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What to expect from Episode VIII's Score?


Unlucky Bastard
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A new chapter is on the way in about 18 months. We have no clue what it'll be about. JJ reckons the script is good, but he might be pulling a James Gunn on us there.

 

Although there's been no official announcement, is it a foregone conclusion that Johnny will return? If so, what can we expect? Will he give Rey's Theme further development or will he abandon it like he did Anakin's Theme? In ESB, he created a new baddie theme - will a new one emerge in the upcoming score?

 

And how will the scoring schedule go? In TFA, it seemed to drag on for months - a marathon run for an ageing composer who will be on his last legs should he decide to return for Episode IX.

 

Meantime, a new score by The Splat for Rogue One will be out later this year. That'll tide us over. I loved Godzilla, so I'm probably more eager for that one than most. I wonder if that film will have a $200+ million opening too?

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I don't see Rey's theme going anywhere. Anakin's theme vanished because it mainly communicated childlike innocence, and the character had grown far past that. But Rey's theme is something that will still fit her character no matter where the next film finds her.

 

I'm hoping for some more developed material for the baddies, a la Empire, and perhaps some actual melodic material for Finn. I actually wouldn't mind if Poe's theme gets used for him - it seems to fit better.

 

I'm also thinking or at least hoping that Leia's theme doesn't show up much in this one. I suppose they had to use it in TFA for the sake of nostalgia, but moving forward, she's a tough Resistance general, not the damsel-in-distress fantasy that the theme usually seems to evoke.

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I feel 60% confident Williams will score the remaining two films, as arbitrary a number as that is.  I don't think Williams would choose not to score except for extreme reasons.

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5 minutes ago, king mark said:

Because he read youtube user comments his TFA score sucks

 

Youtube:  I don't like it.  I want more epic choir songs like the trailer.

 

JW: I should never have tried to deny them their memes.  It was a fool's errand.  I will hand my baton to Hans.

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I'm expecting a new theme for Finn (partly because I'm skeptical as to whether what we've been calling his theme is really his theme at all). I do hope all the new themes return. If Rey's didn't come back it'd be a travesty (but I'd be surprised if it isn't back in full force). Kylo's two are pretty great and I'd love to hear them back, though I almost wouldn't be surprised if he had a new theme that was reminiscent of those two (though I'd probably just prefer her kept those and the First Order itself get a theme). Poe's theme is amazing, if hardly used, and it'd be a real missed opportunity if we didn't get more. The Resistance March is probably here to stay, I'd imagine, which is good (though all the more reason why the First Order needs a theme of its own). My biggest hope though is that we get some more of The Jedi Steps, maybe further developed into a full theme of its own for Luke.

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Episode VIII will introduce at least one new character (supposedly a villain).  There's also a rumor of another young female role.  So, Williams may create some themes for those characters.  I would imagine he would further develop and expand Snoke's theme.  Or he may create something new for Snoke.

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BB-8 will probably get a motif like 3PO and R2 did in Empire. I think Ren will drop the secondary tragic/psychotic theme and just use his evil Primary Theme, since he has fully turned. Finn will have a theme grown out of his action motif. Luke will adopt the Jedi Steps as his wise man/Jedi Master Theme. Rey will continue with her own; with Williams giving it a more evil twist, mysterious twist, or a more heroic nature depending on her character. I'd also like Williams to work his magic and somehow combine Poe's Theme and The Resistance March into one insane piece.

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More of Rey's theme for sure. More of Poe's theme, unless he remains a Wedge-type non-character. Either more of Finn's theme or a new theme for him, depending on what they do with him. And hopefully more of the Jedi Steps theme - Williams turned it into a concert piece, so I guess he does consider it a full, proper theme.

 

The rest of the themes depend on the script I guess, though I'd say we can at least expect more of the Resistance march the the Rebel fanfare (for the Falcon).

 

Oh... and the Force theme, of course.

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I would hope that the film has more obscure planetary landscapes, and so I would like the score to reflect that through more aleatoric and atonal writing.

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I expect Finn's theme to be long forgotten by episode 8, considering Williams seemed to have already forgotten in halfway into TFA, except for the credits arrangement.  Otherwise, I think Rey's and Poe's themes will be back.

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How about the return of the Cloud City hallway motif for a certain scoundrel not seen in VII?

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We will have a new "Luki, Jedi master" theme. maybe that's what jedi steps will become. His swashbuckling action hero theme has kind of been appropriated by others.

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Having trouble thinking about new material. As far as pre-existing music, I'm hoping we'll see the return of Luke and Leia's theme. Such a lovely piece that has never really gotten the chance* to shine within the films.

 

* - One could argue it could have been used in ROTS with the birth of the twins but I'm assuming the mature nature of the theme led to it being omitted. 

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I hope JW scores Ep 8. If he does, I think he will give the score a bit more gravity, like how both ESB was a heavier sounding score than ANH and AOTC was more dark and mysterious than TPM. 

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I expect another solid score by John Williams, developing all the new themes he has written.

 

Given that production time of this new trilogy is shorter between each instalment, I think we'll have more continuity in the score, as previous work will still be fresh in Williams' mind. 

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18 minutes ago, Scarpia said:

I expect another solid score by John Williams, developing all the new themes he has written.

 

Why? Because he has hardly ever actually done that.

 

While TESB brought back most (but not all) of the SW themes, only Luke's theme and The Force Theme can be said to have given any "development".

 

Same actually for ROTJ.

 

None of the themes introduced in the Prequels actually get much of a restate, let alone any development of any kind in subsequent entries.

 

I never understood where this idea comes from. John Williams is NOT Howard Shore. He has never shown any sign that he's particularly sentimental about certain themes and will only use them if he sees fot. But more then often he will try to write new material.

 

With the exception of the Raiders March all the Indy films have different themes.

 

CoS reuses a lot of themes from the first Potter films, but mainly because of scheduling issues. POA uses almost nothing apart from Hedwigs theme. Its all new.

 

With the exception of a few statements The Lost World is a score completely unrelated thematically from Jurassic Park.

 

Jaws 2 doesn't reuse much outside of the Shark Theme.

 

Only CoS and Home Alone 2 come to find as examples where Williams relies heavily on previously established themes. And in either case you can question if those themes are developed or just restated.

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15 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

None of the themes introduced in the Prequels actually get much of a restate, let alone any development of any kind in subsequent entries.

I never understood where this idea comes from. John Williams is NOT Howard Shore. He has never shown any sign that he's particularly sentimental about certain themes and will only use them if he sees fot. But more then often he will try to write new material.

 

Well that's not really true unless it's being compared to how Shore might do it.

The thematic material in the prequels is in a constant state of development but in a much more cellular way.

There is a lot of material that travels from one film and into the next one and used as a long term development following the whole arc of the 'fall from grace' and more or less from the start of each movie so much of what you hear are the building blocks of what will lead to the big set piece presentation of the film's big theme in each movie, the duel of the fates fight, the arena (across the stars), the battle of the heroes fight.

There are so many ideas from across the stars that can be found in Ep3 and fused with that movie's new ideas to becoming the new building blocks that lead to the inevitably constructed new main theme of the movie, I think this is the most overlooked aspect of the music in the prequels.

So there is almost always development but it's just done in a different way than what people hear from Shore.

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18 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

Interesting?

Can you list any specific examples?

 

You know it's something that I'd love to do but doing it justice would be such a colossal task.

That said, yeah I should try to at least find some examples of what I mean .....it's just hard to break away from my current TFA binge.

 

Have you checked out Ludwig's Battle of the Heroes Analysis for example?

That has some great information in it.

http://www.filmmusicnotes.com/celebrating-star-wars-themes-part-6-of-6-battle-of-the-heroes/

I know some people might get put off when they see written musical examples or a certain amount of theory being used but his analysis are not like that and the tech talk is only there to help provide some immediate comparisons.

Check it out if you haven't and his other ones.

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It's a bit cheeky a reference when only user Ludwig gets it, isn't it? And even he just assumes in 80% of the examples.

 

I'm certain i can find overwhelming similarities in 'The Paris Church Aflame' and 'The Starkiller'. But to what end?

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9 hours ago, publicist said:

It's a bit cheeky a reference when only user Ludwig gets it, isn't it? And even he just assumes in 80% of the examples.

I'm certain i can find overwhelming similarities in 'The Paris Church Aflame' and 'The Starkiller'. But to what end?

 

I'm pretty sure he's not the only one that gets it but a lot of this can only be based on assumption when analysing long form ideas unless we have the benefit of the composer themselves breaking down and deconstructing the music for us.

However a keen ear or even some musical training can help to provide a musicological basis for defending any conclusions reached .....that still might not make something definitively written in stone but the connections that are found and how they might relate to the dramatic arc they underscore can certainly be grounds enough for closer inspection instead of easily dismissing them.

 

You can most certainly find overwhelming similarities in The Patriot track and TFA track, although first you could re-route it through Anakin's Betrayal, Immolation Scene, Padme's Visit, etc ....there's a lot of The Patriot in the prequels.

Whatever emotion Williams is trying to evoke or whatever he is trying to capture musically obviously has nothing to do with a space saga or the location and context of the church.

The similar style he uses in these lamentful pieces more reflects Williams' feelings on the kind of murder/tragedy aspect so the core similarities of the subject matter can't help but request Williams to respond with an equal amount of similarity.

I'd feel a lot less stable with Williams' musical voice if everything that was similar in emotion was approached emotionally different by him, although this can also depend on the decisions by the director and composer of how the music will function in a movie.

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It's not dismissing them, it's realistically labelling them as esoteric - obviously even for most die hard fans here.

 

What i'm saying is, not in regards to lofty scholarly views on half-tone steps and what have you but in relation to Williams' known quantities as dramatist, that even if he would vouch for these connections as legitimate and not random coincidences that it seems hardly worth the trouble and also is not the way the composer usually works (Williams ain't Shore).

 

As for the mournful adagios, well that's an apologist's way of putting it. A less kind soul might label it as unimaginative, especially for a film composer who often deals with similar subjects by profession. 

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I'm certainly not an apologist ....Williams doesn't need one.

 

There's an article I'm looking everywhere for where Williams addresses something about this idea of people finding connections.

 

He said that people probably do find connections he hadn't consciously written but that didn't mean they weren't valid connections.

People like Williams, Goldsmith and most of the old school do this naturally as a long form musical response, deconstructing larger chunks of material or ideas, while addressing in their own style the dramatic needs of the movie.

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Yeah, I'm sure that's fair, ha ;)

 

Even now I still find little musical ideas/connections in the original SW that also fit dramatically, to foreshadow or further the story and would love to know if some of them  were conscious decisions or just  the result of unconsciously breaking up core musical material and insightfully applying it as a story telling device.

Too many of these things work so well to serve the drama for them to be coincidences but for a composer to think about all of those things individually and consciously would probably ruin the natural flow of the music.

I think with highly developed insight, great dramatic instincts and an enormous musical vocabulary a great composer can't help but write music that has very deep connections as a whole, whether they're meant to be discovered or not.

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