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

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Laughably in-depth and hasty review
• Posted by: Montana Score Fan   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2005, at 4:59 a.m.
• IP Address: ummd054.dn33.umontana.edu

While the review was certainly well-thought out, it was lengthy and somewhat pretentious beyond necessity. It might be important to note that the final chapter in the Star Wars saga does not introduce any new characters that haven't been seen in the previous five films, except for General Grievous. Therefore it would be slightly unrealistic to expect new themes. We should expect new themes for ... what? Coruscant? There is one. Palpatine? There is one. Darth Vader? There is one. Wookies? There is no wookie theme in the other movies, why would he introduce and then abandon a theme? The themes in these six movies are meant to mesh together, and there is no need for any new themes specific to this film, save Grievous.

A closing fanfare and full development of the Force Theme in the final track probably should not be expected, either, as this movie -- while ending on a note of hope -- will most likely not end on a note of exuberance. The first time we could expect exuberance would be after a significant victory over the Empire, as happens in the Throne Room track at the end of Episode 4. That's the Force Theme, fully developed, and one rarely hears it fully developed at other times in the films.

This review, at a glance, appears clearly to be a populist response to common complaints about the previous movies, and the projection of those expected faults into the third movie. How else could one really, honestly make a correlation to George Lucas' recent penchant for special effects creation trumping storytelling as the basis for a bad film score review? Has George Lucas' CGI work HONESTLY affected John Williams? I have serious doubts to this.

Also, though I certainly appreciate the effort, the cacophony of different rating metering systems is unnecessary. "Music as Heard in Relation to Film Scores in General"? Do we rate every album in the same manner? Do we need to in this instance? I think not. This system simply shows an inability to authoritatively take a stance on an album that may, as the reviewer looks back in retrospect, may have been too hastily written.

However, this is not to say the review has legitimate criticisms, such as the score's inability to develop a strong action theme. The comparison of General Grievous to The Asteroid Field is a good one: the asteroid piece had a clear identity and a memorable melody. Grievous is much different and worse.

In the mad rush by Internet score reviewers to judge this album, many make specific expectations based on story line events that they expect to happen. What these gun-jumping reviewers may not understand is that the cues presented on this CD may not match up with those presented in the film. Lord knows Sony Classical has hacked other scores to pieces, and Lucas himself has horrifically trashed Williams' music in favor of already-written themes (think The Love Pledge/Arena Battle). In the films, the birth of the twins may be handled in a different manner. Though it is possible, I doubt that the twins will be born and then there will be an abrupt cut to a funeral scene as the track as presented on the album suggests. To judge the effectiveness of the music in portraying this scene based on album presentation alone is shoddy and bush-league work. And since this review and many others are clearly implicit in their criticism of plot points in correlation to their presentation on the album, they might have been better suited to wait until the music is presented as it was meant to be heard: in the film and part of the story. This album, like the last two Star Wars film scores before it, is merely the colors and paints on the painter's palette. Once we see the films, we see the entire painted picture, and appreciate it as it was meant to be.




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