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Comments about the soundtrack for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (John Williams)
Beg to differ...

Dan
(cache03.nyc.untd.com)


  Responses to this Comment:
G.K.
Jockolantern
Beg to differ...   Sunday, April 17, 2005 (3:35 p.m.) 

While the review at hand is a good reference point, I personally do not think it should be used as a guideline until one has heard the score and seen the movie. Unfortunately, comparing Williams' prequel music to the music from the original Star Wars series is a futile effort. The reason? Because while both have their strong points, weak points exist. The strong points from the originals: Thematic material. Strong points from the prequels: Some themes, but mostly background music.

However, as always, Williams' has many motifs that play during the background pieces which make them (almost) pieces unto themselves. But, that is more correct of his newer movies. While the old ones have excellent underlying scores, the material lacks some sort of motif. Everyone will view this point differently, but from the perspective of a composer, I'd have to say that as far as background material is concerned, Williams has outdone himself.

As for thematic material, it's true that there aren't many new themes. But my question is: Does there really need to be? In Episode I, he was re-introducing us to the Star Wars universe, so many new themes needed to be written. As Episode II came around, the musical style needed to change, but there really was no new material that needed addressing (with the exception of the Love Theme). Enter Episode III. While new styles and motifs are needed, there is no justifiable reason to say that "The thematic material needed to be much more". I'm not saying I wouldn't have minded many new themes to whistle or play, but to add any more new material would be overdoing it. The object of music in movies is to evoke emotion and tell the story. I think that it is possible to do that without a barrage of new themes.

And, if you think about it, how many people (general public) go around humming the ewok's theme? Or for that matter, Luke and Leia? The latter was actually only used in the film as an underscore piece. Most fans (who don't pay a lot of attention to music) wouldn't even know it existed. Heck, there are musicians who don't know about it.

All I am saying is, to say that most fans will be disappointed (and this isn't the only review to say it) would be jumping to conclusions that we won't have answers to for another month. While I do realize that some music fans might feel cheated, most of us will enjoy hearing the new ways in which John Williams has again transported us to a "galaxy far, far away".

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G.K.
(p5494ab51.dip.t-dialin.net)

  In Response to:
Dan

  Responses to this Comment:
Mark
Dan
Just because people don't know it doesn't mean it hasn't to be there   Sunday, April 17, 2005 (5:35 p.m.) 

> Enter Episode III. While new styles and
> motifs are needed, there is no justifiable reason to say that "The
> thematic material needed to be much more". I'm not saying I wouldn't
> have minded many new themes to whistle or play, but to add any more new
> material would be overdoing it. The object of music in movies is to evoke
> emotion and tell the story. I think that it is possible to do that without
> a barrage of new themes.

> And, if you think about it, how many people (general public) go around
> humming the ewok's theme? Or for that matter, Luke and Leia? The latter
> was actually only used in the film as an underscore piece. Most fans (who
> don't pay a lot of attention to music) wouldn't even know it existed.
> Heck, there are musicians who don't know about it.

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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Mark
(165.134.170.180)

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

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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Dan
(cache03.nyc.untd.com)

  In Response to:
G.K.
Re: Just because people don't know it doesn't mean it hasn't to be there   Thursday, April 21, 2005 (8:00 p.m.) 

> 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)...

This could go on and on, however, you do make a good point. I realize that motifs help tell the story, but one doesn't always need one to move the story along. Look at the scene in A New Hope when Ben Kenobi is struck down. Williams could have written a new, more poignant motif for that moment, but decided that Princess Leia's theme would fit the bill.

As an aspiring film composer, I realize about needing to tell the story, not just laying music in. I just feel it's crazy to go on about how many new themes there "should have been", when Williams obviously wrote it the way he did for a reason. Anyway, I am reserving my final analysis for after I have seen the film. After all, the music was written to go with the film, not necessarily for the concert hall.


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Jockolantern
<Send E-Mail>
(65.121.103.83)

  In Response to:
Dan
Beautifully stated. *NM*   Monday, April 18, 2005 (10:18 a.m.) 



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