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Comments about the soundtrack for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (John Williams)
Where are the Themes?

Tim Warnholz/Darth Warnn
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(pd9e76205.dip.t-dialin.net)


  Responses to this Comment:
Roman Dlouhý
Chewie Kablooey
Where are the Themes?   Thursday, May 23, 2002 (3:12 p.m.) 

I think the End Titles of AotC show perfectly what is the main (and to me only!) flaw of Episode II. The Soundtrack. I adore the soundtracks of the old trilogy, actually I'm able to play the entire music score of ANH and TESB and a lot of RoTJ just from my memory. And after a short period of approaching I also liked TPM, which features one of my favorite themes of the entire saga, "Anakins Theme" (and which is, by the way, one of the most complex themes of the entire saga too). But I have a serious problem with AotC and I realized it when I sat in the cinema and listened to the End Titles. Only one new theme, repeated over and over again, "Across the Stars" which is, compared to the old themes only second class, sorry! And that's the main problem. Where are the themes Mr.Williams? Just for comparison I list how rich the old movies were considering the themes:

ANH: Main Theme (Star Wars Theme), Imperial Theme (never used again), Rebel Starship Fanfare, Princess Leia's Theme, The Force Theme.

TESB: Han and Leia Love Theme, Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme), Yoda`s Theme, Lando Calrissian's Theme, Subthemes like the Droid's Theme and Boba Fett's (very short but recognizable)

ROTJ: Jabba the Hutt's Theme, Emperor's Theme, Luke and Leia Theme, The Ewok Theme (WIPE THEM OUT, ALL OF THEM!) and Sub-Themes like the Rebel-Alliance Theme.

And even TPM has several recognizable Themes:
Battle-Droid-Theme, Anakins Theme, Jar Jar Binx Theme (OK we don´t like him but it is a Theme!)

And now AOTC:
Anakin and Padme Love Theme! That's it.

I hope that there will be a change in Episode III because to me the music is an essential part of the Saga and of much more importance than some annoying and childish alien designs (POD RACE! PLEASE NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!) Mister Lucas!

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Roman Dlouhý
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(ns.rb.cz)

  In Response to:
Tim Warnholz/Darth Warnn
Re: Where are the Themes?   Friday, May 24, 2002 (5:38 a.m.) 

So if I get your comment right then what you want is a show-up of new themes in Episode III, right? So you want some new themes to appear (at least two or three if you don't mind), then you would want them to be developed and eventually reach climax and then die off within the Episode III. And you also have to remember that the presence of old established themes is necessity because many of the regular characters will be again in Episode III...of course.

I beg to ask you a question. What do you think the new themes will represent outside of the main characters where all of them already have their established themes? Chases? Strifes? Sunrises? Sorry, I do not mean to dispraise your question, but I don't see a reason for ANY new theme to appear in Episode III. A load of NEW themes blessed Episode I and that's where it had its foundation I think. It would be waste of time for Williams to come up with new themes and work hard on them to give them a Star Warsy flavor. The waste of precious time that he had better devote to the well-thought-out transformations of certain existing motifs into different existing ones to deliver the inescapable.

Star Wars Episode III is not another series of Hungarian Dances that's expected to boast about new themes in innumerable number of differentiating cues. It's a music written to function in the movie to help telling story, to help foreshadowing and/or representing the inescapable. It's also supposed to work fine in a stand-alone form to satisfy listening experience and to make SENSE. Abundance of new themes that would ultimately find their appearance only in Episode III could well be a mess.

Although I like your idea about Williams' making new things, I can't seem to imagine for it to work in the midst of Star Wars hexad.

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Chewie Kablooey
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(pool0515.cvx31-bradley.dialup.ear
thlink.net)

  In Response to:
Tim Warnholz/Darth Warnn

  Responses to this Comment:
John
Re: Where are the Themes?   Sunday, May 26, 2002 (6:12 p.m.) 

> ANH: Main Theme (Star Wars Theme), Imperial Theme (never used again),
> Rebel Starship Fanfare, Princess Leia's Theme, The Force Theme.

GREAT JOB on naming the themes from the other movies. I have to agree with the complaint about lack of themes. I expected more from the AotC soundtrack. You forgot to mention the Jawa theme in ANH. Even they had a theme! The complaint I have though is not only with the lack of main themes, but the lack of themetic material that is not related to a specific place or individual. An example of this would be the Basket Chase in Raiders of the Lost Ark, or the Asteroid Field chase in ESB. For those specific scenes there was structure to the musical material, not just seemingly random action music. I would have liked this for the end battle scenes. I won't talk about the EP I tracking problem again... (oops i just did) Another variation I would have liked would have been action music with themes interspersed here and there, like the battle music in Hook. Five seconds dont go by in that piece without some theme popping up. When Mace Windu strikes there is a great Force theme flourish. When Jengo Fett one-ups Obi-Wan, an expanded strain of the Boba Fett music from ESB comes pounding through. I would really enjoy that! It's good fun.

I JUST bought the Soundtrack and have only listened to the love theme to try and figure out why the hell people think it sounds like Hook. I DON'T GET IT. And I typically notice this kind of thing. Sheesh, I'm so bad, when I saw the movie Cocoon, I noticed a stretch of music that was exactly like music in Star Trek II. And I wasn't even trying! The EP I music in the battle scene in AotC stood out to me like a sore thumb, yet I STILL SEE NO SIMILARITY BETWEEN ANY MUSIC IN AotC AND HOOK!

Keep up the good work all you John Williams lunatics!!!

Chewie


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John
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  In Response to:
Chewie Kablooey
similarities   Tuesday, May 28, 2002 (12:36 a.m.) 

> GREAT JOB on naming the themes from the other movies. I have to agree with
> the complaint about lack of themes. I expected more from the AotC
> soundtrack. You forgot to mention the Jawa theme in ANH. Even they had a
> theme! The complaint I have though is not only with the lack of main
> themes, but the lack of themetic material that is not related to a
> specific place or individual. An example of this would be the Basket Chase
> in Raiders of the Lost Ark, or the Asteroid Field chase in ESB. For those
> specific scenes there was structure to the musical material, not just
> seemingly random action music. I would have liked this for the end battle
> scenes. I won't talk about the EP I tracking problem again... (oops i just
> did) Another variation I would have liked would have been action music
> with themes interspersed here and there, like the battle music in Hook.
> Five seconds dont go by in that piece without some theme popping up. When
> Mace Windu strikes there is a great Force theme flourish. When Jengo Fett
> one-ups Obi-Wan, an expanded strain of the Boba Fett music from ESB comes
> pounding through. I would really enjoy that! It's good fun.

> I JUST bought the Soundtrack and have only listened to the love theme to
> try and figure out why the hell people think it sounds like Hook. I DON'T
> GET IT. And I typically notice this kind of thing. Sheesh, I'm so bad,
> when I saw the movie Cocoon, I noticed a stretch of music that was exactly
> like music in Star Trek II. And I wasn't even trying! The EP I music in
> the battle scene in AotC stood out to me like a sore thumb, yet I STILL
> SEE NO SIMILARITY BETWEEN ANY MUSIC IN AotC AND HOOK!

> Keep up the good work all you John Williams lunatics!!!

> Chewie

Hi There,

About the similarities...it's sad isn't it? People try to bring down such a beautiful theme that with a few notes sums up all about the forbidden love and the beginning of the struggle. The reason why people think that it sounds exactly like hook ( which I disagree) is because Williams wrote three....yes three eights that follow the same sequence of notes as the ones from the Hook theme. OH PLEASE!!! It's a different key (the one is major the other is minor) and the context and orchestration is complete different. Common you guys the man has been around for 40 years and delivered some of the best film scores EVER. I can't even classify his sound tracks as Good, Not good, Bad, etc. I can only classify them as Fantastic, Brilliant, Very good,good and that's it (with the exception of Earthquake and missury burning-I think is the title-). Just be a bit more open minded when it comes to Williams in 2002. it's a new trilogy, a new approach and a new sound. I would love to hear more themes and more subthemes in the writing but the love theme has blown me away! And maybe one of the reasons that he didn't write any other themes is because he wanted to concentrate on the most important part of the story: The forbidden love between Annakin and Padme.Any way..I am just pressing play to hear AOTC from a composer who has more nominations than any other person on this planet!


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