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The Rise of Skywalker OST Album Discussion


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What if...? No, no, surely it won't.       Well, let's check anyway. ...           Holy shit

There's a moment in They Will Come you'll appreciate.   This is a pretty lovely album. I had two immediate impressions. After finishing, I realize that TFA is 100% the score of the trilogy.

Overall, my first impression of the soundtrack was extremely positive.  I'd say I liked it MUCH more on first listen than I did the Force Awakens or Last Jedi OST albums.  I grew to love the Force Awa

4 hours ago, Stefancos said:

 

Honestly, I'm glad he doesn't. And I'm perfectly happy to wait years for an expanded/complete release.

 

Gotta have something to look forward too ten years from now.

While I'm not eagerly anticipating having to wait for years, I do agree with the rest of your post. Scores like Endgame should never have received such long releases in the first place because now the fact that Silvestri is either incapable of or unauthorised to write good music is even more obvious than it already was with 70-minute presentations. But more importantly, now there's a real reason and market to release a proper, complete TROS presentation in the future that will stand out to everyone. I can't imagine anyone getting excited by an Endgame expansion that would be, what, 15 minutes longer?

 

I also love the fact that we now have three ST OSTs wih consistent running times so that the people wanting just the highlights have that option too (looking at you, Hobbit...)

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Sure, but with Endgame there may only be 15 minutes of unreleased score after the 2CD OST.

 

With The Rise of Skywalker there'd still be 100 minutes of unreleased score after a 100 minute OST

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51 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

While I'm not eagerly anticipating having to wait for years, I do agree with the rest of your post. Scores like Endgame should never have received such long releases in the first place because now the fact that Silvestri is either incapable of or unauthorised to write good music is even more obvious than it already was with 70-minute presentations. But more importantly, now there's a real reason and market to release a proper, complete TROS presentation in the future that will stand out to everyone. I can't imagine anyone getting excited by an Endgame expansion that would be, what, 15 minutes longer?

 

I also love the fact that we now have three ST OSTs wih consistent running times so that the people wanting just the highlights have that option too (looking at you, Hobbit...)

 

The day that soundtrack fans are complaining that a release for a major score is too long is a sad day.*

 

What I don't understand is why there must always be a delay in releasing expansions of major and popular scores, sort of creating a taboo with newer scores. 'You want to hear all of the score? Maybe in 5 years we'll let you'. It's like there's a time limit that must pass before fans are permitted to hear the rest of the music.

 

PS: Just finished the TLJ OST. Damn that was awesome - possibly more enjoyable than TROS. It's my disinterest in the film that made me initially ignore it. The Rebellion is Reborn and The Battle of Crait have had several repeat listens already.

 

* I'm aware that having bashed Balfe, I'm being a bit rich here, but Silvestri doesn't live on Twitter trying to defend his music all day, while also claiming that a 2-CD-released score is only supposed to be heard in the film.

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On 12/17/2019 at 9:46 AM, aescalle said:

The Finale is incredible !!!!!!

 

Really? Because this is one of the rare times JW has disappointed me.

 

The end credits (Finale) was JW's opportunity to wave a musical goodbye to the franchise, the fans, and basically 40+ years of his life's work, and instead of new, original, and poignant material, he basically copy/pasted the Imperial March from the Hal Leonard Signature Series, did some stuff with Rey's theme, then copy/pasted the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI.

 

It's like he finished scoring the film, then realized he still had almost 11 minutes of credits to fill and was, "I'm tired of this, I'll just take a bunch of stuff that'll fill the time from previous films and call it a day." I thought his end credits music in FORCE AWAKENS was far superior, especially the way it ended on a variation of the Rebel Fanfare, then a quiet denouement to a major chord in the basses with Luke's theme quietly ringing out in solo celeste. That was an emotional gut-punch the first time I heard it. This was just, "Oh, that again? I've heard that a dozen times in every Hollywood Bowl concert ever."

On 12/17/2019 at 11:12 AM, aviazn said:

It (Imperial March) is a sweet rerecording—possibly the best sounding version we've ever had.

 

I don't like how it was mixed. The brass-- especially the trumpets-- is a lot tinnier and weaker than previous recordings.

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On 12/17/2019 at 12:09 PM, Bellosh said:

The ending of 'Finale' is just an absolute love letter to Star Wars.

 

The ending of 'Finale' is note-for-note the ending to RETURN OF THE JEDI. It's a new recording of it, but it's just a copy/paste of the ROTJ sheet music.

9 minutes ago, Romão said:

JW did what he probably was asked to do for the finale and end credits. I've seen people calling him lazy for that. An 87 year old that just composed 3 hours of highly complicated music

 

I wouldn't say lazy. More like disinterested. Just my impression, anyway.

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On 12/19/2019 at 12:40 PM, Stefancos said:

 

 

TFA was certainly not louder. Also, better sounding. More definition and clarity. This felt like being hit over the head with sound.

 

 

It doesnt because both the writing and mixing seem turned up to 11 all the time. There's not a lot of eb and flow sonically.

Oh I disagree. I think this is way better than TFA. I do prefer Rey's Theme to Rise of Skywalker theme, but the cues here? the underscore here is superb and the orchestrations are way more lush plus harmonically it has more impact. Where do you hear the bombasticness of this album. I hear a soft somber album with some big moments. There's a lot of lush string writing and then beautifully varied instrumentation and orchestration where in TFA I was missing the woodwinds all the time. I absolutely love the new Evil theme! I think the new Rise of Skywalker works better in lets say the Farewell cue which I love than it does in it's own track. It's weird because as it's own theme I don't quite buy it as Star Wars, more ET? But within the tracks they work better. HOWEVER, I have not seen the film but I imagine I am not going to like this film...... Not if what I am hearing is true about the direction JJ takes. I want to be taken for a ride that I didn't think was gonna happen and by all accounts it's more paint by numbers? Will have to see. Back to Rey's theme: I love how he takes it in different directions in this score. My favorite score I think is TLJ in the ST. But there are moments here that rival that easily. HOWEVER, as much as I do not like the prequels, I don't think any of the scores here rival the writing in those, IMO. Those were incredible scores, especially TPM. Lord I love that score with the exception of Jar Jar's theme. That was bombastic. The action cues in there were incredible.

As for nothing new. Stefan, this is the 9th score in a series. We already have so many themes. I would have been more than OK for him not to have written a new one. Just to score. Use the themes that are appropriate, and score. 

1 hour ago, BTR1701 said:

 

Really? Because this is one of the rare times JW has disappointed me.

 

The end credits (Finale) was JW's opportunity to wave a musical goodbye to the franchise, the fans, and basically 40+ years of his life's work, and instead of new, original, and poignant material, he basically copy/pasted the Imperial March from the Hal Leonard Signature Series, did some stuff with Rey's theme, then copy/pasted the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI.

 

It's like he finished scoring the film, then realized he still had almost 11 minutes of credits to fill and was, "I'm tired of this, I'll just take a bunch of stuff that'll fill the time from previous films and call it a day." I thought his end credits music in FORCE AWAKENS was far superior, especially the way it ended on a variation of the Rebel Fanfare, then a quiet denouement to a major chord in the basses with Luke's theme quietly ringing out in solo celeste. That was an emotional gut-punch the first time I heard it. This was just, "Oh, that again? I've heard that a dozen times in every Hollywood Bowl concert ever."

 

I don't like how it was mixed. The brass-- especially the trumpets-- is a lot tinnier and weaker than previous recordings.

I think, I could be wrong, but based on the last couple of tracks beforehand, that he had written so many different themes for it and then got told which ones to use. It sounds like that to me. But yeah, to me it's not the best track on there.

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On 12/20/2019 at 4:08 PM, BTR1701 said:

 

 

The end credits (Finale) was JW's opportunity to wave a musical goodbye to the franchise, the fans, and basically 40+ years of his life's work, and instead of new, original, and poignant material, he basically copy/pasted the Imperial March from the Hal Leonard Signature Series, did some stuff with Rey's theme, then copy/pasted the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI.

 

It's like he finished scoring the film, then realized he still had almost 11 minutes of credits to fill and was, "I'm tired of this, I'll just take a bunch of stuff that'll fill the time from previous films and call it a day." I thought his end credits music in FORCE AWAKENS was far superior, especially the way it ended on a variation of the Rebel Fanfare, then a quiet denouement to a major chord in the basses with Luke's theme quietly ringing out in solo celeste. 

 

 

 

I too thought we would get some small bit at the end to rival TFA's ending on celesta (which was actually doubled on the piano by Gloria Cheng as she told me in an interview when we spoke about her Montage project). However, I do not have an issue with the overall Finale. It was fine for me, and I agree that if JW wants those credits or was told to do them by JJ, then that was the creative choice.


I will say that the end of the ROTJ score in the Finale is appropriate - isn't this another Return of a Jedi in some way? I think it is, and that may have been the motivation for the choice.

 

By the way, there is no celesta player noted in the orchestra listing in the CD. I have not listened carefully enough to know if there is any in the music (which might have been played by one of the keyboard players). 

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3 hours ago, BTR1701 said:

 

The ending of 'Finale' is note-for-note the ending to RETURN OF THE JEDI. It's a new recording of it, but it's just a copy/paste of the ROTJ sheet music.

 

I meant the use of the 'Main Titles'/Luke's Theme suddenly used in the ending.

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3 hours ago, ocelot said:

I think, I could be wrong, but based on the last couple of tracks beforehand, that he had written so many different themes for it and then got told which ones to use. It sounds like that to me. But yeah, to me it's not the best track on there.

 

Several people have said this and I have no idea if that's what happened, but I just can't imagine why Abrams or Disney would care all that much about which themes/music are playing over the end credits when most people, let's face it, are leaving the theater. I just doesn't strike me as something they would be concerned enough with to veto whatever Williams wanted to do and basically order him to recycle a bunch of old material instead.

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3 hours ago, artguy360 said:

I'm surprised by how the OST doesn't tell the story of Kylo Ren in the film at all. So many cues/musical moments important to the character are left off. 

It doesn't even tell the story of Rey, either. So many missing cues.

 

21 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

 

All 3 of the last films of each trilogy end with the concert ending of The Throne Room And Finale.

I was looking forward to a little Rey's Theme coda like the last two scores did.

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18 hours ago, stravinsky said:

Ach I've miss the boat as its a, waiting list only. Probably sold out months ago. Bummer because I have that weekend off. Canny be helped. 

 

I was also only waiting list and got 2 tickets last week, was very surprised. So do not give up hope.

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On 12/17/2019 at 11:05 PM, Edmilson said:

What is happening with JW and his Star Wars Finales? TLJ's Finale was already pretty bad, specially the OST version. The film version was more coherent at least, much because they tracked a lot with The Rebellion is Reborn. For some reason, instead of writing a full end titles suite, JW just recorded the opening fanfare, Rose's theme, Leia's tribute on piano and the ending, with Rey's theme on piano again, leaving the rest of the credits to be tracked with some other material.

 

Now, for TROS, apparently the same thing happened again? He recorded some stuff and then handle it to the music editors to create the credits combining it with other cues? Weird.

Same here !

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I love that Williams has given the bell intro part of Rey’s theme so much development in TROS. But he seems to have forgotten about the adventurous tail end of the theme (my favourite part of it). I was hoping for some great variations in the vein of “The Abduction of Rey” from a TFA. In don’t recall hearing much of it at all in TROS.

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I think the reason TLJ and TROS have end credit music that is made editorially is because the end credits were not complete at the time of recording. For TFA JW wrote a coherent end credits suite but that didn't end up in the film (I believe the film version includes the full Rey's Theme concert suite instead of the unique, abridged version written for the end credits. So for TLJ and TROS JW wrote different bits that could be edited together to fit whatever length the end credits in the film end up being. I assume this is related to different studios and contractors working on post-production or something. 

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4 minutes ago, Docteur Qui said:

I love that Williams has given the bell intro part of Rey’s theme so much development in TROS. But he seems to have forgotten about the adventurous tail end of the theme (my favourite part of it). I was hoping for some great variations in the vein of “The Abduction of Rey” from a TFA. In don’t recall hearing much of it at all in TROS.

 

Assuming we're talking about the same part, it gets a fantastic new rendition in Destiny of the Jedi. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Docteur Qui said:

Love that bit as well but not the one I’m talking about. Can’t timecode on mobile but it’s the “final” part whenever the melody is stated in its full form. 

 

YES. I completely agree. That last part of Rey's Theme was the most instantly memorable and beautiful moment of TFA musically for me (in The Scavenger, The Abduction, Farewell and The Trip), and one of my biggest regrets is that we never got to hear it again in the last two movies (except in the end credits of TRoS).

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To me it’s the most memorable part of the theme. I should be happy that he closed both TFA and TLJ with gorgeous string statements of it, but I really would’ve loved another cracking statement of it. However I was so pleasantly surprised at how much the other sections of the theme are treated in TROS that I can’t really complain. 
 

I was really moved by the beautiful piano statement of the intro chords in one very important part of the film. What an absolute treat.

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12 hours ago, Romão said:

JW did what he probably was asked to do for the finale and end credits. I've seen people calling him lazy for that. An 87 year old that just composed 3 hours of highly complicated music

He might have been asked to have The Imperial March in the end credits, and then came up with the rest himself. Or maybe not even that. He likes it very much and has not had it in an end credits suite since 1980!

 

The way I see it, he finished Star Wars with basically his Symphony No. 2, or a sinfonietta

 

Movement 1 - Adagio - TROS Theme, Anthem of Evil

Movement 2 - March - Imperial March (the transition to it is very good!)

Movement 3 - Lyrical - Rey's Theme, TROS theme triumphant

Movement 4 - Finale - Fanfare & Ending

 

In classical music a listener tends to need a description to understand the structure. Without it many listeners are puzzled, and even consider the structure disjointed and aimless. I believe that's the case here. At first, I edited out the Movement 4, but after a couple more listens and an insight to the plan here, I absolutely stick to Williams' choice.

 

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19 hours ago, Stefancos said:

 

Honestly, I'm glad he doesn't. And I'm perfectly happy to wait years for an expanded/complete release.

 

Gotta have something to look forward too ten years from now.

So right. We became die hard fans of the previous scores because we saw the films on VHS and DVD to the point we absorbed the film score. This 'gestation' time period is so important for us to develop and embrace what we have first. Bring the expansion a decade later. We will be ready by then. It will be fun and exciting the way JURASSIC PARK, HARRY POTTER, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, JAWS became for us. 

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Odd how the snare drum on the left of the soundstage seems to be off beat here and there in the Imperial March performance in the Finale. Sounds like the performance was a little rushed. In fact it sounds like the Imperial March was simply edited into the cue, it seems a little odd to have it begin with one of the falling patterns in the high woodwinds.

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The concert track The Rise Of Skywalker is quite nice. But isn't it compositionally a little less interesting than Rey's Theme, with its playful complexity, or the boundless energy of The Rebellion Is Reborn?

 

 

A New Home is very good. Somewhat recalls the contemplative, mysterious tone of The Jedi Steps. Pity there's no real resolution to it.

 

Concert version please!

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15 hours ago, lairdo said:

By the way, there is no celeste player noted in the orchestra listing in the CD. I have not listened carefully enough to know if there is any in the music (which might have been played by one of the keyboard players). 


Recent JW scores often (always?) use a synth Celeste, rather than the acoustic instrument. The famous Harry Potter opening, for instance.

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9 minutes ago, BrotherSound said:


Recent JW scores often (always?) use a synth Celeste, rather than the acoustic instrument. The famous Harry Potter opening, for instance.

 

I chuckled a bit at a 18 year old score being called "recent"  (but that's interesting!)

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23 minutes ago, Falstaft (hiatus til TROS) said:

Does anyone else hear "The Spark" ostinato in this (I guess unused?) section of "Journey to Exegol," after that nice Dracula-esque horn theme? Apologies if someone's pointed this out before.

 

Sounds to me like Williams took the straight triplets of that cue and gave them a galloping dotted eight-sixteenth-eighth feel. The pounding texture makes the connection with the Imperial March even more striking. Shame it didn't make it into the film.

 

 

Yes! I hear it. Good catch.

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6 hours ago, First TROS March Accolyte said:

He might have been asked to have The Imperial March in the end credits, and then came up with the rest himself. Or maybe not even that. He likes it very much and has not had it in an end credits suite since 1980!

 

The way I see it, he finished Star Wars with basically his Symphony No. 2, or a sinfonietta

 

Movement 1 - Adagio - TROS Theme, Anthem of Evil

Movement 2 - March - Imperial March (the transition to it is very good!)

Movement 3 - Lyrical - Rey's Theme, TROS theme triumphant

Movement 4 - Finale - Fanfare & Ending

 

In classical music a listener tends to need a description to understand the structure. Without it many listeners are puzzled, and even consider the structure disjointed and aimless. I believe that's the case here. At first, I edited out the Movement 4, but after a couple more listens and an insight to the plan here, I absolutely stick to Williams' choice.

 

 

I don't think it's disjointed. I think it's uninspired and just a rehash of what's come before.

 

(I love the rest of the score. It's just this one cue that I don't like.)

2 hours ago, BrotherSound said:


Recent JW scores often (always?) use a synth Celeste, rather than the acoustic instrument. The famous Harry Potter opening, for instance.

 

But the live performances, both concerts and live-to-projection, use the real deal.

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