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  1. Can anyone line me up with the best and most listenable tracks from each of these three scores? I listened to Homecoming once, and found it too bouncy and too popcorn to really hold my attention. I've only seen the film once. Same for Far From Home. I used to be a massive Giacchino fan once, and many of his scores are still excellent in my eyes, but I've seen through the veil a little bit as I think he has reached his 'ceiling' in terms of complexity and creativity of writing... he keeps scoring things the same way over and again, and his best theme writing is behind him. Of course it's also about attachment to certain films, and his more recent do not grab me like they did a decade ago in my twenties.
  2. Pop-quiz, Dragons fans and leitmotif pedants! Are there more themes in the HTTYD trilogy than there in the original Star Wars trilogy?
  3. Questions: Is the Batu Sener piano album available as a download from 5 Cat Studios? It doesn't even specify format. I don't like their site, the product page opens in an 'interior' window in browser with scroll bars that don't work. ??? Does Dreamworks hold the rights for John Powell's music, or 5 Cat Studios, or the composer?
  4. I've found the Extended Edition... is it complete? Can anyone confirm where the additional music is sourced from? (I hate dialogue and FX faded in the music!)
  5. This album will stick in the craw because I came so close but so far from seeing Williams conduct in London that February. I understand why hearing other recordings and orchestras is interesting for appreciation of beloved pieces, but the differences cut both ways. I'm not concerned about flub notes etc., but I see why some musicians want to turn their ear to that. In short, here are my heretical opinions: Devil's Dance - not as good as anything else from Mutter's recent album, I don't really buy the noodling. Dartmoor, 1912 - when Williams-does-Vaughn-Williams, a change of pace doesn't stand out too much, and this is a nice rendition for that reason Suite from Jaws - what fun to hear some of his oldest themes turned about playfully, and refreshing to not hear the shark's music at all! Marion's Theme - is this a new piece? It's new to me, and I'm glad to finally have this slice of sheer iconic romanticism standing alone, even if the theme offers little in the way of B-theme facets. Main Title from Star Wars - always a challenge, right? We've heard so many subtly different but all powerful and coherent performances over the years, but the force isn't quite with this one, I think. The Rebellion is Reborn - totally agree that this loses a lot of power by slowing the tempo, but I do like hearing the instrumentation spaced out a little. Luke & Leia - possibly my favourite concert piece by Williams, so I was sad to here it truncated in the bridges, as I find it perfect in its construction. Imperial March - the presenter on Classic FM (UK radio) related that the brass section of the Vienna orchestra asked for this to be added to the programme, and when performed John said it was the best performance of it he can remember. It holds together well and has a good deal of punch! Raiders March - Indy's going to have trouble galloping his horse to this one. Is it supposed to be a slower tempo than every other rendition I've heard?
  6. How To Train Your Dragon 3 and Solo are on par with, if not the best-ever Williams' scores, then the peak 'Williams sound'. And the first HTTYD is great on its own, but the scores just get better and better, and they're surely the best trilogy of scores since the original Star Wars trilogy (and maybe Lord of the Rings, depending on your taste).
  7. Don't mistake a great, memorable theme that lasts down the ages, for a great score. My entry is: Battlestar Galactica by Bear McCreary Before BG, was there a television score so smartly-conceived, richly-instrumented, varied in tone and thoughtfully-developed? I think it paved the way for Lost and its ambitious leitmotif landscape, for proper investment in scores for television, and all the other as-good-as-movies scores that have elevated the post-linear-TV landscape... a popular highlight being Game of Thrones.
  8. Yet by that time he had already scored Endurance, which is an impeccable score and for me has one of the top 5 pieces of his career.
  9. But the plot structure and elements themselves are poorly conceived. If I can come up with something like the above within 2 weeks of seeing their post-it note of a narrative, they could've spent some more time on it. And that empty conclusion, gosh.
  10. So I'm going to be pathetic and reveal the plot ideas that have bounced around my head for weeks, that could have made Rise of Skywalker somewhat better, and actually live up to is name. The gap between the second and third films in each trilogy builds some significance into each trilogy: in the Prequels, they bookend the monumental Clone Wars; in the Originals, the capture and rescue of Han, and the reveal of Luke's self-styled Jedi level-up. The gap between Ep 8 and 9 is useless, only blandly revealing that the Emperor's back and everybody already knows except us, until now. Bad storytelling. Hide the Emperor. Kylo Ren is chasing the Rebels across the galaxy, fighting alongside his Knights of Ren so as to build a relationship with them that pays off with his betrayal later. Despite his victories, a Snokey/Palpatine voice is goading him to be as badass as Vader, which he's not, so he's getting stressed and losing his shit as a result. He researches the Sith further (on Dathomir, of course, EU fans) to try to find his place in that lineage, and he knows that Sith apprentices ascend by killing their masters, but even though he killed Snoke he doesn't feel like the boss yet. He also wrestles with the fact that badass Darth Vader did turn to the light side. Then he finds Palpatine, and doesn't feel up to the task of ending him...all the more reason to track down Rey, which the Emperor tasks him with. Along the way he is being dragged to the light... Leia forgives him the murder of his father and Luke admits to letting him down - "it wasn't your fault, but what happens now is your responsiblity": key insights into the Light side for Ben Solo. Rey is not a Palpatine. As we learn in The Last Jedi, anyone could be with the Force, and she must find her own way. She trains with Leia but Leia is using her efforts to contact Ben - it's one way of bringing down the First Order from within, and the Rebels have little else. They attempt to drum up support from resistance sympathisers, but find people too intimidated. Rose, Maz and Dominic Monaghan help with this. Finn and Poe bicker, but amidst the stress of their slim odds, find a way towards solidarity. Finn, Poe and Rey follow a daring lead to Kamino, where the once-proud arch-cloners are enslaved to the First Order; they reveal their technology has been used to resurrect Palpatine and build more armies, and the Kaminoans prepare to overthrow their masters secretly, then help the heroes escape. Their next lead takes them to Geonosis. They discover a new droid army that is arming a new fleet - we build towards the threat of the finale. Better to wrap up the galaxy and revisit celebrated locations with new eyes, rather than throw in endless new planets that have no character. As Kylo Ren tracks them down, yes, Rey does actually kill Chewie. This sends her towards the dark side; she can't control her power, nobody is here to train her, her Jedi master was essentially a coward. And the familiar temptation: the dark side has more powers. A new lead sends them to the Old Death Star as we have as seen (resistance fighters help, but you can cut the horses). Before their duel, Kylo Ren senses that Rey has been beckoned by Palpatine too. Rey bests Kylo Ren in a duel, during which she destroys his helmet, they accidentally swap lightsabres and she kills (then heals) him when he is distracted by Leia. She flees further into the dark side. Ben Solo is shamed, no ship, no helmet, no lightsabre, and he starts to see he has no place as the most badass Sith. Then ghost-dad forgives him too. Conflicted Rey heads for Palpatine's lair, Ben Solo gives chase, anguished now more than angry. The Resistance sends out its call for the end-game battle. They can't be sure Rey is able to destroy Palpatine, but they know they have to wipe out his clone facility and the sprawling new droid-operated fleet. That requires a team of commando engineers and fighters (enter Rose, Maz, Finn and others) to sneak into the command centre and set the destroyers against one another (no ragtag rebel fleet could actually wipe them out). Threepio's protocol droidery and R2's hacking skills are instrumental, BB8 can't have all the action. They also need to locate the cloning centre so that X-Wings and bombers etc. can destroy it. The battle reaches desperate lows, sacrifices are made, plans change on the hoof and they have to prevent rogue destroyers from reaching orbit. Rey faces Palpatine, and he obviously tries to draw her to the dark side, even goading her to kill him. "Strike me down and I'll become more powerful than you can possibly imagine". She refuses and is bested by him, but Ben Solo arrives, conflicted. His Knights aren't convinced by his allegiance and they fight him, and in destroying his old students of darkness he truly becomes 'light side' (mirroring the reason he turned dark in the first place, the student betrayed by master). Ben comes to Rey's aid. He reveals that Palpatine's Sith ghost needs anchoring to a body, that the cloning facility is destroyed and that they could destroy him together. It takes a sacrifice on Ben's part to do so, and the Sith ancestor ghosts flee as there is now no longer a master OR apprentice. Rey says farewell to a dying Ben. Stormtrooper squads press in on the heroes trapped in the destroyed clone facility, and they are nearly done for. Rose and Finn's relationship is forged in their expectation of death. But with the stormtroopers' leaders, the resurrection tech and the fleet gone, and surrounded by rebel ships, they are fighting to the death. Finn (dressed in stormtrooper guard since sneaking in) addresses them over comms and uses his history as one of their own to persuade them to put down their weapons and go free as individuals. They take off their helmets to greet each other as people, some of them are Jango clones, but must still find their way as people. The rebels take them in. The Empire is not only destroyed, but dissolved. The light side wins by virtue of peace. The rebels celebrate, Chewie is memorialised with his long-awaited medal, and Han, Luke, Leia and Chewie, the 4 heroes of the Yavin Throne Room are finally gone. We find out what might be next for each hero: Poe has gone from smuggler, to hero-pilot, to... Republic general? Finn and Rose help the Republic, with Lando's help, to rebuild the parts of the galaxy destroyed by the wars. Rey does Jedi outreach in all the hard-up places they have visited, including Jakku, and spread the word of that mysterious myth: the Force. She finds one of those kids from The Last Jedi who has force powers. She ends up where she started (not necessarily permanently), but she is changed, and there are no more wars, only patient help towards the needy, and the possibility of an apprentice... the fate of a Jedi of the Light.
  11. Thanks, that increases my appreciation of this score somewhat. I still think it is a bit of a strange and insufficient thematic approach, but cannot be helped in a film that was flailing all over the place with its inherited ideas.
  12. The bittersweet, fall-of-innocence tone of the Rise of Skywalker suite reflects the fall of innocence of Star Wars itself, its heart now lost to the cash-grab motives and mishandling that have characterised Episodes 7 and 9. Discuss!
  13. In what way do these new themes serve the film, or the score in-movie or as a stand-alone listen? Not much, methinks. But it is the film's fault more than the score's...
  14. I get that JW can throw in whatever new themes he likes into appropriate points of the film. For me, the addition of this theme into an otherwise-scattered action cue reflects the larger issues of the score and the film. There's an extra theme here when existing themes aren't used in obvious places they could be, and in the wider film there is a new 'Rise' theme used in plenty of places where existing leitmotif would probably have the greater impact. All in all the score to TROS seems to be an accumulation of existing transposed themes from before, a few new, unnoticable themes that the plot or character development didn't call for (and are not served by), and lots of scattered action music or meandering underscore. This all reflects the film itself: lacking any core identity, solid plot progression or decent character development. It throws in the new without developing it, or giving the required gravitas or development to the old. Personally I think JW was on autopilot for this one. He saw the cut of the film, thought it was a mess, and duly scored it sufficiently from scene-to-scene (because the film feels like a fast sequences of scenes), but could not use his music to lift it above what was written, filmed and edited. That's why we got a couple of concert pieces, and those new themes threaded thinly throughout, with just-enough working of existing themes (most notably Rey's).
  15. Can anyone confirm the ostinato is of Rey's Theme, because to me it sounded more reminscent of Imperial March, i.e. an allusion to Anakin. It occured to me that the second phrase of Rey's Main theme may have been initially constructed to allude to the concluding notes of Vader's theme.
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