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Where do you rank the score for "The Last Jedi"?

Where do you rank the score for "The Last Jedi"?  

108 members have voted

  1. 1. Where do you rank John Williams' music for "The Last Jedi" among his previous 'Star Wars' scores?

    • It's his best Star Wars score.
    • It's his second best Star Wars score.
    • It's his third best Star Wars score.
    • It's his fourth best Star Wars score.
    • It's his fifth best Star Wars score.
    • It's his sixth best Star Wars score.
    • It's his seventh best Star Wars score.
    • It's his eighth best Star Wars score.


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Nah, Across The Stars is a good theme, but there's stuff in those scores that appeal to me more than it does. The Force's theme alone is far superior to it. And yes, you have the freedom to like whatever you want. ;)

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56 minutes ago, Jerry said:

Thank you James for pointing out what I had been thinking deep without n my heart. Star Wars is Star Wars. I cannot pick a favorite movie, nor can I pick a favorite score. And also yeah FREEDOM!

Empire and Empire :devil:

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On 2. Februar 2018 at 12:27 PM, Bryant Burnette said:

All I know is, I can't get the score for The Last Jedi out of my car.  It gets better every time I listen to it, and I liked it just fine the first time through.

 

Yes, but is it good for your soul, though?

 

 

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It's not Thor humor, it's an allusion to Thor at his most serious.

 

Thor humor is logic like:

"Unreleased cues from completely unreleased scores? - Hell, yes!

Unreleased cues from partly released scores? - What the hell?!"

You know it's funny, because...:folder:

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Full score is magnificent. The way it tells a story using Williams' full arsenal of themes and harmonies...

 

I am under the impression that it is here that Williams decided that he is truly invested in Star Wars (as Shore was in LOTR). Nothing in Rian Johnson's movie required so much effort and complexity.

 

It does not undermine the past displays of genius, but I would call it the E.T. of Star Wars. A score that succeeds in elevating the movie and is a truly artistic expression far beyond what the assignment called for.

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I made my statements like Rózsa his music. They express precisely what I want them to express. When I say "nothing required so much", I mean that BH, Zimmer, Tiomkin or Giacchino could have served the film well enough in different, simpler ways. Instead what we got is a work that Williams put a lot of effort into. Temp-tracking the film with existing Star Wars music is one thing, but to suggest that it is Rian Johnson who came up with even most of what JW in the end did (that is: determined Williams' decisions on purpose to a deep extent)---is ludicrous. Without maestro's good will and private effort this score could have been much, much worse and still do exactly what the director wished.

 

That I am wrong about the motivation of Williams is of course possible, but I changed my mind since I compared him with Shore and said in some thread that he is not really inspired by the source material. Couple interviews and statements down the road, not to mention his activities with ASM---which look like a Rocky Balboa montage to me---made it apparent that he is writing for himself, for the crowning of his Star Wars odyssey, and, possibly of his career, for Daisy, for the fans of this generation, for music aficionados of the next ten or more generations, for an Academy Award win (after years of polite sitting and watching himself be tokenly nominated and for political reasons not victorious) and who knows, maybe for a personal comparison with late work ethic and achievements of his idols like Beethoven and Haydn? For all Williams knew it was TLJ that could have been his last score.

 

I am not ranking either until we get a reasonably complete TROS.

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6 hours ago, Dieter Stark said:

It's his worst Star Wars score.

 

Even if you really think that - such a blunt statement doesn’t accurately describe what it is: a score that puts nearly all other contemporary scores to shame when it comes to Williams’ orchestral mastery.

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I have a hard time ranking the others relative to each other, but TLJ easily sits in last place for me. My chief problems with it are:

  • The numerous moments when the score could just has easily have been replaced with its own temp track (Yoda's theme at the end of his scene, Rey's theme in the "following Luke" montage, the verbatim quotes from the TFA Snoke material and end credits in "Revisiting Snoke", the Force theme before the end credits, etc.). I know the majority of the score doesn't do this, but there are enough moments for it to feel like an unpleasant pattern. For a film that's so explicitly intent on letting the past die, it sure elicited the most backward-looking Star Wars score we've gotten so far.
  • A lot of the quieter underscore. It's just vaguely irksome to me. Not sure why. I'm thinking of stuff like "Who Are You?" and "The Cave."

On the other hand, it gave us the delightful "Canto Bight" and some pretty terrific action music. I really like the way most of the third act is scored in general. And the orchestra sounds better to me than in TFA. But to say that the competition is fierce would be an understatement. The 7 scores that precede TLJ are among my top favorites. I'd have to be over the moon about this score for it to even compete, and I'm not. There are specific parts that I'm over the moon about, but there are a lot of others that are frankly disappointing to me.

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I definitely think this is my favourite cue of the score (the OST track is actually a micro-edited version of the what is heard in the film, but I prefer it because it keeps the ante up). There's some stellar dark and brooding buildup all the way until Snoke's eventual demise, where Williams gets his chance to use the Force theme in the style of the statement that got cut out of The Force Awakens in favour of cue-dropping Burning Homestead. Everything thereafter is probably the most prequel reminiscent stuff Williams has written since the early 2000s, and I absolutely love it. 

 

Pay attention to how the strings chug along and even switch places at times, with those sharp bass hits punching through the muted horns. To top it all off, it's got some of the best percussion in the score, rocking the drums and xylophone (might be wrong there, but that's what I'm hearing). Rey gets a run through on triumphant mode, before sporting a cool little fanfare as she defeats the last guard. I don't know what the general consensus is, but it's probably my most listened to cue from this score. 

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I really enjoy that track, although I will point out that this instance of the Force theme (while effective) is actually just a direct quote of one that was used in TFA - it was for when Rey and Kylo are grappling with their lightsabers slicing the ground. The version that was replaced by Burning Homestead is rather different.

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12 hours ago, Datameister said:

I really enjoy that track, although I will point out that this instance of the Force theme (while effective) is actually just a direct quote of one that was used in TFA - it was for when Rey and Kylo are grappling with their lightsabers slicing the ground. The version that was replaced by Burning Homestead is rather different.

 

Interesting, I never picked up on that. Has anyone tried to make a list of all such quotes? It sounds like maybe there are more of them than I realized.

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48 minutes ago, Smeltington said:

 

Interesting, I never picked up on that. Has anyone tried to make a list of all such quotes? It sounds like maybe there are more of them than I realized.

 

I might give it a shot at some point - see my other post above for a few more examples off the top of my head. These definitely stick out to me in comparison to Williams' previous Star Wars MO. Each trilogy is of course going to have its own sonic identity, but neither ESB nor AOTC repeated material from their predecessors (other than the obvious main titles and credits). This is a very different sort of middle score.

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1 minute ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

I must say that you have such a neat way with words, Nick. You're posts find a way to be insightfully delicious to read and yet are all in all fun in nature. Just wanted to let you know I enjoy reading what your comments. 

 

Yo, man, I appreciate it. :)

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I can't really rank the Star Wars scores.  Empire is excellent, and probably takes the top spot for me, but, beyond that, things are pretty even overall.  There is something special about all of them, TLJ notwithstanding.  But, I will note that, unlike TFA, TLJ did not blow me away at first listen.  And, unlike say TPM or ROTJ, it does not blow me away with repeated listenings.  

I have come to understand Williams's approach with the score, and, like I have said before, appears to be a score focused mostly on overall craftsmanship, not unlike some of John's concert works.

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1 hour ago, artguy360 said:

I enjoy many small, musical moments throughout TLJ score but my overall regard for the score is not nearly as high as for other SW scores. It is also the most self-referential of all the SW scores and at the same time the least interesting in terms of new thematic material. 

 

^ I agree with all of this and rank them thusly:

 

SW

ESB

TPM

ROTJ

TFA

ROTS

AOTC

TLJ

 

There's not a single one I dislike, but my love for some is much greater than for others.

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TFA and TLJ are the worst for me. Always thought that since 2015 and 2017. The originals are much more Mussorgskian in spectrum and variance in describing the palettes of adventure, and Dvorakian in craft and structure. The prequels were somewhat as interesting and breathtaking, noteworthy at least, but nothing beats SW and ESB, SW being the pinnacle of music (unless you, say, enjoy the more ordinary harmonic forms of Beethoven or something, then that can be very good. Beethoven was the best inventor but his music can sound outdated. Would be nice to hear a Beethoven in the film and fantasy era.)

 

 

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I meant best composer, not inventor. But yes, Beethoven hits the fine dynamic, not the fine point. The fine points were developed after Beethoven. Although some would argue that classical harmonic phrasings are better, I will happily disagree about one single way of looking at it. Sure, Beethoven's phrasings are considered by many people to sound outdated, many times over. Best composer I think though.

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1 hour ago, Borodin said:

Beethoven was the best inventor but his music can sound outdated. 

I can't say I agree with you there.

 

Beethoven came about in the transitional years of the late Classical era, and his style built upon his maestro predecessors while also coining his own musical identity, ushering in the Romantic period at the same time. Beethoven was at his height in the late 1700s and early 1800s, so technically his music is old and, you could say, dated. And while classical music certainly isn't as popular today as it was then, Beethoven has not gone out of style, and at times one might even suppose his music was slightly ahead of his time. For example, the beloved Moonlight Sonata always sounded a lot more recent to me than it actually is. I don't know why that is, but it's always been a fascination of mine, Besides, Beethoven and his compositions remains an icon to this day- children come out of the womb humming the allegro con brio of his fifth symphony. It's that famous! 

 

Essentially, the difficulty I have with this is not that his music is dated, because it is 200+ years old. It's just that little -out- you put before that irks me a little, because Beethoven is certainly not "out", not to me at least.

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It's strange hearing such contradictory arguments on a John Williams forum: I understand it's fine to defend Beethoven, and your wording is lovely, but you all can do a much more rational job at it than this. He birthed a pinnacle aspect of music interpretation, as well as adopted many others, but thousands after him have enormously evolved how great-and-simple music can sound. That's the definition of modern. At least be a little more honest and open-minded in your descriptions.

 

Also I keep forgetting that some of you are classical theists. "Praise be to the perfect man" or whatnot.

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John Williams has said that he reads Beethoven before going to bed.  

Beethoven remains relevant because he did something no one else has quite done since.  Subjectively, you may like the sweeping gestures of Romanticism and Modernism.  But, objectively, it is very hard not to give Beethoven his due as an immortal.  There are two things you can fault Beethoven for, his writing for voice and some of his orchestrations.  You may think his harmonies are just par for the times, but there was something titanic there that is not replicable, nor ever unfashionable.

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19 minutes ago, Borodin said:

The fine points were developed after Beethoven.

I take it you're more of a Borodin type of a guy to begin with. I am myself.

 

I will say that, naturally, Borodin sounds much newer than Beethoven- it's neo-classical Russia of course! But neither have become terribly dated, especially if we are talking strictly about the confines of the genre. 

 

4 minutes ago, Borodin said:

That's the definition of modern.

Whoah, slam the brakes! If you want to talk modern classical music, or semi-modern even, that's a whole different ballgame. 

 

Yes, thousands after him have evolved and progressed upon what he accomplished, but just because they are more recent than him doesn't add age to any of his work. In fact, it further solidifies him as a huge influence.

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