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The Phantom Menace vs. Attack of the Clones vs. Revenge of the Sith

The Phantom Menace vs. Attack of the Clones vs. Revenge of the Sith  

69 members have voted

  1. 1. Which film is better?

    • The Phantom Menace
    • Attack of the Clones
    • Revenge of the Sith
  2. 2. Which score is better?

    • The Phantom Menace
    • Attack of the Clones
    • Revenge of the Sith


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The trilogy that forever shattered a fanbase in two.

 

The trilogy that, arguably, scarred the reputation of one of Hollywood's greatest storytellers.

 

The trilogy that, whatever its shortcomings may be, features some of the most badass music John Williams has ever composed.

 

Which film and score do you prefer from the divisive Star Wars prequel trilogy?

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As corny as ROTS is, it has one important element the other two lack - pacing. Aside from the final duel going on for too long, it actually moves quickly and never lets your attention wander.

 

Score awarded to TPM, just barely.

 

Best soundtrack album arrangement goes to AOTC.

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I actually really like Revenge of the Sith. Sure, it doesn't have the polish of the first three films and it does have some structural problems, but overall some of the best dramatic beats of the series are in there.

 

I also voted for for it as best score. I really like the dramatic effect of the choir, and while the application here feels less organic than The Phantom Menace and is certainly more deriviative of Lord of the Rings - it's still effective.

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And that's probably my main problem with it: it's diverse alright, and it's cool how Williams could show his versatility in one score, I really love most cues as standalone pieces, but trying to view it as a coherent whole, it falls apart. It's kind of all over the place and lacks focus. At least AotC was clearly coherent in its bland boringness. Having only video game rips from tons of different sources probably doesn't help, along with all the bloody tracking, a complete intended score presentation may change my mind.

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2 hours ago, Holko said:

And that's probably my main problem with it: it's diverse alright, and it's cool how Williams could show his versatility in one score, I really love most cues as standalone pieces, but trying to view it as a coherent whole, it falls apart. It's kind of all over the place and lacks focus.

 

It also serves to highlight the deriviative nature of parts of the score, especially in terms of the OST presentation. "Padme's Ruminations" is effectivelly on the CD simply to let the listener know that the moaning woman from Gladiator is in the score. 

 

And than you have choral work right out of the Fellowship of the Ring in "Anakin's Dark Deeds", as well as percussion that is evocative of the music for the Orcs (Taiko drums, two timpanists, etc...).

 

But, hey, at least its plagiarizing good music, so the end result is still bloody awesome.

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Yeah, the ROTS choir is plagiatism of the LOTR choir, because there was no choir at all in music before that.

 

17 hours ago, crumbs said:

Who the hell voted AOTC as best film?! Yikes!

Me! It's the film with the least terrible flaws. It's shocking that ROTS the movie gets more percent than First Blood in the other movie trilogy poll. It is consistently suffering under this "now we have to connect episode 3 to episode 4"-compulsion. The Hobbit movies just took a certain amount of freedom, neglecting consiously accuracy. This would have helped ROTS.

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1 hour ago, Brundlefly said:

Yeah, the ROTS choir is plagiatism of the LOTR choir, because there was no choir at all in music before that.

 

It's not the choir itself. It's the way its used. Listen to "Anakin's Dark Deeds" and "The Treason of Isengard" back-to-back. Ditto some of the percussive choices, the moaning woman from Gladiator, etc...

 

George Lucas liked the Lord of the Rings films very much (the books were a major inspiration for him in the conception of Star Wars), so naturally he temp-tracked his film with it. You can just see him say: "Johny, do THAT!" I really like Revenge of the Sith, but the deriviative aspect of the score cannot be denied.

 

Even in the film, I don't think Lucas will have made his film as dark and graphic as it is, had Lord of the Rings not shown that the moviegoing public was developing an appetite for more brooding stories, and that PG-13 films could smash the box office. Bruce Spence's cameo, clearly inspired by his appearance as The Mouth of Sauron, would suggest that Lucas had the Extended edition to hand!

 

Now, the original Star Wars score did this too, but more subtly and with pieces of music composed long before the score's time, so it could be seen more as a loving tribute or homage. Here, it's taking the same approach a step further, and with the music of Williams' contemporaries.

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The scope and way in which the choir is used in general is also clearly inspired by Lord of the Rings. The Phantom Menace used voices, but it never felt like an Opera in the way that the Middle Earth scores feel like. Revenge of the Sith does, and its awesome, but let's not delude ourselves as to where it came from!

 

Which is to say nothing about the application of Taiko Drums in the score. They reportedly had a lot of trouble recording those. But it became so embedded into the idea of "epic percussion" that they did it anyway.

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I wouldn't necessarily call Williams deftly imitating the music of LOTR outright plagiarism. It's certainly not like he copy-and-pasted Shore's music into his own score; he gave it his own unique touch that is quintessential Williams. I could understand Williams' probable admiration, or perhaps even jealousy, of Shore's work. Besides, the usage of grand vocals and percussion in ROTS fit the operatic, foreboding tone of the film like a glove.

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29 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

It's not the choir itself. It's the way its used. Listen to "Anakin's Dark Deeds" and "The Treason of Isengard" back-to-back. Ditto some of the percussive choices, the moaning woman from Gladiator, etc...

 

George Lucas liked the Lord of the Rings films very much (the books were a major inspiration for him in the conception of Star Wars), so naturally he temp-tracked his film with it. You can just see him say: "Johny, do THAT!" I really like Revenge of the Sith, but the deriviative aspect of the score cannot be denied.

 

Even in the film, I don't think Lucas will have made his film as dark and graphic as it is, had Lord of the Rings not shown that the moviegoing public was developing an appetite for more brooding stories, and that PG-13 films could smash the box office.

 

Now, the original Star Wars score did this too, but more subtly and with pieces of music composed long before the score's time, so it could be seen more as a loving tribute or homage. Here, it's taking the same approach a step further, and with the music of Williams' contemporaries.

I agree, but it's not plagiatism. The choir in Star Wars has a more modern sound and is often part of the melody whereas Lord of the Rings rings more ancient and occurs more often as clusters.

I would tend to say it was following the choir trend, therefore the similarities, but it is still far from plagiatism.

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I'm sure he knew it, even if only from Lucas' temp tracks.

 

But yeah, the word plagiarism was too strong. But it's also not something that could be framed merely as an homage (although it's nice to have a connection between the two biggest film scores!) either. "Deriviative" is the best word for it, I think. 

 

Still one of my favorite Star Wars scores. I like an operatic vibe more than a purely symphonic one. Much more dramatic! 

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I seem to recall he never watched any Star Wars film outside of the scoring stage.

 

2 minutes ago, The Doctor said:

I don't even think Williams watches movies apart from the ones he scores.

 

I believe that too.

 

However, as a composer, I'm sure he listens to music, including film music.

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9 minutes ago, The Doctor said:

The beginning of Anakin's Dark Deeds and the Gladiator-esque Padme's Ruminations are examples of temp-tracking, yes. However, in the first case, the similar bit is extremely brief.

The moaning woman in Star Wars is somehow pretty out of place. It's not really Williams. I still like it as standalone piece. But this bloody "moaning woman" occurs in EVERY blockbuster score, no matter what setting, atmosphere, suroundings, style of the film and the rest of the score is.

Sad scene? = Moaning woman!

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I'm in two minds about that particular addition. It works very well with the scene, but it doesn't mesh with the rest of the music and it doesn't make for a particularly interesting listening experience on album.

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2 minutes ago, The Doctor said:

It was popularized by Hans Zimmer and featured in several Williams scores, including Star Wars, Minority Report and Munich. Only in Minority Report did it make sense because I believe it was supposed to be a ghostly wailing of the dead woman.

Minority Report was just freakin' creative using that remote desperate voice as a motif for a murdered person. So creepy and effective in the movie!

Munich has far more shape and a clear melody and flow unlike many others.

I don't really consider both scores making just use of a trend, but as artistic decision rightly used.

Star Wars, however, is close to "copy + paste".

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ROTS on both counts. It's the only film of the prequels you can watch and not be subdued by cheesy asides, diversions and boring political dialogue. The score is one of my favorites of the saga; it's big, full of energy and helps aid in moving the story along.

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The problem isn't the political intrigue, I love all the stuff with Palpatine's rise to power, the problem is that it often shirks the action/adventure elements that I feel repelled audiences. It shouldn't come as a surprise that both TPM and AotC were gravely affected by the most inane anti-Star Wars material, with Lucas trying to balance the mature Palpatine plot with Anakin's struggle with the Dark Side.

 

The problem is in the conception of what the prequels are, and Lucas seemed, from bts documents and books, overwhelmed by his own convoluted scripts. During the production of RotS he pretty much alienated the producers and crew who didn't share Lucas' vision. Luckily, with help from Spielberg in places and reworking the latter half of the script he pulled everything together which is why I appreciate RotS. It seems that through challenges presented in production, it forced Lucas to make compromises that he wouldn't have made otherwise.

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33 minutes ago, JohnSolo said:

Lucas clearly doesn't have the time to possibly even begin to contemplate the future of his franchise...

 

george.jpg

 

 

That picture looks fairly recent... however the people in the background appear to be dressed like they're in the 90's.

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7 hours ago, Arpy said:

The problem isn't the political intrigue, I love all the stuff with Palpatine's rise to power, the problem is that it often shirks the action/adventure elements that I feel repelled audiences. It shouldn't come as a surprise that both TPM and AotC were gravely affected by the most inane anti-Star Wars material, with Lucas trying to balance the mature Palpatine plot with Anakin's struggle with the Dark Side.

 

I like most of the action in The Phantom Menace. The fight choreography is stylish, but, for the most part, it didn't reach the level of absurdity observed in the fights of the other two films. They don't leap hundreds of stories downs unto a metal ship unharmed.

 

The action starts very early and is spread throughout the film quite nicely.

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27 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

 

That background isn't real. The photo was taken in different location.

 

bwPATpL.jpg

 

I wonder if he negotiated free lunches for life at Disneyland from Disney.

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