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The Rise of Skywalker OST Album Discussion

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9 minutes ago, Alex said:

Is it just me or was there a distinct lack of action material? Like less than perhaps would be expected for a Star Wars film.


Yes, but "Falcon Flight" would have helped scratch that itch. At least we have it on the FYC.

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Woohoo, me likey! Great stuff in here.

 

Anthem of Evil blew my socks off

Speeder Chase is great

Destiny of a Jedi is fun

They Will Come is great

Reunion is a bit of a weird mishmash

As is Finale with some mild performance issues on top (I think), but goddammit that very ending is exactly what I wanted!:lovethis:

 

Wasn't a great fan of the presentation after getting used to the FYC, I already know I'll like my mashup of the two better.

 

This is all first listen stuff, so subject to change - except for the bits I love.

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2 hours ago, Dr. Know said:

No question, Johnny is still at the top of his game.  Just incredible.

 

Not going to listen to this before the film, not going to read all these. I have said many times he still got it😜😜😜😜

 

Is it available officially, I don't like leaks? 

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Just listened to the majority of the new material in the OST and man, JW really killed this one in terms of the quality of writing, orchestration and conveying a much more nostalgic & emotional feel. Some very interesting and fun cues as some others have stated. “The Rise of Skywalker” is probably the best concert arrangement of the ST, alongside Rey’s theme from TFA. The use and arrangement of the already existing themes is absolutely delightful! Definitely a masterfully written score.

 

Now to the rather critical things. In terms of new thematic material, after TLJ, this is probably the worst Star Wars score. I know many will probably disagree with me  but apart from the material in “The Rise of Skywalker” and little themes & motifs from “Journey to Exegol” & “The Speeder Chase”, there’s pretty much nothing new that goes beyond being underscory motifs. I don’t really get what’s so exciting about “Anthem of Evil”, the choir is rather mediocre but well done, the new theme there, which also appears in the finale, is not menacing/interesting at all, apart from being loud. I personally find the motif in “Off the Waterfront” much better than this new theme. Now, we have so many well developed good-guy themes in sequel trilogy but for god’s sake, there’s just no remarkable material for the bad guys, apart from some semi-interesting motifs. The only time Kylo’s theme has impressed me was in “The Attack on the Jakku”. Instead we get the imperial march. Now I don’t know what the context of the use of it in the movie, but I was still expecting a better thematic balance. Many might think about the effectiveness of minimalism in these moments, which they are partially right (In modern classical music some leitmotifs can be as minimalistic as a glissando), but it doesn’t make sense, while you have concert arrangements for other themes.  In terms of the audio/mixing quality, it’s between TFA & TLJ, it’s hard to capture those brilliantly written passages. The lesser audibility of the written material during some sequences is to me, as a conductor, very frustrating. The orchestra may not be LSO but they are still very skillful musicians so it’s not really about them. You’d think, after 20 years, they’d have an amazing improvement on mixing/recording quality but nope. 
 

Overall, it’s a great gift from our Maestro, we are all immensely lucky to be able to witness this and I’ll forever be thankful to John Williams for keep writing classics and making me want to become a classical musician. 

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

The weaknesses are the straight-up renditions of Original Trilogy themes towards the end of the album, and an overall unsatisfying end credits medley.

 Agreed. The Finale is a hot mess. This end credit suite goes down as one of the worst of the series (maybe THE worst) along side Revenge of the Sith.  So disappointing especially when we know that Williams more than capable of weaving together brilliant end credits suites.

 

-Erik-

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Again, I'm wondering if it's just the album version's editing that's dragging down Finale, or what. The version in the film is guaranteed to be different, it's a minute shorter for one thing. Whether that film version is better or worse is still up in the air but it's definitely NOT going to be what we got on this OST. Reunion sounds so much like a piece of the finale I'd be surprised if it wasn't in there. 

 

I also don't know how you cut a minute out of what we DO have on the OST without making it sound choppier than it already is? 

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11 minutes ago, Bilbo said:

On my first play through. Definitely the best of the ST. 
 

reminds me of a weird mix of Lost World, Chamber of Secrets, and Revenge of the Sith. 
 

love the Palpatine’s Seduction motif inclusion too 😬

 

Yeah I was getting some Jurassic Park vibes as well.

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5 minutes ago, Larry O said:

Reunion sounds so much like a piece of the finale I'd be surprised if it wasn't in there

 

Agreed, it almost sounds like an alternate section for an end credit suite!

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I thought the album flowed very well. An extremely pleasurable listening experience, probably the best of the ST. Not many tracks I would skip on repeat listening. There weren't too many jarring transitions in the End Credits so I can live with it (I'll just pretend JW wrote it like that). 

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2 hours ago, Chewy said:

01 Fanfare and Prologue at 2:41 !!

 

The Palpatine's Seduction little evil motif that we can hear in Revenge of the Sith is back!!

 

 

This is an amazing connection!

Oh, that IS awesome... the jittery Dies Irae in retrograde/palindromic pattern. Those withering string effects that accompany the Emperor's theme at 3:42 in Fanfare and Prologue are bawse.

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What if JW actually wrote two alternate sections for Finale and decided to put both on the album? Reunion couldn't sound more like a section of a credits suite.

 

Woah, The Force Is With You is powerful - loving the Emperor's theme near the end.

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I'm not sure about Reunion... On one hand, yeah, it feels like a concert suite or an alternate for the end credits (?!?), but on the other, I think this is for the aftermath of the battle, when the characters are embracing, celebrating, etc.

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One of the motifs in Anthem of Evil sounds like it's trying to break out into Holdo's Desperation.

 

Anyone else get Lawrence of Arabia vibes from Speeder Chase? The explosively joyous motif from Arrival at Auda's Camp etc.?

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29 minutes ago, MaestroUE said:

Just listened to the majority of the new material in the OST and man, JW really killed this one in terms of the quality of writing, orchestration and conveying a much more nostalgic & emotional feel. Some very interesting and fun cues as some others have stated. “The Rise of Skywalker” is probably the best concert arrangement of the ST, alongside Rey’s theme from TFA. The use and arrangement of the already existing themes is absolutely delightful! Definitely a masterfully written score.

 

Now to the rather critical things. In terms of new thematic material, after TLJ, this is probably the worst Star Wars score. I know many will probably disagree with me  but apart from the material in “The Rise of Skywalker” and little themes & motifs from “Journey to Exegol” & “The Speeder Chase”, there’s pretty much nothing new that goes beyond being underscory motifs. I don’t really get what’s so exciting about “Anthem of Evil”, the choir is rather mediocre but well done, the new theme there, which also appears in the finale, is not menacing/interesting at all, apart from being loud. I personally find the motif in “Off the Waterfront” much better than this new theme. Now, we have so many well developed good-guy themes in sequel trilogy but for god’s sake, there’s just no remarkable material for the bad guys, apart from some semi-interesting motifs. The only time Kylo’s theme has impressed me was in “The Attack on the Jakku”. Instead we get the imperial march. Now I don’t know what the context of the use of it in the movie, but I was still expecting a better thematic balance. Many might think about the effectiveness of minimalism in these moments, which they are partially right (In modern classical music some leitmotifs can be as minimalistic as a glissando), but it doesn’t make sense, while you have concert arrangements for other themes.  In terms of the audio/mixing quality, it’s between TFA & TLJ, it’s hard to capture those brilliantly written passages. The lesser audibility of the written material during some sequences is to me, as a conductor, very frustrating. The orchestra may not be LSO but they are still very skillful musicians so it’s not really about them. You’d think, after 20 years, they’d have an amazing improvement on mixing/recording quality but nope. 
 

Overall, it’s a great gift from our Maestro, we are all immensely lucky to be able to witness this and I’ll forever be thankful to John Williams for keep writing classics and making me want to become a classical musician. 

I agree about the writing and orchestrations.  This is a suburbly crafted score.  But, I also agree about thematic material.  It is missing something in that department.

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55 minutes ago, King Mark said:

If the music is mixed well in the film, I think Williams has a serous chance at the Oscar

 

Is mixed very well. But I watched it in IMAX. I don't know yet how it will sound in normal cinemas.

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The action material suffers a bit from JW's stop-and-start style where his ideas are rarely given enough time to fully develop.

 

There's nothing in here which for me achieves the structure and memorability of The Jungle Chase (complete).

 

So far for me it's a solid 3-4 star score.

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Ahh, just listened to that. It's the best of the three Di$ney's, mainly due to an emphasis on poignant 'farewell' music and a lack of Williams often unstructured action writing of late (these jagged brass licks, yikes), though i must admit that he's as straightforward here action-wise as he was back on ROTJ (Speeder Chase).

 

It blends in perfectly with the Abrams and Johnson scores, though that also means RoS isn't exactly ending on a note of triumph, musically: verbatim quotes of old ESB material and copy/paste end credits make it sound as compost-y as The Last Jedi at times. It may be a small fish to fry, but why we get the same finale flourish for the third time in a row (ROTJ, ROTS and now this, not counting the gazillions of other recordings)? 

 

But all things considered, there's a wealth of pleasant, memorable material, none of it scaling ESB heights, but then, what is? 

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I absolutely love the motif at 1:53 in 'Falcon Flight' on the FYC. I was really hoping for an entire action cue based around that alone – feels very OT to me, and very alive, exciting, and dangerous. Disappointed that track, and especially that motif, are completely missing from the OST.

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1 hour ago, Quintus said:

@Jay

Which cues should I be listening to on this album? Just a handful of your faves so far, sell it to me.

 

The Rise of Skywalker, The Speeder Chase, They Will Come

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This album is a complete winner in my book! I'm really enjoying it on a level that surprasses my initial reactions to TFA and TLJ. I think in the end, Williams created something very special with the Sequel Trilogy. 

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7 minutes ago, aviazn said:

Aha! I think the reason the Finale is a mess is because it has alternate concert endings, like the TFA Signature Edition suite. At 7:33 in Finale, at the end of the Rise of Skywalker theme, just before it it breaks into the Main Title and Throne Room, you can make a clean edit into 3:27 of The Rise of Skywalker OST track. That gives you the lovely ending of that track as the end of the entire album, which is just perfect. It matches the soft statements of Rey's theme in the TFA Finale OST ending (and the TLJ Finale ending) in instrumentation and thematically—Rey's theme is transformed into the Rise of Skywalker theme.

 

I'm guessing the Main Title and Throne Room section is there is so that he can play that ending in concerts and not have to repeat the Star Wars Main Title suite as a separate piece, which gives audiences a double dose of the beginning of the end credits. That was a weird programming issue when he debuted the TFA suite with the Boston Pops—you got the rolling thunder section of the end credits in both the Star Wars Main Title piece and the Jedi Steps and Finale.

 

I'm also wondering if you can replace the Anthem of Evil piece by starting Reunion at 2:06, and just transitioning naturally into Imperial March at the end of Yoda's bit there as it did on the ESB soundtrack. 

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