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Comments about the soundtrack for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (John Williams)

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Re: Just because people don't know it doesn't mean it hasn't to be there
• Posted by: Mark
• Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2005, at 10:49 a.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Just because people don't know it doesn't mean... (G.K.)

I don't think it's so much of a contradiction. Each movie has a theme or two that appears only in that movie, but most of it is music from throughout the entire saga. ROTS falls right in the middle, so you should expect to hear some early prequel music, some original themes, and some new themes. Take a look at ESB: it falls in the middle of the trilogy, and therefore has very few themes all to itself. The only themes from ESB that appears ONLY IN THAT MOVIE are the Battle of Hoth, the Asteroid Field, and Lando's Cloud City March. Only three themes are exclusive to that movie (and we're getting down into some nitty gritty stuff when we talk about Lando and Cloud City).

With this in mind, it makes sense that another film that takes place in the middle of the saga (ROTS) would only have a few themes exclusively for that movie (Anakin's Dream, Battle of the Hero's, General Grievous, and some other wonderful themes that are borderline underscore such as Anakin's Dark Deeds and Enter Lord Vader).

I know the first arguement people will make here is that though the Imperial March/Darth Vader's Theme, Yoda's Theme, Hand and Leia, etc. are not exclusive to ESB, they were all originally written for the movie. I believe that John Williams cleverly used the right proportions of early, and late themes with new material to put ROTS in its place. As it should, this score has a certain feel to it that is distinctively ROTS, but by that last track, it sounds like we're listening to ANH again. That was Williams' own contribution to bridge the 18 year gap between ROTS and ANH. I think he ought to be congradulated for connecting this score so well with one that was written 28 years ago.

I'm not saying that this score doesn't have it's weaknesses, though. To see a few more of my comments, check out "Some things I didn't agree with" below.

> Isn't that a contradiction? On one hand, you say that music is there to
> tell the story (which is correct of course), but on the other hand you say
> that no more motifs are really needed.
But isn't the story being told
> THROUGH (new) motifs?
I don't really like discussing these things
> before having seen and heard the entire movie, but I agree with the
> reviewer on filmtracks.

> And only because Joe Moviegoer or even musicians can't hum, or don't even
> know about themes doesn't mean that they don't need to be there.
That's exactly what separates John Williams from all other composers
> and that's also why Episodes IV, V and VI are head-to-shoulders above
> everything else: because the music "transcends the movie", as
> Movie Music put it.
Of course most people don't remember 90 % of the
> themes he writes, and I'm sure Williams knows that. He could have easily
> dropped some motifs and saved himself lots of headaches, but he didn't.
And you know why?

> Williams didn't care if people remembered his bunch of themes after
> watching the movie, he wanted his music to evoke feelings during the
> movie, but he also wanted it to work (tell the story) without the
> boundaries of sync points.
And that's the difference between Episode
> II & III and the rest of the saga.

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