time or two when Anakin shows
> his dark side (this is also the case of Duel of the Fates, which is also
> recieving some controversy).

> Why isn't it in A New Hope?
The Imperial March wasn't used in A New
> Hope simply because the movie was focussed on Luke Skywalker and, well, a
> new hope for the republic. Vader was in the movie, but we never really
> learn much about him. The whole death star subplot is exactly that - a
> minor subplot.
In The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader and the empire
> played a much more relevant role. The movie was much darker and the focus
> was more on the empire. Therefore, an imperial theme was needed, thus
> leadin to the Imperial March, which became known as Vader's Theme because
> Vader was very much a part of the Empire.
In Return of the Jedi, the
> Imperial March doesn't play nearly as important a role as it did in TESB.
> We didn't hear it at all in The Phantom Menace because the empire wasn't
> even really heard of yet.

> So, in conclusion, the Imperial March is just as much a theme for the
> empire as it is for Darth Vader. So it has a very effective and important
> function in Attack of the Clones. Thank you for reading!

> Reply and let me know what you think.

Not bad but you're a little off on some points.

First, the Imperial March DOES appear in TPM; it rears its tyrannical head just before Yoda allows Obi-Wan to take Anakin as his apprentice.

Second, there is an imperial theme in ANH. While Vader and his attache stride around the blockade runner, it is heard constantly, and in his notes and interviews, Williams refers to it as Vader's Theme. For ESTB, Williams wrote a new Theme that we all know and love!

Third, the Imperial March is heard A LOT in ROTJ. It appears at the beginning of the movie, it appears right during the Emperor's arrival, it appears when Luke and Vader have a father-son chat, it appears when Vader takes Luke to the Emperor, it appears when Vader dies.

Otherwise, I agree with you for the most part.

Thanks for reading!!!



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J. Dner
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  In Response to:
Serge Desir

  Responses to this Comment:
Serge Desir
Matthew
Re: Concerning the Imperial March in Episode II...   Wednesday, April 24, 2002 (2:18 p.m.) 

> Third, the Imperial March is heard A LOT in ROTJ. It appears at the
> beginning of the movie, it appears right during the Emperor's arrival, it
> appears when Luke and Vader have a father-son chat, it appears when Vader
> takes Luke to the Emperor, it appears when Vader dies.

I realize that the Imperial March is heard often in ROTJ. However, it doesn't play nearly as important a role in ROTJ as it did in TESB.

As far as the Imperial March in TPM... I've seen the movie many times and I have never noticed it. I have owned both soundtrack albums and I have never heard it. Therefore, it must have been used in such a subtle way that I failed to notice.

Anywho, thanks for replying!



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Serge Desir
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  In Response to:
J. Dner

  Responses to this Comment:
E. Mulder
Re: Concerning the Imperial March in Episode II...   Wednesday, April 24, 2002 (3:01 p.m.) 

> I realize that the Imperial March is heard often in ROTJ. However, it
> doesn't play nearly as important a role in ROTJ as it did in TESB.

> As far as the Imperial March in TPM... I've seen the movie many times and
> I have never noticed it. I have owned both soundtrack albums and I have
> never heard it. Therefore, it must have been used in such a subtle way
> that I failed to notice.

> Anywho, thanks for replying!

>

Hello.

The single statement of the Imperial March can be heard in track 16 of the original TPM release. That track begins with Yoda's Theme during which Yoda tells Obi-Wan that he's been promoted and that the Council is worried about his request to train Anakin. The music takes a VERY dour turn while this conversation progresses and then, sneaking in like a thief in the night, the Imperial March appears. It's not the entire March "proper;" it's just the first portion of the March and it comes and goes. I strongly encourage you to listen for it. When I heard the entire score the first time three years ago and I heard that single statement, I shuddered (and I heard it before I saw the movie... and it's difficult to hear in the movie...).

Later.


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E. Mulder
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m)

  In Response to:
Serge Desir
Vader's Theme/ Imperial March in TPM   Tuesday, May 28, 2002 (6:36 a.m.) 

> Hello.

> The single statement of the Imperial March can be heard in track 16 of the
> original TPM release. That track begins with Yoda's Theme during which
> Yoda tells Obi-Wan that he's been promoted and that the Council is worried
> about his request to train Anakin. The music takes a VERY dour turn while
> this conversation progresses and then, sneaking in like a thief in the
> night, the Imperial March appears. It's not the entire March
> "proper;" it's just the first portion of the March and it comes
> and goes. I strongly encourage you to listen for it. When I heard the
> entire score the first time three years ago and I heard that single
> statement, I shuddered (and I heard it before I saw the movie... and it's
> difficult to hear in the movie...).

> Later.

But how about ANAKIN'S THEME? Vader's theme is very much present there, especially during the dark ending of it. I recommend you to listen to THE SITH SPACECRAFT AND THE DROID BATTLE (a great track that was cut up so very badly for the film) there is definitly a hint there of the imperial march: great stuff, very fast paced! And appropriate to establish this musical connection between the trade federation and the empire.


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Matthew
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  In Response to:
J. Dner
Re: Concerning the Imperial March in Episode II...   Tuesday, April 30, 2002 (8:06 p.m.) 

Take a listen to "The High Council Meeting" on the original album and listen very carefully, you'll hear the Imperial March. Just the first 6 notes though, after that, the last 3 notes of that are repeated, and its over. Its very subtle, so listen carefully. And of couse, Anakin's Theme morphs into the Imperial March for the last 4 notes, so it is in TPM. You just have to listen carefully.

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