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THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: 40th Anniversary


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8 hours ago, QuartalHarmony said:

A question that’s bugged me for years: what theories are there for why Yoda’s Theme is used in the chase through Bespin? Almost any other theme would make more narrative sense - it’s not like the chase is Yoda-related in any meaningful way - and many other themes would have worked well musically at that point.

 

Maybe JW just felt the other new themes were getting a good airing and he wanted Yoda’s to get more air time? Seems odd reasoning to me though.

 

Thoughts?

 

Mark

To me it seemed that it was to partly score Luke's rescue attempt, perhaps some sort of thematic link to the fact that Yoda warned Luke against rushing to save his friends instead of completing his training. Luke's persistence pulls through and instead of total despair, Williams uses Yoda's theme as a sort of heroic reprieve; although Yoda's warning was right, they still managed to evade the Empire's clutches (except Han of course).

That's my flippity-floppity rationalisation instead of just saying 'it sounded cool'.

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Happy 40th Anniversary to one of John's greatest ever film scores, The Empire Strikes Back.   Easily the strongest trio of new themes for any sequel score -- The Imperial March, Han Solo and

And the saga's first actual love theme! (No, really.)

13 hours ago, QuartalHarmony said:

A question that’s bugged me for years: what theories are there for why Yoda’s Theme is used in the chase through Bespin? Almost any other theme would make more narrative sense - it’s not like the chase is Yoda-related in any meaningful way - and many other themes would have worked well musically at that point.

 

Maybe JW just felt the other new themes were getting a good airing and he wanted Yoda’s to get more air time? Seems odd reasoning to me though.

 

Thoughts?

 

Mark

 

When I was younger, I always saw it as "Yoda's training prepared him for this moment" or that because of Yoda's training he can be the true hero he's being for the first time for his friends. Before that, you remember he'd get his ass kicked, Han and Leia were more capable and able of things than he was. Dude got one lucky shot on the Death Star and the next time we see him he immediately gets his ass kicked by a yeti. Then he gets whooped at the Battle of Hoth. So now he arrives on Bespin and is the one that's going to save them. Even Han sees Luke otherwise when he finally unfreezes. "Luke? Luke's crazy! He can't even take care of himself, much less rescue anybody."

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On 9/25/2020 at 4:20 AM, SilverTrumpet said:

 

When I was younger, I always saw it as "Yoda's training prepared him for this moment" or that because of Yoda's training he can be the true hero he's being for the first time for his friends. Before that, you remember he'd get his ass kicked, Han and Leia were more capable and able of things than he was. Dude got one lucky shot on the Death Star and the next time we see him he immediately gets his ass kicked by a yeti. Then he gets whooped at the Battle of Hoth. So now he arrives on Bespin and is the one that's going to save them. Even Han sees Luke otherwise when he finally unfreezes. "Luke? Luke's crazy! He can't even take care of himself, much less rescue anybody."

 

I believe, in the original liner notes for Empire Strikes Back, Williams wrote that it was "Luke applying Yoda's training". Of course, we Williams fans should know in the end not to apply very strict "movie theme" logic to his work.

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On 9/25/2020 at 1:20 PM, SilverTrumpet said:

 

When I was younger, I always saw it as "Yoda's training prepared him for this moment" or that because of Yoda's training he can be the true hero he's being for the first time for his friends. Before that, you remember he'd get his ass kicked, Han and Leia were more capable and able of things than he was. Dude got one lucky shot on the Death Star and the next time we see him he immediately gets his ass kicked by a yeti. Then he gets whooped at the Battle of Hoth. So now he arrives on Bespin and is the one that's going to save them. Even Han sees Luke otherwise when he finally unfreezes. "Luke? Luke's crazy! He can't even take care of himself, much less rescue anybody."

Luke does feckall to "save" the gang, Lando does. Luke just fires a couple shots then Vader toys with him and wins.

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6 hours ago, Nick Parker said:

 

I believe, in the original liner notes for Empire Strikes Back, Williams wrote that it was "Luke applying Yoda's training". Of course, we Williams fans should know in the end not to apply very strict "movie theme" logic to his work.

 

Yep, though credit should be given to Alan Arnold for the exact quote, not Williams -- who knows how much of a hand JW had in the liner notes.

 

"Luke gains courage as we hear Yoda's theme, which urges Luke on as he remembers Yoda's teachings and tries to apply them at this moment of extreme trial."

 

Source: http://www.jw-collection.de/scores/tesblp.htm

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34 minutes ago, Falstaft said:

 

Yep, though credit should be given to Alan Arnold for the exact quote, not Williams -- who knows how much of a hand JW had in the liner notes.

 

"Luke gains courage as we hear Yoda's theme, which urges Luke on as he remembers Yoda's teachings and tries to apply them at this moment of extreme trial."

 

Source: http://www.jw-collection.de/scores/tesblp.htm

 

Good point...I saw the word "bellicose" and knowing Williams likes that word, I just assumed it was him :P

 

Although honestly I always wondered if the liner notes were accidentally referring to the music underscoring the earlier part of the duel, the music that ultimately was unused.

 

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Watched it in the theater yesterday with my son and his cousin. My son is 7, about to turn 8, so he has seen Star Wars many times but this is his first time seeing Empire. Honestly it was still a bit much for him. But I’m glad he experienced it in all its glory. [Insert usual mild complaints about ESB SE.] I can’t say I was super happy with the sound mix; it was only coming from the front for some reason.

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  • 2 months later...
On 12/19/2020 at 1:20 AM, Falstaft said:

 

Phenomenal, as always @Marc. Got any more ESB planned? Would love to hear you take on those licks at the end of the Mynock cave scene!

 

Thank you very much !

No other ESB cue planned at the moment but who knows...there might very well be another one someday :)

( End of Mynock cave would be pretty cool indeed ! )

 

3 hours ago, BrotherSound said:


Nicely done, @Marc! That’s got to be some kind of record for the number of horn rips in a single cue, right?

 

Haha, I've played other cues full of rips (stuff from Powell's HTTYD comes to mind) but yeah I've rarely seen that many in a cue :D

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They keep releasing these 40th anniversary BTS videos, the last one contained segments of a few deleted scenes all cleaned up and color corrected. I'm curious if they'll release some sort of "collector's edition" set for ESB with some new deleted scenes and BTS videos, interviews, etc.

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12 hours ago, Manakin Skywalker said:

They keep releasing these 40th anniversary BTS videos, the last one contained segments of a few deleted scenes all cleaned up and color corrected. I'm curious if they'll release some sort of "collector's edition" set for ESB with some new deleted scenes and BTS videos, interviews, etc

I hope so. I thought the same, they look really clean. It was fun seeing han solo give a shoulder clap to leia after she gives him one in a released extended scene.

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12 hours ago, Manakin Skywalker said:

They keep releasing these 40th anniversary BTS videos, the last one contained segments of a few deleted scenes all cleaned up and color corrected. I'm curious if they'll release some sort of "collector's edition" set for ESB with some new deleted scenes and BTS videos, interviews, etc.

 

Wow, weren't most of the ESB deleted scenes in B&W? I vaguely recall the deleted extension to Han & Leia's first kiss was in horrible quality on the Bluray. It looks pristine here!

 

I guess new elements turned up over the last few years.

 

Maybe we'll see more stuff on Disney+. The archival footage looks sensational in HD!

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I just finished rewatching the grindhouse 35mm print of ESB. Even in a somewhat beat-up copy, it still quite an experience to watch it this way. It gives a nice example of how it was to watch in a movie theater back in the day. And with the optical sound and everything. Like I said before, it gives you a perfect LCR+Mono Surround channel separation if you decode the sound with Dolby Pro-Logic. That's impressive, coming from an optical sound print.

 

The are some advances in Project 4K80 since I last checked it. Looks like we might see some good news soon. https://www.thestarwarstrilogy.com/project-4k80/

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They made it blue because bad colour timing, and they recomposited it... badly, the perspective shifts.

 

9GceM_iGS5wmtPd0ohmjvMfhQHapmDxhPjpH4Oe9TrGYiDFU-nDDntExR9CGJzIxVxYhviXRtGCbkbi1

 

upper: Grindhouse, lower: blu or 4k. open these two images in two browser tabs and click back and forth to see how the lower one warps. The brightness change in the upper images is likely jut because the grindhouse is a bad quality/unrestored print.

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5 hours ago, Holko said:

upper: Grindhouse, lower: blu or 4k. open these two images in two browser tabs and click back and forth to see how the lower one warps. The brightness change in the upper images is likely jut because the grindhouse is a bad quality/unrestored print.

 

It's amazing just how badly that Bluray was colour graded. The shift towards blue stripped away the vibrant red lights around the bridge.

 

Unfortunately the 4K version didn't really help. It's clearly a technically superior scan of the negatives but it's DNR'd to hell and the colour is totally washed out.

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9 hours ago, Holko said:

The brightness change in the upper images is likely jut because the grindhouse is a bad quality/unrestored print.

Or it could be these other reasons:

  • The settings of the device used to scan the 35mm release prints.
  • The optical effects compositing of the film for it's time.  The merging of filmed elements into one film was done photo chemically. Each filmed element had to be copied-or duplicated (duped) onto new film.  When you are duping a film, the copy will lose quality from the original.  All filmed elements in that shot were copies.  The quality of these release prints is several generations away from the original camera negative.  LucasFilm had all the filmed elements stored and had them transferred and re-composited digitally for their current home video releases, hence the quality of the 4K/Blu Ray versions.

Some of us old-timers like the ‘grindhouse’ quality of our favorite films because seeing all those nuisances from the print (flashes of dirt-marks, etc.) ignites those memories of happy times at the cinema.

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  • 3 weeks later...
13 minutes ago, Luke Skywalker said:

i just randomly came by this mattessino interview released yesterday.

 

https://thedigitalbits.com/columns/history-legacy-showmanship

 

 

 

Interesting, I think it explains the use of a bit of a previously used track (from a Dagobah cue) to replace the original beginning of the Finale wrote by JW (the version on the albums).

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