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Datameister

Star Wars credits segues, and why they've started to suck

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12 hours ago, Score said:

Datameister, I agree with you on the original trilogy and the prequels (we already had a discussion about ROTS), but not about TFA. I think it's a very powerful resolution, it rectifies the misdeeds of the ROTS ending.

 

However, it is definitely a strange one and, as so many other aspects of this score, it surprised me greatly. The final chord before the Eb explosion of the end credits can be called Cm6 in first inversion, or equivalently A(dim5)7, that is, Eb - G - A - C (with Eb in the bass). Now, if anyone had told me that JW had ended his score in this way before I could hear it, I would have thought "Oh no, another weak ending like in ROTS". However, the trick works (at least for me, but apparently also for others), and I think it has to do with the orchestration, the specific realization of that chord in the orchestra. The crescendo in the brass section is very dramatic, due to the clashing G and A, as well as the jump from C to HIGHER (not lower) B flat, which is heard in the top voices.  

 

From the strictly harmonic point of view, the effect is, in my opinion, a sort of "distant relative" of the resolution D major (on C pedal) - C major at the end of E.T. , and this is how I explain to myself why it works. The analogous here would be F major (on Eb pedal) - Eb major. The actual chord differs only in having G in the place of F, and the result is somehow similar. In both cases, the "standard"  resolution would be to the 5th grade (G major in the case of E.T., Bb in the case of TFA - try to play it!), but the resolution to the 1st grade works as well and it has a certain flavour to it.

 

it's like a vii7/V in E flat major, and he skips the V completely. it's cool. I played it to myself inserting a V there before the resolution and god it sounded super dopey.

 

it makes me think of any of strauss's glorious modulations but that's probably just because i listen to unhealthy quantities of strauss

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2 hours ago, Datameister said:

Allow me to be perfectly transparent, TheGreyPilgrim - I know this conversation is completely subjective, based entirely on emotional reactions that will vary depending on our individual prior experience, education, personality, and taste. I readily accept that my opinion on this is no more valid than any of yours and really, it doesn't offend me one bit if everyone has a very different reaction to the passages in question. Everyone's entitled to an opinion, especially on something as subjective as this.

 

That being said, anyone who likes the end of TFA is a dickhead!

 

Well there's no need for snark.  Really dude, you've just got some passionate talk going on here about something that doesn't seem to merit it - and I was right, I did recall you starting an identical discussion in the past that actually got a bit heated.  It's just curious to me.

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Without having anything to add about transitions i always found the handling of the proceeding scherzando in the '77 'Star Wars' ('Throne Room' from 01:46) the most sublime and maybe, Williams' best Korngoldian miniature apart from some of 'Hook's duel stuff. He abandoned the rapid, dancing approach after that (it got more stately from ESB onwards) and it's the one reason i kept the old LP's version instead of upgrading it with the vastly better sounding Gerhardt recording.

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That moment you mentioned there, the indelible transition into the end credits, it's amazing; but I've always considered Return of the Jedi's version as far as the Rebel Fanfare statement and strings accompaniment goes to be the best. The pace setting brass beats are badass as hell. Speaking of which, and returning to Star Wars; the brilliantly magical bridge which eventually segues us into Luke's Theme for the credits scroll was never better after Star Wars. The swirling strings are just a delight in the original version, and again it is the meaty brass beats which provide the adventurous rhythm - and would be later slightly modified and hugely downplayed in all subsequent scores, to my enduring disappointment. I never figured out why JW made that change. Because as short and incidental it is, it's another one of those little coming together of sounds which really define the composer. 

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All of the credit segues work in different ways. The only problematic one IMO is the segue in ROTJ (with "Victory Celebration"), mainly because that festive percussion in the background doesn't transition well into the rhythm of the End Credits.

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How so many people can get so worked up about one second of music is beyond me; that the (long) end credit suites after ESB got progressivley worse (the one trend TFA thankfully stopped) is an entirely different matter.

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7 hours ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

 

Well there's no need for snark.  Really dude, you've just got some passionate talk going on here about something that doesn't seem to merit it - and I was right, I did recall you starting an identical discussion in the past that actually got a bit heated.  It's just curious to me.

 

No serious snark intended - like much of this site's content, all my posts on this thread have been a bit tongue-in-cheek. Apparently it was a misfire in this case and I apologize. I seem to remember having a brief discussion in some thread about ROTS, but I didn't think we'd devoted a thread to it, and certainly not in the post-TFA days.

 

I'll respectfully bow out of the conversation now.

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Pay no attention to TGP, Data.  He likes to act however he wants, then complain when others do the same.

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

Pay no attention to TGP, Data.  He likes to act however he wants, then complain when others do the same.

 

Oh come on Jay.  Give me a break.  Both you and Data are far too bothered by the fact that I couldn't understand how this could bother anyone.  I didn't complain or insult anyone at all, and did in fact seem to miss his tone - I still don't fully know who to take seriously here, and when.  

 

You really have a way of making me feel unwelcome here, at times, you know.  I'm not kidding. 

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Thinking about it... the main title segue into the 1st cue from the film, and the finale-end credits segue only sounds 100% natural in SW, in the other films it sounds forced to more or less extent. (the prequels more so because the recordings are the same)

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

I'm sorry you feel that way

 

And I doubt it's intentional, but still.  It just seems sometimes like you want to jump on me for things that everyone else does, but without any similar comments from you.

 

But enough of such bullshit.  You do a lot for this site and community, and I think you're a good guy.  I don't want any acrimony with anyone on here, especially now that it's starting to kind of dwindle out of my life.

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On 2/5/2016 at 9:09 PM, Datameister said:

 

That's just glorious! Would that sort of moment work as a transition into a credits cue of a Star Wars film? Hell no. But in this context it's wonderful.

Yes, it is glorious.  Check out this little gem from the archives of JW:

 

 

...and notice how he got to that huge D major theme.  This is exactly what Shosty did to get to his D major...it is a resolution by step.  So hopefully you see this is not a jarring penultimate progression but a very dramatic and satisfying one.

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