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John Williams' Obi-Wan Kenobi theme - "I just want to write Benny a theme"


SpaceCoyote
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And now it's official.

 

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[Holt's] work on the show, which she can now confirm publicly for the first time, put her in collaboration with Star Wars icon John Williams, who has written an original theme for Ewan McGregor’s Jedi in exile. “Obviously, I'm just thrilled to be mentioned in the same breath as John Williams,” Holt says. “It's been exciting and overwhelming at times, because I'm such a fan. I want to pay respect to the history of it, and do it justice as well.”

 

How did you and Williams come to work in tandem?

Obi-Wan is a legacy character that John hadn't written a theme for because he died quite early on in A New Hope. It's the only legacy character that he hadn't done. So he spoke to [Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy and said, "I just want to write Benny a theme." So who can deny him that? And he did, he wrote the Obi theme, and it just embodies the spirit of the show entirely. 

 

How would you describe his new Obi-Wan theme?

It's reflective, and it's just entirely appropriate. And it distills what the show is about in just the perfect way that John Williams can. It's wistful, but there's an element of hope to it. It's doing something new and I think people are going to be really blown away by it.

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Wistful and hopeful, so not an adventure theme but a more quiet theme for Benny's time in Exile? Interesting. I seriously wonder if the new theme will contain any quotes of the Force theme in it? I have enjoyed when JW has done that kind of thing in the past.

 

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Loving the sound of the theme, seems a lot moodier and less optimistic than his Luke Exile material for The Last Jedi (though still with a hint of optimism amongst the melancholy).

 

I wonder how accurate that story is, that John personally approached Kennedy to compose the theme, supposedly even naming the character off his ANH pseudonym. Surprising?

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4 minutes ago, Tallguy said:

If only there were a Ben's Theme.
 

 

I mean, it was used so fleetingly I can see how it might be overlooked...

I think it's more than Ben's them really was about the force and other notions beyond the character himself whereas this new theme will be specifically suited to the character of Benny in exile. That and JW probably doesn't even think of the Force theme as Ben's theme anymore.

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I posted about the Holt confirmation (The Holt Confirmation....sounds like an Alistair Maclean novel), so the wrong thread, as this seems to be only about the Williams theme.

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Ben Kenobi's Theme: l think of Ben Kenobi's theme as reflecting both him and, also, the Jedi Knights and the Old Republic that he remembers. It also serves to represent the Force, the spiritual-philosophical belief of the Jedi Knights, and the Old Republic. Like the Princess' Theme, it has a fairy tale aspect rather than a futuristic aspect. There is a lot of English horn in Ben's Theme which is often heard under dialogue. At other times, the melody becomes the heroic march of the Jedi Knights.

 

Mouse Robot and Blasting Off: I based this on Ben's theme.

 

The Return Home: Here l used references to Ben's and Luke's themes.

 

The Princess Appears: Originally, I scored the scene with Luke's theme. When George heard it, he asked if l could replace it with Ben's theme.

 

The Throne Room and End Title: I used Ben's theme as a triumphant parade fanfare as the group walks down the aisle. It represents the re-establishment of the values Ben believed in over the tyranny of the Galactic Empire.

 

 

Where is the reference to Luke's theme in The Return Home? I can hear Ben's theme (as well as the Death Star Motif, the Imperial Motif, and Princess Leia's theme), but not's Luke's.

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1 hour ago, Garrett said:

Where is the reference to Luke's theme in The Return Home? I can hear Ben's theme (as well as the Death Star Motif, the Imperial Motif, and Princess Leia's theme), but not's Luke's.

 

That driving motif that plays right before the big blast of Ben's theme over Luke in his speeder is one of Luke's. It plays in a slower version when Luke sees the bodies of Owen and Beru. It gets called out for being Dies Irae a lot. It plays at the beginning of Land of the Sand People (not in the film) and in the alternate to Binary Sunset.

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8 hours ago, crumbs said:

I wonder how accurate that story is, that John personally approached Kennedy to compose the theme, supposedly even naming the character off his ANH pseudonym. Surprising?

Alec Guiness was 62 when he portrayed Ben Kenobi. Williams is 90 now, and from his perspective a 62-year-old is a child (Joseph Williams is 61). Ewan McGregor is 51, so basically an infant. Hence, 'Benny'.

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Wonder if they’ll release the Williams theme before the show premieres.  I would expect so, but perhaps only a couple days before

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2 hours ago, crocodile said:

Or May the 4th? 🤔

 

Karol


A definite possibility.  I’d guess it’s a toss up between then and the 25th.  Or they don’t pre release it at all and we hear it first on the 27th.  Seems an easy way to build hype though.

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9 minutes ago, artguy360 said:

I think JW will use a more evocative title like The Rebellion is Reborn or Duel of the Fates.

The Hope of the Peace

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I think I have read interviews where Williams refers to Bernard Hermann as Benny, for whatever that is worth.  

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2 hours ago, Tom said:

I think I have read interviews where Williams refers to Bernard Hermann as Benny, for whatever that is worth.  

literally my first thought was the crazy one that Benny's theme could be some kind of crypto-homage

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Not sure why it's a big deal to be the "first woman (anything)" anymore now that anyone can be a woman just by declaring themselves to be one.

 

On 22/04/2022 at 11:07 AM, SpaceCoyote said:

 

"Obi-Wan is a legacy character that John hadn't written a theme for because he died quite early on in A New Hope. It's the only legacy character that he hadn't done."

 

Umm... Chewbacca? R2? C3PO? All legacy characters who don't have themes.

 

I know some people say the little motif below from EMPIRE is supposed to be the Droids' theme, but it was only ever used in EMPIRE and even then only in the first reel during the Hoth scenes, so it can hardly be called a full-fledged theme for the robots.

Droids.png

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 And Cloud City when Chewbacca is repairing Threepio and during Hyperspace when Artoo is finishing the repair.

 

Quite a bit really.  

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It's one of those innocuous comments that JWFan is just destined to pick apart lol

 

I mean if we're gonna say Obi-Wan doesn't really have a theme because it took on other associations then Luke Skywalker doesn't really have a theme either. You wouldn't know it watching Last Jedi, anyway. Plus a lot of people think the Force Theme is Luke's theme so in some ways Luke kind of gave up his theme and stole Obi-Wan's. 

 

Anyway I get how it's basically true that Obi-Wan is the most important human character who doesn't really have a theme, now that Han Solo got one. For whatever reason Williams felt compelled to write a theme for aging Obi-Wan in exile and it's obviously an important aspect of that first movie's lore that he never really got to fully express musically, in a way that could be just its own thing. I can see how that'd be fun for him in the way that it was fun to score Han as young rogue and smuggler. There are definitely some gaps being filled with this but it's not wholly necessary, just cool that it's happening. 

 

Ewan's Obi-Wan has also become an Internet king so maybe JW's grandkids pushed the issue for all we know. Maybe John Williams shitposts on Reddit.

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I just remembered I once made a post where I pointed out all the Droid Theme spots

 

On 08/05/2015 at 12:32 AM, Jay said:

Using 1997 2CD set track names and timestamps

 

Droid Motif

1-02 Ice Planet Hoth 6:27-6:50

1-03 Wampa's Lair 2:03-2:33

1-05 Beneath The AT-AT 8:02-8:10

1-07 Arrival on Dagobah 1:00-1:30, 1:53-2:04

2-07 Betrayal at Bespin 3:11-3:18

2-08 Deal with the Dark Lord 0:14-0:37

2-11 Hyperspace 6:43-7:08

 

Cloud City Motif

2-06 Lando's Palace 0:00-0:54

2-07 Betrayal At Bespin 1:06-1:40

2-10 Clash of Lightsabers 1:59-2:06

 

 

And heck, while we're at it

 

Dark Side Motif

1-09 Han Solo and the Princess 3:06-3:26

1-11 The Magic Tree 3:56-4:05

2-10 Clash of Lightsabers 0:07-0:41

2-11 Rescue from Cloud City 0:28-0:47

 

Boba Fett Motif

2-03 Attacking a Star Destroyer 0:00-0:30

2-05 City In The Clouds 1:51-1:58

2-07 Betrayal at Bespin 1:51-1:56

 

Captured on Cloud City Motif

2-09 Carbon Freeze 4:17-4:51

2-09 Darth Vader's Trap 8:11-8:19

2-09 Departure of Boba Fett 8:29-8:43

 

Escape from Cloud City Motif

2-10 Rescue from Cloud City 2:25-2:39, 3:02-3:13, 4:13-5:05

2-10 Hyperspace 5:09-5:15, 5:26-5:33. 5:38-5:41, 5:53-6:01, 6:11-6:16, 8:16-8:27

 

The Empire Strikes Back is an awesome score.

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13 hours ago, Andy said:

 And Cloud City when Chewbacca is repairing Threepio and during Hyperspace when Artoo is finishing the repair.

 

Quite a bit really.  

And once in Endor, when R2 gets heroic and threepio follows or when the former explodes, IRCC.

 

BTW, wasnt the force theme ben's theme? that it was transformed afterwards does not eliminate that fact...

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2 minutes ago, Luke Skywalker said:

wasnt the force theme ben's theme? that it was transformed afterwards does not eliminate that fact...

 

Really?  What a scoop!  This will provide some novel discussion fodder for the forum.

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R2's theme gets one airing in ROTJ!!  It's in one of the 1997 Battle of Endor cues (not III) and I won't attempt to dredge up the earlier posts where we discussed it last decade.  I don't know where film score forum search engines learned to communicate, but they have the most peculiar dialect.

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4 minutes ago, igger6 said:

R2's theme gets one airing in ROTJ!!  It's in one of the 1997 Battle of Endor cues (not III) and I won't attempt to dredge up the earlier posts where we discussed it last decade.  I don't know where film score forum search engines learned to communicate, but they have the most peculiar dialect.

 

58 minutes ago, Luke Skywalker said:

And once in Endor, when R2 gets heroic and threepio follows or when the former explodes, IRCC.

 

BTW, wasnt the force theme ben's theme? that it was transformed afterwards does not eliminate that fact...

 

Curious what y'all have in mind? There's this section of Battle of Endor 1 that resembles the Droid Motif, but accompanies Ewoks running from Stormtroopers, not R2 or Threepio:

 

 

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Its a bit peculiar, but I think it counts.

 

Its what Doug Adams talks about when he says that "one of the Endor scenes suggests the tune (during the final battle)."

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19 minutes ago, Falstaft said:

Curious what y'all have in mind? There's this section of Battle of Endor 1 that resembles the Droid Motif, but accompanies Ewoks running from Stormtroopers, not R2 or Threepio:

well, the droid motif in most uses does sound like some sort of motif of trouble, especially trouble happening to or perceived by 'innocent' beings. Interesting how busy / full of notes this theme is, showing a lot of vitality even in its most peaceful rendition on Dagobah.

 

Similarily, in IX, Yoda's Theme is played when Chewie gets a medal from the alien Maz, possibly because it's a heartwarming alien theme, and Maz is a soft reboot Yoda. I think it is an inevitable consequence of the need for utility in scoring films that Williams's themes become associated with a more general class of characters or emotions over time.

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I'm the first to say that leitmotives gain a myriad of overlapping associations and that those associations change over time. But to start wondering too much about why the theme associated with Yoda plays at the end of IX seems to me like an unnecessary exercise: it just played well with the footage, and so there it is.

 

Just like how the theme associated with magic plays here for no good "reason."

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14 minutes ago, Andy said:

Source leaked the title:

”To Benny! To Benny!”
 

It was right in front of us for years.  
 

 

 

"To Benny! To Benny! (For Tatooine)"

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