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  1. Not sure if I posted this but I wrote 7 little pieces (a suite) for 2022 World Cup in Doha, this time not for the opening ceremonies but for a pyrotechnics and fireworks show that played every night for a month over the Arbian Gulf. I wanted to share at least one of the little pieces I recorded with the Qatar Philharmonic. Hope you like it. 04 4. War (NBA) Mix PF v4.wav
  2. The little bits I shared of my insights into this seemed to sit well with the community, so I decided why not make an article of this? This article will deal primarily with the antecedents and sources of the Star Wars series. Of course, if one so wished, one could read absolutely anything and everything into it, look no further than Vincent Canby's review of the original film: "Quo Vadis?, Buck Rogers, Ivanhoe, Superman, The Wizard of Oz, The Gospel According to St Matthew, the legends of King Arthur." Likewise, one could look into the sources of Lucas' sources, and through Burroughs link Lucas up with Arabian Nights and, through Kurosawa, to Minamoto Yoshitsune. But what are the actual, direct and concrete inspirations of Star Wars? George Lucas, himself, of course, had since March 1980 pointed increasingly towars high-brow sources like Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and Sir James Fraser's The Golden Bough.1 But what are the influences we can actually observe through the movie and its evolving drafts (and Williams' score)? And how do they stack up against each other? My own research suggests Lucas' sources (roughly by descending order of significance) are EE Smith's novella Galactic Patrol, Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom book series (and at least one recent comic adaptation of it); The Flash Gordon serials; Donald Richie's The Films of Akira Kurosawa. Ontop of those is a series of secondary sources, in no particular order, including Frank Herbert's Dune, JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, illustrations on issues of Analog Science Fiction and Harry Harrison novellas; films from Dam Busters and The Searchers to A Space Odyssey and Casablanca. A book on the psychiatric importance of fairytales by Bruno Bettelheim, and a review on Psychology Today of Star Wars itself from 1978. Galactic Patrol (1937) The most major source for the Star Wars series is not Flash Gordon and certainly not Kurosawa or Joseph Campbell: its a 1937 pulp novella by "Doc" EE Smith called "Galactic Patrol", part of his Lensmen series, which Lucas' biography Skywalking credits him with reading. Indeed, Lucas owns a paperback of the popular Panther edition, which was out in 1972, just in time to be referenced in his very earliest notes for the films.2 Around 28 January 1973, Lucas started sketching (and soon abandoned) a synopsis for "The Journal of the Whills", and concomitant lists of character and planet names. Most of his reading of pulps seems to have been concentrated at the time leading right up to the writing of this document, while editing American Graffiti. Already in this early document, the interstellar setting and the names Aldeeran (Aldebaran in Smith) and Skywalker (Skylark in Smith) are appearant as influences.3 Before Lucas got to the finished shooting script, his intermediate drafts also feature a food called Thanta (in Smith, a drug called Thionite); a space academy with cadets; a planet named "Tantive four" (Rigel IV in Smith). More importantly, a character is introduced who's more machine than man: first, it was the Jedi Kane, then Ben Kenobi, then (in post-production) Vader, and briefly even Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Kane laments that "There is nothing left but my head and right arm" while in Smith, the space commandant's ""right leg and left arm, although practically normal to all outward seeming, were in reality largely products of science."4 Even more importantly, the republic gradually emerges as a clear port of Smith's "Civilization" and its "Galactic Senate." Lucas' draft describes that “As the Republic spread throughout the galaxy, encompassing over a million worlds, the GREAT SENATE grew to such overwhelming proportions that it no longer responded to the needs of its citizens” and that the senators “slowed down the system of justice, which caused the crime rate to rise.” Compare with Smith: “with the invention of the inertialess drive and the consequent traffic between the worlds of hundreds of thousands of solar systems, crime became so rampant, so utterly uncontrollable, that it threatened the very foundations of civilization.”5 Most importantly, the Jedi gradually emerge as interstellar policemen (like Smith's Lensmen) who harnass the power of the Kiber Crystal (Smith's Arisian lenses) to use The Cosmic Force (Smith's "Cosmic All") and fight the space pirates who wield the "Bogan" force (Boskone pirates in Smith). Even the new title “Adventures of the Starkiller (Episode One)”, while it has a Burroughs flavour, is closest to Smith’s: “A Lensman adventure: Third in the great series.” This concept was rejected in later drafts - neither Luke nor the Jedi are depicted as superheroes in the finished film - but it starts creeping back into the sequels and prequels (including a discarded sequel plot released as the novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye, which features the crystal, now renamed Kaibur to denote Excalibur), along with more of Smith's nomenclature: Smith's eighth chapter is called "The Quarry Strikes Back." The Force was still called "The Cosmic Force" in the shooting script, and Lucas kept referring to it as such as late as 2019, and the microscopic lenses are also the antecedents of the later idea of the Midichlorians. The Lensmen being the product of a breeding program (much of its eon-spanning history is described in prequels of Smith's) feels like the germ of the idea of the "Clone Wars" and perhaps even Anakin's immaculate birth.6 Beyond that, what mostly remained is a tremendous amount of Smith's plot: Smith's hero, Kimbal Kinnison, flies the fastest ship in the fleet, The Britannia, which the hero uses the blast off into the fourth dimension to evade his pursuers. When they finally do catch him in a tractor beam, he passes the ship for scrap (also used in The Empire Strikes Back). Early on, he infilitrates the enemy's ranks and steals data spools about "The Grand Base", escapes the premises in a space lifeboat with just another Lensman to keep him company before landing on a desolate planet. Spending his free time sensing a remote while his blast shield is down (a plot point recycled in early drafts of The Empire Strikes Back, in the training of the Younglings in Episode II, and in concept art drawn for Lucas for Episode VII, as well), he at one point is wounded and his limbs replaced by artificial ones. While hospitalised, he bickers with his love interest, whom he later has to rescue from her pirate kidnappers.7 Barsoom (1917-) The second source is still not Flash Gordon: its Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series. While Lucas was shooting American Graffiti, DC (a childhood favourite of Lucas) started adapting John Carter's adventures. This strip was continued along with several other Burroughs stories, including his ever-popular Tarzan, in DC's Weird Worlds, just after Lucas wrapped-up principal photography. Lucas could scarcely have missed that Buster Crabbe who played Flash and Buck also played Tarzan, and at some later time he discovered that both Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers were inspired by these stories. Already a fan of the illustrations of Burroughs illustrators Harold "Hal" Foster and Frank Frazetta - Lucas soon began collecting Frazetta originals, which remain in his possession to this day - he seems to have acquired the Frazetta-illustrated reissues of A Fighting Man of Mars (1973), The Moon Maid (1974, seen in the picture above) and possibly the omnibus of The Gods of Mars and The Warlord of Mars (1971). In the 1980s, Lucas had Frazetta illustration of Burroughs' "The Rider" hanging in his office.8 Beginning in 1977, Lucas repeatedly said his film is in the genre of "Burroughs and Heinlein", that he wanted to "make a space fantasy that was more in the genre of Edgar Rice Burroughs,” that Alex Raymond "took his character from Edgar Rice Burroughs", that he wanted to perpetuate genre trappings that were laid down “primarily by Edgar Rice Burroughs.” Even more damingly, when he was first developing the film, he told Joseph Gelmis that he was working on a low budget space opera "in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs." His earliest interviews speak of his film as a "Western set in outer space" and a film where "the space aliens are the heroes, and the homo sapiens naturally the villains", which sounds an awful lot like Barsoom. In fact, his third draft synopsis - the first true version of the film as we know it - is actually prefaced as being "in the grand tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars, and Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon."9 Lucas at least parsed through these books, because he clearly wrote "The Journal of the Whills" with Burroughs on his table, being that it basically amounts to a paraphrase on the opening of Burroughs' A Fighting Man of Mars: 10 George Lucas, The Journal of the Whills, February 1973 Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Fighting Man of Mars, May 1931. This is the story of Mace Windy, a revered Jedi-bendu of Ophuchi, as related to us by C.J. Thorpe, padawaan learner to the famed Jedi. I am Chuiee Two Thorpe of Kissel. My father is Han Dardell Thorpe, chief pilot of the renown galactic cruiser Tarnack. As a family we were not rich, except in honor, and valuing this above all mundane possessions, I chose the profession of my father, rather than a more profitable career. I was 16 I believe, and pilot of the trawler Balmung, when my ambitions demanded that I enter the exalted Intersystems Academy to train as a potential Jedi-Templer. It is here that I became padawaan learner to the great Mace Windy, highest of all the Jedi-bendu masters, and at that time, Warlord to the Chairman of the Alliance of Independent Systems. Never shall I forget the occasion upon which I first set eyes upon Mace Windy. It was at the great feast of the Pleabs. There were gathered under one roof, the most powerful warriors in the Galaxy, and although I realize my adoration of the Master might easily influence my memory, when he entered the hall, these great and noble Warlords fell silent. It was said he was the most gifted and powerful man in the Independent Systems. Some felt he was even more powerful than the Imperial leader of the Galactic Empire. This IS the story of Hadron of Hastor, Fighting Man of Mars, as narrated by him to Ulysses Paxton: I am Tan Hadron of Hastor, my father is Had Urtur, Odwar of the 1st Umak of the Troops of Hastor. He commands the largest ship of war that Hastor has ever contributed to the navy of Helium, accommodating as it does the entire ten thousand men of the 1st Umak, together with five hundred lesser fighting ships and all the paraphernalia of war. My mother is a princess of Gathol. As a family we are not rich except in honor, and, valuing this above all mundane possessions, I chose the profession of my father rather than a more profitable career. The better to further my ambition I came to the capital of the empire of Helium and took service in the troops of Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium, that I might be nearer the great John Carter, Warlord of Mars. [...] It was thus that I met Sanoma Tora, daughter of Tor Hatan, Odwar of the 91st Umak. [...] because here in the capital of Helium riches count for more than they do in Hastor, Tor Hatan is a powerful man, whose influence reaches even to the throne of the Jeddak. Never shall I forget the occasion upon which I first laid eyes upon Sanoma Tora. It was upon the occasion of a great feast at the marble palace of The Warlord. There were gathered under one roof the most beautiful women of Barsoom, where, notwithstanding the gorgeous and radiant beauty of Dejah Thoris, Tara of Helium and Thuvia of Ptarth, the pulchritude of Sanoma Tora was such as to arrest attention. I shall not say that it was greater than that of those acknowledged queens of Barsoomian loveliness, for I know that my adoration of Sanoma Tora might easily influence my judgment, but there were others there who remarked her gorgeous beauty which differs from that of Dejah Thoris as the chaste beauty of a polar landscape differs from the beauty of the tropics, as the beauty of a white palace in the moonlight differs from the beauty of its garden at midday. This draft is incomplete, but based on later drafts and the effort Lucas put into certain names on his lists of character and planet names, there's reason to belive the story was to revolve around rescuing a princess (a stock Burroughs plot) on the desert planet Aquilae (i.e. Barsoom), inhabited by the "Hubble" people led by Han Solo (i.e. the Green Martians led by Tars Tarkas) and the Bebers (i.e. red martians) led by "Lord" Annikin (i.e. "Jeddak" Tardos Mors) and Luke Skywalker (his son, Mors Kajak) and culminating in a Flash Gordon-esque space battle. Even the device of the "Journal of the Whills" through which the story is supposedly relayed to us, is a paraphrase on "The Girdley Wave" of Burroughs. Furthermore, whereas John Carter (like Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and Smith's Kimbal Kinnison) is from earth, Tar Hadron, the hero of Fighting Man of Mars, is a native of the red planet. Its therefore from here that Lucas decided not to set his space adventure on earth to begin with. A lot of the nomenclature derives from Burroughs: "padawaan" here (and, later, Condawan and Obi-Wan) from "Padwar", and "Jedi" from "Jed" and "Jeddak." Wookiees first appear here, clearly based both on the White Apes and Frazetta's "The savage apes of Mars," covering the dust jacket of the 1971 omnibus. Indeed, Lucas' first full-length story treatment was attached with several illustrations, one of which was the cover to a 1970 English paperback of John Carter of Mars: While writing his first proper draft, Lucas seems to have read Burroughs' original, A Princess of Mars. The resulting rough draft/first draft is the closest to Barsoom, with princess Leia clearly based on Dejah Thoris (the heroes even have to rescue her from implicit rape by alien "trappers" like Carter does Thoris countless times) and the "green" Han Solo on Tars Tarkas. Even Chewbacca could be said to be like Woola, a Barsoomian hound. More importantly, Tatooine itself is a straight port of Barsoom: a desert planet with run-down earthen cities, the origin of Tatooine's "lived in" aesthetic. The twin suns, especially, are a play on Barsoom's twin moons. The Second Draft starts with an epigraph lifted from Weird Worlds, from right after they wrapped the John Carter story: "And in the time of greatest despair there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as: THE SON OF THE SUNS" compared to “And in time of greatest danger there shall come a hero.” Likewise, the draft ends with a text crawl for a sequel about finding a princess: Lucas' concept of, at that point, an episodic series of adventures, is also close to the adventures of John Carter and Kimbal Kinnison.11 The Thoats, Burroughs' beasts of burden, are clearly the forebearers of the Dewbacks and the Banthas: in fact, as Lucas' biography openly admits, Banth is a term from A Warlord of Mars describing a many-legged alien feline, which ultimately was pretty much lifted for Episode II's arena battle. In a conference with Lucasfilm's Carol Titelman in 1977, Lucas imagined many-legged girafees, also clearly based on Burroughs' knack for giving his alien bestiary multiple limbs. Sith, too, is a term from Burroughs', referring to giant insects. Lucas had wanted to feature flying steeds, like Burroughs' Malagor, in every entry beginning with The Empire Strikes Back before finally appearing on Kamino in Episode II and on Utapau (alongside Ornathopters from Dune) in Episode III, and they probably influenced the flying creatures glimpsed on Dagobah and Naboo, as well as the Mynocks and perhaps even Watto.12 This first draft was the basis for the screenplay to The Phantom Menace, and so the situation between the Naboo and Gungans is clearly based on the dichotomy that Lucas' took from Burroughs between the Red and Green martians, with the Gungans and especially Jar Jar and Boss Nass based on Tars Tarkas. Furthermore, an entire episode of the rough draft calls for Kane to defeat a Wookie chieftan in combat, earn the tribe's allegiance and lead them to an offensive against the Empire, is obviously the progenitor of both the Ewok storyline in Return of the Jedi and the Gungan storyline in The Phantom Menace, and its lifted directly from Burroughs, where Carter earns the allegiance of the Tharks and leads them to an attack against Helium.13 While Jar Jar's role was clearly cut short due to scathing fan reaction, Burroughs' influence persists, with Geonosis based even more closely on Barsoom that Tatooine was, replete with an arena battle and an attack of insect creatures (also used in an early draft of Willow). The entire Jabba "short" in Return of the Jedi is in the style of Frazetta, Lucas' favourite Burroughs illustrator, with Slave Leia the spitting image of his illustrations of Thoris, and Jabba's sail barge a dead ringer for a Barsoomian light ship.14 Flash Gordon (1936-1940) Lucas was influenced by the Flash Gordon comics: The design for the Landspeeder, for example, was from a contemporary strip. He could have seen the 1955 Flash Gordon TV series, later edited into a film, which took place in the 33rd century, the setting of Lucas' first story treatment for the film. But he was mostly influenced by the serials, which were still globally popular with kids on local TV programming going into the 1980s. Lucas remembers first seeing them circa 1956 on "Adventure Theater" airing at 6 on KRON, but that programme didn't air on KRON until 1960, and played at 2:30. Rather, its more likely he saw it, retitled as "Space Soldiers", on “Super Serial”, reportedly the top-rated show for that time slot in the central valley area, which aired at 6 on KTVU.15 Although Lucas later denied to Charlie Rose that he wanted to make Flash Gordon at all, insisting that Star Wars emerged as an original concept dating back to his days in community college, in 1977 he was empathic that he wanted "to make Flash Gordon, with all the trimmings." After the failure of THX-1138, he had inquired Universal only to find out the rights reverted back to King Features. When he visited Coppola's Godfather shoot en route to Cannes, he clearly intended to visit King Features ahead of a meeting with United Artists, so he could pitch them Flash Gordon as a two-picture deal with American Graffiti, in which they showed interest. However, with producer Dino Di Laurentiis attached to the rights (and eying bigger fish to direct), and Universal retaining the rights to the serials themselves, the financial and creative conditions were too stringent, and when he was turned down, he decided to make an original space opera instead.16 In terms of influence, however, there's little in Star Wars that's concretely Flash Gordon-like (and even less, if anything at all, like Buck Rogers). The wipe transitions are out of Flash Gordon, and the ramshackled visuals, created from shooting on sets and with props and music (more on this later) from other films shooting on the studio backlot with mostly unknown actors, are a precedent to Star Wars "Kitbashed" approach. Even the fact that Universal produced a trilogy of Flash Gordon serials had obviously helped make Lucas fond of the trilogy format, and for a while he considered making Star Wars a twelve-parter, like the individual serials. Perhaps the clearest influence is in some of the environments - Cloud City, Hoth and the underwater Gungan city (replete with a manta-ray submarine and a fight with a water monster) - most of which don't appear in the saga for very long. Mongo also had a woodland environment in the guise of Arboria, but then so did Barsoom.17 Likewise, the main characters have little in common with their serial counterparts. Luke is far too much of an underdog to be equated to the muscular, superhero of Flash, and Leia is not reconisably like Dale Arden. Guinness' wizard-like Ben is not at all like Zarkov. However, the Rebel Alliance has some antecedents in Flash's attempts to rouse the inhabitants of Mongo against the tyrannical Ming, who in turn is a little bit akin to both Tarkin and the Emperor. Of the three Flash serials, the most influential seems to have been Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, which featured Queen Fria (who had buns in her hair) and was the only Flash Gordon serial (notwithstanding a previous Buck Rogers serial) with a text crawl in the style of Lucas' film.18 The Films of Akira Kurosawa (1966) Beginning March 1980, Lucas started pointing towards more high-brow sources for his film, and donwplay its sources in pulps: I quoted many instances from 1977 when Lucas cited John Carter, and one can make a similar list of him referring to Flash Gordon, and his biography also mentions Lensmen, Dune and films like Forbidden Planet. However, after 1980, many of these sources are scarcely mentioned again. Instead, Lucas turned rhetorically towards high-brow scholarly sources (see below) and towards sources that hold some catchet with cineastes, like the films of Akira Kurosawa.19 The title I chose for this fourth influence is a the title of Donald Richie's The Films of Akira Kurosawa. The Kurosawa film that Star Wars has most in common with is, of course, The Hidden Fortress. But that movie is actually not one of Lucas' favourites and was not a popular succes in the US at the time, in which it was presented with heavy cuts. To recall the plot in sufficient detail, Lucas had written his synopsis with Richie's book, reissued in 1970, open on his desk. Also taken from Richie's book are a few beats from Yojimbo and Sanjuro. The recurring imagery of severed hands has its genesis in Kurosawa's Yojimbo.20 Donald Richie, The Films of Akira Kurosawa, 1965 George Lucas, The Star Wars: Synopsis It is the sixteenth century, a period of civil wars. A princess, with her family, her retainers, and the clan treasure is being pursued. If they can cross enemy territory and reach a friendly province they will be saved. The enemy knows this and posts a reward for the capture of the princess. She is being guarded by one of her generals and it is he who leads her on the long and dangerous journey that follows. They take along with them the sixteen hundred pounds of gold and also two farmers whom the general has captured. The farmers' accidentally discovering the gold (accompanied by percussive and Noh-like sounds on the sound-track) is the first indication, and Mifune's splendid entrance is another. They are rummaging around the rocks, pushing and pulling each other, each trying to find the next piece. [...] The princess, just like Yoshitsune, is disguised as a porter [...] ... and the farmers would have been comic relief, inserted among the general seriousness. [...] The setting is a narrow road in the forest. [...] Mifune cannot curb his horse in time; we have hardly time to see what has happened when the momentum both of horse and of camera movement, carries him directly into the enemies' hands. [...] At the end—as at the end of the Noh play— she is revealed as her goddess-like self. The farmers, like the porter in They Who Step on the Tiger's Tail come to realize that they have been adventuring with demigods. [...in Sanjuro] The young men laugh with relief, anticipation. Laughter continues and they look around in consternation for none of them are laughing. Out of the inner sanctuary ambles Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune), yawning, scratching himself, thumping his shoulders, stiff with sleep. The youngsters reach for their swords. He barely glances at them. The contrast between the spick-and-span boy-samurai with their terse nods, their meaningful glances, and Sanjuro, a real samurai, a real man, could not be greater. [...in Yojimo] Snick-snack—the sword is out, an arm lies on the ground, one of the men lies doubled, cleft from chin to groin, and Mifune is with quiet dignity replacing his sword in its sheath. It is the thirty-third century, a period of civil wars in the galaxy. A rebel princess, with her family, her retainers, and the clan treasure, is being pursued. If they can cross territory controlled by the Empire and reach a friendly planet, they will be saved. The Sovereign knows this, and posts a reward for the capture of the princess. She is being guarded by one of her generals, (Luke Skywalker) and it is he who leads her on the long and dangerous journey that follows. They take along with them two hundred pounds of the greatly treasured "aura spice", and also two Imperial bureaucrats, whom the general has captured. The two terrified, bickering bureaucrats crash land on Aquilae while trying to flee the battle of the space fortress. They accidently discover a small container of the priceless "aura spice" and are rummaging around the rocks pushing and pulling each other trying to find more... [...] The princess and the general are disguised as farmers [...] The two bureaucrats are essentially comic relief inserted among the general seriousness of the adventure. [...] Skywalker and his party race along a narrow pathway [...] Skywalker cannot curb his "jet-stick" in time and the momentum carries him directly into the enemies' hands. [...] The princess’ uncle, ruler of Ophuchi, rewards the bureaucrats, who for the first time see the princess revealed as her true goddess-like self... After the ceremony is over, and the festivities have ended, the drunken bureaucrats stagger down an empty street arm in arm realizing that they have been adventuring with demigods. [...]The boys laugh in anticipation of the blow they will strike the Empire in the name of the princess. They all stop laughing, but the laughing continues and they look around in consternation. Into the sanctuary ambles Skywalker, scratching himself, amused at the idealism of the youths. He barely glances at them. The contrast between the boy rebels with their terse nods, their meaningful glances, and Skywalker, a real general, a real man could not be greater. [...] With a flash of light, his lazer sword is out. An arm lies on the ground, one of the bullies lies double, slashed from chin to groin and Skywalker, with quiet dignity, replaces his sword in its sheath. However, this all happened during the writing of the initial treatment: this influence would dissolve over the various drafts. The empire uses the symbol of the Yamana from the film, but far more prominent in their depiction are allusions to Nazi and especially Wilhelminian imagery. The archetypes for the general, the villian and the princess appear in Kurosawa's film, but were primarily shaped by pulp sources. Even though Lucas did consider casting Toshiro Mifune as Old Ben, his notes show that he was thinking more of Mifune's turns in Seven Samurai and Yojimbo than in Hidden Fortress, where Mifune bears little resemble to Guinness' Old Ben. There's something of the headstrong princess Yuki in Leia and especially later in Amidala, but not much beyond Amidala's age and wardrobe.21 Lucas says the main influence are the two Droids, which is about right, but the similarity is mostly contained in a fifteen minute stretch at the beginning of the original film: afterwards, the story is no longer told from the Droids' perspective but Luke's, and even during their sojourn in the desert they're never crass and quite so cowardly as their Japanese counterparts. In the sequels, in particular, they would become a more conventional comic duo in the style of Laurel and Hardy. Beyond this, the influence is mostly in the Japanese flair of both the Tatooine robes (later retconned as Jedi robes) and Vader's helmet: McQuarrie remembers Lucas giving him a book on "Medieval Japan" but he's probably referring to Richie's book, whose title is scrolled on one of his sheets.22 Some plot points for The Empire Strikes Back come from Kurosawa's 1975 film Dersu Uzala: The Hunter, which takes place in the Russian tundra (including a beat where the hero hides in the hide of a dead animal for warmth) and features a diminutive, eccentric wise-man. Since Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace pull on the first draft, they owe something to Hidden Fortress: the speeder chase is analogous to a horse-chase in Kurosawa's film, and even Vader's turning on the Emperor has a little in common with Takodoro breaking ranks with the Yamana. Willow also strongly resembles Hidden Fortress, and early drafts even had gold concealed in the tree branches on Razel's island, like in the Kurosawa movie. However, Episode I is actually by far the most Kurosawa-like of all of Lucas' films: the imagery of that film owes something to Ran and Seven Samurai, favourites of Lucas and films which were more in-line with the "epic" imagery he sought for the prequel trilogy. But even that film owes more to Burroughs, Smith and Flash Gordon, and Lucas overall visual style is closer to John Ford: even those few films of Lucas' that use telephoto lenses likeTHX-1138 and 1:42.08 seem to be imitating Jean-Claude Labrecque rather than Kurosawa.23 This would also be a good place to point out that we can tie ourselves in knotes by looking for the sources of Kurosawa or of Burroughs and Smith as though they were, by proxy, sources for Star Wars: Richie explains that Hidden Fortress was effectivelly a remake of Kurosawa's earlier The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail, which was based on the Kabuki play Kanjinchō, in turn based on the Noh play Ataka, adapted from The Book of Heike, which was adapted from the real-life events of Minamoto no Yoshitune. Likewise, Burroughs based his books on Arabian Nights, Lowell's Mars and Its Canals, Haggard's King Solomon's Mines, and frontier stories from his younger days. But these sources are much far too removed from Star Wars for it to be useful to explore them in relation to Lucas' film. Secondary Sources: Printed JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit (1937) In 1977, in an excerpt later reprinted in the film's souvenir programme, Lucas asserts that Burroughs was "sparked" by "Gulliver on Mars, written by Edwin Arnold and published in 1905." That (spurious, as it happens) suggestion first appeared in Richard A. Lupoff's Edgar Rice Burroughs: Master of Adventure (third edition 1975, illustrated by Frazetta). Lucas must have read it before he put "in the grand tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs" on his third draft outline. Lupoff's essay did little to affect Lucas' film, except that Lupoff quotes from a correspondence he had with JRR Tolkien, and Lucas was thus inspired to seek out Tolkien's ever-popular The Hobbit.24 In the third draft, Luke turns into an everyman who's father had died offscreen, like Bilbo, while Old Ben is clearly based on Gandalf, a characterization later transferred to Yoda and Qui Gon Jinn. In fact, Luke's father is said to have died in "The Battle of Condawan", a little bit like Thorin's grandfather was said to have died in the battle of Moria. McQuarrie's concomitant designs for the character started shifting from a Toshiro Mifune-like Samurai (after Mifune declined the part) to a wizened old wizard, with Lucas approaching who would surely be on anyone's shortlist to play Gandalf at the time, Sir Alec Guinness. Guinness, who was given the third draft to read, noted for its "suggestions from Tolkien" and "touch of Tolkien's." It may have played a part in his decision to take the role, telling Mark Hamil that he always wanted to play a wizard. In fact, the draft contains a clear paraphrase on Bilbo's and Gandalf's first meeting: JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit, 1937 George Lucas, The Star Wars: Third Draft "Good morning!" said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat. "What do you mean?" be said. "Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is morning to be good on?" "All of them at once," said Bilbo. "And a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco out of doors, into the bargain. BEN: Good morning! LUKE: What do you mean, ‘good morning’? Do you mean that it is a good morning for you, or do you wish me a good morning, although it is obvious I’m not having one, or do you find that mornings in general are good? BEN: All of them altogether. Later in the draft, Luke presents himself to Ben with a "At your service!" At the same time, the third draft had a rather quirky take on Gandalf, but at the advice of Guinness this was filed-back in the Fourth draft, and then brought back for Yoda. But this is hardly the only influence of The Hobbit on the film: After this draft, Lucas started scouting north Africa for desert locations, finally choosing Tunisia, and renaming his desert planet afte the local place-name Tatooine. John Barry remembers Lucas picking Tunisia because he "liked Matmata, where people live in these holes in the ground", which Lucas fondly recalls as reminding him of a "Hobbit village." His choice of location (including grain stores that would later appear as Shmi's hovel in Episode I) surely owes something to Tolkien: in the third draft, Luke's homestead was still a set of buildings, not the Smial-like place it would become: In fact, Lucas explains that deciding to shoot the homestead in one of those underground hotels made the shoot costlier. Lucas even had renowned Tolkien illustrators, the Brothers Hildebrandt, illustate an alternate poster for the film.25 This choice is echoed later in the series in Yoda's hut. It was drawn by Ralph McQuarrie shortly after he bailed on Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings, and its not stretching anyone's imagination then that his concept of the wizard's hut and of a Hobbit hole would become mingled, or that Lucas, already fired up by The Hobbit, would warm to such a design. Although Lucas already fond of having short-statured creatures in his story like R2D2 and the Jawas, he now considered casting a short person in the role of Luke. Maybe even the fact that the sabers glow blue (in artwork, they're plain white) and even the round interiors of the Falcon owe to Tolkien. Later, Jabba and his minions, though ostensibly based on Burroughs' Warhoon, have a touch of the Great Goblin and his minions to them: When he was first developing Willow, General Kael was a Jabba-like character, very reminiscent of the Great Goblin. In this, Lucas may have followed the Rankin/Bass serial rather than the book. Indeed, Lucas' first project AFTER Return of the Jedi was his most Tolkienian yet: The Ewok Adventure, where a boy (Hobbit) and group of Ewoks (Dwarves), including a wizard Ewok (Gandalf) set on a quest to the lonely mountain to slay the Gorax (Smaug) and encounter wolves and a giant spider! In the sequel, Battle for Endor, Willford Brimley plays yet another variation on Gandalf, replete with a pointy hat and staff! These two films were a dry-run for Willow, also heavily indebted to The Hobbit.26 Frank Herbert's Dune (1965) Lucas' biography suggest he read Frank Herbert's Dune, which was reissued in 1969 and 1972. Inasmuch as his original "Journal of the Whills" is a paraphrase on A Fighting Man of Mars, some of the nomenclature in it derives from Herbert, which Lucas seems to have read very gradually across the writing period, starting here with the appendix "Terminology of the Imperium": Ophuchi is a star in Dune, and Lucas' tentative name for the Emperor, Alexander Xerxes XIX of Decarte, is a clear paraphrase on Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV. Even his role as essentially an insipid puppet of sinister forces is not too far off Shadam. The Jedi are given here as Jedi-Bendu, recalling the Bindu technique from Dune. Even the city planet, first mentioned here, has more in common with Geidi Prime than with Isimov's Trantor. Even as late as Revenge of the Sith, the Wookies would pilot ships similar to Herbert's Ornithopters. Drafts and notes of Lucas also talk about a thumpers, "Dictums", as well as "mind control" and "human-computers", i.e. Mentats from Dune. 27 While Tatooine derives from Barsoom, some of what populates it - crawlers, bedouin-like sand people, moisture farms, spice, worm-like creatures - derive from Herbert. Guilds, which are first namedropped in The Empire Strikes Back and then feature prominently in the first two prequels, come from Dune (although they're also in Smith and Burroughs). Likewise, the siege on Utapau in the First draft (and subsequently in The Phantom Menace, in whose first drafts Naboo was still Utapau) might recall the Harkonnen attack on Arrakeen. In fact, in the First Draft the ruler of Utapau is assasinated by the Empire, much like Leto is by the Harkonnen.28 The increasingly-messianic tones of Star Wars beginning 1980, with Luke and then Anakin being turned into "chosen ones", derive from Herbert and Smith: In the second draft, Luke is the "Chosen One", who in the film's epigraph (itself designed on quotes from Irulan's diary in Dune) is called "The Son of Suns", which sounds a little like Smith's "Children of the Lens." This would be replaced by a Tolkien-esque "everyman" angle in the third draft, and subsequently in the movie. Following its Hugo nomination, Lucas seems to have read excerpts from Children of Dune, quoting from it verbatim in notes, seemingly concurrent to the story conferences: this, then, was the model for the "Chosen" Luke and twin sister and, less likely, to Vader becoming Luke's father.29 Its hard, however, to pin specific beats in the story on Herbert's influence: By way of specific scenes, the original film has one small scene, in which Ben uses the Force to compel the Stormtroopers to let them go, which smacks of how Jessica and Paul use "The Voice" on the Harkonnen henchmen. By The Empire Strikes Back, the Force gives Luke the ability to glimpse the future, like Paul. Another specific influence doesn't come from Lucas but from the design team: back in 1981, the Emperor's decrepit appearance was not yet the result of blunt trauma (and wouldn't be until 2003: cf. Palpatine's sickly makeup in Attack of the Clones) and his makeup artists gave him a cranium split, thinking of Herbert's space navigators.30 Analog and Harry Harrison (1969-1975) The lightsabers themselves, however, predate this and seem to derive from a Frank Kelly Freas artwork (above) that appeared opposite from a story of Harry Harrison, a favourite pulp author of Lucas', in a March 1969 issue of Analog Science Fiction / Science Fact. At the point in which Lucas introduced them into the story, a story of Harrison's had just been adapted into Soylent Green, which may have prompted Lucas into seeking out Harrison's works. Indeed, many of Lucas' other pulp sources are visual: the final design for Chewbacca, replete with the bowcaster, comes from a July 1975 cover of Analog: neither design of Chewbacca, nor any of his descriptions in the drafts of by Lucas indicate a similarity to dogs, casting doubt over the autobiographical spin that he is based on Lucas (actually, Marcia's) dog Indiana.30 Meanwhile, Lucas' notes explicitly cite the cover to another Harrison novela from 1973, The Stainless Steel Rat, as the source for the TIE fighter and, subsequently, Darth Maul's ship. The semi-parodistic tone of Harrison's books is a little closer to the spirit of the original Star Wars film (less so the sequels) than Flash Gordon, Burroughs and Smith. Harrison also wrote archetypes similar to Lucas': on the back cover of The Stainless Steel Rat you can see a description of the main character, Jim DiGriz, very much along the lines of Han Solo (who first emerges as a human after this point), while his Bill, the Galactic Hero stars a farmboy.31 Others (1975-1976) In 1979, Lucas cited his love of the work of Moebius, whose illustrations feature similarly "used" sci-fi worlds to Lucas'. However, Moebius' work on Metal Hurlant wasn't published in America until early 1977: Lucas could have learned about it during the prep period in England, or even before that via his friend Edward Summer who did business with comics enthusiasts in Europe, but its not a noted influence on the original film: even the "used look" is not appearant on the early work of McQuarrie and Cantwell: if its inspired by anything at all, its by the ruinous cityscapes of John Carter. Indeed, the only parts of Star Wars that do look overtly "used" are those that take place on Tatooine or in the Falcon, a ship we first see on Tatooine.32 Lucas only contacted Moebius in 1977 to work on promotional material for the film's European debut, and his art influenced the animated segment of The Holiday Special, as well as The Empire Strikes Back. While it was mostly confined to the art-deco Cloud City, it also inspired the design of the Rebel freighter. While the Imperial Walkers were inspired by War of the Worlds and particularly by industrial artwork by Syd Mead, Moebius' art was used as a reference when Lucas asked to bulk the Walkers up. By the time of Episode I, Lucas had turned from Moebius (who worked on Willow) to the recent sci-fi novel Dinotpoia, which ILM had worked towards adapting: it influenced the city of Theed and the procession at the end of the film.33 Jack Kirby's Fourth World comics are sometimes cited as an influence: Lucas was actually accused of this in a 1975 dinner with an associate of Kirby's, although Edward Summer who was present assigns no significance to this. Vader resembles any number of pulp villains, especially The Lightning from The Fighting Devil Dogs serial (who shoots lightning, like Vader does in Splinter of the Mind's Eye, and has henchmen dressed in white). However, the similarities may be incidental: Vader's design started as an Imperial officer with a breathing mask (being that he has to move between spaceships), then added robes to seem like Sharif Ali in his introduction in Lawrence of Arabia (being that Vader is introduced in a similar fashion to Ali, especially back in the rough draft) and a Samurai-like helmet based on Richie's book, and the combination created the look.34 Secondary Sources: Cinematic World War II movies (1943-1970) Other movies, which Lucas usually caught on TV, mostly influenced only specific segments in Lucas' film. Some fifty World War II movies, especially The Dam Busters (1955), influenced the trech run, and along with Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph des Willens, contributed to the Nazi trappings of the Empire (although they ultimately appear mostly as Brits in Willhelminian garb) and the WWII trappings of some of the spaceships. Lucas puts words from Churchill's speech into the Emperor's mouth in the rough draft. Casablanca left its mark on the Cantina (Lucas notes say he's making Han "like Bogart") and perhaps set Lucas on the road to develop what would become Raiders of the Lost Ark around the same time. That film, however, whose premise Lucas developed significantly for Splinter of the Mind's Eye, owes more to the Zorro serials (which Lucas was shown by a friend in film school) and Secrets of the Inca (1954). Jabba, who was originally designed and cast as a human, was a kind of cross of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and Sydney Greenstreet's Signor Ferrari from Casablanca (1942). By November 1979, however, Lucas transformed him into a more Burroughs' like design. While working on his look, Lucas rejected designs that looked too much like a sand-worm from Dune, the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland (replete with a Hatter-like Bib Fortuna) or the Great Goblin from The Hobbit.35 The Searchers (1955) Turning Owen's home into a remote ranch has the touch of John Ford's The Searchers about it: its an idea that first crops up in the second draft, which ends with a tease for a sequel clearly inspired by The Searchers. In the third draft Owen is a blunt and cruel character like John Wayne's Ethan. Two sequences, of the attacked Jawa crawler (a bull in the Ford film) and the burnt Homestead; and then in Attack of the Clones, Anakin's finding of his dying mother in Tusken captivity, are taken directly from The Searchers, and overall Lucas' shooting style is closer to John Ford's than to that of Kurosawa's or of the Flash Gordon serials. There are flourishes from other Westerns like High Noon (Han flipping a coin to the bartender). Before shooting started, Lucas rewatched Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West, hoping to get some ideas for the staging of the medal ceremony, before reverting to Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph Des Willens, which he had previously watched for an Imperial scene in the Rough Draft. Instead, Leone's influence mostly comes down to giving Luke and then Boba Fett a poncho.36 1960s widescreen spectacles While Lucas enjoyed many of the epic films, especially those produced in the 1950s and 1960s, they weren't a noted influence on his films. Lucas referenced Gone With the Wind, which was reissued in the early 1970s, is a noted influence on the love story in The Empire Strikes Back, and had the poster designed in homage of the one used in the rerelease. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) influenced the mechanical, NASA-like look of some of the spaceships, but its cinematic style couldn't be further removed from Lucas' and homages to it, while present, are few and far in between. Perhaps the most overt is in the medical facility in Revenge of the Sith: by the time of the prequel trilogy, Lucas had spent years talking about "reading the epics" (see later) and even tried to make a large-scale historical film (later realised as Red Tails). Nevertheless, the influence of such films on his prequel trilogy are quite superificial: the aforementioned odes to Kurosawa in Episode I, a podrace vaguely like the chariot race in Ben Hur; a brief homage to Lawrence of Arabia in Episode II; and a procession out of Cleopatra and Fall of the Roman Empire. There was a touch of Doctor Zhivago - a film Lucas referenced for the love story in The Empire Strikes Back - to the forbidden, doomed love story between Anakin and Padme Gradually, too, the influence of contemporary epics starts coming to the fore: the arena battle is as indebted to Gladiator as to anything in Spartacus, an influence also borne out of the soundtrack for Revenge of the Sith (see later). The latter film also incorporates "flyover" shots straight out of The Lord of the Rings, which Lucas enjoyed.37 By and large, however, its unsurprising to find correspondences between Lucas' film and 1950s science fiction: C3PO is designed after the Metropolis robot, and while R2D2 is based on Dewy from the recent Silent Running, only round (McQuarrie's touch). The description of Han or his ship as "Corellian" (which Lucas said in 1977 means its "Krell make") seems to derive from the Krell of Forbidden Planet, a childhood favourite of Lucas which recently reissued and which Lucas later screened for his crew: a noted influence on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.38 Coppola and Apocalypse Now Its no stretch to say that Lucas doubling down on the Vietnam war subtext in Return of the Jedi owes something to the success of Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979), which Lucas almost directed. When Lucas started writing his first draft of the original film, he intended to present it to some extent as a Vietnam War parable, but that was downplayed in the writing process, and is all but wholly absent from The Empire Strikes Back. In Return of the Jedi, however, even the suggestion that in striking the Emperor down in anger, Luke would succumb to evil recalls the dynamic between Kurtz and Willard. In Episode I, the Gungan sacred place recalls Kurtz' compound, and when he was involved in development for Episode VII, Lucas described the hermit Luke as a "Colonel Kurtz type." Also while working on Return of the Jedi, Lucas concieved of Leia killing Jabba "like Luca Brazzi." Indeed, a rough outline of Anakin's story shows a striking similarity to Vito in The Godfather: Part II: a destitute nine-year old, orphaned and whisked away to another country, grows up, falls in-love but falls into a life of crime that weighs on his own children years later.39 A considerable aspect of Lucas' cinematic sources were sources that showed what he didn't want to do: in keeping with the "high brow" angle, Star Wars is often presented as an answer to the 70s "American New Wave" movies, but commercially its rivals were rather the big-budgeted disaster films of its day. However, for his part, Lucas conceived of it as a response to what he saw ON TELEVISION, mentioning Kojak and The Six Million Dollar Man, as well as his disappointment with the static spaceship imagery of Star Trek.40 The Canadian Avant-garde? The name "The Force" resembles a conversation captured in an experimental short film by Arthur Lipsett that Lucas watched in film-school and had wanted to homage in THX-1138. Lucas suggests his early filmography in and immediately after film-school comprised of experimental, non-narrative "tone poems" a-la Lipsett, and that he longs to return to making such films once he's done with the saga. As it is, Lucas failed to make good on this promise, and of his nine non-feature-length projects, only two (Herbie and 6-18-67) can be described as "tone poems:" In fact, it seems Lucas didn't see Lipsett's film until near the end of his term in USC, and his early interest in montage work was rather sparked by the work of the faculty's former dean, Slavko Vorkapich.41 Lucas other shorts, excluding "LOOK at LIFE", are either narratives, obscure though they may be, like Freiheit, Anyone lived in a pretty [how] town, and THX-1138-4EB. But mostly he made documentaries like 1:42.08, The Emperor and Filmmaker, not to mention the abandoned mockumentary Five, Four, Three. Lucas even suggests he shot Star Wars like a Juthra documentary, saying he deliberately "didn't stop" to show-off his fantasy world, like a documentary wouldn't linger on The Empire State Building, shooting establishing shots that are only "twelve frames, thirty-two frames at the most." A close examination of Lucas' film shows this is scarcely the case: the establishing shot of the Death Star is well over 160 frames long, and sequences like the cutaway to the Tusken Raiders or the entrance to the Cantina, where the camera cuts away multiple times to lingering shots of the many patrons, are totally not in keeping with this notion. In fact, the most documentary-like flourishes in the series are a handful of digital zooms in Attack of the Clones.42 Secondary Sources: Scholarly Castaneda's Tales of Power (1972-1974) Gary Jenkins' biography of Lucas says he "read Grimms’ fairytales and CS Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles, JRR Tolkien, Frazer’s Golden Bough. He also read Greek, Islamic and Indian Mythology and the works of modern mythologists like Campbell and Castaneda.” Many of these claims are dubious at best. While sketching Episode I, Lucas had on his shelf several books loosely on the subject of Folklore: The Gnostic Gospels (1981 edition), Peasant Customs and Save Myths (1968), Landscape and Memory, Bullfinch's Mythology, The Study of Folklore (1965), Motif-Index of Folk-Literature (1958, last volume), but they're not a discernable influence on his film. However, ahead of the third draft, Gary Kurtz showed Lucas Carlos Castaneda's recent Journey to Ixtlan and The Tales of Power. The draft's synopsis specifically compared Old Ben to Castaneda's Don Juan, and when Lucas finally decided to have Ben die, he had him transform to a higher state of being: its ostensibly a ploy to keep the film kid-friendly, but its also ike Don Juan tells Castaneda he would enter if he has the confidence to leap off the cliff (like Luke in The Empire Strikes Back?) at the end of Tales of Power. Yoda, who in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi was envisioned as a native of Dagobah, clearly has something of Don Juan in him. In fact, Lucas' notes while writing The Empire Strikes Back quote from Journey to Ixtlan: "The mood of a warrior calls for control over himself and at the same time it calls for abandoning himself." Yoda himself quotes Don Juan verbatim (except with his trademark "backwards' dialogue): "We are luminous beings." Even in the prequel trilogy, where he's ever more Gandalf-like, Yoda's sermons against "fear", while ostensibly paraphrasing the litany from Dune, recall Don Juan's sermons. Even the concept of "Life Day" from the Holiday Special has a Castaneda-like ring to it, but otherwise its an alltogether minor influence: even the term "Force" appears in Lucas' drafts before it does in Castaneda's books.43 Conrad Kottak's "Social Science Fiction" (1978)? Possibly, a more significant influence came in March 1978, via a review of Star Wars by Conrad Kottak for Psychology Today. Kottak's was not the first "psychological" analysis of Star Wars, and so one assumes Lucas was primed for it. Kottak suggests Darth Vader is the image of Luke's "Dark Father": Lucas earlier notes suggest the correct etymology was, unsurprisingly, "Dark Invader", but now he adopted Kottak's post-hoc etymology in notes from circa 1980, as well as identifying Ben with the image of Luke's good, idealized father. Kottak suggested the boy must slay the evil father, and shortly after this Lucas named the third film "Revenge of the Jedi." Kottak briefly but pointedly cites the work of another "psychiatrist", Bruno Bettelheim (see below), and it seems Lucas was drawn back into Bettelheim's work immediately after reading Kottak's review. All the same, it beares to point out that making the villain the hero's father was a common space opera plot ploy: it appeared most notably in his childhood favourite Tommy Tommorrow and, even if Lucas hadn't read Dune through the point where Vladimir Harkonnen is revealed as Jessica's father, he would have been appraised to this by his discovery of Children of Dune in late 1977.44 Bruno Bettelheim's The Uses of Enchantment (1975-1978) When he began writing the fourth draft, Lucas revised the film's epigraph to "A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away, an extraordinary adventure took place", which he later said was inspired by a book of Bruno Bettelheim, who analysed ten Grimms' fairytales. "I had been reading other doctors", he later said, "Freudians." The book wasn't published until late 1976, but Lucas did read a long excerpt published in the New Yorker in December 1975.If anything, Lucas previous draft was even more fairytale-like thanks to The Hobbit, with Owen in the role of the cruel fairly godparent and Luke performing chores on the farm Cinderella-like. It could even be argued that, even after he got into Bettelheim in earnest (much, much later) his concept of what constitues a fairytale had already been shaped by Disney films and old swashbucklers, and only filtered through Bettleheim: in fact, much of what Lucas would suggest consistutes a fairytale - a parable with an ostensible moral, a story absent any major character deaths - in fact goes against some of the statements made in Bettelheim's book. Its true that only at this point Lucas added the shot of the princess genuflecting to R2D2, but similarly "dreamy" shots of the princess had already appeared in earlier storyboards. Likewise, the designs were mostly locked and Lucas had long before decided on diffused, ethereal visuals, and even those didn't stay the distance: Disliked by DP Gilbert Taylor and by Fox, the diffused look was only used in the Tatooine scenes, and even that was removed by sharpening tools in later releases to conform with Episode II).45 A possible influence beyond the epigraph may have been to tone down the violence (and change Luke's name back to the less fearsome Skywalker), although a fair bit of violence remained in the first two films (and returned with a vengenance in Revenge of the Sith) and what was removed (a beheading in the original film, and the intricacies of Han's torture in the sequel) was seemingly done more out of commercial practicalities than anything else. But Lucas did remove even more (but by no means all) violence from the Special Edition at the influence of Bettelheim, removing two shots of Imperial officers being hit with laser blasts, and making Greedo shoot at Han first.46 Presumably after reading Kottak's essay, Lucas got back into Bettelheim while he was rewriting The Empire Strikes Back. His notes quote from Bettlehim: "A repulsive, threatening figure can magically turn into a most helpful friend." For a short period during the design of Empire, Yoda was turned into a fairytale-like blue gnome. However, the ostensible moral of Yoda's design - "don't judge a book by its cover" - is something that appeared in Lucas' drafts, first with the dimuntive but resourceful R2D2 in the rough draft, and then (inspired by The Hobbit) especially with the unassuming Luke and decrepit, "old fossil" of Ben in the third draft. But Lucas only really got into Bettelheim in earnest after The Empire Strikes Back. By the time he was developing Return of the Jedi, he started talking publically about Bettelheim's influence (who would return the favour in 1981 by reviewing the first two films positively), and spoke incessently of his film being a fairytale. Nevertheless, his influence remained largely rhetorical. Most of the "fairytale" motifs present in Return of the Jedi are retreads of motifs from the earlier films, and which originate principally from The Hobbit: the Ewoks simply embody the same "don't judge a book by its cover" parable as Yoda and R2D2 before them. Lucas did make the Ewoks far more cloying in their design, citing his "fairytale" concept (again, more Disney-filtered-via-Bettelheim, than genuinely Bettelheim), and opted to make the unmasked Vader a kindly old man rather than the "grotesque" figure glimpsed in the previous film. Lucas also cited the "fairytale" concept in his refusal to let Lawrence Kasdan kill of Lando. In fact, in Lucas' first treatment for Return of the Jedi, even the deceased Ben and Anakin return at the end in the flesh, but this wasn't carried into the finished film.47 Likewise, Vader's redemption, while it has some antecedents in Bettelheim, also has precedents in Kurosawa and in some of Lucas' descriptions of Vader to Leigh Brackett in November 1977: while not talking explicitly about redeeming the masked villain, Lucas told Brackett he wanted Vader's death to be pitiable: "He wants to be human." While working on the script, Lucas said (see below) that fairytale heroes face trials in sets of three, which doesn't really manifest in the series except for this: the attempt to release Han fails first via the Droids, then via Leia, and finally via Luke himself, before he triumphs over the Sarlaac pit: they don't exactly fit as "trials" (certainly not for Luke) but it seems the ternary form appealed to Lucas here due to Bettelheim's writings. Actually, by far the most Bettelheim-tinged films in Lucas ouevre are not Star Wars (in spite of it being the most actually like a fairytale) nor Return of the Jedi, but rather the two Ewok films, and even those owe more to The Hobbit and to Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves than to Bettelheim per se.48 The choice to explore Anakin's childhood in Episode I might also derive from Bettelheim, although Lucas had persued casting a young princess Leia, auditioning 14-year old Jodie Foster and Terri Nunn, long before he heard of Bettelheim. In general, there's little of Bettelheim in the more-grandiose prequels, except that its through Bettelheim that Lucas became better-acquainted with Oedipus Rex, first naming the Jedi Librarian Jocusta, and then giving Anakin's fall an ironic, Oedipus-like touch. Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment (1977, excerpt published 1975) George Lucas' notes, circa late 1980 The fairy tale presented in a simple, homely way; no demands are made on the listener. This prevents even the smallest child from feeling compelled to act in specific ways, and he is never made to feel inferior. Far from making demands, the fairy tale reassures, gives hope for the future, and holds out the promise of a happy ending. [...] Fairy tales, unlike any other form of literature, direct the child to discover his identity and calling, and they also suggest what experiences are needed to develop his character further. Fairy tales intimate that a rewarding, good life is within one’s reach despite adversity—but only if one does not shy away from the hazardous struggles without which one can never achieve true identity. [...] children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy. [...] It seems particularly appropriate to a child that exactly what the evildoer wishes to inflict on the hero should be the bad person’s fate [...] At this age, from four until puberty, what the child needs most is to be presented with symbolic images which reassure him that there is a happy solution to his oedipal problems [...] The good fairy godmother watches over the child’s fate, ready to assert her power when critically needed [... little Red Riding Hood] tells him, the wolf is a passing manifestation—Grandma will return triumphant. [...the sister in Seven Ravens] travels to the end of the world and makes a great sacrifice to undo the spell put on them." Present [story] in a simple, homely way … This prevents even the smallest child from feeling compelled to act in specific ways and he is never made to feel inferior … Reassures, gives hope for the future, and holds out the promise of a happy ending … Discover identity and calling … Intimate that a rewarding, good life is within one’s reach despite adversity—but only if one does not shy away from the hazardous struggles without which one can never achieve true identity. Children are innocent and love justice. While most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy … Need symbolic images which reassure them that there is a happy ending, solution to the Oedipal problems … What the evildoer wishes to inflict on the hero should be the bad person’s fate.” [...] Somewhere the good father (Ben) watches over the child's fate, ready to assert his power when critically needed. Father changes into Darth Vader, who is a passing manifestation, and will return triumphant. Luke travels to the end of the world and makes sacrifice to undo the spell on his father. [... later, in story conferences with Kasdan and Marquand:] The whole concept of the original film is that Luke redeems his father, which is the classic fairytale: a good father/bad father who the good son will turn back into the good father. [...Lucas spoke in 1988] of his ''Star Wars'' trilogy as the struggle between the good and the bad father and said he also intended to make a movie about the war between the good and the bad mother.49 Joseph Campbell? While working on the third draft, Lucas made a passing remark to Edward Summer about his interest in Joseph Campbell's Hero With A Thousand Faces, a far denser read than Castaneda and Bettelheim. Lucas also suggests to Rinzler that only at this point did he "move from Kurosawa to Joe," and suggests he read Frazer's even denser The Golden Bough and Campbell's Masks of God and Flight of the Wild Gander. Michael Heileman suggests that while Lucas was certainly "aware of Campbell’s work on some level" he was scarcely "a book worm" and puts question that "Lucas plowed through Campbell’s 400 page tightly packed academic tome, let alone gleaned from it the formula for binding together the disparate elements of Star Wars." His awareness to Campbell may derive from the diaries of Sir Arthur C. Clarke, released in 1972, where he mentions Kubrick giving him Campbell's book to read while making 2001: A Space Odyssey. Likewise, Frazer's book had appeared onscreen in Coppola's Apocalypse Now.50 There are many objections to Campbell's influence that could be added to Heilemann's, but ultimately it comes down to a simple observation: There is no detectable Campbell influence on Lucas' film. In Myths to Live By (1972) Campbell does speak against machines, but that was a theme Lucas already explored in THX-1138. His films don't follow Campbell's "Monomyth" formula very well at all: Luke never meets a "temptress" along the lines described by Campbell and, even across the entire trilogy, never crosses "the return threshold" and comes back home. Luke leaves the "Normal world" before meeting his "guide", and gets his "talisman" before he refuses the call. In fact, Luke's outright reluctance to take the quest, a new addition in the revised fourth draft, seems to derive from The Hobbit: Campbell's rather inane descriptions of "Refusal of the Call" show that he's, in fact, referring to something completely different: Anakin's journey is even less Campbell-like than Luke's. What's more, Lucas' notes never quote from Campbell as they do from Bettelheim or Castaneda, and no names from Campbell - with the possible exception of "Dannen" in Willow - crop up in any of his films. Lucas' does mention Masassi and Brunhuld, but in drafts long predating the third, the latter supposedly derived from a book of baby-names. Virtually all of Lucas' waxing philosophical about life and fairytales - most of it utterly banal - derives not from Campbell but from Bettelheim and, even more to the point, from The Hobbit. The only piece of advise Lucas can cite from Campbell is his banal slogan "Follow your bliss."52 George Lucas, various interviews Bruno Bettelheim, Uses of Enchantment [...in 1977] One of the criteria of the mythical fairy-tale situation is an exotic, faraway land, but we've lost all the fairy-tale lands on this planet. Every one has disappeared. We longer have the mysterious east or treasure islands or going on strange adventures. [... in 1981] If I ever consciously used anything that I read, it was to make the story more consistent with traditional fairytales. For example, if there was a part in which Luke had two trials, I would try to make it three, because three is more consistent with hero myths. But if adding a third trial jeopardised the story, I wouldn't do it. [...later, on the set of Return of the Jedi] “in a fairytale, its always being nice to the little bunny rabbit on the side of the road that [results in it having to] give you the magic.” [...in 1999] Children love power because children are the powerless. And so their fantasies all center on having power. [...in 2006] “The Han Solo journey is a continuation of the motif of death and rebirth, which is the overall theme of this whole series in relationship to Darth Vader, who comes out of his evil hibernation and is reborn as Anakin Skywalker. Han has been put to sleep, which is a common device, especially in fairytales and mythological tales; it’s like going into a state of suspended animation and then, usually, you come out rejuvenated. Sometimes it’s the equivalent of going down to the netherworld and coming back enlightened.” [...in 2015] I think I can have things to say that I can actually influence kids, you know, adolescents, 12-year olds and, you know, that are trying to make their way into the bigger world and that's basically what mythology was, was to say - - of saying this is what we believe in; these are our rules; these are -- this is what we are as a society. And we don't do that. [...in 2015] a majority of people -- boys -- have a certain psychological relationship with their fathers. And that's been going on through history. And trying to explain that, to say we know your darkest secret and, therefore, you're part of us because we all know the same things. We know what you're thinking about your mother. [...] these stories do not take place in the here and now, but in a faraway never-never-land. [...] ‘once upon a time’, ‘in a certain country’, ‘a thousand years ago or longer’, ‘at a time when animals still talked’ [...] the number three in fairy tales often seems to refer to what in psychoanalysis is as the three aspects of the mind [...] Goldilocks encounters the three dishes, beds, chairs – for three separate efforts mark her entrance into the Bears’ dwelling. [...] three encounters with the man, three exchanges of a cow for a magic object, three nights with the princess. [...] A repulsive, threatening figure can magically into a most helpful friend. [...]The same tales assure that the ferocious giant can always be outwitted by the clever little man—somebody seemingly as powerless as the child feels himself to be. [...]Snow White’s deathlike sleep in the coffin is a period of gestation which is her final period of preparing for Maturity [...] Many fairytale heroes, at a crucial point in their development, fall into deep sleep or are reborn. Each reawakening or rebirth symbolizes the reaching of a higher stage of maturity and understanding. [...] Going down into the darkness of the earth is a descent into the netherworld. [...] Some fairy and folk stories evolved out of myths; others were incorporated into them. Both forms embodied the cumulative experience of a society as men wished to recall past wisdom for themselves and transmit it to future generations. These tales are the purveyors of deep insights that have sustained mankind through the long vicissitudes of its existence, a heritage that is not revealed in any other form as simply and directly, or as accessibly, to children. [...Freud suggests that ] the myth of Oedipus had become the image by which we understand the ever new but age-old problems posed to us by our complex and ambivalent feelings about our parents. 53 Ironically, while citing these scholars was seemingly done to give Lucas' film an air of intellectual legitimacy, all three authors would later prove to be hacks to some extent: Castaneda's works, though immensly popular, were already believed in his time to be works of fiction, and all but disproven by the time of Return of the Jedi. After his suicide in 1990, it was shown that Bettelheim had outright forged his academic credentials, and his book is a pastiche of Heuscher's Psychiatric Study of Fairy Tales, itself scarcely a piece that commanded great admiration in the scientific community of the time. After these two were discredited, Lucas only had Campbell left to cite. But then Campbell, like Bettelheim, was also a graduate of Literature, not anthropology, but didn't even complete a PhD. He has drawn heavy criticism from later folklorists for cherry-picking his examples, and for dubious authority: while citing a lot of examples from Indian mythology, he was not proficient in Sanskrit and didn't even visit India until after he completed The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Lucas himself, who admitted he never met Campbell or heard any of him talk until AFTER Return of the Jedi, gives him the backhanded compliment of being better lecturer than writer (he was neither), and later in life said he moved on from Campbell's Jungian views to "neuro-psychology."54 Arthurian legend? Surprisingly, neither Bettelheim nor Campbell use a lot of examples from the legends of king Arthur, but they surely led Lucas in the direction of those kinds of stories. Its hard not to think of Arthurian legend when, in the fourth draft, Luke no longer knows his father's story, and is handed his sword as heirloom, being that he "became of age." Whether its actually an Arthurian motif (a very small and layman one, at that) is hard to tell. Lucas, who would years later be the one to suggest the Holy Grail as a McGuffin for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - did have at least a colloquial knowledge of Arthurian legend - early notes of his say that Luke proverbially "draws the sword from the stone." Populist versions of the tale - by Disney and Mary Stewart - were very popular at the time. Indeed, Luke's nickname "Wormie" is reminiscent of "Wart" from Disney's The Sword in the Stone. Of course, around this time, Lucas' fairytale rhetoric rubbed on Mark Hamil and Sir Alec Guinness (the clearly got an earfull of it from Lucas on set) who both drew paralles in 1977 interviews between Ben and Merlin, and shortly afterwards Splinter of the Mind's Eye was released with the Kiber crystal renamed Kaiburr to denote Excalibur. However, had Lucas wanted to sustain a parallel to Excalibur, he would surely have saved it for Luke to wield in his final confrontation with the Emperor, and plot his prequels such that it would be an heirloom running through the entire saga: from Qui Gon to Obi Wan to Anakin to Luke. Instead, Obi Wan and Anakin go through sabres like tissue papers in the prequel trilogy, and Luke unceremoniously loses his sword in The Empire Strikes Back, after having done little of note with it. Secondary Sources: Autobiographical Star Wars is, not, ultimately, a very autobiographical film. Chris Taylor notes that Modesto is not a good model for Tatooine, being "verdant" and about a meagre hour's drive from both San Francisco and Hollywood. Even the ranch Lucas spent most of his teens growing in was ultimately five miles down the road from downtown, a far-cry from Owen's remote moisture farm. Its clear Lucas named Luke after himself, but he's ultimately best seen as a projection of Lucas, not as a self-portrayal. Lucas' stern father perhaps resembles Uncle Owen moreso than Anakin, and even at that Owen probably owes far more to Ethan from The Searchers. The name "Vader" may or may not relate to an older jock from Lucas' junior high, named Gary Rex Vader. The most autobiographical scenes, of Luke hanging with his friends in Ancorhead, were only added at the insistence of Lucas' friend Hal Barwood and summarily cut from the film.55 In the intermediate drafts, Han Solo does strongly resemble Francis Ford Coppola. This would get filed-down in the final draft and in Harrison Ford's performance, but there's reason to assume Coppola's influence on Lucas' entire filmography is rather enormous: It was Coppola who first planted in Lucas' head the idea of making a filmmaking hub in the countryside, finally realised in Skywalker Ranch. It was Coppola who first turned to make films with the big studios, when he decided to direct The Godfather, paving the road for Lucas and American Graffiti. Lucas likes to take credit for convincing Coppola to take The Godfather to recoup debts from a screening of THX-1138, but that screening occured in November, while Coppola accepted the gig in September.56 Coppola also made a sequel, and even presented it as an integral "Part two" rather than a patched-on sequel, long before Lucas did so, and even the flashback sequences in Coppola's film can be seen an antecedent of sorts to Lucas' pursuit of prequels, especially since both go right through the characters' childhood. Even the turn to gloomy, soap-opera-like melodrama in The Empire Strikes Back, as well as the talk of high-brow inspiration, is perhaps a reaction to The Godfather and the way Coppola's posse derided Star Wars as "twerp cinema", not to mention to the pomposity of Coppola himself. Small wonder that Jabba is described as a gangster ("Like Marlon Brando in The Godfather") or that Lucas considered stunt-casting Pacino as Han Solo.57 A strong argument could be made that Lucas rhetorical turn to high-brow sources, as well as his insistence that the series was planned in advance, do impact the series. In the story conferences to Return of the Jedi, Lucas earnestly defends his story choices as being "the original story," which seems to have convinced Lawrence Kasdan. This turn, along with stories that make the film more of a "little engine that could" that it had been, and many affectations regarding what Lucas tried to do with the shooting style of the film, could be argued to affect Lucas' subsequent entries. We've already noted the (fairly superficial) turn to the visuals of 1950s and 1960s epics in the prequel trilogy, but just as importantly, we must ask the question: can a filmmaker who thinks so little of his audience's intelligence as to believe they'll fall for his tendetious stories of how he concieved Star Wars, make films that don't talk down to the audience as a film like Attack of the Clones indeed does?58 Secondary Sources: Musical Lucas claims to have written the script envisioning the music. This is a little dubious, since the only mention of music in the script is for the crawl, which merely calls for "war drums." Although Lucas later denied this, when he first met John Williams in 1975, he intended for Williams to only score the Cantina band (which he temped with a Glenn Miller piece). The score was to be comprised of the same pieces of music the Flash Gordon serials used like Liszt's Les Preludes. Williams, however, convinced him to write an original score with recurring themes, approximately like the leitmotive or "leading motive" technique of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (1876).59 In the event, the cut film was temporarily scored with Rosza's Ivanhoe; "Mars" from Holst's The Planets (1917), no doubt a nod to Burroughs; Dvořák's 9th Symphony (1893); Stravinski's The Rites of Spring (1913), Franz Waxman's score to The Bride of Frankstein (1935) previously pilfered by the Flash Gordon serials; a piece from Masaru Sato's score to Hidden Fortress, and (although Williams' denied this in 2003) Bernard Hermann's Veritgo (1958).60 In spite of that, and the fact that the film coincided with the revolutionary centenary production of The Ring, neither Williams nor Lucas cite it as an influence: Any story resemblence, especially to The Ring but also to Lohengrin, is coincidental. Williams had heard a Ring (probably heavily cut) in Hamburg in 1967 while scoring Heidi, and not knowing German, found it inaccessible. His technique is only Wagnerian insofar as it derives from a generation of Wagnerian film composers (notably Korngold) that were themselves more influenced by Wagner's Lohengrin than by The Ring, and subsequently Williams' own use of the leitmotif is halfway between the mature leitmotif technique of The Ring and the reminiscence themes of Lohengrin and Der Freischutz.61 While Williams' themes are pervasive through the underscore, like those in The Ring, they're not as suspectible to transformation as those in the Ring: in the classic trilogy, Luke and Yoda's music sometimes take to the minor, and Vader's music, once shorn of its minor harmony, is allowed to expiate in the major. The Emperor's music is presented in a major mode in the closing chorus of The Phantom Menace, but not outright transformation occurs until the end-credits, where young Anakin's music morphs into Darth Vader's, and in the way the Imperial March chords "poison" the theme associated with the Force during Anakin and Obi Wan's duel. The way the music of the Sith and the Separatists/Empire is contrasted with those of the Jedi and the Republic/Rebels, again brings to mind the kind of juxtapositions one finds in Lohengrin (where the music of the Grail is contrasted with Ortrud's) and Tristan. In 1977, Lucas suggested that in a few places, he and Williams saw fit to reference the original temporary track consciously in the score: so those places where Williams score (very seldom) steers very close to the temporary track are probably intentional. It has been suggested Williams' main titles owe to Korngold's King's Row, but Doug Adams concludes that its "may be stretching the point to dub Korngold’s theme the model", Williams' theme seemingly based on the Rosza piece, instead. Adams also questions whether Williams' intentionally referenced the Dies Irae plainchant in his score. Williams only quotes (albeit repeatedly) a four-note cell consisting of a halfstep down and up and then a fullstep down: a simple shape that anyone could intuitivelly hit upon.62 The scores of later entries seem to have mostly been tracked with pre-existing Williams pieces, although Williams seems to have grasped the homage to Ben Hur in The Phantom Menace and channelled something of Rosza there. Only Revenge of the Sith shows the touch of other contemporary scores, which were obviously put into the temporary track: The wailing soprano vocals in Padme's Ruminations is clearly temped with Lisa Gerard from Gladiator, while Anakin's Dark Deeds were clearly modelled on "The Treason of Isengard" from The Fellowship of the Ring original album.63 Footnotes Vicent Canby, "'Star Wars:' A Trip to a Far Galaxy That's Fun and Funny," New York Times, May 26, 1977. (All links last retrieved 16 October 2023). Jonathan W. Rinzler, The Making of Star Wars (New York: Random House, 2007. Enhanced Edition), p. 117. Chris Taylor, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise (New York: Perseus Books Group, 2017), p. 208, 217, 236, 267, 514. Gary Jenkins, Empire-building: The Remarkable, real-life story of Star Wars (New York: Carol Publishing, 1999), p. 37. "George Lucas on the impact of Star Wars with Christopher Nolan", Director's Guild of America, 19 February 2011. Dale Pollock, Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas (New York: Harmony Books, 1983), p. 141 ff. "All I need is an Idea", 20th Century Fox, Star Wars: The Complete Saga (2011). Edward Elmer Smith, Galactic Patrol (Reading: Fantasy Press, 1950). Andrew G., "Everything Known About the 'Journal of the Whills' Outline," Medium, 30 October 2020. George Lucas, The Star Wars (Rough Draft), May 1974. George Lucas, Adventures of the Starkiller (episode one) "The Star Wars" (Second Draft), 28 January 1975. James Whitebrook, "George Lucas’ Plans for His Star Wars Sequels Were More Familiar Than You’d Think," Gizmodo, 12 November 2020. Stephen Hart, "Galactic Gasbag", Salon, 10 April 2002. Rinzler's book makes it seem Lucas had Midichlorians in mind in August 1977, but in his blog he admits this was added by Lucas to the manuscript after the fact. Jonathan W. Rinzler, "So What the Heck Are Midi-Chlorians?" StarWars.com, June 24, 2013. Michael Kaminski, The Secret History of Star Wars: The Art of Storytelling and the Making of a Modern Myth (Ontario: Legacy Books Press, 2008), p. 49, 61, 77ff, 85ff, citing Kristen Brennan, "EE 'Doc' Smith", Star Wars Origins, 1999. Staff. "A young, enthusiastic crew employs far-out technology to put a rollicking intergalactic fantasy onto the screen". American Cinematographer (American Society of Cinematographers: 1977), p. 1. Jonathan Rinzler, The Making of Return of the Jedi (New York: Random House, 2013. Enhanced Edition), p. 1566. Paul Rosenfield, "Lucas: Film-Maker With the Force," Los Angeles Times, June 5, 1977. Paul Scanlon, "George Lucas: The Wizard of Star Wars," Rolling Stones, 25 August 1977. Stephen Zito, "George Lucas goes far out," American Film, April 1977, pp. 8-13. John Baxter, Mythmaker: The Life and Work of George Lucas (London: Harper Collins, 1999), p. 33. Rinzler, p. 117, 257. Kaminski, p. 17, 63. "Everything Known About the 'Journal of the Whills' Outline"; ""A young, enthusiastic crew employs far-out technology to put a rollicking intergalactic fantasy onto the screen." Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Fighting Man of Mars (New York: Metropolitan Books, 1930). Fighting Man of Mars was recently reissued with a Frank Frazetta cover. Shortly thereafter, Lucas started collecting Frazetta, Raymond and Foster originals. Ibid. John Coleman Burroughs, John Carter of Mars (New York: Fantasy Books, 1970). Rinzler, The Making of Star Wars, p. 1669. Pollock, p. 141 ff. Kaminski, p. 315. Staff, "Early Drafts of George Lucas’ Willow Are a Very Different Adventure," Consequence, 14 August 2018. Lucas owns several Frazetta originals, a couple of which will be displayed in his museum of arts. Bob Strauss, "The Force was strong in LA as 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas launched his Narrative Art museum". Los Angeles Daily News, March 14, 2018. Pollock, 141 ff. Brian Jay Jones, George Lucas: A Life (New York: Little Brown and Company, 2019), pp. 42-45, NB 878-880. Jones' excellent biography also peels the histronics around Lucas' car-crash at 18 ("Lucas was actually in better shape than he looked", pp. 68 ff) and his community college education, noting he has an Associate of Arts degreee, not a Social Sciences one, having only took some classes in Sociology, getting a B for his pains. p. 72. Kaminski, p. 45 ff. Michael Heilemann, "Edward Summer interview May 19th (Part 1)," Kitbashed. Charlie Rose, "George Lucas", Charlie Rose.com, 25 December 2015. Michael Heilemann, "Flash Gordon", Kitbashed. Kaminski, p. 63. Rohan Williams, "The Origins of the Crawl," Force Material, 2016. Michael Heilemann, "Princess Hair", Kitbashed. Kamainski, p. 67 ff. u/RunDNA, "A compendium of places where George Lucas copied passages from 'The Films of Akira Kurosawa' to write his Star Wars Synopsis in 1973", Reddit, 21 May 2020. Rinzler, p. 82. "The Wizard of Star Wars." Michael Heilemann, "Kurosawa," Kitbashed. Kaminski, p. 161 ff. Michael Kaminski, "The Influence and Imagery of Akira Kurosawa," The Secret History of Star Wars, 2008. "Interview from 2001 with filmmaker George Lucas about Kurosaw," Akira Kurosawa, The Hidden Fortress, Criterion Channel, 2001. "George Lucas on the impact of Star Wars with Christopher Nolan." JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit (London: Harper Collins, 1937), p. 2 ff. Philip Kosloski, "Obi-Wan Kenobi was originally created to be a Star Wars version of Gandalf," Voyage, 16 November 2019. Rinzler, p. 366. Kevin Burns, "Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy", 20th Century Fox, Star Wars: The Complete Saga, 2011. Rinzler, p. 452 ff. "The Wizard of Star Wars." Alec Guinness interview, Parkinson Talk Show, 1977. The Making of Star Wars, p. 523. Jonathan W. Rinzler, The Making of the Empire Strikes Back (New York: Random Books, 2010. Enhanced Edition), p. 94. Pollock, p. 141 ff. "George Lucas Goes Far Out." Adventures of the Starkiller, p. 48. The Making of Return of the Jedi, p. 93, 859. Michael Heilemann, "Chewbacca," Kitbashed. Michael Heilemann, "The Complete History of the Milennium Falcon," Kitbashed. "Star Wars Archives: Episode IV-VI," 20th Century Fox, Star Wars: The Complete Saga, 2011. Michael Heilemann, "The Moebius Probe," Kitbashed. Kaminski, p. 21, 212, 426. Michael Heilemann, "Giant Walking Machines," Kitbashed, 2015. Heileman's Edward Summer interview. Cathie Fenner, Arnie Fenner, Testament: The Life and Art of Frank Frazetta (Nevada City: Underwood Books, 2001). "George Lucas Goes Far Out." Michael Kaminski, "The Visual Development of Darth Vader," The Secret History of Star Wars, 2007. Kaminski suggests here that Vader was concieved as a burn victim before shooting started, based on a Mark Hamil interview from 1980, but in his book (p. 126) he admits Hamil's memory may be "foggy." My own feeling is the idea of Vader as a burn victim dates from post-production: the fact Lucas made no mention of it in his discussions with Carol Titelman shows it was a fresh idea on his mind when he told it to Rolling Stones that same month. This would make the similarity to Doctor Doom null. Michael Heilemann, "Casablanca." Jabba, who was originally designed and cast as a human, was a kind of cross of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and Sydney Greenstreet's Signor Ferrari from Casablanca (1942). By November 1979, however, Lucas transformed him into a more Burroughs' like design. While working on his look, Lucas rejected designs that looked too much like a sand-worm from Dune, the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland (replete with a Hatter-like Bib Fortuna) or the Great Goblin from The Hobbit. Michael Heilemann, "The Searchers" and "Its a period of civil war," Kitbashed. Kaminski, pp. 90-92, 141, 161, 430. "The Influence and Imagery of Akira Kurosawa." Michael Heilemann, "The Birth of R2-D2" and "Amazing! Nothing Like it Ever!", Kitbashed. Michael Kaminski, "Jabba the Hutt: 'Wonderful Human Being'", The Secret History of Star Wars, 2008. Kaminski suggests Jabba was reconceptualised as an alien before the comic adaptation of the film was released in June 1977, but actually it released in March. My own feeling, since the release of Rinzler's Making of Return of the Jedi, is that the idea was only arrived at in September 1979. Andrew G. "Why Did George Lucas Say His Ideas for Episode VII Were Abandoned?" Medium, 19 October 2021. Andrew shows that Lucas' plan for Episode VII were far closer to "The Force Awakens" than Lucas himself will admit. While Lucas had envisioned Luke dying in Episode VIII, the fact that virtually all the documentation we have of his vision for the sequel trilogy is of Episode VII would suggest he didn't plan the subsequent two films in any depth. In fact, it could be that the idea of the sequel trilogy was done to “to satisfy fan and media demand” (Kaminski, p. 505) rather than telling the world he was halving the size of the film series (which he shortly prior said would be twelve-film long, like a Flash Gordon serial). The seeming absence of any notes for such sequels would reinforce such a reading. Taylor, p. 488. Taylor, pp. 172 ff. Gilbert Cruz, "George Lucas Wants to Retire and Make Art Films. Sure He Does", Times, 18 January 2012. A survey of Lucas' filmography is given by Michael Heilemann, "The Early filmography of George Lucas," Kitbashed, but seems to have jumbled the order of the films and overstated Lipsett's influence. Jones (pp. 131-134) gives a more rigorous order of Lucas' student films, and puts Lucas' viewing of Lipsett's film around his tenure at graduate school. Heilemann does, however, show that Lucas' first film, "LOOK at LIFE," didn't start out as a film at all but as a "Kinestasic project", and was only inserted into Lucas' oevure after the fact, presumably when Lucas' The Emperor and THX-1138-4EB were touring student film festivals. "George Lucas on the impact of Star Wars with Christopher Nolan." Steven Silberman, "Life After Darth", Wired, 1 May 2005. Jenkins, p. 37. The Making of the Empire Strikes Back, p. 146 ff. Carlos Castaneda, Road to Ixtlan and Tales of Power (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972 and 1975). Kaminski, pp. 78-80. "Wizard of Star Wars." Michael Heilemann, "Like Father Like Son," Kitbashed. The Making of the Empire Strikes Back, p. 76 ff, 98. George Lucas, National Arts Club speech, 1985, recorded in Phil Cousineau (editor), The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work (San Francisco: New World Library, 1990), p. 186. Michael Kaminski, "Saving Star Wars: The Special Edition Restoration Process and its Changing Physicality," The Secret History of Star Wars, 2009. Rinzler, p. 291, 944-946. David E. Williams, "Gilbert Taylor, BSC is given the spotlight with the ASC's International Achievement Award". American Society of Cinematographers (February 2006). p. 4. "Lucas: Film-Maker With the Force." "The Wizard of Star Wars", Pollock, p. 200. The Making of Return of the Jedi, pp. 105. The Making of the Empire Strikes Back, p. 159. Aljean Harmetz, A Pained Lucas Ponders Attacks on 'Willow', New York Times, 9 June 1988. The Making of the Empire Strikes Back, pp. 77, 105 ff. The Making of Return of the Jedi, p. 377-379, 725. Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces (Princeton: University Press, 1949). Michael Heilemann, "Fairytales and the Hero's Journey," Kitbashed. Arthur C. Clarke, Lost Worlds of 2001 (New York: New American Library, 1972), p. 34. Campbell, p. 54. Taylor, p. 197. Lucas had used various dictionaries and name-books to come up with peculiar names, including Thesaurus, Webster’s, Penguin’s Dictionary of Surnames, Harper's Bible Dictionary and Asimov's Guide to the Bible. Kaminski, pp. 71, 526. "All I need is an idea." Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1977). The Making of Return of the Jedi, p. 1160. Richard Schickel (writer), "From Star Wars to Return of the Jedi" 20th Century Fox, Star Wars: The Complete Saga, 2011. "The Wizard of Star Wars." Staff, "The Mythology of Star Wars," BillMoyers.com, 18 June 1999. Charlie Rose interview. A Pained Lucas Ponders Attacks on 'Willow'. Alan Dundes, "Folkloristics in the Twenty-First Century," Lee Haring (editor) Grand Theory in Folkloristics (Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 2016), pp. 16–18. Richard Pollak, The Creation of Dr. B: A Biography of Bruno Bettelheim (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997). Taylor, pp. 55 ff, 74. Kaminski, p. 105. Jones, pp. 51. Ibid, p. 902. Kaminski, p. 298. Michael Appler, "Al Pacino Recalls Turning Down ‘Star Wars’ Despite ‘So Much Money,’ Jokes: ‘I Gave Harrison Ford a Career’," Variety, 20 April 2023. The role of Han - not Ben - was a prime candidate for star casting. Also considered was Burt Reynolds. Jason Guerrasio, "Burt Reynolds was such a screen icon that even the list of roles he turned down is legendary, from James Bond to Han Solo," Business Insider, 6 September 2018, Lucas has been suggesting Star Wars as a shoestring budget, little-engine-that-could since 1977, but in fact even at his bleakest, he admits he thought it could make a thrifty $16 to $25 million domestically. Fox' contract specifically states the film has "substantial domestic and international appeal." Even the rejection letters from United Artists and Universal say its a potential hit, albeit a risky one, and Chris Taylor suggests that "the fact that the lawyers kwould keep fighting over the precise details" of the merchandising deal, "shows that Fox was not as asleep at the switch we've been led to believe." (.p. 207). While the nearly $12 million budget seems modest, adjusted to inflation of USD as against British and Tunisian currency, Lucas will have gotten the equivalent of an $80 million movie in 2023 dollars out of it. Lynda Miles and Michael Pye, "The Man Who Made Star Wars", The Atlantic, March 1979. Kaminski, p. 63. "Empire of Dreams." Alex Ross, "The Force is Still Strong with John Williams," The New Yorker, 21 July 2020. Michael Heilemann, "The Origins and Inspirations of John Williams' Star Wars score," Kitbashed. Lucas and Hirsch remember using Liszt's Les Preludes and Bruckner's Ninth, but seem to be conflating them with Bride of Frankenstein (no doubt inspired by Liszt) and Dvorak's Ninth. James Buhler, “Star Wars, Music, and Myth,” James Buhler et al, Music and Cinema (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2000), p. 53 Doug Adams, "Sounds of the Empire: Analysing the themes of the Star Wars Trilogy," Lukas Kendall (Editor), Film Score Monthly, Volume 4: Number 5 (Culver: Vineyard Haven: June 1999), pp. 22-47. Jon and Al Caplan, "Sithburger?", Lukas Kendall (Editor), Film Score Monthly, 10: 3 (May/June 2005), p. 32. Conclusions Lucas main influences are Galactic Patrol (via the 1972 Panther reissue); Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars; Space Soldiers Conquer The Universe (via reruns on Super Serial), and The Hidden Fortress (largely as summarized in Richie's The Films of Akira Kurosawa). From these he took the following: From Galactic Patrol: the interplanetary setting, the concepts of the Jedi and the Force as they appear in the larger series, and much of the plot of the original film. From John Carter: Tatooine, Geonosis and Jakku. Bestiary including Banthas, Aiwhas, Wookies and especially the Ewoks and the Gungans, both of which are led by the heroes to fight against a technologically superior foe (like the Tharks against Zodanga). The premise of rescuing the princess in the original film. Removing earth from the setting. From Flash Gordon: the original impetus to make a film on this topic, some designs, stylistic elements like the wipes, the idea of a rebellion against a tyrannical overlord. From Kurosawa: Much of the plot of Episode I, and isolated plot points for Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The Japanese trappings of queen Amidala, the Tatooine robes (later Jedi robes) and Vader's helmet. From secondary sources: the urban planet, the emphasis on spacing guilds in Episodes I and II, Luke and Anakin as "Chosen Ones" (from Dune), the lightsabres, the TIE-fighters and some broad archetypes (from Harry Harrison), Luke as an "everyman" in the original film; Ben, Yoda and Qui Gon as wizard mentors, the designs of Luke's homestead, Anakin's hovel and Yoda's hut (from The Hobbit), the cloying tone of Return of the Jedi, some "Special Edition" revisions to reduce the violence in the original film, the "Long Time Ago" epigraph (from "Uses of Enchantment"), the main twist in "The Empire Strikes Back" (from Conrad Kottak's review of Star Wars), the trench run, the Germanic trappings of the Imperials and some of the spaceships (from The Dam Busters), Luke finding his dead aunt and uncle and Anakin his mother (from The Searchers). While owing a substantial debt to these sources, it would be unfair to accuse Lucas of pastiche: For as heavy a debt as he owes to Galactic Patrol, Lucas' film is quite distinct from it: Smith's book plays more like very soft science fiction, lacking the kind of fantasy trappings of Lucas' film. Likewise, one cannot watch a Flash Gordon serial, and much less a Kurosawa film and "see" Star Wars. Lucas uses from these sources in ways that benefit his film, recontextualising the elements he takes within the framework of his own story. What's more, its not clear Lucas was interested in hiding his sources entirely: many of these stories were still quite popular at the time, and anyone at all familiar with the genre would have recognised the allusions from practically the moment they sat down to watch the movie. In fact, Lucas' sources were overwhelmingly recent: either new issues of space opera periodicals, or recent reissues of genre classics, all entirely between 1969 and 1977. Even the films Lucas referenced were mostly cinema rereleases or television reruns. Also significant, I think, is the fact that much of the filmic influence of Lucas, both in terms of positive influence and in terms of showing him what he wanted to divorce himself from, comes from television: It is poetic, then, that this franchise should have now become ostensibly a television franchise. Was the film intended as a "post modern", "meta" mash-up of homages? It was certainly concieved of as knowingly retro. Lucas was 1950s kid growing up on a lot of 1940s films and comics, and he wanted to throw back to those. His early, more derivative drafts may have been intended merely to jog his imagination, and as could be expected of any filmmaker making a genre film, he did his research into the genre, not necessarily intending to make a "homage" even if he invariably ended up making one. His cinematic style, that of a 1950s Western, complements the 1940s Flash Gordon and Lensmen and 1920s (that is to, say pre-World War II) Burroughs material, and is well-helped by the 1910s-styled musical score. He certainly didn't want to be self-aware as such, and any such trends - overstated by 1977 critics - had been snuffed out of the sequels and prequels alltogether. Lucas' films are not congruent with the "high brow" spin: already in 1975, Lucas insisted to Edward Summer that there was no comic-book influence on Star Wars, and instead pointed to his interest in Campbell, and this rhetoric would intensify, particulary after 1980. The study of Lucas' sources, however, shows that this is an affectation: Even with regards to Kurosawa, while A Hidden Fortress is an excellent, well-regarded film, it is far from Kurosawa's finest or even Lucas own favourites of the Japanese filmmaker's output. Flash Gordon, Galactic Patrol and John Carter all fall on the pulpy side of things, and are more significant influences than Kurosawa and certainly then Bettelheim. Its therefore rather poetic that Star Wars had been sold to Disney of all studios, and that, after having based itself on these quixotic and comic-book-like sources, should have finally pivoted from the novelistic style that Lucas aspired to between 1980 and 2005, to a more comic-book-like picaresque style, ostensibly becoming the third major cinematic comic-book franchise alongside Marvel and DC.
  3. Hey guys, i have a fairly specific question/requests aimed at the fellow composers and score enthusiasts out there. Im in the middle of transcribing my favourite cues from the second Harry Potter movie. As soon as im happy with what i’ve figured out by ear, i like to check my transcriptions against the original score. For that purpose i’m using a version of the handwritten score by JW. But the version i’ve got (and the other ones i’ve found until now) are missing some important cues. Especially cues towards the end like „Fawkes Heals Harry“ or „Reunion of Friends“ (which are two of my absolute favorite JW cues) are missing. Does anybody know where to find these two cues in particular? I would be very, very thankful to get my hands on the score for these two! Feel free to dm me if you think you can help me out. All the best wishes from Germany!
  4. Hi, Does anyone here know how to obtain the original scores to all if not most of the Star Wars movies? I know about the Star Wars Suite for Orchestra and have checked Williams' website but it seems if all the scores have been released they're pretty obscure. I did however manage to find the full score for A New Hope. The only other thing I thought of was to contact the copyright owners, but thought it would be a good idea to check if anyone on here knows anything first. Being able to see these scores would make transcribing a piano version of the pieces much easier, since I'm aiming to get my transcription at least as close as I can get to the original, and these pieces are much more complex than the ones I'm used to transcribing. Thanks.
  5. Hello, Some time ago I made that score reductions and analysis of Yoda's Theme and The Throne Room like other scores are analyzed on FilmScoreAnalysis channel. I think that's very interesting to look and analyze some masterworks by John Williams and other composers. (New version): I'm also working on analysis of Across The Stars and I will upload it at the end of the month. If you have any ideas what to do to make my analysis better, please, tell me. 🙂 Edit: Here's Across The Stars analysis Edit 2: Here's Anakin's Theme: Edit 3: Han Solo And The Princess https://youtu.be/8lbR7n1DcKE Edit 4: The Emperor's Arrival https://youtu.be/HJXs0HP35p8 Edit 5: Leia Breaks The News Edit 6: Another Happy Landing: Edit 7: Star Of Bethlehem The Death Star Theme from Schindler's List: Ps. And if you have any ideas what score should I analyze next also please, tell me.
  6. Hello. Does someone have the orchestral scores of Sugarland Express Main Theme and Among the Clouds (from Always)? I know these scores were not officially published. Regarding Always score, I have found this, but unfortunately it isn't the complete score of the piece. Thank you in advance.
  7. Anyone else here a fan of his action/chase music? I love the musical complexity. So I'm trying to expand my John Williams library, so does anyone have any awesome selections of Williams Action cues?
  8. So we just got back from ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD and I must say... I missed the music credits due to a fake cigarette promo playing split-screen at the same time! Dang. The internet is chockablock with info about all the songs Tarantino used, but I can't find a list of all the film score bits he re-appropriated. My ears first perked up when the sound of Bernard Herrmann's TORN CURTAIN music was played prominently. Another scene, when Brad Pitt is looking in the house for George (I don't want to say too much), is underscored by some tense music. Sort of reminded me of Williams' TV music, but I suspect Williams is not hip enough for a Tarantino film. Anyone see the movie or know where a list cues can be found? Thanks.
  9. Hey, Anyone have the full orchestral score for this cue or know where I can find it? thanks Griga01
  10. None But the Brave Music Composed by John Williams A Review of the Soundtrack Album by Mikko Ojala None But the Brave is a 1965 film and one of Williams' first real dramas and a war story no less, directed by Frank Sinatra, who himself played a supporting role in the picture. It tells the story of American and Japanese soldiers, stranded on a tiny Pacific island during World War II, who have to form a temporary truce and cooperate to survive various tribulations and is told through the eyes of the American and Japanese unit commanders, who must deal with an atmosphere of growing distrust and tension between their men. Film Score Monthly released the score in 2009 for the first time, the album featuring the complete score and even some bonus material and once again credit has to be given to the FSM for their continued interest in releasing and preserving the music from earliest eras of John Williams career. It is fascinating to chart the evolution of Williams' sound and style through his early scores as what you hear is a lot of talent ready to burst into full bloom as it later does but also a sort of learning curve of a composer slowly picking up certain skills of the craft and fine tuning them. However in the case on None But the Brave there is also a good dose of maturity found here. This score exhibits many of Williams' clear stylistic tendencies and gift for melody but perhaps in a slightly reduced or muted format than in many of his later scores. On album the score forms quite a strong listening experience though perhaps requires a bit more patience than your average JW soundtrack. John Williams has always been a writer of memorable melodies and his main theme for the score certainly is a good example of this, a heroic, resolute but pensive melody often heard on solo brass but he weaves it through many orchestrational variations and uses fragments here and there to tie the score together. The film is not out to glorify war and Williams' somber theme and its rather sparse usage reflect that in an admirable way, the theme being a form of musical solace between the tragic and suspenceful elements in the music. Main Title and Kuroki's Introduction presents the main idea in an almost formal heraldic fashion, but we hear also another important idea in passing here, namely Kuroki's Japanese styled motif, very faux oriental progression on flute almost archetypical you could say, which is later explored in a more thorough fashion, the idea revealing more emotional depth later on in cues like Kuroki's Reflection and The Dream of Hope Is Ashes / Hirano's Problem. These two form the opposing musical sides of the story but in the end the composer uses the main theme for both the Americans and the Japanese, their tragedy of war itself becoming one and the same. That said the score might not feel straightforwardly and winningly melodic at first as much of the opening half of the album is focused on suspence and action writing, both reminding of the concurrently written music for Lost In Space in their certain sparseness and terseness, even though small motific ideas spin throughout to tie the pieces together. Especially the wandering fluttering woodwind motifs remind me of the aforementioned TV-series as does some more suspenceful writing for forcefully rhythmic brass and lower strings. E.g. Busy Hands / Kuroki Prepares for War / Fishing Spear, Night Adventure, Brothers in Command / The Water Hole and Waiting for Battle all feature this tense militaristic suspence and action, snare drums and muted snarling brass and rumbling woodwinds. It is interesting to note how many of these techniques, e.g. furious kinetic string and woodwind runs and tense muted brass are carried to Williams' classic scores and appear still 20 or 30 years hence. The composer also has a few chances for light comedic scoring in places and he incorporates a few traditional Japanese tunes into the underscore, often to provide lightness and humor but this also brings some variety and colour to the tone of what is otherwise mostly suspenceful and tense music. But the composer's definite dramatic sense is strong here, the emotional writing for some dire situations in the film gradually rising to truly satisfying heights but only in the latter half of the score (from Uneasy Peace / Okuda and Craddock onward) the music warms up and we hear the themes more often and in a more emotionally resonant guise culminating in the powerful and tragic The Final Fight / The Spirit Lives / End Cast, which rounds up the score on a resounding if somewhat sombre note. This progression and build-up through the album is very effective and reflects the narrative of initial hostilities turning to friendship and back to war again and slowly but surely the music reaches this final confrontation and dramatic peak and the composer makes it seem very natural from musical story telling perspective, a show of his dramatic instincts and skill in crafting a strong architecture through the score. In this score you can hear that Williams is undeniably already developing his own vocabulary and musical voice and showing great promise and he also has here a rare chance to show his dramatic talent amidst all the comedies he ended up scoring in 1960's. I would say this is a surprisingly mature and well conceived score although it might lack the immediate appeal of the Maestro's classic accessibly melodic scores with catchy main themes. But after a few listens you start to hear the intricacy of Williams' music and the more subtle thematic progression he is building. In addition to the complete score the FSM album also contains extensive and highly informative liner notes and track-by-track analysis by Jeff Eldridge and a few bonus tracks, a terrific piano rendition of the main theme by the Maestro himself, which is a worthy addition and was planned to be released as a single but got cancelled, a luau styled Hawajian radio source cue and a couple of alternate orchestrations of Kuroki's Introduction and a robust trailer version of the main theme. At the end of the album to round out the listening experience FSM included as a curiosity the only music previously released from the film, an LP single titled None But the Brave sung by Jack Halloran Singers, a rather schmaltzy affair with an equally saccharine version of Sylvia, the B-side of the single, a song version of David Raksin's theme for a movie of the same name both from 1965. A solid early dramatic score from John Williams, certainly worth the spin to his devoted fans but casual listeners might not be entirely won over by it. 3½-4 stars.
  11. Hi I'm looking for recordings of this score for my Advanced Higher Music qualification, any help would be appreciated. LINK TO COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL REMOVED BY MODERATOR
  12. Here, at JWFan there is a complete cue list that shows the complete score of JFK. Due to some comments the score is said to be already almost completely offered on the OST. But the complete cue list implies the opposite - that a mass of music is still not offered to us. So, is a substantial part of the cue list source music and that electronic stuff from another composer or is it just Williams' cues?
  13. Does anyone have a pdf copy of the book thief piano solo songbook? Also other sheet music or scores by John Williams?
  14. Okay, yes, before you call me an idiot for making a petition, be aware that I already know that. Anyway, I remember what Shawn Murphy said about complete scores for the prequels, that if there's enough outcry for them, maybe Lucasfilm would consider it. Well, I though, perhaps a petition could help boost that outcry. I see petitions for crap all the time on Facebook, and they seem to be doing well. So, I though, why not? Maybe it could gain some degree of popularity with JW fans, and maybe it would show Lucasfilm that people do in fact want more music. So if you have the time, please consider signing the petition below, and don't forget to spread the word! That is, unless, you hate John Williams. https://www.change.org/p/lucasfilm-release-complete-soundtracks-for-star-wars-episodes-2-3
  15. Hi! I'm a newcomer to this website / forums, but a life-long John Williams fan. I'm a writer from Monterrey, México. And just like everyone else in these forums, I grew up listening to Mr. Williams' work. Last month I received a government grant to produce a short film (I'll direct, I'll leave the producer credit to braver people). It's a big deal for my team and myself, since it's a federal-funded grant which we won through a rigorous process. We already have a talented composer on our team, but: To make a long story short: I'd like to contact Mr. Williams to see if he'd be interested in scoring (or composing a theme) for my short film. I know it's a long shot, I know how busy he must be, and all the time-frame and legal hoops that stand in the way. But just in case, just in case he'd be interested in scoring (or composing just a theme) for a professional, magical-realism short film to be produced in Mexico come January 2017... ...What would be the best way to contact him? To present my query to his manager or representative. That is, besides the physical address already listed on this site (which I'm already writing to). I'm open to all suggestions and help. Thank you, everyone!
  16. I have recently endeavored on a project to listen through all of the Star Wars soundtracks and pull out the popular leitmotifs present within the films, ones like "Across the Stars", "The Main Title", or "The Force Theme". In order to do this I need to be able to listen to the complete scores for all 6 of the movies, ones that are movie accurate. The extended editions for all of the originals and the Ultimate Edition TPM soundtrack work just fine, but the Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and Force Awakens scores are highly edited and extremely lacking. This is particularly prominent in the Attack of the Clones soundtrack, where I find listings of all the musical cues but never the songs themselves. I looked around and saw that people have created their own soundtracks that play just as it is in the movie but I haven't been able to get my hands on them, so I would be very appreciative if someone with more experience than I could supply me with the complete scores for these movies: Attack of the Clones Revenge of the Sith The Force Awakens But with particular emphasis on Attack of the Clones. Thanks!
  17. Whats everyone's favorite album releases - new or old - that came out this year? With the exception of not hearing The Force Awakens yet, my three favorites (in order from "least" to "greatest") are LLL's Millennium Volume 2 (Mark Snow), Varese's Jupiter Ascending (Michael Giacchino) and Intrada's Killing Season (Christopher Young).
  18. Here is an arrangement of the themes from both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World for 7 violins. Hope you enjoy!
  19. Here is a result of quite a few years of on and off writing as I have continually added material from new observations, fan discussions and ideas and several revelations from Doug Adams into the text. I offer first the thematic analysis of the score with the track-by-track analysis of the Special Edition soundtrack album coming later. As always comments and observations, improvement and addition suggestions are most welcome. Thanks to all the fine folks here and elsewhere for your insight and help in parsing through these magnificent scores: KK, Jay, Georg, Faleel, BloodBoal, Barnald and all others! The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Music composed, conducted and orchestrated by Howard Shore An Analysis of the Special Edition of the Soundtrack Album by Mikko Ojala The Movie In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. These words begin the classic children’s novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien, a work that has now been adapted into a motion picture trilogy by director Peter Jackson and his film making crew. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, first instalment in a trilogy of films, opened in mid-December 2012 to much anticipation from the fans of Tolkien and his beloved novels and also the film buffs, who first fell in love with Middle-earth and its multitude of characters with the award and audiences winning Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Nearly a decade has passed since the last journey to these mythical times and lands with Return of the King and audiences were expecting the new Hobbit films to capture the same vibrancy, sense of grandeur and scope as its predecessors that have established themselves as the modern classics of the fantasy film genre. The enormous box office winnings did indeed indicate massive interest from the movie going public for this new outing to Middle-earth although the critical reception varied from tentatively positive praising the actors, visual grandeur and production design to lukewarm and negative with the new high frame rate 3D, the lack of emotional resonance, slow pacing, overt humour, episodic nature of the film and stretching of the story of the novel too thin and adding extraneous elements meant to tie The Hobbit together with LotR mentioned as the worst offenders. During the award season of 2013 the film was mostly left without accolades outside the effects and production design department. The story of The Hobbit is set 60 years before the events of the Lord of the Rings and focuses on Bilbo Baggins, at first an ordinary stay-at-home Hobbit, a model of a country gentleman, who is thrust into an adventure by a wandering wizard Gandalf, who arrives one day with 13 dwarves in tow and coaxes the timid halfling from the comforts of his hobbit hole into the wide world and on a Quest to retake the dwarven kingdom of Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, from a monstrous dragon Smaug the Golden, who had pillaged it more than a century before and is rumoured to guard its wealth still. Bilbo encounters all kind of dangers and marvels on the road and in the Wilderland on his way to the far-off mountain in the East and will learn that he might not be as timid and soft as he thought himself to be and finds the qualities that the wizard Gandalf the Grey saw underneath the gentle exterior of the Hobbit, simple courage, loyalty, quick wit and the heart of a hero. The movie features an impressive cast: Martin Freeman famed for his comedic roles and most recently for his work as John Watson in the retelling of exploits of the world's greatest consulting detective in Sherlock stars as the young Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellen returns to reprise his role as Gandalf the Grey along with the Lord of the Rings veterans Ian Holm (old Bilbo Baggins), Hugo Weaving (Elrond), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) and Christopher Lee (Saruman). We also meet an entire troupe of new faces, namely the 13 dwarves led by the proud and heroic dwarven prince in exile Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), his old and wise right hand warriors Balin (Ken Stott) and Dwalin (Graham McTavish) and young heroic brothers Fili and Kili (Aidan Turner and Dean O’Gorman) to name only a few of the ensemble cast. Other returning film makers from the Lord of the Rings team are the screen writers/producers Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh, artists and concept designers John Howe and Alan Lee, production designer Dan Hennah and the director of photography Andrew Lesnie and virtually armies of extras, special effects people and craftsmen (and apparently half of New Zealand) again taking part in the giant effort of creating these films. The Composer Also, most would say inevitably, returning was the composer Howard Shore, whose contributions to the Lord of the Rings were an integral part of the fabric of these films and has since become a phenomenon in and on itself. The composer seemed to capture in his previous trilogy of scores exactly the right tone and style for Tolkien’s creation. Shore built a highly dense yet fluid leitmotific work with which to address the story, not only expressing the sheer emotional breadth and spectacle of the tale but also the multifaceted subtext of Tolkien’s complex imaginary world, offering a wide ranging musical mirror to the author’s work, that helped the audiences to immerse themselves in this epic tale and resonated outside the cinemas and has in the intervening years become a musical event, the live projections of the trilogy with orchestra and chorus played to packed houses and a symphony culled from its themes frequently heard in concert halls around the world. As the rumours of the new trilogy of films began to circulate, Shore mentioned in interviews that he was very much anticipating another adventure in Middle-earth as he had read Tolkien’s works as a 20-year old and rediscovered the novel during the scoring of the trilogy and had always held a deep affection for Tolkien’s world and writings, especially sharing the author’s keen love of the natural world. Finally the legions of the composer’s fans sighed with relief when he was officially announced as the composer of the pair of Hobbit films in 2012, although one could hardly imagine anyone taking up the mantle from him. Shore seemed to be destined to complete his epic Ring cycle with two full scores. But soon it was announced that there would be three films as there was such abundance of material written and shot that it would require three movies to tell the whole story. So as another trilogy awaited the composer, undoubtedly an epic undertaking in every sense of the word given his previous success, the fans were waiting with with growing anticipation for new musical bounties. The Score The new score presented Shore a challenge and opportunity that must have been as similar as it was different from what had come before in the Lord of the Rings. The approach was once again to be Wagnerian with multitude of leitmotifs leading, enhancing and supporting the narrative as they had done for the previous trilogy. The new tale needed of course new themes for a whole plethora of concepts, the novel a rich inspiration and source for possible central musical ideas. The story is set in the same Middle-earth, only 60 years prior to the world changing events of Tolkien’s magnum opus, and as a children’s book The Hobbit is tonally much lighter, innocent and whimsical than its “sequel”. With the new films Peter Jackson certainly created a movie saga somewhat lighter in some respects than its predecessors, humour, comedy and playfulness holding upper hand for surprisingly long stretches at a time and so the music would have to follow suit, creating a good humoured, bubbly and sprightly tone for the adventure of a wizard, an accident prone band of dwarves and one fussy, nervous and out-of-his-element Hobbit. On the other hand there is a more serious and darker strain running through these films that gradually builds over the trilogy as the movie makers also sought to connect this new trilogy tonally with The Lord of the Rings. And thus the foreboding mysteries surrounding the growing darkness in the world and the dangerous enemy that is hunting the dwarves and their leader Thorin in particular demanded appropriately brooding, aggressive and doom laden musical signatures presaging the solemnity and resoundingly dramatic approach of the Lord of the Rings. One interesting aspect pointed out by the film makers and Howard Shore himself is, that the film is nestled in the The Lord of the Rings, existing both inside and outside the larger story, as it opens with the older Bilbo writing his memoirs There and Back Again at Bag End on the eve of his 111th birthday, which is the starting point of The Fellowship of the Ring. This offers an interesting position for a composer to work forward and backward through his musical storytelling. In addition to writing new thematic material (of which there is a large collection) Shore wisely and logically employs in his thematic structure his well established themes for several places and characters from The Lord of the Rings that make reappearance in this new trilogy. The scores for The LotR were strongly focused on the different cultures of Middle-earth and the music of the Hobbit trilogy continues with the same philosophy with Shore now expanding the palette into new areas as the characters and the audiences encounter uncharted places, lands and people on this cinematic journey.The old leitmotifs from Lord of the Rings work both as musical call backs that impart a sense of familiarity and certain a dose of nostalgia, drawing the audiences comfortably back into the world of Middle-earth and also represent certain unchanging elements in this story and in part create a continuity between the trilogies. Likewise this story within a story allows Shore to expose the roots and origins of some of his musical ideas, giving him an opportunity to develop or establish the history of his grand musical architecture in The Hobbit films and to foreshadow The Lord of the Rings with his new music in a satisfying way. And while Shore’s score does all this, walking a fine line between familiar and fresh, it retains an established soundscape but naturally expands upon its foundations and explores interesting new avenues and uncharted ways in the musical Middle-earth. The Last Minute Changes in the Post Production Peter Jackson has stated in a number of interviews that scoring the first film of this new trilogy was to him the hardest, because it contained so many familiar elements to it, which required a lot of references to the old thematic ideas for quite a number of well-known characters, events and locales the film was revisiting. The director gives the impression that he and composer Shore were somewhat tied down by the old call backs and that the music could not contain much new elements as the audience had to be eased back into the world of Middle-earth. While this might be partially true, Shore's original concepts which are represented on the soundtrack albums seem to be very clear and precise and he created a lot of new material that was either completely new and original or musically derived and grew organically from the previous themes featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In the final film the score compared to the earlier version locked down for the soundtracks is much different, stemming probably from Peter Jackson's and the film makers' difficulties in defining which elements of the story would need new thematic representations and which should be again depicted by the well established themes from the previous films. Naturally film making is a collaborative and organic process and sometimes you can't know what will work with the film and what will not until you see the sight and sound put together and this might well have happened with the first Hobbit film despite careful preparation begun well beforhand the scoring sessions. One major change that certainly affected the music was the sudden decision to divide the films not into two but three parts, which must have caused furious recutting (and partial reshooting) of the first film that necessitated revision of the music as well. The original version of AUJ was to end well into the Wilderland with the Forest River chase in Mirkwood but when two films became three, the structure of the narrative was revised and a new ending was devised for the first film. The Special Edition soundtrack album has some vestiges of this in the bonus tracks where we have evidence of one particular scene from original film 1 that was moved to film 2. This is the music for Gandalf's visit to the High Fells in Rhudaur (titled Edge of the Wild on the album) which was then moved to film 2 and rescored in the process. But undoubtedly this shift affected the scoring process in other ways as well. It is normal for the film makers to re-evaluate the film and its post production aspects continually and this process usually stretches to the final minute when Peter Jackson's epics are concerned, but with An Unexpected Journey it seemed to go on for unusually long. The collaboration between Shore and Jackson was very close on Lord of the Rings and Jackson himself was present at the recording sessions in London during the hectic post production schedule of these massive films. The film makers had with the previous trilogy revised the meaning of scenes through the change of music and thematic content a number of times when the film seemed to need something else, either more or less from the music, and this is very normal procedure when the composer and the director are conforming the music to the images at the recording sessions. Such recording session collaboration took place with the AUJ in a normal fashion with Peter Jackson present in London to hear Shore record his score with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Voices while also conducting the postproduction process in New Zealand. This time however it seems that the whole initial concept of providing specific music for the character of hobbit Bilbo Baggins was replaced almost entirely by variations on the previously composed Shire themes. The soundtrack album testifies this as many scenes with Bilbo's new themes were at the centre of the musical meaning and subtext but in the end Jackson and his team came to the conclusion that many of these moments needed to give emphasis to the nature of hobbits rather that specifically to the nature of Bilbo and thus this meant Shore had to entirely rewrite the music for those scenes. And if this was not enough many of the revised pieces were modelled very closely to the pieces written for The Lord of the Rings mirroring their outline and contour in orchestrations and content, making it sound like they were in fact not new music at all but re-recordings of previous compositions from Lord of the Rings or as some speculated simply tracked (using existing music from another source) from the soundtracks of those films. Same fate befell the music for the eccentric wizard Radagast the Brown whose music was toned down significantly. One could speculate that this musical material was too colourful, too prominent and too intricate. Perhaps they discovered also this during the scoring process when looking at the pictures with the finished film so Shore's layered and multi-part thematic constructs were severely streamlined. The final bigger revision and rewriting was done for the finale of the film, where Shore's original music was largely replaced by a series of call backs to the old themes and moments from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the director obviously struggling hard to try to define the tone and meaning of the film through musical choices up to the last minute. The last choral sessions that finished the recording process ended at the end of November only a few weeks before the December premiere of the film at Wellington. While such musical changes are everyday occurrence in films and film music business, they are no less unfortunate in the light of how interesting and downright beautiful Shore's initial unused concepts were. But luckily we can enjoy them all on the soundtrack album for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The Themes of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey As mentioned above The Hobbit continues firmly on the established musical path of the Lord of the Rings, Shore approaching this first instalment of the new trilogy and the beginning of the eventual six film series as a part of a grand leitmotific opus. Highly thematic, blazingly dramatic and as colourful and complex as its predecessors, the score for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a carefully built and intelligent piece yet retains the same melodically lyrical and directly resonate emotionalism that made Lord of the Rings such a success. As mentioned above the musical focus on the different cultures of Middle-earth, which was so emblematic to the LotR scores, is again present here and the dwarven culture is now given, through the 13 protagonists, a major spotlight not only in the film but also in the music without forgetting other elements of the story, the hobbits, the world of the elves, forces of Evil, the Wizards and the Nature itself. And as with The Lord of the Rings Shore not only paints the cultures with a multitude of themes but he also establishes specific instrumental colours and orchestral techniques for each of them. Another noteworthy aspect in these scores theme-wise is how many character themes Shore has composed for the new trilogy. The composer has often spoken of how he writes his thematic material partly inspired by the book and its ideas and obviously the text spoke to him on this character level, of the need for individual themes for important individuals. Shore not only creates single themes for these people but assigns some of them several to denote their different aspects throughout the story and to reflect their character growth. Bilbo, Thorin, Gandalf and Radagast all have their own prominent themes in AUJ and we can hear this approach expanding with each new film with new characters central to the plot making apperances. Similarly Shore's cultural themes that were relatively isolated in the Lord of the Rings start in the Hobbit scores to travel and interact and forge connections as the dwarven company crosses the strange lands and meets all manner of creatures and races. Thus e.g. elven music and dwarven music come to share certain characteristics although they are initially drawn with a very culture specific musical brush. Some subtle hints of this appear already in An Unexpected Journey but this development becomes more and more prevalent in the sequels. The Dwarves: Shore expands the dwarven musical world significantly in this new trilogy. The musical structures that were previously heard only in isolation in Moria and in the weighty orchestrations that followed Gimli in LotR are now further explored and expanded. The musical ideas still retain the stoic, proud and steadfast progressions established for the dwarven race but now gain a living, breathing energy as the themes travel through the musical landscapes of the story. Still there is a lingering sense of antiquity to the Dwarven music and as this is a culture very much in decline at the opening of the first film it is often sombre and melancholy nature. Erebor Doug Adams describes this motif in his liner notes for the Special Edition of the soundtrack album as proud and compact figure rising in three horn calls (A-C: A-D: A-E). This thematic motto aptly depicts the wealthy, proud and powerful dwarven kingdom of Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, the shape of the musical figure ever rising upwards like the solitary peak itself, while the lower brass and string figures gracefully form its more sombre downward slope. The Erebor theme also possesses some of the unyielding spirit of the dwarven race in its stubbornly rising progression that sings out their defiant heroism. But it feels oddly incomplete and although it is a heroic exclamation, it also becomes like an ever haunting and obsessive memory for the leader of the dwarven company, Thorin Oakenshield, as vengeance upon Smaug and reclaiming of the kingdom burn ever in his mind, a yearning call of home and lost glories. At other times the Erebor Theme transforms into a heroic call to action for the entire dwarven company, rising with resolute vigour amidst the battle and remains one of the most constant elements of the dwarven thematic family throughout the three films, as the ever present memory their mountain kingdom that springs Thorin's company to action. Thorin Oakenshield A noble and longingly developing melodic line paints a thoughtful, proud and slightly melancholic image of the dwarven prince in exile, the music capturing the inherent heroism, resilience and will but also the sorrow he carries for his people and their lost realm and his duty as the prince of the noble house of Durin and the Longbeard dwarves. The theme develops in a very Dwarvish fashion yet contains more warmth and direct emotionality than the often stoic music of race. Doug Adams mentions in his liner notes that the theme’s opening contains the same stepwise motion as the Shire theme, linking Thorin’s fate together with Bilbo’s but also with the larger canvas of Free Peoples of Middle-earth, whose themes are generally built on the whole step progressions in Lord of the Rings. Thorin’s own thematic material is seamlessly wedded to Erebor’s rising figure, the exiled king and his realm indelibly linked to one another, the roots of the prince’s theme actually derived from Erebor’s. Suffering of Durin's Folk (Dwarven Suffering) A weary and grim gradually rising and falling arpeggio motif seems to revolve around the exile and subsequent degradation of the fortunes of the people of Erebor and Durin's folk and relates to the dwarven suffering and fate. It also ties strong with horin’s sense of pride and honour and often stubborn unbending will and Thorin's obstinate way of keeping of grudges born out of the endured injustice and suffering. This music is first encountered when after Smaug’s ruthless assault the young dwarf lord leads his people with his father and grandfather from the smoking ruin of Erebor into their long exile and calls in vain for the Wood Elves and their king Thranduil for help, the whole Elven race earning his eternal enmity for abandoning the dwarves in their hour of need. The theme also seems to illustrate Thorin’s duty as the heir of the Lonely Mountain and his regret for the exile of Durin’s folk and longing for their lost realm. This figure bears resemblance to the arpeggiated rising and falling figures of Weakness and Redemption motif introduced and frequently threaded into the musical fabric of Lord of the Rings and it also appeared in those scores inside several themes (e.g. Rivendell, Gollum) and at moments of defeat and sudden fortuitous turn of events as the main characters either fell to temptation or weakness or rose to victory over arduous odds, often not defeating an enemy in the process but rather their own weaknesses. The arpeggiating line also draws connections to the elven music as Shore typical to Hobbit scores starts to blur the musical lines between the cultures and here reflects Thorin's frustration over the elves' inaction and refusal to help with a long more elegant figure usually outside the dwarves' musical vocabulary. The Arkenstone (The Map and the Key) Arkenstone, the Heart of the Mountain, the most prized heirloom and treasure of the kings of Erebor, a multifaceted and magically radiant white jewel very fittingly earns in Doug Adams's words a glowing choral cluster and a stately string line in B Minor that exudes almost supernatural ethereal awe and light of its own. This motif is further developed in the sequels but in this score the tentatively introduced idea shows still only a fleeting glimpse of its true meaning and musical form. In AUJ this this same figure seems also to be linked to the key and the map that Gandalf hands down to Thorin, a gift from his late father Thráin. These two heirlooms become an integral part of the plan of the dwarves to get into the Lonely Mountain and Shore musically foreshadows their significance in winning back the kingdom of Erebor and links them to the central role Arkenstone will play in the subsequent films. These two artefacts will enable Thorin and his company to reclaim the Arkenstone for their purpose of uniting their brethren from four corners of the world. House of Durin The central dwarven thematic idea of The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies, the theme for the House of Durin makes its initial disguised major mode variation in the opening and closing sequences of An Unexpected Journey. This noble, dignified yet introspective theme is a musical hybrid that combines the attributes of both Thorin’s and Erebor’s themes, creating a longing climbing figure that speaks of the dwarven prince’s yearning for his home, the loss that the race of Erebor has endured and the unbending nobility of the dwarven company as they attempt to retake their former home. Shore makes a connection between the dwarven culture of Moria and Erebor with this theme, both grandest dwellings of the House of Durin as the theme is in part modelled after the faded glory of the Dwarrowdelf theme. It marks Thorin’s noble heritage as the heir to the throne of the Longbeard dwarves and fittingly opens the whole story of the Hobbit with a musical hint at the central element of the plot, Thorin Oakenshield and his dwarven company that sets Bilbo on his fateful Quest. It will later take on a nobler guise as the company nears Erebor but here in AUJ it is still just a musical hint of its coming prominence. Misty Mountains This theme starts as a piece of diegetic music, a song sung by the dwarves at Bag End, the lyrics adapted from Tolkien’s poem Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold, which is derived directly from the novel itself and tells of the glory of the dwarven kingdom, the dragon’s sudden attack on Erebor, the kingdom’s subsequent fall and of the noble venture of returning to the Lonely Mountain one day to wrest it all back from Smaug. The melody of the song was not composed by Howard Shore but by a New Zealand based group of musicians called Plan 9 (David Donaldson, David Long, Steve Roche, Janet Roddick and Stephen Gallagher), who handled all the diegetic music (music heard from an on-screen sound source, such as a song or instrument played by a character) for The Lord of the Rings trilogy and again for The Hobbit films. As the song had to be performed by the actors in the opening scenes at Bag End at the start of the An Unexpected Journey, Plan 9 composed it well in advance of the shooting. According to the members of Plan 9 they initially conceived several different melodies for the film makers to choose from and the final version now heard in the film emerged slowly as the clear favourite of Peter Jackson and his team. This piece also appeared in the early teaser trailer of An Unexpected Journey and gained wide popularity (including cover versions made for myriad instruments) in the internet prior to the film's release and in part created anticipation for the film. It is likely that the warm welcome of this theme and its hummable memorable nature also affected the way it was later incorporated into the actual film score. After the song’s initial appearance at Bag End in the film it migrates into variety of orchestral settings as Howard Shore integrates it into his score and it becomes a resolute thematic motto for Thorin’s company, a call to adventure and a symbol of the Quest itself. It signals the dwarven heroism and fighting spirit and follows the progress of their journey and appears at important junctions to sing out their valiant resolve to attaining their goal. This theme could be compared to the Fellowship of the Ring Theme from Lord of the Rings in its usage and style in the film, the melody fulfilling a similar role in this musical narrative and provides the audience with a melodic hook that helps them to relate to the dwarves. Doug Adams makes this mention on his blog on 26th of August in 2013: “Plan 9 composed their theme specifically to fit in with Shore's concept of Dwarvish music, so naturally it fit well in his new score. It was a lovely way to tie everything together in terms of diegetic/non-diegetic music.” This motif comes to represent the initial optimism and heroism of the dwarven company, a familiar song of hope and resolve that slowly fades as the characters cross into the true Wilderland beyond the Misty Mountains. In a late 2013 Tracksounds.com podcast interview Doug Adams recounts that the film makers felt that this change or disappearance of the comforting leading motif would emphasize the danger, urgency and uncertainty of the second leg of the journey in the sequel, The Desolation of the Smaug, where Bilbo and his companions end up facing darker and deadlier perils before reaching the Lonely Mountain. Thus the Misty Mountains Theme is confined to the opening chapter of the story, its progression stopping at the edge of the very mountains the song title refers to. Ancient Enemies A thematic identification for the enmity between the dwarves and orcs but also specifically of Thorin and Azog that runs deep indeed. Used initially in the flashback to the gates of Moria where the grievous final battle of the War of Dwarves and Orcs took place (Azanulbizar in Khuzdûl) where young Thorin confronts Azog the Orc king of Moria and hews off his arm, turning the tide of the battle and rallying the dwarves to him. The primarily dwarven theme of chanting voices evokes the fatal unyielding spirit of the conflict while the melody advances stoically in almost staccato stanzas for male chorus and orchestra. Shore reprises this motif with even more furious drive during the final conflict in the Battle of the Five Armies as the old enemies are once again pitted against one another in single combat. The Dwarf Lords This is actually one of the early abandoned concepts for one of the dwarven themes that was never fully incorporated into the first score and subsequently abandoned. A bold and victorious melody that seems to speak of the inherent nobility of the dwarven race and their heroic stature and by its first and only appearance in AUJ Shore seems to connect this melody with the dwarf lords and the Seven Houses of the Dwarves. The openly optimistic burnished brass and marching strings call out proud and defiant but the theme seems also to denote the dreams of grand alliances and dwarven race returning to its former greatness. Even though there is certain uncharacteristic liveliness in the flowing progression of the idea it still clings to the rising structures and angular forms of the dwarven musical world. NOTE: As said above The Dwarf Lords theme is used only once in An Unexpected Journey when Dwalin mentions Thorin and the council of the dwarven families and can be heard in an expanded concertized form on the bonus track Dwarf Lords but it was never used since in these scores. None of this material pertaining to the dwarf lords theme appears in the The Desolation of Smaug but in the last movie The Battle of the Five Armies Shore creates a new thematic idea, Daín Ironfoot's theme, which shares the same optimistic and lively heroic character while never actually quoting this earlier concept in any way but in stylistic sense. Returning Themes Moria/Dwarves (Dwarven Fifths) The music of the dwarves first isolated in Moria in Lord of the Rings, the deep male voices chanting, the rising perfect fifths and the at times harsh and sometimes finely chiselled arching musical structures return in The Hobbit as part of the larger dwarven musical culture, not confined to Khazad-dûm anymore. While this musical idea is featured prominently in the flashback sequence of the battle of Azanulbizar at the gates of Moria it now assumes a more active role of a living rather than a past culture, the predominantly male choral music blooming into dramatic and heroic heights during the journey as Shore musically charts the course of the dwarven history and of our heroes. The rising perfect fifths start to appear with more frequency as well throughout the score to accompany our 13 dwarven protagonists at many turns. The Shire & the Hobbits The Shire and its inhabitants are 60 years before the tumultuous events of LotR much as they have always been: peaceful, quiet and lovers of everything that is green and good in the world. For Hobbits and their homeland Shore reprises his familiar music from Lord of the Rings, the verdant warmth of the Shire theme in different settings returning very much undiminished, the Hobbit music offering a solid appealing emotional anchor in Middle-earth. The music also bridges the gap between the frame story of Bilbo writing his memoirs and the adventures of his younger incarnation in the present Hobbit’s Tale. But Shore does not rely solely on the older themes for the Shire to underscore the new adventure and thus Bilbo Baggins’ younger days receive several brand new themes of their own, derived in part from the original Shire material but gradually covering new ground as our reluctant hero makes his way through the story and finds new dimensions to his character. Bilbo’s Adventure This optimistically ascending melody is best heard at 0:15 in the whistle in "The World is Ahead" relates to Bilbo's adventure in a form of A-B-C#-E-E-G#-G#-A-E-C#-E-D as Doug Adams mentions in his blog regarding Bilbo’s multiple thematic ideas. It is a courageous but gentle music depiction of Bilbo’s burgeoning heroism, which grows from small roots in the Shire and can only grow in significance as he travels farther into the wide world to see its wonders. The leaping melody is presented a few key times in the movie at such points where our small protagonist is made to show his true quality. It begins heavily informed by the musical contour of the Shire material but soon links itself with the dwarven musical world as the hobbit joins their company and begins the quest of Erebor with them. This music relates to Bilbo as much as it does to the dwarves and so Shore unites the Shire Theme’s stepwise melodies with the stoic and proud dwarven rising figures to create a motif that speaks to both. In the film this melody is heard only briefly, probably initially planned to reserve its true heroism and resolute excitement for the sequels. It sings for Bilbo’s initial enthusiasm to set out on an exotic quest on solo tin whistle and horn and makes few noble heroic appearances towards the end of the film and and can be heard in a boisterously heroic form in full orchestra in a concertized form on the track called Erebor, where bagpipes further add a clear Celtic dimension to the joined venture of the Hobbit and 13 Dwarves. NOTE: This theme was in the end toned down in the sequels and makes few subtler appearances throughout The The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies but never again gains the fully exciting heroic tone we glimpse in An Unexpected Journey. It has been speculated that this theme is actually Shore's answer to the Misty Mountains, a theme for Bilbo and Thorin Oakenshield and his company yet it is certainly sounds to my ears more tied to the Shire than to Ered Luin in its style but few hints of Shore utilizing it in the place of the Misty Mountais theme in alternate passages that found their way onto the soundtrack suggest it might well have been meant as his own heroic main theme for the company. Bilbo Baggins Bilbo Baggins, our stalwart if much of the time out of his depth protagonist is a model of a country squire, but he has Tookish blood in his veins, an adventurous streak that he didn’t even know was there, until it is awakened by the arrival of Gandalf and Thorin’s company. Shore treats this duality of his character with a two-part theme, one phrase calling him back to the comforts and peace of his beloved green Shire and the other drawing him inevitably to adventure. Doug Adams refers to this pair of thematic phrases a “theme-and-a-half”, which is a good way to describe this theme with dual purpose. a) Dreaming of Bag End The opening part of Bilbo’s Theme is a lovely and gentle extension of the Shire’s stepwise writing, lyrical, nostalgic yet thoughtful, full of the deep rooted Hobbit wisdom, ever calling Bilbo back to Bag End on his adventures. The melody at its mid-point bears some resemblance to the form of the Bilbo’s Song from the end of the Return of the King in its beautiful and involved lyrical emotionalism, perhaps the most sophisticated part of the Shire’s musical world. b)The Tookish Side Bilbo’s timid peace loving façade hides a secret wish for excitement and adventure. Here the Shire material after an introspective and mature bridge section arches ever higher in yearning, perhaps for adventure, perhaps for heroism, with leaping intervals and stout confident tone as Doug Adams states in his liner notes. It is this tug that finally leads Bilbo away from the comforts of home and to great deeds on his way to Erebor. NOTE: This musical idea was all but removed in the first film and the film makers replaced most renditions heard in the movie itself with various variations of the Shire theme (A Hobbit's Understanding or the Hymn Setting mostly). This was perhaps due the shifts in the way the movie makers wanted to emphasize subtexts in the film, the replacements favouring the musical depictions of the hobbits and their qualities as a race instead of singling out Bilbo specifically. Furthermore the sequel The Desolation of Smaug saw very subtle further variations on these ideas so it could be construed that Peter Jackson and Howard Shore considered Bilbo's material perhaps too mature and too well developed and independent from the Shire theme and its variations to be applicable to his character in the first two films. The Battle of Five Armies shows us the end of the journey of this maturation of the character and this musical theme makes very veiled and disguised appearances there but in the end the film makers preferred to employ the Shire theme and its various setting for him so you could say they largely discarded the notion of individual themes for Bilbo Baggins himself as a character. But we can enjoy Bilbo's beautiful and thoughtfully constructed music through the soundtrack album of the An Unexpected Journey where it is used quite extensively. Bilbo’s Antics (Fussy Bilbo) Bilbo’s fussy and out-of-his-element side is depicted by a dancing waltz-melody and rhythm that underscores his more awkward attempts to adjust to a life of an adventurer and the sudden change of his comfortable life in the Shire when the dwarves whisk him off to an adventure. There is a haltingly humorous and off-kilter quality to the theme, mirroring Bilbo’s doubts about the whole Quest and depicting his comical reaction to his rowdy travelling companions at Bag End and on the road to the East. It functions as a comedic theme throughout the first film and parts of the second but disappears by the third movie as Bilbo returns home a changed hobbit. The quirky folk tune like melody itself dances a bit uncertainly over the waltz rhythms often conjuring an unbalanced feel, Bilbo threatening to topple with his music under the sudden new responsibilities. This motif to my mind draws a connection to a pair of rather comedic rascals, Merry and Pippin, whose own humorous and a bit dangerous escapades earned the Hobbit Antics setting of the Shire Theme in The Two Towers. Doug Adams adds that this type of writing is seldom used in The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, the certain level of contrapuntal sophistication mostly out of bounds of Shire’s simple musical motifs. Returning Themes The Shire (The Rural Setting) The Shire is much as it has ever been with its peaceful way of life, which the sprightly Rural setting of the Shire theme conjures with vivid accuracy in the music the gait of the unhurried and homely life, the steady heartbeat of the Shire. The Shire (The Pensive Setting) This serene and bucolic setting of the Shire theme also accompanies the opening scenes in the Shire and provides the title card of the film its warm glow, the deep rooted warmth and gentleness of the idea again providing level headed Hobbit sense to our smallest of heroes on his way in the wide world and even offering comfort to Gandalf in his moments of doubt. The Hobbit Outline Figure & the Hobbit End Cap The rhythmic Shire accompaniment figures return in this score and once again follow the life of the Hobbits in the Shire and hurry along Bilbo’s awkward capering when the dwarves invade his abode but the End Cap figure does travel with Bilbo further afield when he goes on his adventure. A Hobbit’s Understanding The simple wisdom of the Hobbits and the courage that springs from it guides Bilbo even when he is thrust in the middle of events far greater than he is and the wizard Gandalf also teaches him some worthy lessons along the way and so A Hobbit’s Understanding appears again at the most pivotal moments of decision in the story as our small hero shows his mettle, the gentle and honest way of life of the Shire, Hobbit nature and Gandalf’s wise words guiding his actions. The Shire Skip-Beat This motif illustrating the hobbits at their most boisterous, playful and energetic follows Bilbo's exploits through the first part of his journey and adds a musical spring into his step especially in the opening scenes in the Shire weaving through Bag Eng as Bilbo tries to wrangle his rowdy dwarven guests. The Elves: Howard Shore represents the elven cultures of Middle-earth with their unchanging musical idioms, both Rivendell and Lothlorien themes appearing in their most traditional forms, still unaffected by the coming War of the Ring and the tides of the Age, taking the guise they had when the listener first encountered them in Fellowship of the Ring. Both themes exude almost youthful grace in their original settings, the composer capturing in The Hobbit their original sense of wonder and mysticism and expanding upon it. Also a fleeting hint of the music of the Elves of the Woodland Realm is introduced in the first score, choral voices subtly introducing a central theme of the sequels in the prologue of the first film. The Woodland Realm The Elves of the Woodland Realm of Mirkwood appear fleetingly in the prologue of the film and here Shore has a chance to introduce an embryonic form of their music. Thranduil, the king of the Wood Elves and his followers are underscored by a slightly exotic Eastern tinged female choir phrase but it disappears almost as soon as it entered, offering a tantalizing hint of things to come. This music seems to reflect the general aesthetics of the Elven music with its clear lined, flowing and lyrical approach and the Eastern musical inflections that inform the ancient cultures of Middle-earth such as Lorien and Mordor also appear in the theme for the Woodland Realm. Although its appearance is a mere fleeting glimpse, this leitmotif becomes one of the central themes of The The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies as the wood elves play a large role in that part of the story. Returning Themes Rivendell Imladris the refuge of the Elves, the Last Homely House West of the Sea, is still unchanged at the time of The Hobbit and Shore brings back the glowing, majestic and nearly jubilant tones of the Rivendell Theme, this time perhaps even more sumptuous than before, female choir, tolling bells and harp glissandi expressing wonder and beauty, while the Elven arpeggios rise and fall in a calming and reassuring fashion as Elrond welcomes the company to the refuge of Rivendell. This is music of a vigorous and vibrant culture but slowly the arpeggio lines receive a patina of melancholy and darker cast seems to forebode the growing evil in the land, the theme becoming more subdued and serious as the White Council convenes, the orchestration favouring lower registers and fragmented readings of the theme. It also crosses paths with the dwarven music as Elrond, a renowned lore-master, aids the company in deciphering the mystery of the Moon Runes and in this fashion helps them on their quest. Lothlorien Galadriel, the Lady of Lorien, takes part in the White Council's meeting and she is introduced by the more exotic of the Elven themes. The mystical glow of the Middle Eastern maqam hijaz scale suggesting the theme seemingly radiates from her persona, the ethereal presence of Galadriel earning a choral incantation of the material complemented by the specialty instruments and orchestrations emblematic of her realm and culture. Later a beautiful lyrical woodwind setting of the Lorien Theme underscores her discussions with Mithrandir, to whom she offers her support over Saruman the White. Necromancer and the Forces of Evil And what would our heroes be without their opposing force, which in this story is represented by a multitude of threats. First there is the shadowy figure of the Necromancer, a mysterious sorcerer who has set up his lair in an old fortress of Dol Guldur in Mirkwood, and is now spreading his corrupting evil influence upon the forest and the world from his awful dwelling. Also a huge pale Orc hunts Thorin’s company with packs of fierce gigantic wolves, wargs, and an oafish trio of Stone Trolls threatens to devour our heroes on their journey from Bag End to Rivendell. The caverns of Misty Mountains are teeming with disease ridden, violent and horrid Goblins and looming far away beyond countless leagues in the East is the fearsome dragon, Smaug the Golden. Shore constructs thematic material for all these menaces that effortlessly exists beside the similar music of the LotR trilogy. In fact many of the motifs for the forces of Evil seem to be directly linked to the past thematic constructs and do indeed present embryonic or initial forms of many familiar themes from LotR. Not only do they provide a sense of continuity but work as musical hints and direct links to the rising Shadow and gradually shift through this trilogy towards their final guise in The Lord of the Rings. Dol Guldur Descending Thirds A simple pair of descending major thirds seems to be the most apparent of the three themes associated with the Necromancer, and forms a constant brooding, obsessively repeating menace that haunts the thoughts of the White Council and the Wizards. It bears very strong ties to the Mordor Descending Thirds accompaniment figure, which hunted Frodo and the Fellowship and trailed in tow of the Nazgûl and the Orcs in LotR, but this new low register growl is usually performed portentously and slowly in AUJ and thus loses some of the drive of the Descending Thirds. It could be surmised that this motif represents the early and still mysterious threat and thus the theme feels incomplete in The Hobbit but despite of this it carries the same inevitable sense of doom even if in somewhat more lugubriously static form. The 4-note form is often completed by one or two extra notes that sink lower and lower into the orchestra, creating a sense of finality and completion that the pair of descending thirds naturally lacks when they repeat obsessively time and time again. This is music with a dark promise which the Mordor Descending Thirds fulfils in The Lord of the Rings as Sauron’s threat becomes fully apparent and Shore gradually begins to shift the motif from its origins and closer to the Mordorean incarnation during the Hobbit trilogy. This motif is also clearly the root of Azog's theme and offers a very audible hint at the Orc king's true allegiance. The Threat of Dol Guldur Doug Adams musically characterizes this theme as A rising three pitch figure that avoids a downbeat and it seems to present a more active threat, bursting forth when the evil sorcerer displays his power as when he attacks Radagast in Dol Guldur or menaces the wizard’s home at Rhosgobel but it also appears to signal the slow growth of this evil, rising ever upwards to trouble the councils of the Wise. The motif is urgently insistent, Shore using a repeating variation to emphasize approaching danger and is most closely associated with Necromancer himself and his dark abode. As with the Dol Guldur Descending Thirds, The Threat of Dol Guldur seems to form the roots of the Mordor Skip Beat that so often set a frantic, nervous pace for chases and enemies hunting our heroes in LotR and the new motif essentially takes the first six pitches of the Mordor Skip Beat and plays it through its transpositions over 3 keys (F minor, A minor and C minor) to achieve an urgent, imperious presence whenever it appears. The Necromancer The mysterious evil sorcerer, who is actually the Dark Lord Sauron in disguise, is represented again by The Evil of the Ring/Mordor, which he can’t shed even in his shadowy form in Dol Guldur. Shore quotes the material a scant few times but offers a strong musical clue to the identity of this new Evil that has risen in Middle-earth. The composer truncates the ending of the melody so that it trails off into an exotic new coda but this creates a feeling of absence, the musical idea not quite fulfilled. Shore unveils the fully formed Eastern tinged melody of the ancient era of Middle-earth, when the mystery is finally solved and the Enemy reveals itself in The Desolation of Smaug where a thunderously imperious variation recalling its mightiest appearance at Minas Morgul in The Return of the King assaults Gandalf when the Grey Wizard finally uncovers the truth about the master of Dol Guldur in The Desolation of Smaug. In The Battle of the Five Armies the theme is treated to a lugubrious and wicked organ led readings as the Dark Lord confronts the White Council. Azog the Orc King Azog, the orc king of Moria (in the films receiving the epithet The Defiler), whose arm Thorin hewed off in the battle of Azanulbizar and who was thought long dead, mysteriously survived and is now burning with vengeance and hunting down Thorin Oakenshield and his company with his pack of Warg riders. Shore provides him with a straightforward, aggressive and ominous motif that according to Doug Adams is formed out of a pair of descending thirds (G-Eb-F-D) that is finished by a chromatic barb (Eb-D-Db) which exudes brutal rage and malice. The theme also holds a clue to Azog’s true allegiance and motives as its form seems to be closely associated with the Dol Guldur Descending Thirds, clearly hinting that the evil of the Orc is just an extension of Dol Guldur’s growing shadow. Wargs The gigantic ferocious demonic wolves that the Orcs use as mounts receive a theme of rolling, sleek and fast paced series of figures that Doug Adams’ describes thus: “over repeated eight notes, four-note patterns in E minor simultaneously rise and fall... Tromping figures for piano and taiko underpin snarling brass fanfares”. The fugue-like repetition creates a sense persistent pursuit, a breathless presto that threatens to overcome the weighty music of the dwarves. There is surprising melodicism in this music for the wargs and their riders, the stomping repeated phrases creating a gleeful and persistent hunting presto. Here and there subliminal nods to Mordor music, especially the ritualistic clotted harmonies of the Ringwraiths, can be heard in the pressing staccato rhythm and sharp string stabs that drive the piece forward and the idea seems to bear subtle traces Cruelty of the Orcs, another motif hearkening back to LotR, forming the backbone of the 4 downward surging clotted chords that symbolize the terror of these creatures. Smaug the Golden The last but certainly not the least of the villains in the story is the fire dragon Smaug the Golden, the greatest and most horrible of all terrors of the Age, who laid waste to the kingdom of Erebor and desolated the town of Dale and all the lands surrounding the Lonely Mountain. Reportedly Shore’s approach incorporates both the Eastern tinged musical ideas related to the past ages of Middle-earth heard e.g. in the music of the Lothlorien elves and Sauron/Necromancer but also gives a slight nod in orchestrations and the form of the musical ideas to the music of Far East, where dragons prominently figure into many legends and myths. The great fire drake is depicted by a collection of musical ideas derived from same basic colours: a) Smaug's Breath/Dragon-sickness: As Doug Adams describes in the liner notes A searing pair of chords (F-major-F-minor-F-major-F-minor) pulses and heaves underneath Smaug's pair of themes, almost like a furnace or gigantic bellows. As many of the composer’s themes it attains an organic almost breath-like pattern, rising and falling naturally and fatefully as we see the great beast on-screen providing almost subliminal tension to these scenes. This music appears in isolation in the prologue of the first film but effectively drives the latter of half of The Desolation of Smaug and continues to harry the Free Peoples in The Battle of the Five Armies. This simple motif of alternating chords also denotes chiefly of all Smaug's thematic ideas the dragon-sickness, a malady of the mind that takes hold of any who start to covet the massive hoard of wealth the wyrm has piled into his abode from the dwarven kingdom. Same madness and lust for treasure runs in the line of kings of Erebor as Thrór was as susceptible to it as the dragon itself and now his grandson shares the same affliction. This will cause the music of the great drake to realign itself in a most unusual fashion with another characer, a unique shift in Shore's Middle-earth scores, as it migrates to Thorin and takes over his mind in The Battle of the Five Armies. b) Smaug's 1st Theme (Smaug the Golden): A sinuous, cruel and sharply angled melody seethes on top of it and worms through chromatic intervals with an exotic gleam is Doug Adams' apt description for this theme in conjunction with the two-chord motif mentioned above. This is the first thematic identity of the fire dragon and appears during An Unexpected Journey’s prologue when we see fateful glimpses of Smaug laying waste to both Dale and Erebor, the music exuding imperious aggression, rage and violence. It is short and to the point and thus can be easily and quickly quoted in a short space of time but Shore provides the great drake of the North with a second theme as well. c) Smaug's 2nd Theme (The Malice of Smaug): The complexity and wicked cunning of Smaug’s persona led the composer to complement his manipulative evil with a musical mirror image of the first theme, a longer melodic line that is actually an inverted variation on the first idea, which complements the wyrm’s multifaceted persona with dangerous cold cunning. This subdued and more ominous variation of Smaug's music appears once in An Unexpected Journey when Bilbo is first told of the Great Calamity, the ghostly clang of Tibetan gongs and bass drum pulsing together underneath as strings and woodwinds play an inverted version of the reptilian main theme for Smaug, a horror Bilbo can scarcely even imagine. This third idea also holds a key to the central instrumentation used for the great drake as in The The Desolation of Smaug the dragon is depicted by a whole host of exotic Far Eastern gamelan percussion instruments and subtle incorporation of erhu, a Chinese stringed instrument. In The Battle of the Five Armies the theme expands its palette further as it becomes an insidious musical barb in Thorin's mind when keening strings and ticking metallic percussion haunt him as this motif for Smaug's wicked persona now latches onto the heir of Erebor. Returning Themes The Witch King of Angmar Another subtle foreshadowing musical connection of the first score relates to a Fourth Age theme from The Lord of the Rings, Witch King/the Orcs of Mordor that ever imperiously rose to crush the World of Men in RotK. In The Hobbit Shore hints at the dark revelations to come, when Gandalf tries solve the mystery of the Morgul Blade, the theme appearing as a quiet but none the less uncomfortable whisper at the tombs of the long dead servants of Evil and their sorcerer king at High Fells. NOTE: The music containing this theme was composed for an early version of the scene that was finally removed from An Unexpected Journey and moved to The The Desolation of Smaug. The bonus track on the Special Edition of the AUJ soundtrack containing the theme (The Edge of the Wild) is an earlier draft of the piece used for the scene and in DoS this sequence was entirely re-scored and while the opening musical idea is reprised in the revised cue (High Fells on the DoS soundtrack) the Witch-King of Angmar/The Orcs of Mordor theme was discarded. A new Nazgûl related thematic idea, a ghostly choral chant simply named The Nine, is used in its place instead. And it has to be said that while the thematic nod to the Return of the King might have been a nice gesture, the Fourth Age theme does not really sit easily into the thematic architecture of the piece. The Wizards The Hobbit’s tale features unusually many of the Istari, the Wizards, of whom three appear in this film series. The composer offers each their own musical devices. Most notably Gandalf the Grey, who was a mediator and mover of things in The Lord of the Rings and to whom Shore didn’t assign a particular motif in that trilogy (Gandalf the White was another matter though), receives in the first part of this earlier adventure two prominent leitmotifs, which work both independently and together. Radagast the Brown has a snapping and whispering forest of orchestral sounds all to himself and peculiar collection of percussive sounds propelling him forward in his curious but at times dead serious work. And lastly Saruman the White seems to harbour grave concerns and dark thoughts behind his heavy lidded eyes as his familiar theme from The Lord of the Rings trilogy announces his presence at the White Council. Gandalf the Grey Doug Adams calls Gandalf the Grey’s theme a musical nudge out at the door, which sends Bilbo on his adventure and indeed Gandalf’s compact little theme seems to be closely related to the music of the Shire, a place the Grey Pilgrim holds dear to his heart. This small whole step melodic turn is insistent, always ready to peek through the fabric of the score and as Mr. Adams says it is indeed unassuming yet subtly disruptive. It denotes the wizard’s presence and his helping hand, whether meddling into the affairs of the dwarves or hobbits, appearing at the nick of time to bail them out of trouble and sending them on their way, showing the wizard’s powerful but often subtle influence. Gandalf the Grey presents subtle references to the music of the Shire and Bilbo specifically, the whole step wise movement attaching itself to this concise idea and this theme wanders through the score and seems to be forming a musical ties to the other themes it meets along the way. Gandalf’s 2nd Theme/The Istari The order of the Wizards, The Istari, is also depicted by a thematic idea, which in the course of the Hobbit trilogy becomes most strongly attached to Gandalf's presence and his friendship , a searching lyrical melodic line that moves initially in an up-and-down figure but then it ascends ever higher in graceful leaps. It alternates with the more active primary theme as a musical identity for the wizard in the first Hobbit film. The primary motif and this lyrical longer secondary melody form a tightly knit pair in the same way as the two parts of Bilbo’s Theme do, each seemingly part of one longer music idea. It appears most often when Gandalf is giving counsel or rallying his comrades, imparting a sense of confident strength tempered with wisdom and most importantly often underlining his friendship with the dwarves and the hobbit. While this theme, which Doug Adams commented to have a broader usage than just a secondary melody for Gandalf and initially was meant to depict the whole order of the wizards (it does indeed make its first appearance when Gandalf is recounting the names and colours of all the Five Wizards) is largely absent in The Desolation of Smaug (as the wizard is largely away from Thorin's company too), the idea returns at the end of The Battle of the Five Armies as both the Grey Pilgrim and the hobbit meet in the aftermath of the battle and return home from their journey although the music appears in a heavily transformed guise, perhaps to show us the change in the characters. Radagast the Brown Radagast is a wizard, who was always more fond of the natural world than the affairs of the Free Peoples and took upon himself to protect the plants and animals of Midde Earth. He makes his home in Mirkwood, where he lives under the eaves of the great forest at Rhosgobel, a house built around a living tree. There he keeps watch over the woodlands and is surrounded by his animal friends, birds being his most loyal and dear companions. He is a hermit of a strange sort and of wizardly powers, who one day senses the evil spreading through the forest and decides to act and alert the Wise of this threat. Musically this befuddled and absent minded quirky nature wizard is depicted by a collection of musical devices: a constant pattern of nervous up-and-down haltingly swaying and sawing figures in the strings and woodwinds, a closely related sinuous solo violin line that weaves into this curious collage of sounds and a steady tapping of a collection of percussion instruments that underscore his nervous and jittery personality Radagast's 2nd Theme The brown wizard also has a secondary idea tied to him, but it is very closely knit into the collection of his other musical sounds. Radagast’s often nervously busy music surrounds an eerie choral and orchestral motif, which contains references to the nervous rising and falling string figures of his music wedded with another long lined melody winding on top of it, creating in the process a new motif. This music is according Doug Adams (commentary on his blog) also tied to the Brown Wizard and his powers. Its initial apperance in the orchestra and boys choir seems to suggest some subtle connection to Nature in the pure tones of the choral accompaniment but it later appears when Gandalf conveys his dark news and findings to the White Council where this musical motif underscores their grave conversation, the theme expressing both Radagast's message and the ominous weight of his news, now transported into the more mature sound of a female chorus. NOTE: Radagast's musical tree of effects was severely cut in the final film and much of the nervous percussion and violin work was left out of the picture, the composer instead using a less thematic approach to the nature wizard's initial introduction. Similarly the boys chorus was largely left out of the orchestrational palette of the theme, Radagast's music becoming largely orchestral. Returning Themes Gandalf’s Fireworks A recurring motif for Gandalf’s fireworks appears in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to draw a connection to The Fellowship of the Ring and providing another ancillary musical phrase related to Gandalf as he first meets Bilbo, the excited leaping motif rekindling memories of this wandering conjurer in the mind of our protagonist, who when he was just a small lad admired the wizard’s splendid skill at creating the most marvellous rockets. Saruman the White (Isengard Theme) Saruman the White is once again represented by the ominous Isengard theme, whose appearance is tempered only by its brevity in the film, Shore offering us a savvy musical reminder but also observing thematic continuity. Nature Nature is a strong force of Good in Middle-earth where purity and inherent rightness of things dwells and its servants appear also in The Hobbit to battle the enemies of the natural world and save our heroes from a certain doom. The Great Eagles represent a lofty incarnation of Nature’s power, while the music of Radagast the Brown bears traces of Nature’s benevolent will working in Middle-earth through the wizard. The Eagles of the Misty Mountains (The Eagle Rescue) The Giant Eagles of the Misty Mountains, previous treated as an ally of Nature and always appeared underscored by the Nature's Reclamation have now gained a new motif related specific to them and the aid they bring to their friends. This new theme is heard in AUJ only in the film itself as it was another revision done to the score and Shore initially composed a very different finale for the film, which can be found on the AUJ soundtrack album. The new rescored ending contains a haunting chorus and soloist theme which is then reprised in The Battle of the Five Armies as the noble avians arrive to turn the tide of the battle, the soaring but lyrical lines annoucing elegantly their timely arrival. Returning Themes Nature’s Reclamation The proud and lyrical Nature’s Reclamation appears with majestic purity as the Eagles arrive at Gandalf’s behest to safe the dwarves from the hands of Azog and as they carry our band of adventurers away, the choral and orchestral forces celebrating as much the last minute rescue as they do the vanquishing of the evil Orcs that have pursued Thorin’s company. Shore’s theme for Nature is unchanged in the Hobbit, carried by pure choral sound that ascends gracefully to lofty heights, the power of the natural world as timeless as the Elves. The theme makes a brief appearance on the soundtrack album on the track Out of the Frying-pan and originally Shore wrote a very different choral setting for the rescue sequence using entirely different thematic material but in the end the film makers ended up using a full fledged version of Nature's Reclamation for the scene. Monsters of Middle-earth The Mirkwood Spiders These giant arachnids that thrive in the now darkened Greenwood are seen in AUJ assaulting Radagast's home at Rhosgobel and earn a suitably spidery 8-note tone row that rumbles with a taut rhythmic threat. Taking its lead from the music of Shelob in the RotK which also built on a similar 8-note row, the Mirkwood Spiders motif is heard only once in the first film when Radagast finally perceives them assaulting his abode. While Shelob's motif implied cunning intelligence and had an evasive, stalking quality, the music for the giant spiders is much more exclamatory, a piece of true old fashioned straightforward monster music. The Trolls Bill, Bert and Tom, the three pony stealing Stone Trolls, who have come to lowlands after some sweeter meats, are represented according to Doug Adams by a waltz humoresque, a plodding figure suitable for their dull wit, slow gait and tough hides that skirts Bilbo’s burglarious activities in a careful dance that begins with light humour, but ends in a ferocious fight as the swaying theme receives its heaviest setting when it battles with the dwarven music for supremacy. The Goblins of the Misty Mountains Denizens of the endless tunnels under the Misty Mountains the goblins of Goblin Town, distant cousins of Orcs of Gundabad, Moria and Mordor are a sordid and disease ridden bunch of creatures that capture Thorin’s company as it is crossing the peaks and seeks shelter from a storm in a shallow cave. Shore’s music for these horrid creatures is a series of jarring aleatoric figures, malevolent low brass exclamations that ooze evil glee and plodding mix meter rhythms as they overwhelm the dwarves with their sheer numbers and drag them to their king, the Great Goblin. Shore again stays true to the spirit of his previous music for the Orcs, which is sharp edged, brutal, hard and unpredictable, the orchestra snapping and slashing at different directions all at once in near manic chaos, which rises to fever pitch when they give chase to the dwarves through their subterranean kingdom. At the heart of the driving gnashing music is a repeated 3-chord construct that forms the main component of the threatening Goblin Theme. The mixed meters of roiling rhythms contained in the Goblin music present quick references to the 5 Beat Pattern, that was associated with the Orcs and their oppressive and most organized evils in LotR but here the rhythms do not stay in one pattern for long, lopsidedly rushing forward in disorder, while the aforementioned repeated 3-chord core of the Goblin theme holds the music together. It is the music of brutal malevolent chaos. Gollum Gollum makes his first appearance in the tales of the Third Age in Bilbo’s adventure and his dual musical persona established in The Lord of the Rings appears the instant he peers through the gloom in the tunnels under the Misty Mountains. Pity of Gollum This melancholy and altogether sad melody accompanies Gollum’s Smeagol side, the wretched creature’s almost childish fancy for riddles often underscored by slinking variation or hints at the harmonies of the this theme. This pleading, winding melody also awakens Bilbo’s gentler nature as he sees the ruined creature’s sad and lonely plight when it has lost the Ring and decides to spare its life. It is also the music that constantly shifts between the History of the Ring theme as Gollum's slavish need for it and the actual object go hand-in-hand in all their scenes together. Gollum’s Menace Gollum’s evil and animalistic side once again creeps in with the help of a jittery cimbalom, the theme’s instrument of choice, but now it also subtly climbs into the string section, the Dies Irae-like readings suggesting deadly and murderous danger to Bilbo’s life as the schizophrenic creature plots to make Bilbo his next meal. The One Ring: The Middle-earth has not known the woe of the Ring of Power in millennia, yet now it appears into the histories of the world once more and with it arrives its signature theme. Only one thing is certain. It now has a fateful clang to it and it foreshadows our hero’s steps as he innocently becomes the newest owner of this magical ring whose origin is shrouded in mystery. The History of the Ring What originally was inarguably the central theme of the Lord of the Rings, appears now in the Hobbit as a musical harbinger, flitting in an out of the score in quick variations, the composer often hinting at its opening pitches but veering to other directions, teasing the listener, the theme here a musical equivalent of a wink at the viewer/listener, its appearances always full of meaning. As the Ring finds a new bearer the theme is there to chart its progress, another new chapter in its long woeful history but interestingly Shore refrains from presenting the motif in its most traditional static guise heard so often in Lord of the Rings, the slightly askew versions heard on the soundtrack album suggesting perhaps the Ring’s active purpose to abandon its former bearer and get back to its true master and also that for the moment its history is in flux in the Hobbit. This is the primary theme that is used for the Ring throughout AUJ and its sequels whenever the magical Ring is somehow referenced and none of the other themes that are associated with the One Ring in Lord of the Rings are used directly to refer to the artefact. The influence of the baleful treasure is subtle and its hold only growing on Bilbo and thus its passage through the story earns only the theme that has carried it from one hand to the other and from one time period to the next. While the Evil of the Ring theme does appear in the score it is only associated with the Necromancer whose link to the Ring is yet to be revealed. CONTINUES IN PART 2 © Mikko Ojala
  20. Hi, I’ve been lurking for a few months, and thought I’d join and share my opinions. Disclaimer: I have been musically ignorant for most of my life, slowly improving in this last half a year, as I started reading the LotR/Hobbit posts here. And yes, BloodBoal, I did steal your template. But anyway, I hope I haven't made a complete fool of myself here, and that some of what I say makes sense. It’s less a review than a short commentary with opinions, but oh well. The Quest for Erebor. The logos music gets you right back into middle earth, and the Shire theme over the title is a nugget of pure nostalgia, as is the Bree motif/theme/quest/thing. I did also like the incomplete version of Thorin’s theme, but not too much to see here. Overall: 6/10 Wilderland. Mega chills over the title card - Smaug’s and the Wargs’ themes combining sounds awesome, and Beorn’s theme in the chase sequence is good. Overall: 8/10 A Necromancer. Cool descending thirds (over the panning shot of Dol Guldur in the film) at 0:55 are definitely a plus, and some other classic, dark Necromancer/Sauron material makes this a worthy bonus track. Overall: 7/10 House of Beorn. The first, and all, versions of the Nine’s theme are amazing, and this is no exception. The nice versions of Beorn and Erebor at the end do save this one. Overall: 6/10 Mirkwood. I do like the Mirkwood theme/motif-y thing too much, and it lifts this track up from the filler category for me, but I don't find much else here too interesting. Overall: 7/10 Flies and Spiders. Awesome! Bilbo’s peek out of the canopy, the Erebor theme when he spots the lonely mountain! Love the Mirkwood theme at 2:18 when the spider cocoons Bilbo… The music while Bilbo cuts the dwarves down, oh my gosh, History of Ring! And the Woodland Realm and Tauriel’s themes at the end, superb! Overall: 9/10 The Woodland Realm. Choral Woodland Realm at 0:35 is amazing! And also the martial version of the Woodland Realm theme while the elves are locking up the dwarves. In fact, all the Woodland Realm/Mirkwood material sounds sublime to me, capped off with a nice, quiet version of Tauriel’s themes… Awesome! Overall: 9/10 Feast of Starlight. Beauty incarnate, and I’m not talking about Evangeline Lilly! Absolutely stunning renditions of the Tauriel and Kili themes. I do find that I prefer the NZSO/DoS combination over the LPO/AUJ one for the quieter moments. Overall: 9/10 Barrels out of Bond. Short but sweet, and I do like this version of Bilbo’s Fussy theme quite a lot… Overall: 7/10 The Forest River. Feck, I love this track! Cutting Bolg’s? theme was a mistake though… But especially Tauriel’s theme at 1:10, Thorin’s at 3:28 and Legolas’ at 3:56 make this a perfect track in my eyes. Overall: 10/10 Bard, a Man of Lake-Town. Introduces us to Bard’s and the Politicians of Lake-Town theme, which I do like a fair amount, but not too interesting to me overall. Overall: 6/10 The High Fells. I enjoy the strings 0:11… (Is it a High Fells theme?) And the Nine theme I adore for its choral work, which this track is full of. But not too much otherwise. Overall: 7/10 The Nature of Evil. Awesome dark version of the Woodland Realm at the start. Much appreciated. I also think the foreshadowing of Smaug’s alliance with Sauron works well, with a great-sounding version of his theme. Overall: 7/10 Protector of the Common Folk. Bard’s theme at the start doesn't do much for me, but it’s made up for by a Thorin’s theme and a first taste of the wonderful Lake-Town theme, but I do find the Politicians of Lake-Town theme at the end quite dull… Overall: 6/10 Thrice Welcome. Here we go! The Lake-Town theme starts this track off well, and finally a better-sounding version of Politicians of Lake-Town, and some nicer, whistleable Bard material, a dark rendition of Lake-Town, and Bilbo’s great Fussy Theme round off this track nicely! Overall: 9/10 Girion, Lord of Dale. Girion’s theme sounds good and heroic on its first occurrence at the start of this track. A lively burst of Tauriel’s theme and some lovely-sounding ‘Woodland Realm with tingly instruments in the background’ ensues at 1:41. Bard’s theme and House of Durin theme, sounding very hauntingly beautiful, make this track. Overall: 8/10 Durin’s Folk. Thorin’s theme abounds here (Especially at 2:08!), the Erebor theme gets a few nice renditions, and a great harp? and strings version of the Lake-Town theme sound awesome, starting at 0:28. Quite super. Overall: 8/10 In the Shadow of the Mountain. An amazingly awesome version of the House of Durin starts this track, and Thorin’s theme at 1:01 sounds just as good. And finally, Smaug’s themes get one of their great sounding foreshadowing moments Overall: 8/10 A Spell of Concealment. Some menacing Sauron descending thirds get this track under way, and segue into the Necromancer’s theme, also menacing. A nice break with some House of Durin material brings us straight back into the descending thirds, and an ohmigawd amazing stretch of Sauron’s theme at the end of the track. Dying of awesome. Overall: 9/10 On the Doorstep. Erebor, harps, what more could you want. Oh wait, I know: A cool variation of the Erebor theme at 0:45. And the slightly broken version of Thorin’s theme at 3:01 that for some reason is sonically pleasing. Literally all of the Dwarf material here is literally (really good) music to my ears. The Rivendell theme and the choral work on the reveal of the keyhole is also beautiful. And some haunting Thorin material, and the beautiful Arkenstone theme round off this track with a flourish. Overall: 9/10 The Courage of Hobbits. The Gamelan here are nice, and more of the Shire theme is always good, and the Erebor theme at 1:29, but this one sounds a bit too much like filler to me… Overall: 6/10 Inside Information. Now Smaug’s themes comes back, better than ever. Not sure what the tricky instruments are at 0:42, but I like them. 2:41 is awesomeness itself. End of story, really. Overall: 9/10 Kingsfoil. However much this scene in the film irks me, closing my eyes and just listening works wonders. Tauriel and Kili’s joint theme really does sound great, even if this track suffers from breaking up Smaug’s material. Overall: 7/10 A Liar and a Thief. Back to Smaug! With a nice Arkenstone statement as well. Not sure if it’s just me, but I thought the first descending thirds over the march of the Dol Guldur army felt a bit stale. However, those over Bolg’s midnight raid at 1:34 I do like. The ending, with Smaug’s awesome B theme is great. Overall: 8/10 The Hunters. Still more menacing Smaug material, still sounding great. Girion’s theme again, doing the same. Smaug’s A theme sounds particularly nice at 1:10. Bard’s theme is back, whistleable as ever. I don't particularly care for the part featured in the DoS Appendices at 3:56… But the Woodland Realm theme at 4:49 makes up for it easily, as does the bit of music that follows at 4:59. The House of Durin is back a minute later, full of melancholy dwarfishness. The Bolg-Legolas music should never have been cut from the film… Though this version pales compared to BotFA’s rendition. A bit too long, this one, for good momentum. Overall: 8/10 Smaug. More Smaug, with this time a whole track titled after him! His B theme at 0:54 and A theme at 1:20 both sound particularly awesome. I still like the Arkenstone theme at 3:22, and Smaug’s A theme at 5:01, but there is surprisingly not too much I found outstanding here. Overall: 7/10 My Armour is Iron. That’s better! Smaug’s theme vs. the House of Durin! Smaug A at 0:30, House of Durin at 0:53, all amazing. The Dragon Sickness and Smaug B themes I found really great in the middle of the track, and the choral work over the statue scene is another place where the music can make up foe the cringe worthiness of the film in some places. 3:23 to the end of the track I find chill-inducing. Overall: 10/10 I See Fire. Killed it :/ The start is horrid, especially in the film. As it gets towards the end, it does improve, but I do find it really jarring compared to the other credits songs. But it’s still okay. Overall: 5/10 Beyond the Forest. Sublime. I’m always susceptible to elven material, and this is no exception. Phenomenal choral work, just amazing. Especially Tauriel’s theme’s B-section at the end. The perfect way to end a score. Overall: 10/10 Overall ‘overall score’ for the score: 8 - Pretty damn good - the Elven material was especially good, and the Dwarves themes made this score for me. And Smaug. Always more room for Smaug.
  21. I vote THE LOST WORLD. Wish we'd get a proper expansion. Williams really does a good job of writing music to match the jungle setting of the film. The main theme works great, too. Very militant, like the antagonists of the film.
  22. Journey Music composed by Austin Wintory A Review of the soundtrack album by Mikko Ojala Journey is a 2012 video game from thatgamecompany that has also released such original titles as Flower, FlOw and Cloud, that offer highly unique and visually stunning concepts in gaming. The game is a highly audio-visual experience that blends typical adventure and platforming but places you into a world of where your character, a mysterious cloak wrapped and magical scarf wearing being travels through stunning landscapes, challenges and trials towards a mysterious mountaintop to realize his destiny. One of the oddities in this environment is the interaction with other players, who you encounter on the journey and can aid them but you cannot communicate with them in any way verbally, making for a strange new way of collaborating in a adventure gaming environment. The story is shrouded in mystery, the players allowed to piece together the myth and history of the world that surrounds them from the environment, murals, buildings and tapestries, all the while they perform their pilgrimage to reach the ever looming mountain and achieve their ultimate goal. Thatgamecompany brought in a talented young composer Austin Wintory to score his second collaboration with them after FlOw and he responded to the story and journey with a soundtrack that is both mesmerizingly melodic and ethereally evocative. Austin Wintory whose career has really started in the 2000's has scored a hefty number of films in these few years and also broken into game scoring, earning a whole slew of awards and nominations in his relatively short career thusfar. As he says in his bio on his website, he was introduced to film scores by Jerry Goldsmith's work in the 80's and ever since he has been pursuing a career in films scoring. From what I have heard from the composer I would gladly welcome him a big break in the near future, so convincing is his writing in Journey alone. Journey as a score blends worlds of ambient sound design and beautifully melodic and lyrical writing for orchestra and solo instruments into a fascinating whole, where the said incredients blend and ebb and flow in ethereal and powerfully evocative dance. Wintory's writing is mature, self assured and creative and, as it has become common in game scoring, takes its subject matter seriously much like a film, never downplaying to the medium. Game scoring has become a source of quality music and music making in the last decade and the possibilities of the cinematic qualities and style in games has allowed large dramatic scores to bloom in the genre, whether synthetic or orchestral or both. In Journey Wintory writes for electornics and a handful of soloists, among them Tina Guo (Cello), Rodney Wirtz (Viola) and Lisbeth Scott (vocals) and for a moderately sized symphonic (mainly string) ensemble, the score performed by the Macedonia Radio Symphonic Orchestra under the baton of Oleg Kontradenko, creating a varied and colorful tapestry of sound that envelopes and challenges and enthralls the listener with atmospheric and melodic soundscapes. Wintory treats the soloists as the focal point of the music, cello, flutes, viola and harp often presented with minimal accompaniment or over an ambient soundscape, lending a highly personal quality to the music,yet sometimes the soloists lead the orchestra in fascinating melodic explorations, perhaps the reflection of the idea of a lonely main character in a vast world. The feel of the music is ambivalent in that it does not, out of a conscious effort by the composer, seem to be from any specific culture or cultural area, but embraces a wide variety of music styles and ethnic musical traits. Some alto flute passages conjure with the solo cello images of Far East, yet the percussion and other melodic lines clearly point to another direction, Celtic or Middle-Eastern colorations appearing in the next track, no element becoming too dominating through the running time. This I take (as I have not played the game) mirrors the approach of the world which the main character inhabits and works well on the album as well, providing surprising mixes of colours and stylistics, keeping the listening experience fresh. Ambient textures Wintory uses become backdrops for the solo instruments and orchestral performance, keeping an element of mysticism, scope and ethereal wonder or peril firmly in the soundscape nearly throughout the album. Sometimes these slow, flowing, sparkling walls of sound somewhat dam the flow of the music or threaten to drown the organic elements but on the whole the synthetic material blends well to enhance the overall mood of the music, achieving a quasi spiritual and contemplative effect. Good examples of this are tracks like Temptations, Reclamation and several of the Confluence tracks (of which there are 6 in all). To balance the slower more ruminative moods there are several livelier lyrical tracks like the energetic the Road of Trials with its nearly Celtic pluckiness and sparklingly flowing blend of soloists and orchestra in the Threshold. The composer addresses the more serious threats and dangers on the journey by some impressively challenging modernistic ambience, percussion and string writings, like in the ominous Descent and especially in Nadir, where intensely furious layers of strings and percussion attack each other in a battle for supremacy, both frightening and powerful at the same time. And despite mentioning the word atmospheric quite often in the review I was impressed by the fact that the score exhibits a good ear for melody, the mystical, spiritual central theme of the game and soundtrack presented on soulful solo cello and husky alto flute directly on the first track Nascence, a vaguely exotic winding and yearning melody, well portraying the questing nature of the story, the searching mood captured in the wistful melodic line. After such a well rounded start Wintory anchors the music to a continuous yet often subtle development and variation of this main theme in various guises snippets and fragments through the album, the first few notes wafting through the dream-like soundscapes or string harmonies, the second track Call being a prime example of this, the union of ethereally ambient yet thematic approach. Even though Wintory wisely relies on a strong main theme and melody to carry the emotional weight, Wintory writes individual setpiece themes on several tracks, that seem to be woven from the same elegantly lyrical cloth as the main theme and provide exquisitely beautiful moments along the way, such as the Atonement, the already mentioned Threshold and The Road of Trials and he brings the score into a highly satisfying finale with the glowingly dramatic, poignant and almost bittersweet 7-minute meditation on the main theme in Apotheosis and ends the experience in a beatific solo voice and orchestral resolution in I Was Born for This with Lisbeth Scott lending her amazingly moving and rich voice for a prayer-like end credits song, the lyrics comprised of stanzas taken from many classic texts on legends of questing heroes sung in Latin, French, Old English and Japanese. Journey is a nuanced and highly colorful work, often arrestingly moody in one moment and hauntingly lyrical the next. While its thematic material is strong this music might not make an instant impression but rewards multiple listens if you allow for all the elements, moods and variations to sink in. The album forms a well balanced listening experience without forgetting to form a strong musical narrative along the way, the score charting a dramatic journey of its own through exotic and mystical musical landscapes. Some slight balancing issues between the organic and synthetic sound worlds aside Mr. Wintory has here created a truly impressive piece of work and I certainly look forward to hearing new music, in films or other media, from him in the future. A delightful surprise and for me one of the best scores of the year. 5/5 STARS Music composed, orchestrated and produced by Austin Wintory Featured soloists: Tina Guo: Cello Amy Tatum: Flute / Bass Flute Charissa Barger: Harp Rodney Wirtz: Viola Noah Gladstone: Serpent Sara Andon: Flute Vocal solos performed by Lisbeth Scott; text compiled by Jeremy Howard Beck Percussion and programming by Austin Wintory Orchestral performances by the Macedonia Radio Symphonic Orchestra Orchestra conducted by Oleg Kontradenko Orchestra contracted by Laurent Koppitz
  23. Greetings friends! Just wanted to post two new reviews from MovieMusicMania.com for everyone's perusal. The first is for Frank Ilfman's surprisingly good score for Big Bad Wolves, an Israeli thriller (and dark comedy) hailed by Quentin Tarantino as the best film of 2013... Read The Review The second, somewhat belatedly, is for Olivier Derivere's fantastic videogame score for Remember Me. A stunning blend of orchestra and electronics... Read The Review Thanks everyone and happy listening!
  24. Hi all! Just wanted to share my new site with everyone... it's been up for a little over a month and it's dedicated to reviews of the newest film scores, something of a major passion of mine. http://www.moviemusicmania.com Reviews thus far: Turbo - Henry Jackman The Wolverine - Marco Beltrami The Hunt (Jagten) - Nikolaj Egelund Only God Forgives - Cliff Martinez Pacific Rim - Ramin Djawadi The Lone Ranger - Hans Zimmer Much Ado About Nothing - Joss Whedon World War Z - Marco Beltrami Star Trek Into Darkness - Michael Giacchino Man of Steel - Hans Zimmer Soon to come: Planes - Mark Mancina The Conjuring - Joseph Bishara Elysium - Ryan Amon THANKS! -John
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