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Did the inclusion of The Emperor’s Theme in TLJ foreshadow the return of Palpatine?

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I don’t know if it was Williams’ decision to incorporate it into the score or whether it was an editorial decision, but now that the cat is out of the bag, I wonder if in retrospect it meant more than what we initially thought...

 

What do you think?

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Call it what you will, but I say it's happenstance that this is where the series is headed. 

 

I doubt that Williams has that kind of foresight or would even be shared that knowledge (did anyone know where IX was going with Palpatine when Williams was writing?), and I see it as more of parallel between the Emperor's throne room in Return of the Jedi to Rey's torture in The Last Jedi. Any other reason behind using it would be other-worldly to me, and it's not that I doubt John Williams is a genius, it's just unreasonable to feel that he could've predicted that.

Just now, Jurassic Shark said:

Which tracks on the OST are we talking about?

It's not on the OST. It's in the isolated score. It's heard in the film when (not sure if spoiler neccesarily, but...):

Spoiler

Snoke uses the Force to suspend Rey in the air.

 

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2 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

@Bespin is right.

 

Plus, it's not like this is the first time Williams has used the Emperor's theme this way. Look at Augie's Municipal Band. That was certainly the dark side!

 

But there is had the clear purpose of foreshadowing though...

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Well, obviously it comes down to what Johnson knew.  If he knew Snoke was connected to Palpatine, then it is reasonable he would have told Williams to use the Emperor's theme.  If he did not, then it is Williams just using the theme to express the dark side. 

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52 minutes ago, Tom said:

Well, obviously it comes down to what Johnson knew.  If he knew Snoke was connected to Palpatine, then it is reasonable he would have told Williams to use the Emperor's theme.  If he did not, then it is Williams just using the theme to express the dark side. 

 

Exactly my thoughts.

 

I was just thinking about Snoke's little blast of Force lightning, and how that very Palpatine-like moment could have been intentional foreshadowing. Again, depending on what was already known about the final episode, and depending on the nature of Palpatine's connection to Smoke.

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I knew it was a matter of time until someone asked this.

 

I always took the use of the Emperor’s theme in The Last Jedi to be a wink and a nod. Just like his use of the Death Star motif for the cloth-iron. It’s intentionally self-referential.

 

I don’t think anyone working on The Last Jedi had any concept of the return of Palpatine, least of all Williams. It’s not even established that he will indeed return. My money’s still on the plot hinging on some Mcguffin that was in his possession during the time of the earlier films, a lineage of his, etcetra - not on him actually returning in the flesh, which would be awfully idiotic.

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After the trailer, Abrams was pretty open about McDiarmid being on set, great to work with etc. So the extent of it, who knows, he could just be a vision for like a minute but seems like more than a namedrop anyway. And Kennedy mentioned that they had a vague idea of the Emperor being in IX for awhile but they didn't really know what they were going to do.

 

Whether or not Williams was privy...? Who knows? I think he just saw a visual connection there and was being flexible with his callbacks, one of those things that's open-ended enough to make him look savvy in retrospect. Even if there ends up being a specific connection there, it would most likely be some sort of retrofit by Abrams since they hadn't even hit the reset button on IX by the time Williams had finished scoring Last Jedi. 

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I somehow missed that gag at my first viewing. But yeah, it's always been there. Kinda weird tonally, but it's such a blink-and-you-miss-it moment that I don't mind. I try to think of it kinda like Toht's torture hanger in Raiders.

 

Plus the iron does look frickin' cool as it comes down.

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I think the difference with Spielberg, and this case with Johnson exclusively, is that it's done with a certain sense of charm. Plus, Spielberg's are so darn clever (it's imagery as opposed to self-parodizing dialogue, which can often fall flat into the laps of critical viewers).

 

So it's not necessarily that you just do it, it's how it's executed. 

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4 hours ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Wait, do people not like that scene?

 

Of course we don't. It was as groan-inducing as the rest of the movie.

22 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

I think the difference with Spielberg, and this case with Johnson exclusively, is that it's done with a certain sense of charm. Plus, Spielberg's are so darn clever (it's imagery as opposed to self-parodizing dialogue, which can often fall flat into the laps of critical viewers).

 

Partly this. The whole movie feels like an insult to the ones that came before. It doesn't come across as deconstructing things out of love like Galaxy Quest, but out of genuine spite, like some SNL sketches.

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35 minutes ago, A. A. Ron said:

Partly this. The whole movie feels like an insult to the ones that came before. It doesn't come across as deconstructing things out of love like Galaxy Quest, but out of genuine spite, like some SNL sketches.

I agree that it comes off that way, but I don't think it was Johnson's intention.  I think it comes down to him wanted so bad to make an original, unexpected, and profound SW movie, but he simply lacked the genius (and I mean that literally, so not a total insult) to pull it off. 

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I highly doubt the use of Emperor's theme was any kind of foreshadowing but rather as Bespin said the Emperor's theme has come to stand for the Dark Side of the Force in general in these films. Plus Rian Johnson didn't spot the film in the traditional sense but rather temp tracked it mostly with Williams' Star Wars scores and gave that to the composer so I would hazard a guess that he temped some Emperor's theme there. And also the parallel with the RotJ throne room scene is obviously another reason to use the theme there. As Lucas would say "it rhymes". 

 

But if Palpatine in some shape or form comes back in the last film of this new trilogy, it is just a serendipitous coincidence that Johnny used his theme in the Last Jedi.

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Williams was obviously going for the same kind of feel as the Emperor's theme for Snoke's music from the start but it was far more melodically nebulous, more akin to the basso profundo singing in the opera scene in RotS so the leap from that to the full fledged albeit brief appearance of the Emperor's theme in the moment which mirrors the same sort of temptation scene in RotJ to express the same kind of mastery of the Dark Side was not surprising but almost expected.

 

Apparently according to one Williams interview at the time of the release of The Force Awakens Snoke's music also contained lyrics taken from Rudyard Kipling poem translated into Sanskrit but we sadly he never mentions which poem it is. 

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5 minutes ago, Incanus said:

Williams was obviously going for the same kind of feel as the Emperor's theme for Snoke's music but it was far more melodically nebulous, more akin to the basso profundo singing in the opera scene in RotS so the leap from that to the full fledged albeit brief appearance of the Emperor's theme in the moment which mirrors the same sort of temptation scene in RotJ to express the same kind of mastery of the Dark Side was not surprising but almost expected.

 

Apparently according to one Williams interview at the time of the release of The Force Awakens Snoke's music also contained lyrics taken from Rudyard Kipling poem translated into Sanskrit but we sadly he never mentions which poem it is. 

 

There is that one recurring melodic idea that plays throughout New Alliance, though, it definitely had an identity. 

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7 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

 

There is that one recurring melodic idea that plays throughout New Alliance, though, it definitely had an identity. 

There are some little motific elements for Snoke that sound very prototypical Star Wars bad guy music, low register brooding material that feels like an offshoot from the Emperor's various musical materials from RotS before his theme was fully unveiled. Perhaps not as religioso as the music for the legend of Darth Plagueis but to my ears in very similar vein.

 

That particular little motif you mention from A New Alliance is rather delicious but sadly never gets to develop much before Snoke croaks. 

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11 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

 

Story of the score right there.  :(

Yeah e.g. that Luke's exile theme needed to be heard throughout the score!

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1 hour ago, Incanus said:

Apparently according to one Williams interview at the time of the release of The Force Awakens Snoke's music also contained lyrics taken from Rudyard Kipling poem translated into Sanskrit but we sadly he never mentions which poem it is. 

 

This guy did quite a bit of digging and seems to think it might be "The Death Bed." 

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Sith « ghosts » are not exactly like Force ghosts, if I remember well what I read in the Darkhorse comics. 

 

Anyway it uses dark magic, it have nothing to do with Force Ghosts, but more with Marlon Brando’s crystals in Superman...

 

We’ll have to wait to see what JJ baby will offer us... I personnaly think they’ll use Palpatine to tell the part of the story, unknown to the Jedi, about the true origins of « Skywalker ».

 

All this thing is about his « Rise » after all...

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12 hours ago, Incanus said:

lyrics taken from Rudyard Kipling poem translated into Sanskrit but we sadly he never mentions which poem it is.

 

Williams tends to break the lyrics into syllables and arrange them in a manner comfortable for singing, so even if we had the poem to hand, it probably won't be intelligible. Just look at Duel of the Fates.

 

10 hours ago, artguy360 said:

TLJ is the most self-aware/referential Star Wars score yet, and I think this short musical moment is one example of that.

 

Yes. Its not Williams using the "feel" of the theme: its him using it in a self-aware, self-referential, wink-and-nod way. As if to say: "gee, this really looks like that scene with the Emperor, doesn't it, folks?" right before it turns on a dime.

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14 hours ago, Incanus said:

There are some little motific elements for Snoke that sound very prototypical Star Wars bad guy music, low register brooding material that feels like an offshoot from the Emperor's various musical materials from RotS before his theme was fully unveiled. Perhaps not as religioso as the music for the legend of Darth Plagueis but to my ears in very similar vein.

 

That particular little motif you mention from A New Alliance is rather delicious but sadly never gets to develop much before Snoke croaks. 

Another reason why A New Alliance is my absolute favourite track on the OST. I could rant about it for days!

13 hours ago, Cerebral Cortex said:

 

This guy did quite a bit of digging and seems to think it might be "The Death Bed." 

Oh wow! Nice!

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