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Your favourite film + music moments in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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16 minutes ago, Mr. Big said:

The sweeping statement of Rey's theme as Finn runs after her in "The Abduction".

I kind of wish that the final lightsaber duel had more of a heroic or romantic sweep like those latter 2 moments.  

 

I agree that those more sweeping arrangements are wonderful, but I really like how the scoring for duel hints more at Rey's power and perhaps at the temptation of the dark side. I don't know whether my interpretation is correct, but between the music, the editing, and Daisy Ridley's acting, it seemed to me that Rey's power was being fueled in part by anger and vengeful thoughts. As we've seen, an untrained youth with strong Force powers can be tempted quite a bit by the dark side. And Williams' approach with the duel does a perfect job of subtly underlining that danger, even as she's besting the villain.

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7 minutes ago, Datameister said:

 

I agree that those more sweeping arrangements are wonderful, but I really like how the scoring for duel hints more at Rey's power and perhaps at the temptation of the dark side. I don't know whether my interpretation is correct, but between the music, the editing, and Daisy Ridley's acting, it seemed to me that Rey's power was being fueled in part by anger and vengeful thoughts. As we've seen, an untrained youth with strong Force powers can be tempted quite a bit by the dark side. And Williams' approach with the duel does a perfect job of subtly underlining that danger, even as she's besting the villain.

 

That was my interpretation as well.  Especially with that gnarly, quick brass at 2:33 on the OST track.  It doesn't have the warm power that is often associated with the force theme.  It is very brutal, ferocious.

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26 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

Yep. It's actually one of the reasons why I believe Rey may turn to the Dark Side in Episode VIII or IX.

 

The novel made it clear she closed that door to the dark side when Ren was trying to woo her...but that doesn't mean he won't try harder next time.

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18 hours ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

Well I think the first appearance of Finn's motive during the Follow Me sequence is just great fun.  The first bit of action with the very likable main characters, that is exciting and makes me smile.

 

Does Finn have a theme or a motif?  How does one distinguish between the two definitions?  Personally, and this is my own instinctive reaction, is that it is more of an action motif for Finn than a proper theme.

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That was deliberate I'm sure.

 

Williams already had heroic/noble themes for Rey, Poe and the Resistance.

 

It was probably more useful to have a more rhytmic theme for Finn, instead of yet another long lined melody.

 

Notice that Finn's theme doesn't seem to feature at all after the Rathar track. I don't think Williams will revisit it in the next film.

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31 minutes ago, Hedji said:

 

Does Finn have a theme or a motif?  How does one distinguish between the two definitions?  Personally, and this is my own instinctive reaction, is that it is more of an action motif for Finn than a proper theme.

To me themes are just motifs extended into longer pieces like Rey's theme or the Resistance theme. Maybe the complexity of the piece also has to do with whether something is a motif or a theme. Rey's theme for example has several distinct components that all describe her character. Throughout the score JW uses each component sometimes without the others to refer to Rey. In contrast motifs are shorter and simpler, but then again Kylo Ren has 2. I think theme is just casual langauge for motif. 

 

I do think Finn definitely has a motif. By my listening these are the motifs clearly present in TFA: Rey's theme, Kylo Ren's 2 motifs, Finn's motif, Poe's motif, the Resistance theme, Han and Leia's motif, Leia's theme, the Imperial March, Luke's motif, and the force motif. Maybe there are more but that's off the top of my head. I agree though that Finn's motif is more action oriented and seemingly written for those action sequences in the first half of the film. I'm not sure if it ever plays again until the end credits. 

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I like Finn's motif though.  As others mentioned, it's very light on its feet, and Goldsmithian in a good way.

Although it's Poe who really gets better treatment, harmonically speaking.

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3 hours ago, Stefancos said:

That was deliberate I'm sure.

 

Williams already had heroic/noble themes for Rey, Poe and the Resistance.

 

It was probably more useful to have a more rhytmic theme for Finn, instead of yet another long lined melody.

 

Notice that Finn's theme doesn't seem to feature at all after the Rathar track. I don't think Williams will revisit it in the next film.

 

Yes, Williams gives Finn a nervous bit of propulsive music which fits his main characteristic - dude on the run - and doubles as a needed rhythmic element for the score.  I'm sure we may see it transformed in some way into a more proper melodic theme, or it'll be totally replaced. 

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His character has potential for a dynamic arc, so it would be swell to hear a new theme for him in VIII, especially if he has a changing role.

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1 hour ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

 

Yes, Williams gives Finn a nervous bit of propulsive music which fits his main characteristic - dude on the run - and doubles as a needed rhythmic element for the score.  I'm sure we may see it transformed in some way into a more proper melodic theme, or it'll be totally replaced. 

 

I never would have identified it as Finn's theme unless it was pointed out to me here. To me it initially sounded like just an action motif.

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2 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Because John Williams said it was?

 

Oh yeah, I forgot he did say that in one interview. Never mind then. Still think it's a pretty loose connection, though. Could just as well call Poe's theme a double for Finn.

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It really functions as more of a general victory theme that's loosely associated with Poe. Like Finn's "theme", it's never put through any real leitmotivic paces the way something like Rey's theme or Kylo Ren's theme would be - it's just there to provide a musical throughline in some moments that involve similar emotions and similar characters.

 

When I first heard Poe's theme on my first viewing, it struck me as being the birth of Finn's theme. It occurs right as he takes his first definitive action against the First Order. It's his birth as someone other than a stormtrooper. The moment is about him, not Poe. I thought the theme would be used for him in the rest of the film. I kinda wish that had been the case. It's a beautiful theme, and frankly, I think Finn needed his own musical identity more than Poe, who's a relatively minor character in this film.

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Ummm...

 

Not every theme has to grow and develop with it's character. Poe is one that only features briefly in the film. So his theme doesn't get a lot of variation.

I is definitely Poe's theme though. Not some "general victory" theme loosly associated with the character.

 

Where do you get this stuff?

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10 hours ago, Datameister said:

It really functions as more of a general victory theme that's loosely associated with Poe. Like Finn's "theme", it's never put through any real leitmotivic paces the way something like Rey's theme or Kylo Ren's theme would be - it's just there to provide a musical throughline in some moments that involve similar emotions and similar characters.

 

When I first heard Poe's theme on my first viewing, it struck me as being the birth of Finn's theme. It occurs right as he takes his first definitive action against the First Order. It's his birth as someone other than a stormtrooper. The moment is about him, not Poe. I thought the theme would be used for him in the rest of the film. I kinda wish that had been the case. It's a beautiful theme, and frankly, I think Finn needed his own musical identity more than Poe, who's a relatively minor character in this film.

 

It is odd that Poe has more of a theme than Finn does but I think part of that might be by design. I anticipate Poe having a bigger role to play in subsequent films, making his theme a taste of things to come, and Finn growing into whatever kind of character he will be. It's important to keep in mind that not every character in the original film had their own theme. For some it wasn't until later that a thematic stamp was put in the music. 

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5 minutes ago, Red said:

 

It is odd that Poe has more of a theme than Finn does but I think part of that might be by design. I anticipate Poe having a bigger role to play in subsequent films, making his theme a taste of things to come, and Finn growing into whatever kind of character he will be. It's important to keep in mind that not every character in the original film had their own theme. For some it wasn't until later that a thematic stamp was put in the music. 

 

I like to think that's the case, but I don't think it's intentional in that Williams has a grand plan in his mind.  He doesn't know anymore of what's to come in the following films than the rest of us.  That's part of the reason why I think it's silly that some people think Snoke's music deliberately "sounds" like the ROTS cue as if Snoke is actually Darth Plagueis.  Williams doesn't know the development of Snoke and I doubt he even knows who Darth Plagueis is.  In any case, we may hear Poe's theme again, but I doubt it's going to be more fleshed out.  I don't think Williams operates that way.  He seems to score films as if it's his last... if that makes sense.

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13 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Ummm...

 

Not every theme has to grow and develop with it's character. Poe is one that only features briefly in the film. So his theme doesn't get a lot of variation.

I is definitely Poe's theme though. Not some "general victory" theme loosly associated with the character.

 

Where do you get this stuff?

 

Mainly from the way it's used. Poe is indeed not that big a character in this particular film, but bear in mind that he's featured in the entire first sequence on Jakku, the interrogation scene, several moments at the Resistance base, and in the attack on Starkiller Base. None of those use this theme at all. Functionally, the theme just isn't used in a very leitmotivic way for him. Williams just used it as a musical exclamation mark on three victorious moments in the film that at least partially involve him. Finn is the one who shot the Star Destroyer guns, and the destruction of Starkiller Base required the efforts of a lot of people, not just Poe. Only the shot of him destroying TIE fighter after TIE fighter overhead is really all about him - and even that is seen through Finn's eyes.

 

I'm looking at the contrast between this and something like Rey's theme, which is utilized in a variety of contexts to clearly represent her character. Williams easily could have done that with Poe's theme, introducing quietly urgent variations amidst the underscore of the character's introduction and allowing it, yes, to develop with the character. Because you're absolutely right that not every theme needs to grow and develop with a character. But if you want it to be clearly and unambiguously associated with them...well, that's kinda how you do it!

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4 hours ago, someonefun124 said:

I like to think that's the case, but I don't think it's intentional in that Williams has a grand plan in his mind.  He doesn't know anymore of what's to come in the following films than the rest of us.

 

i'm sure he has at least been told by J.J. Poe will have a bigger role in the next two films.

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On January 15, 2016 at 9:25 AM, Sharky said:

One that stands out in my mind and haven't seen mentioned is the build-up to the arrival of Kylo Ren.

 

For the first time in the saga, stormtroopers are shown to be the formidable fighting force we've been always been told they are. The moment I'm talking about really starts once the wave of stormtroopers starts taking significant causalities, and Finn recoils from the horror around him. In one of the film's most memorable images, a blooded hand from a dying comrade slides down Finn's helmet,  At this point the score climbs to a fever pitch as out of the blackened clouds, Kylo Ren's shuttle raises its wings to land. Williams's motif with its triplet fanfares and cyclic string runs suggesting a man-monster, cutting through the fear in his troops. While technically none of this new (stylistically you could say it points to Nixon, The Patriot and RotS), dramatically this is dead on. Beyond badass.

 

 

 

 

This is my favorite, as well. Any suggestions of tracks to check out in the other scores you mentioned? LOVE the menacing triplet fanfare.

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I could never put down the Force theme/Rey's theme counterpoint, which I find utterly goosebumpworthy, but I'll agree that the interplay between Poe's and Finn's themes is also fantastic. I even like the suspended cymbal roll with hard drumsticks, which is a sound I'm not normally fond of.

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On 1/17/2016 at 10:32 PM, Red said:

The incoming X-Wings skimming the water and Poe's subsequent incredible attack run.


Agree 100%. 

 

As I mentioned during the The March of the Resistance thread, this moment really stood out to me. That shot of the X-Wings from afar on the water as The Resistance cue starts bubbling in the background, the revolving shot of Han Solo as he exclaims that it's the Resistance, and then finally the cut back to the X-Wings as we see them flying on the big screen for the first time in over 32 years while perfectly coinciding with the explosion of the Resistance march was such an intense singular moment of enjoyment, both visually and aurally. Scenes like that is why I go to the movies in the first place.  

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7 hours ago, Flare said:

Agreed. When Williams puts Poe and Finn's themes (motifs) together in the credits they really blend well, better than the Force theme and Rey's mixing together IMO. Hopefully there will be more Poe in the next film.

Yes! I listed all the Poe's theme statements in the film as some of my favorite film + music moments, but actually my favorite statement of Poe's theme is in the credits (the blending with Finn's motif as you mention). It's just one of the best things I've ever heard. One hopes, with Rey off doing her Jedi thing in VIII, we'll see Finn and Poe together as a team and maybe get this blending again.

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In casual order:

 

- Rey's introduction (especially the piano and celesta figuration when she slides down the dunes)

- Rey's theme on flute when she prepares dinner and eats outside the remnants of the Imperial Walker.

- The Rebel fanfare when we see the Falcon, and the flute repeating figure when the Falcon jumps into hyperspace

- The Starkiller lament (probably the most inspired film/music combination of the entire film, imho)

- The Resistance fleet arriving at the castle

- The tragic reading of Rey's theme when Kylo Ren carries her on his ship

- The timpani roll that precedes the Falcon jumping out of the forest trees on the frozen planet

- The Starkiller explosion, accompanied by one of the most jubilant variations on the Force theme Williams ever did (the whole "Journey Home/Farewell and the Trip" is probably my own single favorite sequence of music of the new film)

- Rey climbing the Jedi steps and finding Luke

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Listening to TFA again and was reminded of a really little moment in the film that I just love but don't think it was brought up here, when Rey agrees to keep BB-8 and they walk off into the sunset.

 

 

rey_and_bb-8.gif

 

It's nothing groundbreaking (in fact the opposite, a very traditional First Act moment) but it's so confident and those two look so damn good together that it just hits that button for me. I love stuff like this, he really makes it feel like the story's opening up in that moment.

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12 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

Listening to TFA again and was reminded of a really little moment in the film that I just love but don't think it was brought up here, when Rey agrees to keep BB-8 and they walk off into the sunset.

 

 

rey_and_bb-8.gif

 

It's nothing groundbreaking (in fact the opposite, a very traditional First Act moment) but it's so confident and those two look so damn good together that it just hits that button for me. I love stuff like this, he really makes i

 

It's a very nice track/scene.  It reminds me of something like "David and Martin" from AI.  More whimsical and cordial than overtly comical (which was what I was expecting for BB8).

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