Jump to content

John Williams might be giving some answers with Rey's Theme!


Recommended Posts

Hi! A long time since I haven't posted anything, but and, after a few listens to the Soundtrack, my ear was itching...so I thought I could summon the Nerd in me and have some fun while analyzing some stuff that caught my ear...

And...I think John Williams might have been giving more answers than "meets the ear"... at least when it comes to Rey's origin.

What do you guys think?

Attention, possible spoilers for Episode VIII!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 13
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I think we will have a new Luke centred theme. The "Luke, rebel hero" theme has sort of been repurposed for all rebel heroes, and I don't think it fits the new Luke. He'll need a new "Luke, jed

Thank you everybody! I has been a while since I last posted, but I see that there is still a huge enthusiasm around The fact that Rey's Theme is the more elaborate of all the new theme

  Very nice ear. In my listening, I suspected something about this moment but clearly didn't have enough bass because I totally missed that. &#1

Is this where we come needlessly overanalyze the music trying to find clues for the plot? because I'm totally down for that.

 

loved your video, I've been scouring for things like this and watched it beore you posted, and was typing up a big long thing that would have gone in another thread, but I think yours is better suited. Great eye on that hint of a vader cadence. It's very subtle and I would totally have missed it. I was scouring for minor flat vi's for the vader chord, which isn't there, but the melody contour fits. I sneakingly suspect that Rey is going to turn bad on us (all that raw power, no training) so I'm looking for anything that hints at the future. I'll also accept hints of lineage, that's OK too. He stays away from any figure linked to Vader in her themes, so far, except for the Jedi Steps... which may be about Luke and not her. Have you found other instances of the reflective Rey motif appearing in the soundtrack? It seems like a secondary or even tertiary theme, the music almost always turns away before getting there.

 

Here is my scattered and mostly disorganized thoughts on the soundtrack

 

There are very likely spoilers, turn back at once!

 

 

Rey's theme goes from i to IV, exactly the same way the force theme does (melody at 0:35, chord change at 0:40). (not particularly revealing, he probably did it expecting to use the themes side-by-side frequently, which he does) but as far as I'm aware they don't get overlayed directly until the credits (Jedi Steps + Finale 7:30). If it happens elsewhere in the movie but not on the OST, I want to know when!

 

Again in Rey's theme, the vibes/piano pattern before the main melody sounds so much like "Dies Irae". Could be insignificant, but I find it hard to believe it's entirely accidental.

 

Jedi Steps theme: that little theme has so much vader in it. Is that all about Luke or will it have connecting with Rey. Does this motif get used elsewhere that can give more clues?

 

There's a repeating motif of sextuplets in minor thirds in Torn Apart, (1:30) probably around the time someone is about to die, and it's also in the second half of Snoke's theme. Someone else pointed out it's a lot like a Palpatine moment from Episode 3. It's true it is very similar and I never would have caught that on my own. It's very similar suspense-type scoring.

However upon listening to the OST, I initially didn't think of Palpatine, but I thought it was a transformation of Rey's rhythmic ostinato (because that's what has been in my ear from listening to this non-stop). anything to that? My initial thought that it was from Snoke and Ren discussing Rey, "If what you say is true, bring her to me", but it's probably just more of a darkside/turmoil/internal conflict/ motif.

Again on her rhythmic ostinato, I feel potential for it to used in a way that evokes duel-of-fates, but it hasn't been used in that way, yet.

 

There was foreshadowing in the prequel soundtracks, but for those we already knew the outcome (palpatine -> emperor, anakin -> vader), so it was done differently, more like a nudge and wink.

 

 

Someone has brought up similarities between the first 6 notes of rey's theme (the part quoted most frequently) and the retrograde of kylo's motif. I don't know if that's a strong comparison, but it's something. (picture of the two motifs http://imgur.com/UJZyMpT)

 

There are lots of moments in the soundtrack which feel like pseudo-recitative, and I have not yet been able to identify thematic material from them, but for all we know, they could contain something important. for example, one (beginning of Finn's Confession though truthfully less recit than most) turns out to be a seemingly unrelated quote from Phantom Menace from Qui-gon talking to Anakin/Shmi.

 

Maz's Counsel, as an important character developing moment for Rey, feels like it should be packed with clues. If there's any hints of her heritage or destiny, it should be here, right? I'm totally lost for the first half of it, I don't recognize anything at all. We get an english horn quote that reminds us of the opening of the Scavenger. is that all?

At the end, I recognize the force motif and then a sort of forboding motif from Rey's theme.

In Rey's theme, around 1:20, at the first modulation, there is a horn line which is a variation of the theme for 2 bars. sort of an inversion, not exact. The harmonic pattern is identical to the normal statements of the theme. When the notes are ordered this way, it sounds a lot more like Kylo (really just that descending semi-tone, I guess). I've got my ears on this one. It appears in Maz's Counsel (2:40) after we hear the familiar Force theme. It fits as if it's her rejecting the lightsaber "I'm never touching that again" and fleeing. This motif also appears at the beginning of "The Farewell and the Trip", corresponding, I think with her rushing to the unconscious Finn, before Chewie shows up.

 

In Ways of the Force, we get that recollection of the Force theme on english horn as they are on the edge of the cliff (1:52). Is it important that instead of harmonically going from i to IV, it goes to flat II (neopolitan) before returning to the angry battle music. I'm pretty sure that the neopolitan harmonization is used a lot in the prequels, involving Anakin.

interestingly, that means that he doesn't get to show off the two themes and their identical harmonies, because he altered those harmonies.

 

Farewell and the trip - first we get that foreboding Rey motif which we heard in Maz's counsel, then we get the heroic stuff as they leave the starkiller, then we get a celebratory victory Force theme. at 1:25 we get a slightly altered Rey main theme, first 5 notes go as planned, and 6th note drops back down to re. She's sad I guess. but - there is a string line in The Scavenger (1:15) which has a matching fragment of that. almost. it's probably nothing, but in the movie we do hear that before we hear Rey's actually theme.

 

Back to Farewell and the trip, at (1:45) there's an interesting string line. Two descending patterns, three notes each. The second one is the exactly the Kylo intervals. The first one hints at it, but is not identical. It is immediately followed by the Han and Leia quote. (2:40) is another melody, definitely derived from Rey's theme (simplified and sadder). It is immediately followed by the Leia quote. She says "May the Force be with You" and the falcon takes off. We get some feel-good quotes and go into Rey theme proper.

 

Others have found thematic material paralleling Kylo to Anakin from the prequels which makes tons of sense... is there anything in there for Rey also?

 

Anybody found anything?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some pretty amazing analysis in here. Just imagine how much more in-depth we could get if we actually had all 3 hours of music at our disposal? Who knows what kinds of musical ideas or connections Williams wrote and jettisoned in early versions of cues? 

 

Anyway, it seems obvious that Williams is hinting at lineage in Rey's theme, considering how much he pointed out his use of Vader's Theme in Anakin's Theme.

 

So Rey is either Han/Leia or Luke's child. I imagine all will be revealed early in Episode VIII.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everybody! I has been a while since I last posted, but I see that there is still a huge enthusiasm around :P

The fact that Rey's Theme is the more elaborate of all the new themes makes me think that in the conversations with JJ Abrams (btw, if he's truly around this board, he is welcome to confirm this hehehe) this was probably one of the "only" things that were sure in the story outline. Or it wouldn't make sense to have such an elaborate theme (even in an infant version, as Anakin's theme in the prequels) than the rest of the new themes, wouldn't it?

Also, Kylo Ren is slightly elusive, but a little more clear than the rest. Considering his fate to be, it is normal that his theme is not as intensely presented as Rey's. We'll see in the next chapters for sure!

So, my opinion (which is just a personal one, not science based or supported by musical analysis) is that the only outline of the story that had for sure, for the next installments, was based around the story of these two characters...almost only. That would explain why the themes are somehow in an infant state...as if they need to "awake" (pun intented) and the thematic difference between TFA and the other chapters.

That's why my theory of hidden message is there. Music supports that, and the fact that these themes are much more carefully crafted than the others.

So, why the others aren't? Because they might not know yet, or at the moment of initial production (they might even be waiting for reports on what made good TFA and what not to change things in the next ones...major studios DO that everytime with Franchises).

The Prequels themes (specially Anakin's and everything surrounding Palpatine) were meticously crafted, because Williams had already all the answers, that's why the prequels score are much more complex than the OT.

There are even some Plagueis / Snoke questions regarding the similarity between Snoke's theme and the ROTS Opera Scene.
It is obvious that the aesthetics are the same as the ROTS Palpatine-Anakin Opera Scene.
But Snoke's theme is no more than a drone in TFA, without any musical implication other than filling the scene and using a sort of "macabre" male choir sounding to a bad guy, something that has been featured in all the Star Wars Trilogies. But it doesn't seem to explain anything more. Apparently, Snoke was initially conceived as a female character.

Andy Serkis even said he didn't have a clue on the character he was playing...besides a bad guy sitting on a podium. That would support my theory that Williams didn't have an answer either and could only play it safe...it was the perfect moment to depict a bad guy (think Voldemort's theme in the 1st Harry Potter movie...the bad guy had a backstory, and so had the music). If Williams didn't do it, it wasn't because he couldn't figure out a theme, but rather because JJ Abrams wouldn't tell him or have yet all the answers...

Again, that's just my personal theory.

Rey's theme, on the contrary, seem to have lot more implications embedded :P

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, RPurton said:

1:56 - 1:58 of The Scavenger sounds "Vaderish" in the bass/cello.

 

https://youtu.be/Q3YcCLaTnBE?t=1m54s

 

Very nice ear. In my listening, I suspected something about this moment but clearly didn't have enough bass because I totally missed that.

 

What's on screen at this moment? Is this when it zooms out on her speederbike and we see the full profile of the Star Destroyer?

When that same material is used in her main theme, we don't get that kind of reference (not even that kind of resolution), which presents the possibility that it's an acknowledgement of action on screen rather than reflection of her character. It could be foreshadowing, or totally innocent.

 

I want more of those!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Oboejdub said:

 

Very nice ear. In my listening, I suspected something about this moment but clearly didn't have enough bass because I totally missed that.

 

What's on screen at this moment? Is this when it zooms out on her speederbike and we see the full profile of the Star Destroyer?

When that same material is used in her main theme, we don't get that kind of reference (not even that kind of resolution), which presents the possibility that it's an acknowledgement of action on screen rather than reflection of her character. It could be foreshadowing, or totally innocent.

 

I want more of those!

 

It could very well just be incidental to the shot of her passing the ruins of the Star Destroyer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Drax said:

I think Augie's Great Municipal Band is really the Emperor's Theme and the music is foreshadowing his rise to power. It's freaking me out!

omg put in spoiler tags i haven't seen episode 3 yet

;)

 

BTW RPurton, that exact fragment of imperial march in the lower strings DOES appear again, at the end of Farewell and the Trip, and this time there is no star destroyer in the background. im gettin goosebumps. a clue! a clue!

around 4:30

 

This comes just before jedi steps.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I know I've mentioned this before, but so much emphasis is put on the interval of a minor 3rd throughout TFA's score (as the basis of new themes, and of key moments of underscore etc), that I really can't shake the feeling it must be intentional in some way.

 

Now, my interest in these scores is purely musical, and I'm sure no theory could possibly occur to me that isn't already hotly debated within both on- and offline realms of Star Wars fandom, but I would like to mention -since the giant Easter Egg that was Augie's Great Municipal Band has already been brought up- that should one wish to look for it, due to that undulating minor 3rd, the Emperor's Theme is very comfortably couched right in the middle of Rey's Theme.

Hidden in plain sight, as it were.

 

One could then argue that Rey's theme is a combination of the Force theme and the Emperor's theme (the light and the dark...). Add to that the possible Vader's theme reference, and what we have is a sort of equal opportunity set of references, which leads me to believe that perhaps the character's lineage has yet to be decided, and as such, her theme was purposely designed as a sort of "mystery" theme, as far as origins go, filled to the brim with little snippets and hints that may or may not have future relevance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Marcus said:

I know I've mentioned this before, but so much emphasis is put on the interval of a minor 3rd throughout TFA's score (as the basis of new themes, and of key moments of underscore etc), that I really can't shake the feeling it must be intentional in some way.

 

Now, my interest in these scores is purely musical, and I'm sure no theory could possibly occur to me that isn't already hotly debated within both on- and offline realms of Star Wars fandom, but I would like to mention -since the giant Easter Egg that was Augie's Great Municipal Band has already been brought up- that should one wish to look for it, due to that undulating minor 3rd, the Emperor's Theme is very comfortably couched right in the middle of Rey's Theme.

Hidden in plain sight, as it were.

 

One could then argue that Rey's theme is a combination of the Force theme and the Emperor's theme (the light and the dark...). Add to that the possible Vader's theme reference, and what we have is a sort of equal opportunity set of references, which leads me to believe that perhaps the character's lineage has yet to be decided, and as such, her theme was purposely designed as a sort of "mystery" theme, as far as origins go, filled to the brim with little snippets and hints that may or may not have future relevance.

 

Very insightful observations as usual, Marcus.

 

I am inclined to believe JW isn't purposefully hiding too many easter eggs inside the construction of Rey's theme. He probably knows more than us about the character's future development, but I doubt he is cramming too many hidden meanings about Rey's lineage and so forth. What is interesting to me, from a purely musical point of view, is how beautifully interrelated the piece is to several other Star Wars themes - to use Williams' own words - in terms of modality, harmony and intervalic relationships. Williams is acting very much like Wagner, Verdi or other great opera composers, linking the thematic material though a consistent musical language and hence giving it a strong narrative substance. As you eloquently put, Williams uses doom-laden figures to paint an uncertain future for the heroine, which is in neat contrast to the bright and optimistic Luke's theme.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TownerFan said:

 

 

 

I am inclined to believe JW isn't purposefully hiding too many easter eggs inside the construction of Rey's theme. He probably knows more than us about the character's future development, but I doubt he is cramming too many hidden meanings about Rey's lineage and so forth.

 

I believe this also.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...