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Did Williams intentionally quote the theme from Battlestar Galactica in his score for The Phantom Menace?


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I've always wondered: did Williams intentionally quote the theme from Battlestar Galactica in The Phantom Menace (can't think of any reason) or are the melodic similarities just pure coincidence?

The 'qoute' I'm talking about can be heard around 1:30.

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I don't think it was intentional.  I agree with the people saying it sounds like a variation on the "Main Title."  A better question: did Ramin Djawadi rip off Attack of the Clones for the Game of Thr

He lost a bet with Stu Philips at a stag party the night before he wrote that cue. John either had to pay for everyone's drinks or put Stu's theme into the score. He wisely chose the later as the bar

It's always been a variation of the B section of the main title, to me.

I've wondered about that since 2000.

Sandor, how are you these days on the Augie's Band = The Emperor's Theme debate?

I've opened myself up to the -albeit slight- possibility that Augie may indeed be an intentional variation on The Emperor's Theme. It took a lot from me to admit that.

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No he didn't do it intentionally. And if we are to believe Ken Wannberg (he denied it in a very old Soundtrack Magazine interview) he didn't quote the Emperor's Theme either in Augie's Great Municipal Band.

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But he obviously did (Ken Wannberg must be mistaken)! And that's sort of the whole point; it's musically speaking very literally a "phantom menace", and that kind of reasoning, already present in the construction of Anakin's theme, is completely consistent with how Williams works. I simply cannot fathom that "Augie's Great Municipal Band" would or could have been written as an exact pentatonization of the Emperor's theme, with an identical melodic contour, any other way.

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No he didn't do it intentionally. And if we are to believe Ken Wannberg (he denied it in a very old Soundtrack Magazine interview) he didn't quote the Emperor's Theme either in Augie's Great Municipal Band.

Wait. Wasnt Wannberg the one who confirmed it?

Memory fails. Hopefully someone has that Soundtrack Magazine handy so they can check this thing once and for all!

And then we'll say the contrary and claim Wannberg doesn't know anything. ;)

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Ricard! He holds the ancient knowledge now lost to time.


As for the old BSG theme. I remember watching the film and taking note of when that bit played and there is nothing there that would warrent a deliberate statement of it.

We know ofcourse that Williams was aware of the theme (apparently he of someone close to him was there when it was originally recorded, to ascertain if it was not in violation of copyright). And ofcourse JW recorded it with the Boston pops (a particulary fine rendition IMO)

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Huh, I never caught that before. Sounds like an unintentional similarity to me.

Agreed - it's sounds like a (fairly obvious) reworking of the more lyrical B-section of the Main Title to me.

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Nope. That's pure coincidence (speaking to the BG reference . . . the original topic of this post). I've never caught that before, though--and it's a fair (though hardly exact) resemblance. Nice catch.

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He lost a bet with Stu Philips at a stag party the night before he wrote that cue.

John either had to pay for everyone's drinks or put Stu's theme into the score. He wisely chose the later as the bar bill was just under $600.

I know this because I was there. John was wasted by the way. I'm frankly surprised he remembered. And surprised he made it to work the next day. No one else did.

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Of course it's just a coincidence. It sounds KINDA like the BG theme in a slightly different key, but at the same time it's also a common phrase, and -- as others have said -- a variation on Williams' existing material. This is one of those cases where people read things INTO the music based on similar features, the musical equivalent of pareidolia.

In a totally unrelated note, Stu and John both worked on GIDGET GOES TO ROME back in 1963 -- Stu as arranger (mostly of the songs), and Williams as the score composer. But they never met, according to Stu (who I met during a garden party in LA in 2012 -- I was taken aback when he greeted me with "ah, the legendary Thor", but of course he sometimes posts on the FSM Messageboard).

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He definitely quoted Strauss's Death and Transfiguration for Superman love theme.....Might have been intentional though. As a pro musician I don't find this offensive. Beethoven copied Mozart, who copied Haydn...etc...

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Indeed, even though it dates from a prehistoric time, everybody here seems to know the theme by heart!

Which marks the original as a classic score, in my mind. And even though Phillips was obviously trying to recreate the epic feel that Williams brought back to the fore with his Star Wars score (no doubt since that's what Larson wanted for his show), this is the first time I've seen someone making a direct connection between the two—and it's JW copying Stu, not the other way around. ;)

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