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Gordy Haab's Star Wars: Battlefront (2015)

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I'm really hopeful War Horse was Williams experimenting with a new style of action writing, albeit only briefly, in No Man's Land. Kinetic and energetic, thematic with refreshingly streamlined orchestration. None of this jumping around to every section of the orchestra (irritating xylophone hits abound! And yes, I'm looking at you, Grievous and the Droids!)

To be honest, KOTCS did a better job aping the thematic scoring of 80's Williams than the prequels. Complete Jungle Chase is brimming with action renditions of Irina's, Indy's, Marion's and Mutt's themes while introducing sequence-specific themes that only appear in Jungle Chase.

Very little of the prequel action music has any clear or concise purpose, nor references to the themes JW established in each film. The only time he came close was the climax of ROTS and even that was victim of tracking. I think JW deserves the benefit of the doubt though; he was likely writing a score to a mess of animatics and, well, the prequels were just awful films. Across The Stars is a sensational piece but Williams was obviously channeling Out of Africa while writing it; no human is capable of writing a theme so beautiful while seeking inspiration from Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen rolling around in grassy meadows.

Please let this be a parody post.

I'm not optimistic enough to believe it is!

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To be honest, KOTCS did a better job aping the thematic scoring of 80's Williams than the prequels. Complete Jungle Chase is brimming with action renditions of Irina's, Indy's, Marion's and Mutt's themes while introducing sequence-specific themes that only appear in Jungle Chase.

Please let this be a parody post.

In my opinion, Williams may have tried to emulate his early 90's style, the time where a 4th indy movie should have been done.

You have the 'lost boys chase' in the adventures of mutt

The 'Incident at isla nublar' synth beat in mutt's introduction

The bombastic and intrincate action setpiece in jungle chase (with no ludlows demise and post 1997 vibe). Like in hook, far and away....

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I haven't been keeping up with prequel music completism lately, so I apologize if I'm repeating any information. In addition to this original score by Gordy Haab, the game contains a fair amount of Williams music, including unreleased prequel bits. I noticed that "Goodbye Obi-Wan" was there in its entirety, including the end of the cue with Anakin's nightmare. (Last I knew, we were missing these few seconds, but I could be wrong!)

Also, the beta of the game (open only until this Tuesday) is lots of good, dumb fun.

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looks like we can go back to our Prequel edits

it's good to know they can still use unreleased music and some TFA stuff might show up in games eventually

I noticed that "Goodbye Obi-Wan" was there in its entirety, including the end of the cue with Anakin's nightmare. (Last I knew, we were missing these few seconds, but I could be wrong!)

yeah, it was missing 1 or 2 seconds to make a prefect edit

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Huh? It wouldn't be a leak. The game is endorsed by Lucasfilm, and just about every Star Wars game ever made uses Williams' music from the films.

It WOULD be "a leak" if it WAS from Star Wars Ep.7.

However, I think that ALL of you are wrong.

e

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Of course, his old style has a huge emotional punch. And it's operatic. And that is not to be underestimated. It's not really to say that I don't like it or anything. But Williams was methodically developing his own voice and, for better or worse, his action setpieces of today are very much a product of this process.

I was listening to The Whomping Willow track from POA and was amazed how much stuff is actually contained within that one minute. It's mind-boggling. And, better yet, you can hear every single section clearly. Nobody comes even close to that kind of technical proficiency.

Karol

Indeed, again!

The Ferry Scene

I forgot what an Alex North throwback that cue is, and a lot of the rest of the score too. Fantastic!

The unrelenting darkness and relatively non-thematic nature (by design) keep me from returning to that one too often. It works great in film though.

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Somebody on Facepunch who's been making a model ripper has actually dumped all the music in the beta (2GB-worth, in case you're wondering - that's a lot of music just for the beta - and I've been told there's music that is not used in the beta as well (music that is marked for Endor is included, plus other maps not in the beta for sure), so it may be the whole game's music)

(I'm a member there because of the models, BTW - they also released quite a few models from the alpha version of Free Radical's SWBFIII and other models I use with my mod tools)

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Huh? It wouldn't be a leak. The game is endorsed by Lucasfilm, and just about every Star Wars game ever made uses Williams' music from the films.

It WOULD be "a leak" if it WAS from Star Wars Ep.7.

However, I think that ALL of you are wrong.

e

That's... good to know.

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I haven't been keeping up with prequel music completism lately, so I apologize if I'm repeating any information. In addition to this original score by Gordy Haab, the game contains a fair amount of Williams music, including unreleased prequel bits. I noticed that "Goodbye Obi-Wan" was there in its entirety, including the end of the cue with Anakin's nightmare. (Last I knew, we were missing these few seconds, but I could be wrong!)

 

I just checked the files, and I would like to correct that: the cue is not there in its entirety (unless I missed another file it appears in, in which case: my bad! The one I'm talking about is SW01_Music_FrontEnd_Medley 0 0 0). There's only about 1 minute or so of it, with the first 20 seconds and the last minute missing (though that's already available in previous games). But yeah, as Henry pointed out, the transitional bit for Anakin's nightmare, which was previously unreleased, is in there.

 

Now, the interesting thing for me is that the music in the game is in lossless format (WAV). I haven't been following all the talks about the unreleased music in previous games, but isn't that a first? Or was there music in previous games that was also in lossless format?

 

Anyway, here is the file (I converted it to mp3 for streaming purposes. If you want it in WAV format, you know what to do!). You'll see that after the first minute or so, it segues into what seems to be original music written for the game:

 

Somebody on Facepunch who's been making a model ripper has actually dumped all the music in the beta (2GB-worth, in case you're wondering - that's a lot of music just for the beta - and I've been told there's music that is not used in the beta as well (music that is marked for Endor is included, plus other maps not in the beta for sure), so it may be the whole game's music)

 

Actually, there isn't that much music included (at least, compared to something like Battlefront II, which had a shitload of music). The only reason the zip file is so big is because the music is in WAV format, which takes a lot of space.

 

And I don't think it's whole game's music, for three reasons. Firstly, if you look at the folders, you'll see there's only the music for four planets (Endor, Hoth, Tatooine and Sullust), and I doubt the final game has only four planets to offer. Secondly, if you look, for example, inside the folder 'Survival' inside 'Challenges' -> 'Tatooine', you'll see SW01_Music_Survival_FightTheme_A_Tatooine_Loop_01 0 0 0 followed directly by SW01_Music_Survival_FightTheme_C_Tatooine_Loop_01 0 0 0, so there's no FightTheme_B, which suggest there's music missing. And thirdly, I just find that there aren't that much music available in the beta version, so I doubt that's all there is for the complete game.

 

I also don't think the game will include that much music from the prequels, because, as was noted before, the game is apparently set during the OT era, and the music in the game seems to fit each level (that is to say, the Endor level has only music from ROTJ (except for the music written especially for the game), the Hoth level has music from ESB, the Tatooine level has music from Star Wars. Only the Sullust level has some music from AOTC), so unless there are planets from the prequels, I doubt we'll get much music from those scores.

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I haven't been keeping up with prequel music completism lately, so I apologize if I'm repeating any information. In addition to this original score by Gordy Haab, the game contains a fair amount of Williams music, including unreleased prequel bits. I noticed that "Goodbye Obi-Wan" was there in its entirety, including the end of the cue with Anakin's nightmare. (Last I knew, we were missing these few seconds, but I could be wrong!)

I just checked the files, and I would like to correct that: the cue is not there in its entirety (unless I missed another file it appears in, in which case: my bad! The one I'm talking about is SW01_Music_FrontEnd_Medley 0 0 0). There's only about 1 minute or so of it, with the first 20 seconds and the last minute missing (though that's already available in previous games). But yeah, as Henry pointed out, the transitional bit for Anakin's nightmare, which was previous unreleased, is in there.

Now, the interesting thing for me is that the music in the game is in lossless format (WAV). I haven't been following all the talks about the unreleased music in previous games, but isn't that a first? Or was there music in previous games that was also in lossless format?

Anyway, here is the file (I converted it to mp3 for streaming purposes. If you want it in WAV format, you know what to do!). You'll see that after the first minute or so, it segues into what seems to be original music written for the game:

Somebody on Facepunch who's been making a model ripper has actually dumped all the music in the beta (2GB-worth, in case you're wondering - that's a lot of music just for the beta - and I've been told there's music that is not used in the beta as well (music that is marked for Endor is included, plus other maps not in the beta for sure), so it may be the whole game's music)

Actually, there isn't that much music included (at least, compared to something like Battlefront II, which had a shitload of music). The only reason the zip file is so big is because the music is in WAV format, which takes a lot of space.

And I don't think it's whole game's music, for three reasons. Firstly, if you look at the folders, you'll see there's only the music for four planets (Endor, Hoth, Tatooine and Sullust), and I doubt the final game has only four planets to offer. Secondly, if you look, for example, inside the folder 'Survival' inside 'Challenges' -> 'Tatooine', you'll see SW01_Music_Survival_FightTheme_A_Tatooine_Loop_01 0 0 0 followed directly by SW01_Music_Survival_FightTheme_C_Tatooine_Loop_01 0 0 0, so there's no FightTheme_B, which suggest there's music missing. And thirdly, I just find that there aren't that much music available in the beta version, so I doubt that's all there is for the complete game.

I also don't think the game will include that much music from the prequels, because, as was noted before, the game is apparently set during the OT era, and the music in the game seems to fit each level (that is to say, the Endor level has only music from ROTJ (except for the music written especially for the game), the Hoth level has music from ESB, the Tatooine level has music from Star Wars. Only the Sullust level has some music from AOTC), so unless there are planets from the prequels, I doubt we'll get much music from those scores.

The final game does have four planets - Endor, Hoth, Sullust and Tatooine, though there will obviously be multiple maps for each planet. EA confirmed that in a press release. Jakuu is going to be added as DLC.

Gordy Haab's music goes between prequel and OT styles, and he does it quite well, i think.

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The final game does have four planets - Endor, Hoth, Sullust and Tatooine, though there will obviously be multiple maps for each planet.

Well, that's surprising...

Do we know when the DLC will be released? Maybe that one will have Episode VII music, given the planet included in it. ;)

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The final game does have four planets - Endor, Hoth, Sullust and Tatooine, though there will obviously be multiple maps for each planet.

Well, that's surprising...

Do we know when the DLC will be released? Maybe that one will have Episode VII music, given the planet included in it. ;)

Jakuu is being added as DLC: it's available to pre-orders on the day the game comes out, and a week later for everybody else, and it's DICE/EA, so of course there will be more DLC down the line (though DICE have said this DLC will be free - here's hoping for Alderaan, Bespin and Dantooine, and with it more unreleased music)

Is it me, or does the Episode IV music sound better in quality compared to the SE release?

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This guy is superb at emulating Williams action music only (from what I've heard on the website). So I guess he would be good for all those battle sequences in future Star Wars video games. Other than that he's an OK composer. But making a living out of emulating Williams Action MusicTM would be depressing!

I've always been particularly fond of Bajakian's work for Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb. Yes, he probably felt like he should emulate Williams, but he also managed to infuse plenty of his own personality as well, and his original themes were on par with Williams' IMO.

My favourite is probably The Kraken's Lair (36:37) or Opera Battle (42:29).

Anyway, back on topic...

I've never given this a listen until now and am really enjoying it! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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I got nicely surprised at how much of that game I could remember on my first listen. I remember playing it quite a lot on my PS2 and liking a lot of the music, particularly the action stuff. A lot of this brought me a lot of really visual memories.

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Jakuu is being added as DLC: it's available to pre-orders on the day the game comes out, and a week later for everybody else, and it's DICE/EA, so of course there will be more DLC down the line (though DICE have said this DLC will be free - here's hoping for Alderaan, Bespin and Dantooine, and with it more unreleased music)

If we got Bespin, it would most likely only feature music from ESB.

Alderaan and Dantooine... Now that would be another matter.

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I can hear riffs on the ewok theme in the Endor planet showcase. Nicely done. Does anybody spot any other deliberate fusions of Williams material?

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Just wanted to point out the Star Wars Kinect OST, by Gordy Haab and Kyle Newmaster, is all on Gordy's Soundcloud. My fave is probably the first half of Rescuing the Padawans by Kyle.

https://soundcloud.com/gordyhaab/sets/kinect-star-wars-soundtrack

Aaaaand it's recorded by the LSO (!). Gordy and Kyle were able to ask the team at Abbey Road to mic it the same way JW did for the prequels, and it sounds fantastic.

Probably the last LSO Star Wars recording we'll get until (presumably?) Desplat's Rogue One.

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I just listened to the IGN review that called the musical score "poor". There must be some kind of worldwide deafness epidemic...

I guess if you eat crap long enough, other food starts tasting bad.

These are the "7.3 Too Much Water" guys. IGN hasn't been relevant to anything for a really long time.

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What was their wording? How did they come to the conclusion the music is bad? Did they mean the Williams material as well as the original stuff? IGN are the Saturday morning kids show of reviews, always have been. They're also corporately sponsored.

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Their negative points included "Weird music and VO" and here's what they said about it in the review:

DICE’s original score, for example, occasionally blends brilliantly with John Williams' original music, but sounds so wrong at times that I frequently turn music off entirely.

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Gordy Haab is posting some of the music to Soundcloud. So far, he has two tracks uploaded:

 

Hoth Alliance, Into Battle: https://soundcloud.com/gordyhaab/hoth-alliance-into-battle-star-wars-battlefront

Sullust's Harsh Terrain: https://soundcloud.com/gordyhaab/sullusts-harsh-terrain-star-wars-battlefront

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Well, it's less jarringly awkward than the Rogue One score in terms of its writing, but it still ends up being entirely pastiche, lacking the elegance and panache of Williams. 

 

If pastiche is the route to be taken, the only way to do it right, is to recruit a better composer for the job. 

 

In terms of having the required skills, it would probably be more realistic to look to contemporary concert music, and find a composer with a strong sense of melody and deep understanding of music and drama.

 

What I would wish for Star Wars, being such a musically driven film series, is that a strong sense of musical focus be retained: It certainly needn't be pastiche (perhaps it ought not to be), but it should be music that can stand firmly on its own, music with an identity and a sense of weight and consequence. 

 

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A lot of his music for Battlefront is too structurally-similar to Williams' own work (there's a battle theme that is very much copying the structure of 'Get 'Em, R-2!" and there's several pieces that ape the ending of TPM's "The Race Begins"). When he's writing outside that, he's fine.

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