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The Force Awakens - Complete Score Breakdown & Chronological Order (Film Spoilers Allowed)


Jay

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56 minutes ago, Fennel Ka said:

Hmm probably because I have been rendering the videos without any actual visual content (and rendering at 1x1 resolution, 1% quality etc.)

 

Is there any way for you to make them the same file type as all the other cues you've posted in the past months (which open fine)? Thanks so much by the way for all the cues you've posted. Between Jason LeBlanc's analysis and your film and documentary rips, this is probably the thread of the year! 

8 hours ago, Datameister said:

Now that I am listening more closely to the Target features, I'm hearing part of a cue that was probably written for one of Finn's saber fights, probably the one with the stormtrooper. And hot damn, is it good. Should have been on the OST.

 

Is this something Fennel Ka has posted in this thread? Your description makes me really want to hear that cue, but I didn't get the Target version of the film (I got the Amazon digital), and I couldn't find the Target extras on YouTube. 

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21 hours ago, Datameister said:

 

Thanks. Although the quality of the rip is terrible. Hopefully someone gets that feature onto YouTube -- of course you'd hear dialogue over the music, but the music would not be distorted. 

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Yeah the center channel removal absolutely massacres the sound quality of the digital-only features. It still does a number on the Blu-ray audio, but it's not that distorted. For my own listening, I use some tricks to simulate a bit of stereo space, and then I use my imagination and my memory of what the undistorted music sounds like under all the dialogue and sound effects.

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is there really doubts that https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxQSwI5aPja9cEg3TElmWGdUdW8/view?pref=2&pli=1 is Williams?

 

for one, it sounds exactly like the LA orchestra and like Williams and the rest of the TFA score.

 

in fact, it sounds very similar to the Battle of Jakku cue, the start reminds me of the beginning of the music when Kylo Ren descends from his shuttle, leading me to believe its an alternate score for a First Order scene.

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I was watching ET tonight and I noticed heavy similarities between some of the mid-film ET-and-Elliot bonding music and the mellow cue that some think isn't Williams. Possibly evidence that it is Williams?

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On 5/22/2016 at 6:48 AM, Demodex said:

Is anyone by any chance working on a film edit of TFA?

 

Many people in this thread seem to be.

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Well, I have started my complete score analysis. I hope to be done by early July, but we'll see. It's a massive project; who knows if I'll even finish, if I don't I'll just post what I have. But I'll try! Don't expect any groundbreaking revelations about the score; a lot of what I'm doing is compiling others' observations. My goal is for people new to the TFA score to have one definitive place to read about it rather than having to comb through various threads on the forums. 

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Nice detailed post but that particular article from Making Star Wars has literally no accurate information in it concerning music that appears in the score. I know there are alternates and new music and cut music etc, but Rey's Theme does not sound like Anakin's theme, there is no jazzy big band number, and there is no beautiful choral piece. MSW has gotten better over time but they have been wrong before and I think someone was fooling them with that article. Also, pretty much nothing leaked from the scoring sessions ever again after that except for some photos that were quickly taken down so I don't believe that particular report. 

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Interesting. I tried to put the music in the scene, but as we still don't know much about the recording sessions, I wasn't quite sure where to put each segment, so I had to do some guess-work.

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4TAY1QZsUSYS1NGNjBRa3BkWjA

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10 minutes ago, Manikin Skywalker said:

Interesting. I tried to put the music in the scene, but as we still don't know much about the recording sessions, I wasn't quite sure where to put each segment, so I had to do some guess-work.

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4TAY1QZsUSYS1NGNjBRa3BkWjA

Why is Hux shouting "Ben!"?

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I think the music for that scene would have started later than that. It doesn't match up at all with what's on the screen. The ending definitely puts me in mind of seeing the Stakiller weapon's cannon destroying the Hosnian system.

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Interesting. I've been convinced that was a First Order theme for a while, but if the parade grounds is indeed the intended scene—is it not also possible that this is actually a motif for Starkiller Base itself? 

 

That would make it an equivalent to the four-note Death Star motif. And its use at the end of the Jakku village sequence as the landing craft fly away from the backdrop of Jakku would be a direct mirror of the Death Star motif's first appearance as the star cruiser flies away from Tatooine at the end of the opening Imperial attack in ANH—in both cases, not corresponding to what's directly on screen, but signifying their eventual destination as the scene transitions.

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16 hours ago, artguy360 said:

Nice detailed post but that particular article from Making Star Wars has literally no accurate information in it concerning music that appears in the score. I know there are alternates and new music and cut music etc, but Rey's Theme does not sound like Anakin's theme, there is no jazzy big band number, and there is no beautiful choral piece. MSW has gotten better over time but they have been wrong before and I think someone was fooling them with that article. Also, pretty much nothing leaked from the scoring sessions ever again after that except for some photos that were quickly taken down so I don't believe that particular report. 

 

Rey's theme sounds enough like Anakin's for a source to describe it that way, IMO. And how do we know there's no jazzy big band number? Maybe it's unused and unheard thus far. In regards to the "beautiful sustained voice over melody" piece described, that could be an unused version of "The Starkiller," since MSW says it's tied to the snow planet. 

8 hours ago, aviazn said:

Interesting. I've been convinced that was a First Order theme for a while, but if the parade grounds is indeed the intended scene—is it not also possible that this is actually a motif for Starkiller Base itself? 

 

That would make it an equivalent to the four-note Death Star motif. And its use at the end of the Jakku village sequence as the landing craft fly away from the backdrop of Jakku would be a direct mirror of the Death Star motif's first appearance as the star cruiser flies away from Tatooine at the end of the opening Imperial attack in ANH—in both cases, not corresponding to what's directly on screen, but signifying their eventual destination as the scene transitions.

 

You may actually be right. Here's what I had thought before you brought up that idea:

 

I thought there indeed was a Starkiller Base theme. But I didn't think it was the one used in the unknown cue possibly intended for the parade grounds sequence. Instead, I thought the Starkiller Base theme was the one heard several times in the third act as the heroes traverse the planet. One example is in the cue "Group Enters Base," where it is heard a few times:

 

However, I did just realize that one of the appearances of the four-note TFA theme being debated is in the cue "Precinct 47," near the beginning. That cue plays over the discussion in Resistance headquarters about how to attack Starkiller Base. (I don't know exactly what's on screen when the theme plays). Obviously, though, that usage of the theme could also indicate that it's the First Order theme because the First Order runs Starkiller Base, it doesn't necessarily mean it's the Starkiller Base theme. 

 

What makes me still think the four-note theme in question is for the First Order in general is that it plays when Finn and Poe look up at the TIE fighter when they are about to enter it to escape. 

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17 hours ago, Manikin Skywalker said:

Interesting. I tried to put the music in the scene, but as we still don't know much about the recording sessions, I wasn't quite sure where to put each segment, so I had to do some guess-work.

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4TAY1QZsUSYS1NGNjBRa3BkWjA

 

Nice work!

 

There's something I should point out: the music here ... https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxQSwI5aPja9NXlLWWQxRVQ0WGs/view ... may well be all one cue, but it could also be two cues (with the break between the two occurring when Han yells "Ben!") -- meaning that the music heard in that Drive file might not all be intended for the same scene, although it certainly could be. 

 

@Gistech

 

There's another thing I forgot to mention in my initial post on the matter. The Drive file I linked to in the preceding paragraph of this post (the same file in my initial post) actually edits out some music in the portion from the beginning to Han's yell. The end of Hux's speech goes with no music in Manikin's music-to-picture attempt. But interestingly, if the missing music is restored (which Fennel Ka tried to do here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxQSwI5aPja9MWZLV1p2anN0RVE/view), then the timing of the music lines up more or less exactly to the picture from the beginning of the scene until the end of Hux's speech. I've been imagining the dramatic building music stopping and then Hux yelling "Fire!" It really seems like it would work well. 

 

In general, though, I kinda think the "building" music with the possible First Order theme doesn't work as well with the scene as silence, which is what we got in the final film. However, it's possible that back in early June the film was supposed to cut back and forth from Hux's speech to the First Order approaching Takodana to attack, in which case the building music would fit really well with the scene, I think. 

7 hours ago, Datameister said:

Not to mention its use as the X-wings are showing up near the base. As far as I'm concerned, that motif is most closely associated with the base.

 

You mean in "The Bombing Run" opening? Nice, I hadn't made that connection! Still, though, since the base is owned by the First Order, it's hard to be sure which Williams is trying to represent. I wonder what's on screen at that exact moment we hear the theme in that cue.

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21 hours ago, Bill said:

With the help of Fennel Ka, I think I have unlocked one of the mysteries of this score!!! I could barely contain my excitement when I realized this because it was something that had been bothering me for a while. Basically, the First Order has a theme -- but it's not the one that Marcus was calling their theme!

 

I'll explain this (it will get a little long but bear with me). Back last summer (early June), I read a Making Star Wars report (http://makingstarwars.net/2015/06/details-on-a-few-unique-tracks-from-star-wars-the-force-awakens-score/) that said the following: 

 

 

This was very early in the sessions -- in fact, I believe only one or two had occurred when this article was written. So keep in mind that it's certainly possible for the score to change a lot between then and the film's release. Also keep in mind that Making Star Wars has proven to be an extremely reliable source for Star Wars production news.

 

Now, when the TFA score was released, I wondered: What was this "First Order March"? We couldn't look to the Parade Grounds sequence (Hux's booming speech), because if there was ever music there, it didn't make it into the final film. And while there were multiple villain themes, none of them ever sounded like a march. For this reason and others I will mention later, I began to think this report wasn't accurate. 

 

Then we started to hear unused music in documentaries. One particular bit ripped by Fennel Ka (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxQSwI5aPja9NXlLWWQxRVQ0WGs/view?pref=2&pli=1) sounded like a march in the beginning portion. And that part contained a four-note musical idea heard other times in the score. I didn't make the connection then.

 

But in Fennel Ka's edit, he has the music from the beginning of the above Google Drive file to the moment it stops for Han to yell as the cue, "The Last Day of the Republic." And it suddenly clicked for me, as I realized that this music was almost certainly indented for that scene, the Parade Grounds scene. That four-note idea is the First Order theme. The cue "The Last Day of the Republic" would have played over the Parade Grounds sequence. As far as I know that's the only time it appears in march form, but it appears other times in other forms. The First Order theme can be heard at :20-:27 of "Preparing For Assault" (also known as "Precinct 47" or "The Plan") and :17-:20, :24-:27, and :50-:53 of the "BIG unknown Unused Cue/Alternate," (as posted in the Google Drive link above) as well as during the moment the First Order ships return to the Star Destroyer after the Attack on the Jakku Village (don't have the time stamp at the moment). It can also be heard when Finn and Poe are about to enter the TIE fighter to escape the Star Destroyer (that's a more subtle performance, I can give time stamp tomorrow if you want). 

 

The theme Marcus spotted that he thought was the First Order theme (heard on horns over string ostinato as transports zoom toward screen in opening sequence) is probably actually Snoke's theme, which makes sense given that the majority of its appearances are in Snoke's scenes, I believe.

 

With what I have discovered to be the actual First Order theme, it's possible it was in the film more early on and that's why MSW said it was the "thing" being recorded. Maybe they thought it was better to make Ren's primary theme the centerpiece villain theme.

 

Also, many had discounted the MSW's report because of the apparent absence in the score of much of what it described, but I think what I figured out makes it possible that some of the other things described are just in alternates we haven't heard yet (like the jazzy big band piece and operatic cantilena). 

 

I may have forgotten something because it's late and I'm tired, if you have any questions please ask. 


 

 

Thanks for sharing!

The two four-note motifs are actually inversions of each other, although the one that begins with the descending minor second cleverly relates to Snoke as well.

 

The cue you've shared seems to build towards Han & Kylo Ren's confrontation ("Ben!"), and the fantastic climax based on the Force theme is probably what was referenced in the reports of Williams asking the trombones to give him something "louder than anything Verdi's got". 

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18 minutes ago, Marcus said:

 

Thanks for sharing!

The two four-note motifs are actually inversions of each other, although the one that begins with the descending minor second cleverly relates to Snoke as well.

 

The cue you've shared seems to build towards Han & Kylo Ren's confrontation ("Ben!"), and the fantastic climax based on the Force theme is probably what was referenced in the reports of Williams asking the trombones to give him something "louder than anything Verdi's got". 

 

Woah, I thought they might be inversions but I wasn't sure, that's awesome!

 

Quote

the one that begins with the descending minor second cleverly relates to Snoke as well.

 

You're referring to the theme heard on horns over militaristic ostinato in the opening sequence when you say "the one," right? Because not only does that relate to Snoke, I think it might be his theme! 

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1 minute ago, Bill said:

 

Woah, I thought they might be inversions but I wasn't sure, that's awesome!

 

 

You're referring to the theme heard on horns over militaristic ostinato in the opening sequence when you say "the one," right?

Yes, that's the one!

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37 minutes ago, Marcus said:

 

The cue you've shared seems to build towards Han & Kylo Ren's confrontation ("Ben!")

 

Fennel Ka ripped that music (and the yell of "Ben!") from a documentary (Secrets of the Force Awakens). That music does play over the Han's Death scene in the documentary, but we can't be sure that some/all of that music was intended for that scene in the film. The documentary editors could have just done some clever editing. It's being debated, as you may have seen, whether the building music is building to Han and Kylo's confrontation or building to the firing of Starkiller Base on the Hosnian system. We need the sheet music/recording sessions! 

 

Quote

and the fantastic climax based on the Force theme is probably what was referenced in the reports of Williams asking the trombones to give him something "louder than anything Verdi's got". 

 

You might be right! I remember that report got me so excited for this score. Naturally, it seems as if the cue teased may have been unreleased, at least until that documentary. There's debate about whether this Force theme climax was intended for the firing of the Starkiller on the Hosnian system, or whether it was to play over Ren killing Han. 

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I have no doubt it was for Han's death. It's too strongly melodramatic to belong anywhere else. You can even hear a bit of the preceding alternate music just before the saber ignition, too, as I recall - some of which was used in the film and FYC.

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I do wonder why Han's death would be underscored with the Force Theme.

Han Solo and the Princess would have made more sense. Or Leia's theme perhaps?

But why the Force Theme for a non-Force character?

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6 hours ago, Pieter_Boelen said:

I do wonder why Han's death would be underscored with the Force Theme.

Han Solo and the Princess would have made more sense. Or Leia's theme perhaps?

But why the Force Theme for a non-Force character?

 

"It's an energy field created by all living things."

 

Not saying you're wrong, but technically this could be used as an excuse to score any character with the Force Theme :D

 

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And of course, we've certainly seen Williams play fast and loose with his leitmotifs before. Leia's theme when Obi-Wan dies, Yoda's theme when Luke's in Cloud City, you name it. Heck, consider the famed binary sunset cue - is the Force really that involved in the scene?

 

Sometimes Williams just uses whatever melody sounds right. While they obviously decided not to use this particular cue, I do think it constitutes a valid approach to scoring Han's death.

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The Force Theme makes perfect sense for the moment; more about Kylo Ren than Han Solo. The Dark Side takes over his senses and destroys what remained of the light side within him; the cue is a heartbreaking painting of the Force Theme literally being "Torn Apart" by the treachery of a son so lost in himself that he murders his own father. Not to mention the obvious connections to Luke and his failed Jedi training are coming into play here, as well.

 

Alas, they probably found the cue unnecessarily overt for the moment, which is dramatic enough without the music needing to hit you over the head that you're witnessing a momentously tragic betrayal. It's Williams sinking back into prequel trilogy musical storytelling mode, when he spent the rest of the film supporting the drama rather than having to create it.

 

They made the right decision, even if it's one hell of an unreleased cue.

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17 hours ago, Pieter_Boelen said:

I do wonder why Han's death would be underscored with the Force Theme.

Han Solo and the Princess would have made more sense. Or Leia's theme perhaps?

But why the Force Theme for a non-Force character?

 

I think "the Force" is also a motific reference to fate.  If you think of it this way, it can make sense at monumental moments such as the death of Ben, the twin suns, Obi-Wan introducing the meaning of the force, etc.  If the Force theme was strictly a motif to represent the Force, then it could have made sense when Yoda for the first time demonstrates the power of the force when lifting Luke's x-wing from the swamp but we only got the triumphant yoda theme and nothing of the force theme.  This also would fit in with Wagnarian and other models such as Oedipus in how fate has its hands over the events of the characters regardless of their attempts to subvert it.  It is sort of like a force/destiny theme so Han fulfilled his destiny.

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10 hours ago, crumbs said:

Alas, they probably found the cue unnecessarily overt for the moment, which is dramatic enough without the music needing to hit you over the head that you're witnessing a momentously tragic betrayal. It's Williams sinking back into prequel trilogy musical storytelling mode, when he spent the rest of the film supporting the drama rather than having to create it.

 

They made the right decision, even if it's one hell of an unreleased cue.

did you mean original trilogy musical storytelling mode? because for a lot of people the prequels had trouble connecting with people on an emotional level which is why you'd get bombastic pieces like Battle of Heroes and Duel of the Fates. I didn't mind it personally, its a very classic Hollywood approach to scoring, but some of those tracks felt static and recyclable. 

 

that unreleased cue is absolutely beautiful, given what we know now could someone edit that to picture and upload it to Google Drive? I tried lining it up and it made the scene so much more intense to watch even if it is a little overblown. 

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Nicely put, sums up the Force Theme very well. It certainly transcends the films.

 

Probably the most versatile theme of his career; even after 7 years he's still reinventing it.

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1 hour ago, crumbs said:

 

There was no chemistry between Christensen and Portman in AOTC, so Williams had to write the most lush, epic and sprawling love theme of his career (he probably pretended he was scoring Out of Africa) to compensate for the total lack of filmmaking ability. 

That might be the reason "Across the Stars" doesn't do much for me emotionally.  Despite it's attempts to evoke "grand love!", it feels strangely impersonal.  

 

That being said, it's still far more than the film (and George Lucas) deserved.  

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Like several of the themes in the Prequels Across The Stars doesn't really reflect the characters or the situation it represents very much.

It's a boisterous and epic theme for a love that completely falls flat on the screen, and actually shouldn't exist. (Its the downfall of the Jedi and the Old Republic).

 

It's good music, but it's essentially a love theme for Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun.

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To literal? Where's literal and how do we get there?

 

Perhaps you are taking my taking you literally too literally. 

 

Like at least one or two others, Across the Stars is a far better love theme than either its film or associated lovers deserve  

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The prequels gave us some amazing music.

Duel of the Fates - Two boring characters with no personality have a lightsaber battle with a boring villain with a cool design.

Across the Stars - Two boring characters with no chemistry, who disagree about almost everything, one of whom murders an entire village of women and children, have an epic love story with the believability of Thomas the Tank Engine.

Battle of the Heroes - Two close friends (despite spending the entire film disagreeing and bitching about each other behind their backs) do battle in a giant video game landscape.

 

Williams' music did not reflect the films he was scoring; I shudder to think how ordinary the music would've been if it did.

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