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John Williams's False Endings


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I can just imagine what it’s like to live in the house of Williams and overhear him composing these endings...   plink plonk...plonk.....PLONK!   ...........   *soft chuc

Return of the Jedi was the best false ending.

The Forest Battle from ROTJ wins this hands down for trying to trick us with it's ending.

8 hours ago, Josh500 said:

 

Hmmm, that's great, but is that a false ending, though? It's just JW scoring the picture.... and there just happened to be a brief, quiet, somber moment before the rousing spectacle of an ending!

 

I think the answer to this depends on your age.  As someone in the theater in 1982 hearing it as a brand new work it was absolutely a false ending and in fact Spielberg and Lucas were thought of as false ending directors.  You have to remember that time.  For example, seeing Star Wars theatrically in 1977, the finale could have happened when the Millennium Falcon escaped the death star. That was a perfectly satisfying conclusion.  Then there was this even more exiting final battle that totally came out of no where.  To the original audiences, that was very surprising and unexpected coda.  I felt Spielberg was the same sort of director in that his films always had a final unexpected ending.  It is hard to explain to people who did not experience these films as they were revealed.  Close Encounters had the same effect that the last 10 minutes felt like a completely unexpected experience.  Jaws the same, and E.T. as well.  Now, it is formulaic but really wasn't back then.  In fact, re-watching these now, I don't think of them as false endings but at the time I recall thinking every Lucas and Spielberg film had a false ending of sorts...some place where the film could have had a perfectly justifiable ending and then went in an unexpected direction.  I don't think I was alone in thinking this way since that ending was what everyone talked about. 

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2 minutes ago, karelm said:

 

I think the answer to this depends on your age.  As someone in the theater in 1982 hearing it as a brand new work it was absolutely a false ending and in fact Spielberg and Lucas were thought of as false ending directors.  You have to remember that time.  For example, seeing Star Wars theatrically in 1977, the finale could have happened when the Millennium Falcon escaped the death star. That was a perfectly satisfying conclusion.  Then there was this even more exiting final battle that totally came out of no where.  To the original audiences, that was very surprising and unexpected coda.  I felt Spielberg was the same sort of director in that his films always had a final unexpected ending.  It is hard to explain to people who did not experience these films as they were revealed.  Close Encounters had the same effect that the last 10 minutes felt like a completely unexpected experience.  Jaws the same, and E.T. as well.  Now, it is formulaic but really wasn't back then. 

 

I think the answer to this depends on your age.  As someone in the theater in 1982 hearing it as a brand new work it was absolutely a false ending and in fact Spielberg and Lucas were thought of as false ending directors.  You have to remember that time.  For example, seeing Star Wars theatrically in 1977, the finale could have happened when the Millennium Falcon escaped the death star. That was a perfectly satisfying conclusion.  Then there was this even more exiting final battle that totally came out of no where.  To the original audiences, that was very surprising and unexpected coda.  I felt Spielberg was the same sort of director in that his films always had a final unexpected ending.  It is hard to explain to people who did not experience these films as they were revealed.  Close Encounters had the same effect that the last 10 minutes felt like a completely unexpected experience.  Jaws the same, and E.T. as well.  Now, it is formulaic but really wasn't back then. 

 

I thought this post was gonna end, but turns out it was a false ending, with an unexpected reprisal!

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3 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

 

I thought this post was gonna end, but turns out it was a false ending, with an unexpected reprisal!

No, just a bug from this buggy site.  Glad you didn't notice when it had five repeats of the same post!

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5 hours ago, MrJosh said:

I don't like the false ending in The Chamber of Secrets. I'd rather it just be a crescendo to the big minor chord. With out the 3 hits afterward.

 

This is one where audiences typically clap prematurely because they're fooled by the ending. It's possible that Williams took notice of that and increased the tempo.

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  • 1 month later...

I like the false-ish ending to Yoda's Theme. It comes to a peaceful conclusion, then restates the theme one more time in an even calmer and more beautiful way. And, of course, it has those strings rippling back and forth at the end, which I really love. It always makes me feel really peaceful listening to that ending. Which is why I didn't mind its inclusion in The Sacred Jedi Texts and the end credits of TLJ.

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