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Does Disney not feel like paying Williams anymore?


Tallguy
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One of the things that has always seemed unique about Star Wars is that if you're watching a Star Wars thing then the odds are that you're hearing Star Wars music. Commercials, TV shows, video games. Rarely in the 40+ years of Star Wars have you heard a cheap knockoff (no Rogue One jokes, please). It's Williams' themes if not flat out Williams' music.

 

I've noticed in the last few years a move away from this. Starting with the Disney+ Star Wars logo. Then they did those environment flyover things with music that wasn't from the movies and didn't have any Williams in them. The last few days I've been seeing promos for the new Lego video game The Skywalker Saga. They all featured this painful "adventure music" that wouldn't have felt at home in Battle Beyond the Stars, let alone Star Wars.

 

I realize that we've probably been spoiled and what is happening now is more the norm than the exception for big franchises. Or have I been living in a kind of shelter and this has been happening with Star Wars for ages and it's only now affecting projects that I'm aware of.

 

(I do remember the Kenner commercials in the 70's had this fake Star Wars theme. But that was gone by the time of The Empire Strikes Back, IIRC.)

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He literally just wrote the theme for Kenobi and I'm sure he didn't do it pro bono. I think they are perfectly comfortable paying JW but also tapping younger composers and other music to branch out the SW sound.

 

 

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Probably, by not using original Star Wars music they try to conceal that they are more or less still just sell the old wine in new bottles instead of really going new ways with Star Wars.

But I must confess, I liked Bad Badge and Clone Wars season 7 a lot. Best Disney Star Wars content.

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37 minutes ago, crypto said:

it was probably a deliberate creative decision to forge their own musical path instead of falling back on Williams all the time.

 

I think this is the real clencher. A bit like the Harry Potter situation post Azkaban.

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Williams ain't gonna be around forever. And that fact motivates two different things:

 

1. Get as much out of him now while you still can.

 

2. Nurture a new generation of younger composers to continue the franchise.

 

Looks to me they are doing a bit of both.

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5 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

I noticed the ame thing with Netflix's Home Alone special, the amount of JW music was ridiculous, especially when they then started talking about him.

no williams music in the Jurassic park special either.

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To be clearer, obviously they are paying JW for new work. It's just the nickle and diming of not using / not re-using the music that they've already paid him for.

 

It seems very cheap in a way that Star Wars (specifically) has not done through most of it's history.

 

Oh, I seem to remember The Star Wars Show on YouTube running clips that had JW's music taken out and something less expensive substituted. (Back when I watched The Star Wars Show.)

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It's not like we've been lacking other composers doing Star Wars prior to Disney. There were already at least a solid half dozen of them doing video games and doing an excellent job writing music that's recognizably Star Wars while also sounding like themselves. 

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IIRC Kathleen Kennedy said a few years back they would move away from using Williams' music in video games or promotional material (specifically the actual recordings used in the films), in favour of original music from younger composers.

 

Maybe Williams himself was tired of hearing his music repurposed beyond his intended context? We all know he's fiercely protective of how his music is presented; maybe he wasn't happy with how games were hacking up various cues and using them outside the context of the films? It's not unreasonable.

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5 hours ago, crypto said:

IIRC Kathleen Kennedy said a few years back they would move away from using Williams' music in video games or promotional material (specifically the actual recordings used in the films), in favour of original music from younger composers.

 

I don't recall ever hearing that. Would be very disappointing if true (albeit not surprising at all).

 

I think at least for the upcoming Lego game they'll still be using his music, especially since they revolve around the films specifically, nor is there any indication that an original score was recorded. However they'll probably just use the OST edits, and whether they'll use the ST music due to the fees I have no clue (although they did for Lego TFA).

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I recent history, JW's SW music was used to incredible effect in Jedi Fallen Order. It was so clear the music quality went up a notch when his cue kicked in.

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20 hours ago, crypto said:

 

 

Remains to be seen whether they'll fork out the exorbitant AFM fees to release expanded soundtracks for the Star Wars sequels, but if Rogue One is any indication it's just a matter of time.

 

 

I need to start a thread about this

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