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Rey's Theme – John Williams' Best Theme Yet?


Rey's Theme – John Williams' Best Theme Yet?   

102 members have voted

  1. 1. Rey's Theme ? John Williams' Best Theme Yet?

    • YES! Sweeping, malleable, chameleon, fresh, beautiful, and perfect!
      36
    • NO! It's terrible!
      6
    • Maybe, it's too early to tell, but it keeps growing on me!
      40
    • I'm a Communist and believe all themes are equal, though Rey's Theme is more equal than other themes.
      15
    • I don't have any opinion yet
      4


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I couldn't find a link on Youtube, so I had to resort to Spotify, which is less than ideal because not everybody has access to Spotify. But I wanted to get at least some people to hear the reference.

I have found that since release my appreciation for Rey's theme has only continued to grow and grow, as I continue to marvel at how well it works in quiet and large moments, in scenes of darkne

After a lengthy period of intense research and discussion, scientists from institutes across the globe backed by multi-national corporations have arrived at the consensus that the best version of Rey'

"John Williams best theme yet" is a tall order.  No, I cannot possibly say that something I've known for 18 days can fit that huge milestone.

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Happy to see that Rey's theme has 1.2M hits on Spotify.  The people are loving it.

 

Certainly this is not his best theme ever, not even within Star Wars since The Force theme as well as Han/Princess are better, but it's an extremely good one.  I would rank it very high.

 

Luke/Leia would be ranked higher for me if it was used more than like twice in the entire span of the series.

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19 minutes ago, Maestro said:

A little more insight, perhaps, into Rey's theme (as well as Kylo Ren's theme... among other things):

http://projectorandorchestra.com/john-williams-on-the-force-awakens-and-the-legacy-of-star-wars/

“It’s an interesting challenge with her, because her theme doesn’t suggest a love theme in any way. It suggests an adventurer, a female adventurer, but with great strength. She’s a fighter, she’s infused with the Force, and it needed to be something that was strong but thoughtful. She’s a very young girl, but she’s a woman of diverse parts, and so there’s a maturity, I think, about the approach, melodically, to her that I hope will fit her. It seemed particularly challenging, both in the scavenger section in the beginning and in the trip to the island to find Luke in the end, where her theme is pretty fully realized with the orchestra. And it seemed to the right degree of strength and beauty for an adventuress.”

 

I particularly liked this: "But even Brahms greatly appreciated Johann Strauss, who one you could say was at the level of high art and the other one a level of popular art." as it is relevant to arguments I've had with some people.  Nice interview with interesting questions. 

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1 minute ago, Datameister said:

Yep. If he's asked back and if there are no issues with his health or schedule, I'll bet you anything he'll return. This score was neither phoned in nor written as a grand farewell to the saga.

I'm honestly having trouble imagining him working with Riann Johnson, whose musical sensibilities are far different than Spielberg's or even Abrams'

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Yeah it's funny how there were scenes in the movie that I couldn't stand but the scene for Jedi Steps literally stole the breath from my lungs.

The music, the imagery, the pacing was all so incredibly emotional and as the melody reached one of its endings and those brass chords come in with the behind reveal of a certain character, it sent shivers through my body.

Of course you knew instantly who it was going to be but as he turned and the melody continues in the horns, etc, the whole thing was chilling and haunting, a truly glorious moment for me personally, I still can't stop replaying it over and over in my head.

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Rian Johnson may not be used to working with a John Williams type at all, but he knows he's being hired to make Kahleen Kennedy's next Star Wars film and I am sure would use Williams rather than force a more modern style composer, assuming Williams wants to do it.

 

Though he is writing the film too, he is more of a hired hand here than the situation he had on his early indie films. He doesn't have carte Blanche to do whatever he wants. He can easily be replaced like Josh Trank was.

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3 hours ago, Mr. Big said:

I'm honestly having trouble imagining him working with Riann Johnson, whose musical sensibilities are far different than Spielberg's or even Abrams'

I bet Potter fans couldn't comprehend how Cuaron's sensibilities could possibly fit Columbus's Potter world, much less compliment Williams' musical style, and look what happened. Both reinvented the wheel and made a perfect marriage (and comfortably the best Potter film of the 8).

 

I have complete faith in Johnson's film actually. I think he's the perfect fit for the middle film.

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1 minute ago, crumbs said:

I bet Potter fans couldn't comprehend how Cuaron's sensibilities could possibly fit Columbus's Potter world, much less compliment Williams' musical style, and look what happened. Both reinvented the wheel and made a perfect marriage (and comfortably the best Potter film of the 8).

 

I have complete faith in Johnson's film actually. I think he's the perfect fit for the middle film.

True.  Cuaron is probably the weirdest Williams collaborator.

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13 minutes ago, crumbs said:

He definitely brought the best out of Williams and didn't seem to pull an Abrams with the score. I wonder how Williams would've scored the film if Cuaron had given him carte blanche.

What does "pull an Abrams" mean? Whatever Abrams did, it resulted in a pretty great score.

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5 hours ago, Maestro said:

A little more insight, perhaps, into Rey's theme (as well as Kylo Ren's theme... among other things):

http://projectorandorchestra.com/john-williams-on-the-force-awakens-and-the-legacy-of-star-wars/

“It’s an interesting challenge with her, because her theme doesn’t suggest a love theme in any way. It suggests an adventurer, a female adventurer, but with great strength. She’s a fighter, she’s infused with the Force, and it needed to be something that was strong but thoughtful. She’s a very young girl, but she’s a woman of diverse parts, and so there’s a maturity, I think, about the approach, melodically, to her that I hope will fit her. It seemed particularly challenging, both in the scavenger section in the beginning and in the trip to the island to find Luke in the end, where her theme is pretty fully realized with the orchestra. And it seemed to the right degree of strength and beauty for an adventuress.”

 

That's a fantastic interview. I especially liked how he addressed the question about his age.

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4 hours ago, Quintus said:

I just need to hear that Jedi Steps theme come into play. Badly. 

 

It's his stealthiest greatest theme yet. 

 

It's deceptive in that it sounds unassuming and simple but there's so much going on in its form and beauty that you almost can't believe how clever and effective it is.  Amazing music that I hope to high hell wasn't intended as an isolated in-scene-only theme.

 

3 hours ago, Jay said:

Rian Johnson may not be used to working with a John Williams type at all, but he knows he's being hired to make Kahleen Kennedy's next Star Wars film and I am sure would use Williams rather than force a more modern style composer, assuming Williams wants to do it.

 

No one says "no" to John Williams doing Star Wars except John Williams.

 

1 hour ago, Mr. Big said:

True.  Cuaron is probably the weirdest Williams collaborator.

 

And Williams loved working with him.

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1 hour ago, mrbellamy said:

Has anybody actually broken down the relationship between Rey's Theme and The Jedi Steps? I recognize that they're similar and I know a lot of people have called it a hybrid of Rey and Luke's themes but I'm still not quite hearing the connection.

 

First I'm hearing of this. For what it's worth, I can't find melodic, harmonic, structural, or rhythmic similarities that are strong enough to be noteworthy. I mean, both are in 4/4 and in a minor key, but that's about it.

 

That being said, I'm realizing now that the Jedi Steps theme does bear some resemblance to an inverted version of Luke's theme in a minor key. It's not exact, but the perfect-fifth leap followed by stepwise motion in the opposite direction could have been intentional. Very interesting!

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On 12/27/2015 at 0:47 PM, karelm said:

I consider Rey's theme to be structurally similar to "Hymn to the Fallen" from Saving Private Ryan.  The melody isn't very clear at first until you get your hands around the structure.  Otherwise you might think "was that the melody"?

 

0:00 to 0:34 Intro: Flutes and tuned percussion playing the accompaniment figure.

0:35 to 0:42 A Theme first statement (Antecedent)

0:43 to 0:47 A Theme repeated (Consequent)

0:48 to 1:02 B theme (contrasting)

1:02 to 1:22 Bridge with harmonic development and modulation (bridge becomes a sequence that culminates with a bolder/grander/fuller restatement of the theme at...

1:22 to 1:41 A theme restatement with Horns (bold and powerful but not ominous)

1:42 A Theme with fortissimo string octaves theme (richer) and expanded with more repeats and call & response building to a more excited version of the bridge.  Bridge culminates in the grandest thematic statement at...

2:14 biggest version of the A theme with counter melodies, expansions, variations, and a brass choral leading to 2:41

2:42 to the end: Coda that revisits opening material.

 

So by 2:14 we've heard that A theme multiple times with the motific hook heard a few times to implant it in our heads.  

 

One of JW's hallmarks is his finely crafted bridges.  To many composers, the bridge is an afterthought but like ET and other vintage themes of his, the bridge is a very integral part of his melodic contours.  There is more to this one track than meets the eye and in passing, it might not have registered as quickly as some of the others do.  In short, I'm a big fan of this theme and it took some time for me to catch what was actually the theme versus the accompaniment, or the B theme, bridge, expansion, etc. It is sophisticated and that is why I think it rewards repeated listening.  Once you get what's going on, it's brilliant!

 

I was thinking a little bit about this piece's somewhat odd structure and I noticed somebody on a YouTube comment who said they weren't even sure what the theme was. So I took my own crack at it in more "layman's terms" to try and clear it up. Karelm's post helped me a lot...does this make sense to you guys?

 

Basically I see the theme as being split into 3 parts -- Beginning, Middle, and End -- and they get progressively bigger and go a slightly different direction each time. The Beginning and Middle are separated by a Bridge. John Williams also partners the theme with two "little" themes (A and B) that keep repeating and are used for the Intro, Bridge, and Outro. 

 

0:00 to 0:32 - INTRO (Little Theme A, Little Theme B, Little A)

0:33 to 0:59 - REY'S THEME, BEGINNING 

1:00 to 1:39 - BRIDGE (Little B starts in horns, climbs up with flutes, hits a short dramatic version of Rey's Theme in horns, climbs down with flutes)

1:40 to 2:12 - REY'S THEME, MIDDLE (with Little A jumping in at 1:55)

2:13 to 2:38 - REY'S THEME, END 

2:39 to 3:11 - OUTRO (Little B, Little A)

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On 1/4/2016 at 8:20 AM, filmmusic said:

I'm looking at the question and would like a clarification:

When we say "Best theme yet" we mean from all the film music Williams has ever written?

Or just the Force Awakens score?

If the first is true, then there are 15 people that believe Rey's theme is the best theme ever written by Williams leaving behind the themes from Schindler's List, E.T., Jurassic park, Indiana Jones, Superman, Harry Potter, Empire Strikes Back, Born on the 4th of July, Empire of the Sun, A.I. etc. etc.?


How about "Best Theme To Date?"

"Ever" and  "...Of All Time" are just grossly over-used.

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