Some folks have such a limited understanding of musical form that they consider the reuse of a motif as self-plagiarism. This viewpoint doesn't even deserve the privilege of a response.
That's a very condescending viewpoint. I have a very limited understanding of music theory, but when Horner lifts the Braveheart love theme and uses it note for note somewhere else, that's self plagiarism.
No. You misunderstand. I'm not saying that if you have a limited understanding of music theory, you're not qualified to spot self-plagiarism. That would be a very condescending viewpoint. Most people on this board don't have formal music education—myself included! You don't have to have a degree from Juliard to know when two pieces sound the same, or are exactly alike.
I'm talking about people who know neither music theory nor film music, to the point that they can't grasp the common use of leitmotif. People who would say that the appearance of Yoda's theme during the Halloween scene in E.T. is an example of self-plagiarism, as though Williams couldn't come up with anything more original on the spot. They miss the point of the technique entirely. (And yes, I've actually met folks like this. One thought the obvious reuse of Darth Vader's theme in Return of the Jedi was entirely due to Williams being incapable of rendering a new theme for the villain . . . as though he should've retired the Imperial March after Empire.)
Ah, ok yes I completely misunderstood you.
And yeah, I've read comments from people who didn't understand the idea of themes reused in a franchise. I'd say they simply need to be educated.
I'd say they simply need to be executed.