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Post ROTS SW Concert Pieces


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I know that there have been sequel music polls and such, but many have not incorporated Galaxy’s Edge and Adventures of Han (unless I am forgetting).  I have been wondering about the place of the latter two in Williams’ post ROTS SW music output, as after two years I still think GE is near the top and one of Williams' masterpieces of the 21st century.  Here is my ranking of all the concert pieces, excluding the end credits suite from Force Awakens.

 

1.       Rey’s Theme

2.       Galaxy’s Edge

3.       Rise of Skywalker

4.       The Rebellion is Reborn (with thanks to the Vienna performance for helping me to see its brilliance)

5.       The Adventures of Han

6.       March of the Resistance

7.       Jedi Steps

8.       Scherzo for X-wings

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My ranking, adding a few  -- "Adagio," new "Han Solo & the Princess," and all the violin/orchestra arrangements, of which "Across the Stars' is the most transformative.   My ranking:

Decided to give Galaxy's Edge another listen today based on the positive comments here. I still can't quite get over the feeling that it sounds like something someone else writing in a Williams style,

I know that there have been sequel music polls and such, but many have not incorporated Galaxy’s Edge and Adventures of Han (unless I am forgetting).  I have been wondering about the place of the latt

1. March of the Resistance - Schubert would have wanted to write that!

2. Rebellion is Reborn - the VPO has ineed played it into the top tier, even though I already liked it before

3. Rey's Theme (ASM arrangement) - it has a very elegant feel and finer emotional expression with a violin soloist on the melody

4. Galaxy's Edge - has that amazing neoclassical feel enveloped in "The Phantom Menace" sound. High points from me!

5. Rise of Skywalker - well-structured, with a hint of a deeper subtext of a farewell to the magnum opus, but not quite top tier

6. Rey's Theme - I like the DD-DF-ABG melody enough to put it this high. The rest is okay-ish to me.

7. Jedi Steps - low-key, but sounds very Star-Wars-y. A fine addition to the collection.

8. The Adventures of Han (has a very "B-tier" feel to it, but it is not unpleasant, and the main heroic theme sure can brighten the mood

9. Adagio (I don't really like this type of romantic music, but it's not unpleasant)

10. Scherzo for X-wings (I find it neither pleasant nor interesting)

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Rey's Theme and The Rise of Skywalker are the most appealing to me. Warm and colorful, emotionally stirring, cozy listening, make me grateful for John Williams.

 

The Adventures of Han, the most fun of the group.

 

The Rebellion is Reborn and March of the Resistance feel like the work of a master but I kinda appreciate and admire them more than I really love them.

 

The Jedi Steps, underrated, good gravitas.

 

Adagio, Galaxy's Edge, and Scherzo for X-Wings, I have no particular opinions on, don't really listen to them, they're cool.

 

The Jedi Steps & Finale altogether is the best thing he's written for Disney.

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The Adagio!  I knew that I was forgetting a piece.  I thought about the new arrangement of Han Solo and the Princess but did not know if it would "count" or not.  It does seem to be Williams reworking the theme in light of their "older" relationship--so I suppose it must count.  I would probably put it at #7 on my list.  The Adagio would be last, but it is quite good.  

 

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1.       The Adventures of Han (I still remember where I was when I first heard it, and felt a rush of excitement when it ended)

 

2.       Rey’s Theme (Pretty obvious. Nothing new for me to add.)

 

3.       March of the Resistance (I didn't like it at first. It felt like the Nazi music from Last Crusade which was off putting for the good guys, but its development through three movies is unlike anyone else's on this list.)

 

4.       Jedi Steps (A classic, but I was super disappointed with its development in the subsequent movies. It was basically just played the same in TLJ and I don't think it made any appearance in TROS.)

 

5.       Rise of Skywalker (I love the trio part of it more than anything on this list, but I feel like the victory part misses the mark.)

 

6.       Galaxy's Edge  (Grand, exquisite. Very prequel-esque, which is always a winner for me.)

 

7.       The Rebellion is Reborn (Sorta disappointing, but the Luke on the island part of it is strong, even if I don't think it really fits even Luke's changed character. It seems too strong for how he's presented.)

 

8.       Scherzo for X-Wings (Uninteresting. I keep forgetting this is considered a concert piece)

 

9.       Adagio (The one I didn't realize was supposed to be a concert piece until much later, and it felt like a pale imitation of similar music from Revenge of the Sith)

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20 minutes ago, Destructive said:

Don't forget the Anthem Of Evil

 

That doesn't appear to be a concert suite but actually a combination of abandoned early ideas and partially used film cues.

 

IIRC the latter half of the track was actually used for the destruction of Kijimi sequence in the film (though the end trails in a different direction in the film, but who knows how that was hacked together).

 

It has the makings of an interesting concert suite though. Would be nice if Williams fleshed it out (even though that theme was practically abandoned by the final cut).

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3 hours ago, SilverTrumpet said:

 

4.       Jedi Steps (A classic, but I was super disappointed with its development in the subsequent movies. It was basically just played the same in TLJ and I don't think it made any appearance in TROS.)

 

There's a variation on it I believe when Rey buries the lightsabers at the end of the movie.

 

OST track is called "A New Home."  The motif of Jedi Steps isn't stated but it's a variation on the accompanying parts.

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I contend to this day that a distinctive chord or two from "Jedi Steps" plays over an establishing shot of Ach-To in TROS, but it's subtle.  I noticed it in the theater but have never managed to locate it on the soundtrack.

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8 minutes ago, igger6 said:

I contend to this day that a distinctive chord or two from "Jedi Steps" plays over an establishing shot of Ach-To in TROS, but it's subtle.  I noticed it in the theater but have never managed to locate it on the soundtrack.

 

23 minutes ago, wowbobwow said:

OST track is called "A New Home."  The motif of Jedi Steps isn't stated but it's a variation on the accompanying parts.

 

The Jedi Steps theme is nowhere literally stated in the TROS score as we have heard it. But I'd put very good money on it having been utilized in some unheard or alternate cues. Particularly the Ahch-To Sequence, which almost certainly went through revisions, and where the overall sound-world of Jedi Steps is strongly in evidence, particularly with that establishing shot you mention @igger6. And I completely agree with @wowbobwowthat the theme is embedded, or at least alluded to,  in "A New Home."

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43 minutes ago, igger6 said:

I contend to this day that a distinctive chord or two from "Jedi Steps" plays over an establishing shot of Ach-To in TROS, but it's subtle.  I noticed it in the theater but have never managed to locate it on the soundtrack.

 

That's sorta what I was thinking, and the exact part I was thinking of. I just haven't done enough study into the scene to look for it.

 

It took me until only a few years ago to realize Jabba's theme was in The Phantom Menace, so these things aren't always so obvious to me.

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2 hours ago, Destructive said:

Don't forget the Anthem Of Evil

It would be nice if Williams released a concert suite from TROS (Rise of Skywalker, Anthem, Speeder Chase, etc.).  At this point, though, it seems like the only full-fledged concert piece is Rise of Skywalker.  

25 minutes ago, SilverTrumpet said:

 

That's sorta what I was thinking, and the exact part I was thinking of. I just haven't done enough study into the scene to look for it.

 

It took me until only a few years ago to realize Jabba's theme was in The Phantom Menace, so these things aren't always so obvious to me.

I think that is the best rendition of Jabba's theme period.  

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1. Rey's Theme 

2. Rise of Skywalker

3. Adventures of Han 

4. Anthem of Evil

5. Jedi Steps

6. March of the Resistance 

7. Han and Leia 

8. Scherzo for X-Wings 

9. The Rebellion is Reborn

10. Galaxy's Edge

 

 

 

 

 

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1. Rey's Theme 

2. Rise of Skywalker

3. Adventures of Han 

4. March of the Resistance 

5. Galaxy's Edge

6. The Rebellion is Reborn

7. Anthem of Evil

8. Scherzo for X-Wings 

9. Jedi Steps

10. Adagio (The Starkiller)

 

(Or similar - they're all great)

 

 

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On 2/10/2021 at 10:10 AM, Falstaft said:

 

 

The Jedi Steps theme is nowhere literally stated in the TROS score as we have heard it. But I'd put very good money on it having been utilized in some unheard or alternate cues. Particularly the Ahch-To Sequence, which almost certainly went through revisions, and where the overall sound-world of Jedi Steps is strongly in evidence, particularly with that establishing shot you mention @igger6. And I completely agree with @wowbobwowthat the theme is embedded, or at least alluded to,  in "A New Home."

 

I'm counting this as a @Falstaft-endorsed theory! :D Actually, I went and checked in another tab (thank you, Disney+, and what a world!) and what I heard is at 1:30:20-24.  The strings build upward in a transitional phrase, and then we get what sounds like (to my untrained ears anyway) the first two descending notes of the main "Jedi Steps" theme, also on strings.  I love it.  It's as if, by that point, he knows he doesn't need to play us the whole theme for us to know where we're going.  It reminds me of the scene where Princess Leia's name is implied both verbally and musically in Rogue One.

 

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10 hours ago, igger6 said:

 

I'm counting this as a @Falstaft-endorsed theory! :D Actually, I went and checked in another tab (thank you, Disney+, and what a world!) and what I heard is at 1:30:20-24.  The strings build upward in a transitional phrase, and then we get what sounds like (to my untrained ears anyway) the first two descending notes of the main "Jedi Steps" theme, also on strings.  I love it.  It's as if, by that point, he knows he doesn't need to play us the whole theme for us to know where we're going.  It reminds me of the scene where Princess Leia's name is implied both verbally and musically in Rogue One.

 

 

Well, in that case you get four notes of her theme and it has the musical texture of it.

 

I think if you use that term, unless you have another, better one, the music texture of Jedi Steps is definitely in that part of TROS, but the theme itself isn't.

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4 hours ago, Tom Guernsey said:

Decided to give Galaxy's Edge another listen today based on the positive comments here. I still can't quite get over the feeling that it sounds like something someone else writing in a Williams style, especially since it doesn't contain any of the Star Wars themes. Had similar feelings about the Back to the Future and ET rides which (as far as I recall) don't recall any thematic material from their respective scores. I assume it's a cost/licensing thing?

The piece really speaks to me, so I am probably not all that objective.  Why does it bother you that it lacks previous SW themes?  It is simply another theme/s for SW that Williams has written, following the standard set for all the new themes he has written over 40 years for SW.  

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I like that it has the motif that sounds sort of like the rebel fanfare, but not exactly, and, of course, the B flat trumpet blast.  It lets you know of the preexisting universe but promises an adventure of a different sort.  Whether the park delivers on that I neither know nor care--the music stands on its own.   

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On 2/10/2021 at 9:55 AM, crumbs said:

 

That doesn't appear to be a concert suite but actually a combination of abandoned early ideas and partially used film cues.

 

IIRC the latter half of the track was actually used for the destruction of Kijimi sequence in the film (though the end trails in a different direction in the film, but who knows how that was hacked together).

 

It has the makings of an interesting concert suite though. Would be nice if Williams fleshed it out (even though that theme was practically abandoned by the final cut).


 

In that case Jedi Steps shouldn’t count either right? It is a film cue. Though I know it does have a concert version.

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I seem tobe returning to Galaxy's Edge a lot!

So much fun. And definitely a big step up from "your average Williams imitator".

 

Wished the TRoS story would've given an excuse to work it into the music there.

And same for Han's theme.

Would be so nice for those to get a bit more coverage; so they can feel more connected to the rest of that world...

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On 2/10/2021 at 3:20 AM, Tom said:

I know that there have been sequel music polls and such, but many have not incorporated Galaxy’s Edge and Adventures of Han (unless I am forgetting).  I have been wondering about the place of the latter two in Williams’ post ROTS SW music output, as after two years I still think GE is near the top and one of Williams' masterpieces of the 21st century.  Here is my ranking of all the concert pieces, excluding the end credits suite from Force Awakens.

 

1.       Rey’s Theme

2.       Galaxy’s Edge

3.       Rise of Skywalker

4.       The Rebellion is Reborn (with thanks to the Vienna performance for helping me to see its brilliance)

5.       The Adventures of Han

6.       March of the Resistance

7.       Jedi Steps

8.       Scherzo for X-wings

 

Amazing list of great music by the composer who has lost it according to jwfan.com

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Something I enjoy (now, maybe not when it was first released) is that the entire piece is like an action cue. The music is basically sprinting from beginning to end, the orchestra seems very agile moving from the A and B part and all the action-like interstitial material. The orchestrations also remind me a bit of his OT action scoring.

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1. The Rise of Skywalker

2. The Adventures of Han

3. Rey's Theme

4. Jedi Steps

5. March of the Resistance

6. Rebellion Is Reborn

7. Adagio

8. Scherzo for the X-Wing

9. Galaxy's Edge

10. Snoke's Theme

 

Not sure what Anthem of Evil is but I like it. 

 

Karol

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I love this topic. I have put together as it were a complete and chronological TFA suite, and listen to it frequently.

 

1. Rey’s Theme

2. Adagio

3. March of the Resistance*

4. New Han Solo and the Princess

5. Scherzo for X-Wings

6. The Jedi Steps

7. Finale*

 

* - I edited these so that T3 includes the short version of the March and T7 includes the long version of the March. I think this improves the pacing of the concert and makes the Finale rock as completely as possible, which it should.

 

So the above is chronological order, but my ranking would be similar (assuming Finale is excluded per the OP), except that Jedi Steps goes up to #2. Adagio is still #3; surprised people rank this sublime piece so low.

 

All of the non-TFA material ranks below these for me, basically:

 

1. The Rebellion is Reborn

2. The Adventures of Han

3. The Rise of Skywalker

 

I haven’t listened to Galaxy’s Edge enough to rank it.

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