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"Falcon Flight" from Ep. 9 Appreciation


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Hi everyone. In the same spirit as the "A New Home" from TROS appreciation thread, I thought I'd kick off discussion of another stand-out cue from The Rise of Skywalker.   I'm tempted to cal

I never realized the March of the Resistance at 0:49 is so much based on the force theme.  Our Johnny is such a genius he still gives us treats to discover that only reveal themselves on repeated list

The Hyperspace nods, both strings and brass, definitely stood out to me when I first listened to the track. An awesome callback without going full nostalgia repeat! As has been remarked before, Willia

14 minutes ago, Falstaft said:

And underneath much of it, a vigorous string ostinato that nods back, intentionally or not (I think intentionally -- it's too on-point!) to Hyperspace from ESB.

Nice catch!

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25 minutes ago, Cerebral Cortex said:

Especially with just how much the Force theme was used in that score, I was conditioned to be expecting a slow Force theme statement starting at 0:35,

Yes!

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13 hours ago, Jay said:

It's one of my favorite and most-played cues from the score. I love it! Front to back, top to bottom, and excellent set piece action cue, as good as anything from the OT or PT.

Yes! That raises the question why it is not in the OST.

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2 hours ago, Brundlefly said:

Yes! That raises the question why it is not in the OST.

 

I think this cue was recorded very late in the sessions (November at least) so maybe JW had already solidified his plans for the OST (other than the climactic cues in the film, which were also recorded late). 

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I've been a fan of Williams music for almost 30 years and I've basically given up trying to figure out what goes through his mind as he decides what is OST worthy and what is not.

 

It almost never lines up with my own preferences either.

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On 4/30/2020 at 1:56 PM, Falstaft said:

It's not just themes: I think channeling of the OT's harmonic language is nowhere more exact, down to the pitch-perfect Db(#4)/G => C cadence at the end, bringing us right back the ANH's soundworld (and, by extension, Holst's Mars). 

 

Yes, and it's interesting that Williams combines the two uses of this general sound from ANH: the chord you refer to is the one from Rebel Blockade Runner, while the rhythm with the triplet and cadence to C (with a very similar Holstian chord) mirrors the use in The Battle of Yavin.

 

What I find cool about this reference in Falcon Flight is that it recalls the material without quoting one particular spot, so we feel more of a general nostalgic buzz rather than (at least for us JW fans) a direct rehash.

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On 5/1/2020 at 7:47 AM, Cerebral Cortex said:

Williams was 87. There is literally no reason he should be able to write this way.

How does age have anything to do with the excitement in the compositions?

I've seen that sentiment expressed many many different times.

By many different people.

And it doesn't make a shred of sense to me.

 

I understand age might have something to do with the conducting.

And performing for someone playing an instrument.

Those require some form of physical stamina.

But writing doesn't. That's all on the head. (And the heart.)

 

On 5/1/2020 at 7:57 AM, Nick Parker said:

The phrase actually refers to the throttle lever of a plane being pushed to its max, "the wall", so the only crudeness you have to worry about is the potential fuel used for the plane. 

Flying a plane on crude oil?

That'd be quite the party trick!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/2/2020 at 1:15 PM, Pieter Boelen said:

How does age have anything to do with the excitement in the compositions?

 

Yes, that whole post was just ridiculous!! BS

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So, the moment in the film where the heroic fanfare rears its head again during the Speeder Chase...that's not just taken from this wholesale, right? I've seen a few posts on here imply it was a simply copy/paste job but there is something about the instrumentation in the Speeder Chase excerpt that makes me think it's unique. Am I wrong on this or not?

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2 minutes ago, TheAvengerButton said:

So, the moment in the film where the heroic fanfare rears its head again during the Speeder Chase...that's not just taken from this wholesale, right? I've seen a few posts on here imply it was a simply copy/paste job but there is something about the instrumentation in the Speeder Chase excerpt that makes me think it's unique. Am I wrong on this or not?

 

Nope, it's literally the same recording but pitch shifted. Further fragments were tracked into the film's climax, again speed/pitch altered.

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I figured there might be some pitch shifting going on, but the overall energy of the orchestra felt...bigger in the Speeder Chase clip if that makes sense. More bombastic. I guess just pitch shifting brought out a little more for me in my ear.

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No I think @TheAvengerButton is correct, @crumbs, and it was an EARLIER version of the Falcon Flight music that was tracked into those scenes, not the film/FYC version.


The Nov 11 doc shows that "1M26 Lightspeed Skipping" was tracked into the space battle, but the final revised version of that cue is "1M14 Falcon's Last Flight", which is on the FYC as Falcon Flight.

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Ah you might be right, I was thinking of the section that follows:

 

 

0:00 - 0:10 (potentially an excerpt of 1M26 Lightspeed Skipping)

0:10 - 0:32 (excerpts from 1M14 Falcon's Last Flight)

0:32 - 0:57 (excerpts from 1M4 Through the Jungle)

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On 5/2/2020 at 5:15 AM, Pieter Boelen said:

How does age have anything to do with the excitement in the compositions?

I've seen that sentiment expressed many many different times.

By many different people.

And it doesn't make a shred of sense to me.

 

I understand age might have something to do with the conducting.

And performing for someone playing an instrument.

Those require some form of physical stamina.

But writing doesn't. That's all on the head. (And the heart.)

 

Perhaps the energy of the piece isn't the right word in which to describe it. Density, orchestral complexity, etc. When I commented on how stunned I was that an 87-year-old gentleman could write a piece with such energy, it was a commentary not on his physical stamina but on his mental prowess. We have all surely encountered many individuals in their late-80s who have succumbed to a state of severe mental decline that is only natural and to be expected when living to such advanced years. They struggle to string sentences together, have difficulty recalling thoughts, aren't always the best with coming up with new ideas, etc. 


To write a sprightly piece with this kind of energy and clarity does not, as you say, take immense physical stamina (though I can imagine writing all those notes by hand would be quite taxing). However, it does take a mind capable of deftly formulating and creating new (musical) ideas, while also recalling old ones, and then stringing them together in a way that is logical and coherent. And that is not a mind I normally associate with someone of Williams's age having. 

 

Of course, exercising the mind is the best way to prevent one from ever suffering from mental decline in the first place. Once someone retires, you will sometimes begin to observe pretty drastic mental decline in them almost immediately just because of a lack of brain usage. One could argue that Williams with his particular line of work and with him never really ever having been retired puts him in a position atypical to most individuals his age, blah, blah, blah. That he has always continued to use his brain so how could he suffer mental decline, blah, blah, blah. That still makes the achievement of a piece like this no less impressive and it is to the credit of Williams that he has chosen to continue to exercise his brain in challenging new ways such that he is still able to deliver stellar works like this one. And, I mean, have you heard the guy talk? He's 88 and has the mind of a man a third his age. He's truly inspirational in that regard.

 

So, when I marvel that someone of Williams's age is able to provide a piece of this energy, that's more of less my train of thought. Sorry for the poor word choice.

 

6 hours ago, moi said:

Yes, that whole post was just ridiculous!! BS

 

I aim to please.

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  • 4 months later...
On 4/30/2020 at 1:56 PM, Falstaft said:

And underneath much of it, a vigorous string ostinato that nods back, intentionally or not (I think intentionally -- it's too on-point!) to Hyperspace from ESB. 

 

On 4/30/2020 at 2:11 PM, Holko said:

Nice catch!

 

On 4/30/2020 at 3:58 PM, BrotherSound said:

Sounds to me like more than just the ostinato nods to Hyperspace: there’s some brass writing here that’s very similar to bits like this, with the same rhythms:

 

image.png

 

On 4/30/2020 at 4:24 PM, Falstaft said:

By George, you're right! (This must be the moment you're talking about, right, at 1:44?)

 

Moment.png

 

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