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"Knights of Ren" Motif Appreciation Thread


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Here's a theme that doesn't get much love -- The Knights of Ren motif:   It's not quite the most original of Williams's themes. Heck, it's about as generic as you can get in his style: a rep

Your skepticism is warranted, but all I can say is I have it on good authority that, at minimum, DotF was performed -- possibly as part of an alternate End Credits suite that never materialized.

I'm hearing something like A-G-Bb-A-G-F#-F#-G, repeating. I can't make out an E in that run, but it sounds like there's more than that line going on, but it may be sound effects. In any case, even wit

6 minutes ago, Falstaft said:

The main culprit in this confusion is ts first, ear-grabbing rendition accompanies the big Exegol building during the opening sequence -- not the KoR themselves. (Whether this is tracked, spliced, or something else I have no clue.)


We can’t know for sure yet, but it’s most likely from (1M2? 1M22? 1M2 v2?) “The Ninth Beginning”. The November 11th cut had 0:40 of this cue with six seconds of Kylo’s theme immediately after the main title, and the OST has 0:40 of something with 6 seconds of Kylo’s theme before continuing with what we now know is 1M8 Approaching the Emperor [or Nursery]. Since the November 11th cut appears to have opened directly on Exegol, eschewing the Mustafar segment entirely, it probably accompanied that same shot in the earlier cut, too.

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4 hours ago, Falstaft said:

Edit: Listening even more carefully, I'm not hearing DotF that much any more in this cue -- instead, I'm getting a Bb-A-Bb-Ab-G-E-E pattern. But it's still very hard to make out discrete pitches. Oh well!

 

I'm hearing something like A-G-Bb-A-G-F#-F#-G, repeating. I can't make out an E in that run, but it sounds like there's more than that line going on, but it may be sound effects. In any case, even with the indistinct tones we're hearing, it seems that Williams is drawing on his trusted friend the octatonic scale here for this accompaniment, E-F#-G-A-Bb-C-Db-Eb-E. The melody is drawn from another scale, if you want to call it Phrygian or Hungarian minor (rotated to start on the 5th note).

 

What I think is cool about this is that it doesn't rely on a single technique or scale, as we usually expect from most film music passages. Instead, it combines techniques and makes them hang together nicely. Williams generally does this by having melody and accompaniment do different things. And it kind of makes sense here - the swirling, menacing aerial shot is matched by the swirling, menacing accompaniment figure while the identity of the Knights is pounded out by the melody (itself related to Ren's aggressive theme).

 

And while this theme is indeed somewhat generic as one of the film's new leitmotifs, I think the ST has shown us how good Williams is at taking a set of themes and running them through very different variations, notably Rey's theme and March of the Resistance over the trilogy, and now with this Knights of Ren theme in this film, which strangely does not adhere to a kind of Ur-form, but is quite varied with pretty much each statement. 

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I love the Knights of Ren motif!

And how funny that every scene with them can be compiled into a 2 minute youtube video.  Clearly they were intended to play a larger role and JJ hacked them almost entirely away

 

I wonder if there's any cues in the vaults featuring more development of their music...

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You hardly see them in the movie and no close ups. Just fleeting glimpses. Watching that clip reminded me of what utter dreck the movie was. 

        Still would be interesting to hear stuff from the vaults. I'm hoping my opinion of the whole score would suffer a seachange. How much music is there that has never been heard? 

 

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I think the motif is cool, doesn’t need to be more than it is for these redundant characters.

 

As for Duel of the Fates, I’m absolutely convinced that these are all false rumors that originated in clickbait websites taking Don Williams’ words about the ‘Phantom’ theme totally out of context. I don’t think it was ever recorded or even planned.

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On 9/23/2020 at 7:59 AM, stravinsky said:

        Still would be interesting to hear stuff from the vaults. I'm hoping my opinion of the whole score would suffer a seachange. How much music is there that has never been heard? 

 

Well, JW said 226 minutes of music were recorded and the film itself has less than half that much (I think only ~100 minutes of music in the film is actually from the TROS recording sessions, while another ~10 minutes was tracked from other scores).

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On 9/19/2020 at 10:44 PM, Ludwig said:

this Knights of Ren theme in this film, which strangely does not adhere to a kind of Ur-form, but is quite varied with pretty much each statement. 

 

Spot on! I was going to mention that too. I love that the tune is a little different every time. If you recall the theme in your head, your idea of it is compiled from all these variations in the score rather than one definitive concert or end credits rendition, much like a lot of the themes from the LotR films.

 

Not sure why people are comparing it to any of the major themes, since it's not meant to fit that capacity. This is one of those ideas like Boba Fett's motif that doesn't need to be fleshed out any more than it is. And unlike many other minor themes from this trilogy, I was happy that this one was used at every opportunity and was easy to identify even on the first viewing of the film.

 

The simplicity of the theme and the intensity of most of its arrangements gives it an urgent feel of menace. It suggests the kind of imminent danger that would trigger a fight or flight response from the heroes. MOVE! The Knights of Ren are gonna stomp your ass. Of course this is one of the many, many cases where Williams conveyed what the filmmakers should have conveyed better, but didn't, so he had to help them (since Knights of Ren don't do anything in the film).

 

The straightforward brutality of this theme is a great foil to the other new villain theme, Anthem of Evil, which has a more subdued, regal feel that suggests Palpy's more distant, scheming, behind-the-scenes type of threat.

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If you didn't tell me that was supposed to be a motif attached to something, I would have never guessed it had any sort of significance. 

As others noted, it's a generic Williams brass outburst. 

Considering he used to write impressive brass fanfares like the end of Anakin's Dark Deeds as a one-and-done just thrown in, this motif is a bit dire. 

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2 hours ago, Falstaft said:

 

Your skepticism is warranted, but all I can say is I was told from someone directly involved with the TROS recording sessions that, at minimum, DotF was performed -- possibly as part of an alternate End Credits suite that never materialized.

 

Holy shit!

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5 hours ago, Falstaft said:

 

Your skepticism is warranted, but all I can say is I was told from someone directly involved with the TROS recording sessions that, at minimum, DotF was performed -- possibly as part of an alternate End Credits suite that never materialized.

 

Orchestra members' and involved Lucasfilm/ recording studio staff's homes shortly after JWFan reads this:

 

 

Screenshot_20200925-152055_YouTube.jpg

Screenshot_20200925-152039_YouTube.jpg

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16 hours ago, Falstaft said:

 

Your skepticism is warranted, but all I can say is I was told from someone directly involved with the TROS recording sessions that, at minimum, DotF was performed -- possibly as part of an alternate End Credits suite that never materialized.


Oh wow, I really had no idea! Thanks for sharing :)

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