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The Emperor's Theme in Ep. 9 Appreciation and Poll


What's Your Favorite Statement of Palp's Theme in TROS?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. What's your favorite statement of The Emperor's leitmotif in TROS

    • Fanfare and Prologue [OST Track 1 - 3:39] *
      1
    • Falcon Flight/Fleet Approaches Exegol [FYC 2 - 0:20]
      14
    • Spy's Message [Unreleased - 0:15:17 film]
      3
    • Boolio's Head/Rey Vows Revenge [Unreleased - 0:20:27 film]
      1
    • Hard To Get Rid Of [FYC 9 - 1:30]
      1
    • Palpatine's Transmission/Rey Enters Exegol [Unreleased - 1:18:27]**
      0
    • Coming Together [FYC 19 - 0:01]
      0
    • On Their Knees [Unreleased - 1:55:37] ***
      1
    • The Force Is With You [OST 15 - 2:13]
      4


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We get some really nifty statements of The Emperor's Theme in Episode 9. What's your favorite, and why? These are the instances I could discern, but may be missing one or two. It's not always clear to me what was intended where, and there are a few statements that are clearly tracked in multiple places. (And who knows what else lurks in the unheard pages of Williams's phantom TROS score).

 

Notes on the poll:

* - This is a very slightly rearranged, chorus-free restatement of the theme from ROTJ, R10P2 (The Emperor Confronts Luke)

** - This appears to be a tracked restatement of the beginning of ROTS 7m3 (Birth of the Twins)

 

For reference, here's a compilation someone made

 

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What impresses me the most about this theme in TROS is how expressively flexible it is. Yes, Falcon Flight is awesome. And it seems part of a larger approach to varying the emotional quality of the th

Bold of you to assume you'll be able to actually hear it while watching the film. 

I couldn't agree more with your interpretation, @Ludwig. So much of the impact in that particular cue comes from the instrumentation -- fairly sure it's a solo English Horn, a rarely used but very aff

30 minutes ago, Ludwig said:

The scoring often has a quality of expressing the evil "from afar", meaning not by Palpatine himself because the low bassoon/cello/chorus combination is substituted with something lighter. In what that compilation calls "Rey Swears Revenge", we get it in this forlorn, emotionally wounded form in the oboe/English horn as Rey vows to track down Palpatine and destroy him, a statement that makes Finn question Rey's character.

 

I couldn't agree more with your interpretation, @Ludwig. So much of the impact in that particular cue comes from the instrumentation -- fairly sure it's a solo English Horn, a rarely used but very affecting timbral color in these scores. It gives the theme a haunted, exposed quality I'm not sure we've ever heard before.

 

I dare say there's more "emotional range" in these various treatments of Palpatine's Theme in Episode 9 than there were through the whole Prequel Trilogy. (In fact, "I Am The Senate" and "Anakin's Dark Deeds" hold the only iteration I can think of that's something other than the standard slow, lurking evil vibe.)

 

I personally chose "Spy's Message" because I like how the theme really gets room to breathe. And the little upper-woodwind counterline at 2:34 of the video above is simply delicious to me for some reason. (There's also something about the pacing strings that recalls the Duel scene from Harry Potter 2 among other things.)

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1 hour ago, Ludwig said:

But simple answer - Falcon Flight because it's so unexpected but so effective!

I would say it's so effective because it is unexpected :) The "cooler than anticipated" phenomenon.

48 minutes ago, Falstaft said:

 

I couldn't agree more with your interpretation, @Ludwig. So much of the impact in that particular cue comes from the instrumentation -- fairly sure it's a solo English Horn, a rarely used but very affecting timbral color in these scores. It gives the theme a haunted, exposed quality I'm not sure we've ever heard before.

 

I dare say there's more "emotional range" in these various treatments of Palpatine's Theme in Episode 9 than there were through the whole Prequel Trilogy. (In fact, "I Am The Senate" and "Anakin's Dark Deeds" hold the only iteration I can think of that's something other than the standard slow, lurking evil vibe.)

 

I personally chose "Spy's Message" because I like how the theme really gets room to breathe. And the little upper-woodwind counterline at 2:34 of the video above is simply delicious to me for some reason. (There's also something about the pacing strings that recalls the Duel scene from Harry Potter 2 among other things.)

I am the Senate sounds very prophetic when one speeds it up to x2 :lol:

https://youtu.be/LsS4DUs7HtA?t=90

 

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9 hours ago, mstrox said:

I've only heard the OST tracks - I voted for track 1.

 

There's nothing illegal whatsoever about listening to the FYC album - Disney made it streaming to everyone for free legally, right here:

 

https://disneystudiosawards.com/star-wars-rise-of-skywalker/score

 

You can listen to "Falcon Flight" right on that page - it's one of the best action cues of the entire trilogy!

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Like Ludwig said, there is a decided freshness to this film's score and how Williams is able to create so many new inspired renditions of a 36-year old theme that I thought was more than played out speaks to that quality. So much of what was old feels new again. One thing that I really like is how much it gets peppered in throughout the score in service of his (supposedly) looming presence throughout the film, especially when the character himself isn't really in the actual film all that much.

 

On a random note, the statement from Fanfare and Prologue (and ROTJ) with those screechy tremolo strings in the background almost seems to inform the sound design for the scene because all the lightning strikes on Exegol sound like similar string screeches. Probably nothing, just works well together. Speaking of Exegol's lightning, this video exists.

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7 hours ago, Jay said:

 

There's nothing illegal whatsoever about listening to the FYC album - Disney made it streaming to everyone for free legally, right here:

 

https://disneystudiosawards.com/star-wars-rise-of-skywalker/score

 

You can listen to "Falcon Flight" right on that page - it's one of the best action cues of the entire trilogy!


I never said anything about legality!

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I'm sure I've said it somewhere here before, but I intentionally don't listen to any of this stuff, based on an overwhelming blah feeling after the expansions of TPM, Indiana Jones, Hook, A.I., etc., as well as certain Elfman scores - some of my favorite scores! -  that, sure, they were expanded, but I've heard it all before.  I'd rather save all of the music as a nice present for the day when a score is expanded.  The only exception to this in recent memory is that I did watch the first half of The Last Jedi with the isolated score.

 

I'm sure I'll watch TROS again, so I'll hear it in context at that point.

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18 minutes ago, mstrox said:

I'm sure I've said it somewhere here before, but I intentionally don't listen to any of this stuff, based on an overwhelming blah feeling after the expansions of TPM, Indiana Jones, Hook, A.I., etc.,

 

Hrm, to each their own, I suppose. But it seems odd to me to deny yourself hearing one of the standout action tracks, not just of TROS, but Williams's post 2010 output as a whole. And it's just 2:23 minutes long! Spoil yourself a little, @mstrox!

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yea that was my point too - I completely understand the logic behind not wanting to spoil the delight of future, proper expansions with bootlegs and crap before that arrives, but I think FALCON FLIGHT is the glorious exception that should be listened to by every Williams fan.  He wanted to present it on the album sent to Academy Awards voters for a reason!

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