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The Rise of Skywalker OST Album Discussion

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On first hearing, I think The Rise of Skywalker and Anthem of Evil are highlights (though I really don't like that "scream" halfway through the choral part of the latter). Reunion and Finale are pretty much fan service - they aren't bad really, but the TFA end credits suite is still indisputably the best of the ST.

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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.

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4 minutes ago, Loert said:

On first hearing, I think The Rise of Skywalker and Anthem of Evil are highlights (though I really don't like that "scream" halfway through the choral part of the latter). Reunion and Finale are pretty much fan service - they aren't bad really, but the TFA end credits suite is still indisputably the best of the ST.

 

I think that 'scream' is the best part! :D

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3 minutes ago, Loert said:

I still don't understand why in 2019 they can't make the opening fanfare sound as good as the TPM one from 20 years earlier (or the one from TESB for that matter).

 

Damn, does it still sound weak in this one? How is the overall recording/mixing of the soundtrack, if I may ask? Does it sound more like TFA or TLJ? 

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32 minutes ago, Wierzbowski85 said:

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.

 

Did anybody feel the same way, or am I talking to a wall?

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15 minutes ago, Cerebral Cortex said:

Damn, does it still sound weak in this one? How is the overall recording/mixing of this score, if I may ask? Does it sound more like TFA or TLJ? 

 

Well I haven't listened to TLJ in a long time, but I'd say TROS is pretty much the same as TFA, if not a bit wetter. It's fine though, because the score itself is quite dark and the wetness really adds to the atmosphere.

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3 minutes ago, ATXHusker said:

Why would you be disappointed that it's not in the OST when you have it available on the FYC and can make your own mix?  Just curious...

 

Like I said, I'm happy to have it on the FYC. It's more that I wish that short little motif at 1:53 was used as more of an anchor for an action cue – it's so good in my opinion. Better than just a little transitional moment. They even used it in a TV spot! I guess because of that, I hoped it would be one of the standout action cues.

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Overall tone of the score is more like TFA with TLJ's wetter recording, maybe?

 

Man I love Poe's Theme in "Reunion"

 

And as much as it seems ridiculous, I dunno, I kinda like the B section of Yoda's Theme in there :lol: whatever, made me smile

 

Both of the Rise of Skywalker themes are just great. I didn't necessarily have an expectation that he'd write special "goodbye Star Wars" type themes but both of these are magical.

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This might've been mentioned before and this pointed out to me by Peio, but has anyone else noticed how the first 4 notes of the Rise of Skywalker theme are the same as the Chimes motif from Rey's theme?

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1 minute ago, Romão said:

This might've been mentioned before and this pointed out to me by Peio, but has anyone else noticed how the first 4 notes of the Rise of Skywalker theme are the same as the Chimes motif from Rey's theme?


Very interesting you mention that; I played the beginning of the title track for my brother earlier over FaceTime and he mistook it for Rey's theme... And he already knew the "Rise of Skywalker" theme.

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2 minutes ago, Romão said:

This might've been mentioned before and this pointed out to me by Peio, but has anyone else noticed how the first 4 notes of the Rise of Skywalker theme are the same as the Chimes motif from Rey's theme?

Also the same 4 note of Jyn theme from rogue one, right? 😄

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16 minutes ago, Cerebral Cortex said:

 

Damn, does it still sound weak in this one? How is the overall recording/mixing of the soundtrack, if I may ask? Does it sound more like TFA or TLJ? 

 

TBH, it sounds much better. Maybe not as 'hard' on the percussion.

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20 minutes ago, Drew said:

 

No spoilers in this thread please.

 what spoiler. I have no idea if Yoda is in the movie or not

2 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

Also the very opening of "Reunion" is damn cool.

 and the force theme!

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The fanfare at the end of Destiny of a Jedi is the same as the one near the end of one of the TFA trailers isn't it?

 

Random observation...

 

The score's growing on me - I certainly recommend listening in a quiet environment, in the dead of night, to hear all the details.

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The Rise of Skywalker is an interesting piece the main melody and orchestration are straight up old-school JW, full of romanticism and an almost childlike quality. But I'm not sure the form is particularly interesting in the way The Rebellion is Reborn is so fun and creative and exciting in how it merges and flows in and out of 2 very different thematic ideas and rushes to an exciting finish.

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It's more what I would have expected from an album presentation and not that ridiculous scatterbrained FYC of 2-minute tracks. They should have sent this to the Academy. But it's also not what I expected. Less bombast and more drama. It's not as focused and accessible as TFA OST. It also isn't the bizarre meandering autopiloty stuff with tiresome leitmotif that was TLJ OST, which felt like a TFA expansion set. Thank God for that.

 

I can hear that this is a composer who's been doing this for a very long time and while it's not as though he's going through the motions, there's a somewhat laborious quality to this score right from the very wet main title. TFA was more aggressive and caught me off guard with its big gothic fanfares and intense frenetic action/adventure stuff. TLJ...the less I revisit that one, the better off I am. TROS is a solid album, but most of it does have this feel of finality about it. It's like 70 minutes of emotive wrap-up, light on action and adventure and interestingly opting for more of Williams' dramatic sound than his standard SW. 

 

The FYC should be skipped except for the most hardcore of JW/SW fandom and the OST has my highest recommendation.

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Actually regarding that B section of Yoda's Theme in "Reunion," if this is actually a cue and not an alternate end credits or whatever we could speculate...was that ever used in the main score before? I think it was cut out of Empire...

 

That seems to have become a thing with him. The Leia's Theme and Yoda's Theme concert endings in TLJ, that cool sub-tune from the March of the Resistance concert piece in They Will Come, Yoda's B theme. Just throw everything in that never got used.

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13 minutes ago, Bayesian said:

I agree with everyone's comments on the OST. (Well, almost; MaestroUE, I don't know what defective mp3 files you must have been listening to!) This is a phenomenal presentation and I LOVE the power and punch in the loud parts. There's verve in there to spare, easily the LSO's equal to my ear. Like everyone knew this was the last hurrah and played it that way.

 

The fanfare... good lord, it's almost beyond belief. My new insta-fave. We may not have always had new fanfare recordings, but when it counted most, at the last opportunity for a fresh recording, JW and the LA players delivered.

 

Anthem of Evil... a minute and a half of gorgeously ethereal choir, and then the low low strings (and brass?) rise out of the aural void like the arrival of the end of the world. My very first impression was that it sounds like a transition that today's breed of film composer would synth in... but JW is simply in too strong a command of his craft and his players to have to resort to that silliness.

 

Finally, for now, while I'm not as dismissive of the Finale as many here are, my hot take is that this was a bit of a missed opportunity. Especially the transition at 6:10, which strikes me as quite jarring, and the reprise of the fanfare, which seems...unnecessary? 

 

That said, I got the surreal chills around 9:00 hearing material from the very first OST in a fresh, new, vibrant recording. I mean, no one expected to hear the last two minutes of the Star Wars '77 OST in TROS. And now I'm convinced it could not have been any other way. We are truly, finally, utterly full circle now. It's JW's perfect sign-off. Those two minutes are, in my mind, the "bow" he promised us for his incomparable gift to us, four decades in the making.

 

I am in awe of this album and this man.

Obviously we have slightly different opinions, which is totally fine. I approach to recordings also in a bit different way. I like them when they give me as much “concert hall” feeling as possible. The mixing/recording in this has in my opinion good and less good aspects to it. Best example would be “Fleeing from Kijimi”. Fantastic balance in brass at the start, later on a fantastically layered mid section, then boom, obnoxiously loud, very distracting timpani, as if it’s placed right next to the concertmaster from a conductor’s point of view. Another one would be the mid part of “Approaching the Throne”. I’ve been wishing for more present low brass but the staccato there is just a bit too crisp for my liking 😀 The woodwind, xylophone, higher strings and French horns are very well mixed but there are some tutti sections that just off the bat sounds like as if the parts were individually recorded and mixed together later on. There’s not much of this so called “hall” feeling at some parts, sounds more like as if it’s recorded in a very small room, with close mics to some instruments. And it changes from track to track. “The Rise of Skywalker” for instance has a stellar mixing throughout. This to me has a better mixing then TFA, that’s for sure, but I still think TLJ had a slightly better one 

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I think the effectiveness of Anthem of Evil is more about the choral texture in the early half and the rising gesture in the second half but the melody itself is not an instant winner in the way of the Imperial March or Kylo Ren's themes. It's an effective piece because of the impact the orchestra has.

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53 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

I know this might upset some people, but listening to the album (on Destiny of a Jedi), my first reaction is:

 

Holy _shit_. John, where _were_ you the last two movies?! The breadth of the music, the emotional pull, the harmonies, everything...now _this_ is Williams! 

 

Indeed. I enjoy most of TFA, whereas TLJ did nothing for me. But this score managed to grab me even from the FYC.

 

And now it's not even a question of whether I buy it, but how I go about combining the FYC and OST.

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Just finished my first listen! There's some really terrific stuff, happily including some great material that wasn't on the FYC. I need to listen again before I give more thoughts -- rest assured I will have more specific praise soon! Unfortunately, the second half of "The Rise of Skywalker" doesn't sound quite as awesome to me anymore because I'd been replaying "Farewell" over and over again this past week, but of course the fact that I played it so many times just goes to show how great a theme it is! 

 

The biggest letdown is definitely "Finale," which was enormously disappointing and a terrible album-ender. Maybe JW ran out of time to write a more original and coherent suite! 

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