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John Williams' new HAN SOLO AND THE PRINCESS arrangement (Debuted 2018)


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On 2/9/2018 at 6:29 PM, Cerebral Cortex said:

It's as if the Gerhardt arrangement is the state of their relationship in ESB and this arrangement is the state of their relationship now.  

 

Yes!

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I've listened to this piece of music many times since it went online and I must honestly say it's absolutely brilliant. Williams adds layers and emotions to the theme that are profound and gut-wrenching. The melodic development of the theme seems so natural -like it was meant to be there from the start- yet it sounds surprisingly fresh as well. This is the kind of arrangement that makes me love John Williams.

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My favorite part is in between 1.22 and 1.55 where you hear the full development of the new variation

 

also I think the middle part around the 3 minute mark is probably poorly performed

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I don't get a whole lot of sadness from this new version. It just sounds like a modern JW concert reworking of a classic melody. It reminds me of how he reworked The Face of Pan or even Jedi Steps or Irina's Theme. The melody is drawn out more, there are some interesting twists and turns, some new tensions and ebbs and flows that are more stylistically in line with JW's concert work and a greater emphasis on strings and long-lined variations. 

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Took this a few days to grow on me, but last week I totally fell in love with this piece. Particularly the stunningly romantic lead-up right here:

 

 

Particularly that final string bit as the timpani rolls. 

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Hi guys, I'm I frequent reader and rare poster on this site, but it occurs to me...is it possible Williams composed this new Han & Leia arrangement as the end credits suite to The Last Jedi? It times out almost exactly in length. The new concert piece is around 5:53, and the Last Jedi end credits are around 5:48 in length from the moment that it transitions to the piano tribute version of Leia's Theme. 

 

It would fit the sequel films, given the loss of Han and Luke (and Carrie Fisher in real life). I could also see Johnson/Kennedy/Disney asking him to dump it in favor of a more "conventional" upbeat medley approach that we got. 

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What a treat for fans! It seems to lose its simple romantic force when it was couched in the ESB score, gains a melancholy edge (with shades of his 70s scores like Eiger Sanction), dabbles with melodic exploration and soars far beyond its origins.

 

And this is why we love John Williams.

 

When's the first recording happening, hmm?

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8 minutes ago, Miz said:

soars far beyond its origins.

 

I have to say, I still find the existing variations to be the better ones.

 

But I seriously want a proper recording of this, nonetheless.

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Its not Han's theme; and that motif isn't the Millennium Falcon theme, either!

 

The theme in the subject of the thread is the love theme of Princess Leia and Han Solo. It applies to Han only insofar as the love story is concerned. If anything, it speaks of the relationship more from Leia's perspective: its just a variation on her own theme, really. I would argue that the timing of this suite's release, given Fisher's passing, proves more than anything that its not Han's theme. Especially seeing how Williams is writing a new theme for the character's own film.

 

The other motif is the Rebel Fanfare. Its the motif of the rebel alliance. But Williams isn't very strict in the application of this motif, so it often ended up being used as a generally "triumphant" piece of music, and coincided with the Falcon entering and escaping the Death Star as just that - triumphant music that prefigures and eventually celebrates our heroes escape of the Death Star. Its used along those lines in the sequel trilogy thus far, because the resistance has its own melodic identification.

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16 hours ago, Chen G. said:

 

I have to say, I still find the existing variations to be the better ones.

 

But I seriously want a proper recording of this, nonetheless.

 

Actually, on multiple listens, I agree with you. This doesn't 'soar' because it doesn't let rip with the full theme and sub-theme narrative like other arrangements, or with the momentum of the theme as heard in the score. The hesitance and melodic 'juggling' in this arrangement seems characteristic of modern Williams' writing; it's complex, interesting and deliciously orchestrated, but lacks the drive of the theme from, say, Gerdhardt's recording. It almost feels like this is the wrong theme for this arrangement.

 

However, as a musical illiterate, there's probably lots of interesting features of this new arrangement that I'm missing.

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On ‎2‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 9:45 AM, JGS said:

Hi guys, I'm I frequent reader and rare poster on this site, but it occurs to me...is it possible Williams composed this new Han & Leia arrangement as the end credits suite to The Last Jedi? It times out almost exactly in length. The new concert piece is around 5:53, and the Last Jedi end credits are around 5:48 in length from the moment that it transitions to the piano tribute version of Leia's Theme. 

 

It would fit the sequel films, given the loss of Han and Luke (and Carrie Fisher in real life). I could also see Johnson/Kennedy/Disney asking him to dump it in favor of a more "conventional" upbeat medley approach that we got. 

Perhaps you're right, given the choppy quality of the Last Jedi's end credits suite. 

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On 2/13/2018 at 7:45 AM, JGS said:

Hi guys, I'm I frequent reader and rare poster on this site, but it occurs to me...is it possible Williams composed this new Han & Leia arrangement as the end credits suite to The Last Jedi? It times out almost exactly in length. The new concert piece is around 5:53, and the Last Jedi end credits are around 5:48 in length from the moment that it transitions to the piano tribute version of Leia's Theme. 

 

It would fit the sequel films, given the loss of Han and Luke (and Carrie Fisher in real life). I could also see Johnson/Kennedy/Disney asking him to dump it in favor of a more "conventional" upbeat medley approach that we got. 

It's possible but I personally can't imagine JW intended for a piece of music that so strongly reflects his concert music sensibilities to ever play in a feature film, even over the end credits. This new arrangement features very little of the accessibility and straightforwardness of his film music nor the speed and momentum of his usual approach to SW end credit suites or medleys. The end credits to TLJ are pretty messy though so I could imagine that the current end credits music not reflecting JW's original intention.

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If the theme development that Williams did in this concert piece was included in the film in some capacity, I'd say yes.  But without that, I'd lean heavily on no.  This is just a concert piece.

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For those who are thinking that this piece is going to be Han's theme in the Solo movie, are you guys out of your mind? (at least that is what I think I read in some posts, if not my bad) He is WRITING a new theme for Han and do any of you think Disney would just allow Williams or anyone to just play it randomly in a concert before the movie is out. The first inklings of the theme will be in a trailer if not left for the movie itself. Come on! I'm hoping you guys are joking lol.

 

Plus this was for sure already recorded at the TLJ recordings.

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Shhh, they’re still trying to hang on to the illusion that Williams did write a theme for Han in Empire Strikes Back.

 

And how could this be the new theme for Solo? It’s just the good old love theme. In new variations, but the same theme nonetheless.

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It's nice that this news crystallises the fact that it's officially Han's Theme. The most clever posters here already made that link decades ago, but it's nice to have complete confirmation. Han Solo and the Princess 100% Hans_Theme_4LYF!

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On 2/14/2018 at 11:39 PM, artguy360 said:

It's possible but I personally can't imagine JW intended for a piece of music that so strongly reflects his concert music sensibilities to ever play in a feature film, even over the end credits. This new arrangement features very little of the accessibility and straightforwardness of his film music nor the speed and momentum of his usual approach to SW end credit suites or medleys. The end credits to TLJ are pretty messy though so I could imagine that the current end credits music not reflecting JW's original intention.

Not quite though. Just because he composed this doesn't mean that this CONCERT Version was the intended use of it in the end credits. He would have composed the end credits version and this concert arrangement. There is no way in hell that the news of him composing something for Carrie Fisher for the end credits was a simple piano solo of a part of her theme with no accompaniment.... That's just ludicrous.

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4 hours ago, crumbs said:

It's nice that this news crystallises the fact that it's officially Han's Theme. The most clever posters here already made that link decades ago, but it's nice to have complete confirmation. Han Solo and the Princess 100% Hans_Theme_4LYF!

 

Williams's original title was "Han Solo (and the Princess)," which would have made it very clear.

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On 14/2/2018 at 6:31 PM, Jerry said:

 

Han Solo and Leia together have that theme. Han is more associated with the Falcon than he is associated with Leia. It just makes more sense to me. Besides, Han Solo and the Princess was only really in Empire and slightly in TFA. But in both of those movies it was played when they were together.

It was also used in return of the Jedi a lot of times(when they are together)

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3 minutes ago, Luke Skywalker said:

It was also used in return of the Jedi a lot of times(when they are together)

 

If I recall correctly, it was only used when Han and Leia were together.

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And that's the proof that isn't Han's theme. Because its used for him only as part of that relationship. In The Force Awakens, we spend a lot of time with Han. But only when Leia is re-introduced do we hear that theme. If it were Han's theme, it would have been used with him throughout.

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I believe the only time it was used for Han was at the beginning of TESB when he was on the Taun Taun talking to Luke.  But wasn't Leia mentioned during that scene?  I really don't remember anymore.

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I think she is mentioned, but not quite as that theme is played. But I wouldn't make too much out of that quote to begin with. Moreso than scoring Han, that quote is there to introduce us to the new theme as early as possible in the course of the movie. It foretells of the romance that is to come.

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I just listened to the piece again.  I must say I fell in love with it from the beginning, was one of the things that made me come back to this forum.  On one hand it is thrilling that Williams is still able to compose/arrange at this high level.  Structurally, the piece is just about perfect.  It feels new, and the harmonies are striking and worth analysis at length. 

On the other hand, I feel it makes TLJ a bit more disappointing as a score.  Instead of fresh variations and applications of existing themes, the score, with the exception of the action cues, feels a bit like pastiche.  Perhaps this is largely because the film is Star Wars pastiche/ pandering and Williams, consummate professional that he is, delivered the score that he felt the film needed.     

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19 hours ago, ocelot said:

Plus this was for sure already recorded at the TLJ recordings.

 

Not necessarily. He might have written the new arrangement afterwards in December or in January.

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7 hours ago, Jerry said:

Hold up. Did anyone mention yet why the theme I refer to as The Falcon or others as Rebel Fanfare was used in the Solo trailer? How is that not a sign that that theme is connected to him. He's with the Imperials it looks like so if we're saying that it is indeed Rebel Fanfare, why not play the Imperial March or the Imperial Suite for Han?

 It's recognizable SW music so it was used to say "this is Star Wars everyone!" That's it

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