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Obi-Wan Theme debuts at Star Wars Celebration, conducted by John Williams


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I think it's an above average theme and better than a lot of the themes in the movies. But that applies to the more "dramatic" live concert version not the watered down TV version

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51 minutes ago, Darth Mixolydian said:

Love the new theme. Always wonderful to have new JW music.

 

I do have to ask a question that I feel others in this forum must have wondered too.

 

When introducing the new piece, Kennedy says something along the lines of "can you believe there's never been an Obi-wan theme before? How can this be!?"

 

Of course we know that The Force theme used to be Kenobi's theme in the first movie, but as the series evolved, that theme became connected to the force in general rather than just Kenobi. Same thing for Luke's theme becoming the Main Theme when utilized in the prequels and beyond. 

 

So I can't be the only one who finds it demeaning to JW's work over the years when people in high positions at Lucasfilm say this. It almost comes off as a "hey John! You forgot a theme for Obi-wan, duh!!"

 

Has no one explained this to Kennedy? Is she scratching her head about where Luke's theme is too? Or does she know and is simply trying to find the lowest common denominator message for the masses in a speech like this? If the latter is the case, why not use the opportunity to introduce the fans that don't know to this very cool story about the music? Simply say, "In the first Star Wars, John wrote an extraordinary theme for Obi-Wan. Over the years that theme grew into a broader theme for the series, representing The Force, and it remains one of the most recognizable pieces of music in cinema history. For this new series we wanted a fresh theme for Obi-Wan, connected to the unique challenges this beloved character faces in this thrilling tale."

 

I know, I know, we're in the minority of the public here, but I feel like fans would appreciate the added knowledge instead of this messaging that JW "forgot" to give Obi-Wan a theme for 45 years until he was asked.

 

I kinda felt it was a Theme for John Williams himself than Obi Wan. Both are Old, wise and have seen so much. I think it goes both ways if you look at it.

 

 

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IF they released the concert version  he recorded a while back, when would be the time to do it?

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3 minutes ago, Sergeant said:

 

Flaccid theme? I think it was a highlight in Berlin concert. Powell' score is a joke, can't listen to that generic shit.

The theme is actually quite nice, it has great energy and flow. Not JWs best but i like to listen to it.   With Powell,  well,  its mixed bag some of his tunes are absolutely amazing some are ruined  by the overuse of drums and percussions which I always find a lame way to make a rythm for orchestral piece instead of using  interesting orchestration / ostinatos.

I am not afraid to say that "Lando's Closet" is one of the best love themes made for a movie in past 20 years. It is absolutely gorgeous. Mine mission is great too.   What I really dont like is the second part of "Flying with Chewie" which is everything wrong with Powells music, sounds naive, for kids and annoying.

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43 minutes ago, Falstaft said:

(I am curious if anyone hears these passages, or even the whole piece, in 12/8 instead of 4/4?)

 

I definitely hear the ostinato in compound time -- and most of the piece as well. I've tried checking the videos for any signs that JW would be conducting in 4/4 or 12/8, but that's not very conclusive! He seems to subdivide some of the beats in 3, but he might as well just be marking each note regardless of the measure.

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2 hours ago, Darth Mixolydian said:

When introducing the new piece, Kennedy says something along the lines of "can you believe there's never been an Obi-wan theme before? How can this be!?"

 

 

So I can't be the only one who finds it demeaning to JW's work over the years when people in high positions at Lucasfilm say this. It almost comes off as a "hey John! You forgot a theme for Obi-wan, duh!!"

 

Has no one explained this to Kennedy? Is she scratching her head about where Luke's theme is too? Or does she know and is simply trying to find the lowest common denominator message for the masses in a speech like this? If the latter is the case, why not use the opportunity to introduce the fans that don't know to this very cool story about the music? Simply say, "In the first Star Wars, John wrote an extraordinary theme for Obi-Wan. Over the years that theme grew into a broader theme for the series, representing The Force, and it remains one of the most recognizable pieces of music in cinema history. For this new series we wanted a fresh theme for Obi-Wan, connected to the unique challenges this beloved character faces in this thrilling tale."

 

I know, I know, we're in the minority of the public here, but I feel like fans would appreciate the added knowledge instead of this messaging that JW "forgot" to give Obi-Wan a theme for 45 years until he was asked.

 

Even if Kennedy knew that The Force Theme was also Ben's Theme in the original SW, I don't think she would want to contradict what Williams himself repeatedly said in recent interviews. Same with the "first love theme" thing for Ep.2. Williams' word shall remain sacred to those who hire him!

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2 hours ago, Darth Mixolydian said:

Love the new theme. Always wonderful to have new JW music.

 

I do have to ask a question that I feel others in this forum must have wondered too.

 

When introducing the new piece, Kennedy says something along the lines of "can you believe there's never been an Obi-wan theme before? How can this be!?"

 

Of course we know that The Force theme used to be Kenobi's theme in the first movie, but as the series evolved, that theme became connected to the force in general rather than just Kenobi. Same thing for Luke's theme becoming the Main Theme when utilized in the prequels and beyond. 

 

So I can't be the only one who finds it demeaning to JW's work over the years when people in high positions at Lucasfilm say this. It almost comes off as a "hey John! You forgot a theme for Obi-wan, duh!!"

 

Has no one explained this to Kennedy? Is she scratching her head about where Luke's theme is too? Or does she know and is simply trying to find the lowest common denominator message for the masses in a speech like this? If the latter is the case, why not use the opportunity to introduce the fans that don't know to this very cool story about the music? Simply say, "In the first Star Wars, John wrote an extraordinary theme for Obi-Wan. Over the years that theme grew into a broader theme for the series, representing The Force, and it remains one of the most recognizable pieces of music in cinema history. For this new series we wanted a fresh theme for Obi-Wan, connected to the unique challenges this beloved character faces in this thrilling tale."

 

I know, I know, we're in the minority of the public here, but I feel like fans would appreciate the added knowledge instead of this messaging that JW "forgot" to give Obi-Wan a theme for 45 years until he was asked.

 

Not to forget it's the first love theme of the franchise.

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Just listened to it again and realised, that, what I find quite unusual, the theme has no B-section or another part. It is this short melody, maybe 4 or six bars, and that gets repeated and varied. Even March of the Resistance had some kind of B-part. This one doesn't. And somehow it sounds related to Battle of Heroes a little bit. Or not?

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1 hour ago, GerateWohl said:

Just listened to it again and realised, that, what I find quite unusual, the theme has no B-section or another part. It is this short melody, maybe 4 or six bars, and that gets repeated and varied. Even March of the Resistance had some kind of B-part. This one doesn't. And somehow it sounds related to Battle of Heroes a little bit. Or not?

Yeah, the lack of a noticable b-part makes the theme feel slight. I do think it is a minor Star Wars theme, it sounds like what would have happened in any of the minor new themes like Rose's theme or the Luke in Exile theme received their own concert arrangement. Not enough meat on that bone to make a full-fat concert piece.

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If it had a B-part, there would be complaints that Williams only ever composes this way. I like that he went for something with a "longer line" for a change. He knew how to make a build-up within a single mood, and as a result 3:19 sounds quite powerful.

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Touché. But while the ostinato offers variety, it preserves and contributes to the unabashedly serious and dramatic mood. Rebellion is Reborn is a nice contrasting piece where that is not the case.

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On 26/5/2022 at 5:30 PM, ragoz350 said:

Yea, this 1-3-2-5 motif (grown out of Ludlow's demise) is now becoming a kind of JW's version of DSCH :)  And it's remarkable that both the themes from sequels and Obi's begin with this motif, a seed for new musical ideas...

 

 

Yep, and it's one of my favorite things ever. Didn't realize until just the other day that Qui-Gon's theme from TPM is another example of it: 5-1-3-2-5.

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1 hour ago, Tydirium said:

Yep, and it's one of my favorite things ever. Didn't realize until just the other day that Qui-Gon's theme from TPM is another example of it: 5-1-3-2-5.

Hmm, this (accidental) connection is interesting from a plot point of view as well.

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I'm going to start the 3rd Day of the Live Celebration (with a little delay!), still hoping to see JW's performance!

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10 hours ago, ragoz350 said:

Hmm, this (accidental) connection is interesting from a plot point of view as well.

 

Wow, John Williams' Star Wars themes are bursting with 'happy accidents'... certainly not composer intended!

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The one not broadcasted yet.

 

Day 4 of the celebration starts at 3 PM for me this afternoon. I'm still having the faith!

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yeah I really hope there's somekind of professional recording they'll show. It's a shame only having these cell phone recordings

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Ok but what's the best sounding cell phone recording, I didn't bookmark any of these and I don't really want to read back through this whole thread :lol:

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3 hours ago, Bespin said:

Does anybody have a good quality video (with the music) of Harrison Ford's colonocopy he passed in 2016?

 

You can have mine from last year if you like!

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1 hour ago, crocodile said:

I am just reading the last couple of posts. Cell phone recording...of colonoscopy? Wha? :lol:

 

Karol

Have you not heard Ford's little anecdote about going in for a colonoscopy? According to him they were playing the 'Raiders March' when he went in. I hope to God its a true story:lol:

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Idk if it really ticked him off I feel like the story would go to the grave with him.

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1 hour ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Interesting. I thought I was the only one going on about Williams's surprising Bruckner touches in (very select moments in) the ST. I don't know if I would have made the connection myself in this case, but with the Wagnerian turn of the second phrase of the theme and the ostinato, I guess there might be something there.


To my ears, the opening of Bruckner’s 4th Symphony is a likely model—conscious or not—for the opening of the Obi-Wan theme arrangement, both sharing hushed string tremolos and wide-ranging horn solos at a fairly slow tempo:

 

 

Definitely, along with Across the Stars, one of the most strongly 19th-century Romantic of the Star Wars concert arrangements.

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8 hours ago, BrotherSound said:


To my ears, the opening of Bruckner’s 4th Symphony is a likely model—conscious or not—for the opening of the Obi-Wan theme arrangement, both sharing hushed string tremolos and wide-ranging horn solos at a fairly slow tempo:

 

 

Definitely, along with Across the Stars, one of the most strongly 19th-century Romantic of the Star Wars concert arrangements.

 

8 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

I'm gone for a few days, and Williams does a surprise premiere… I only got around to play it now. I like it, although the initial impression is that it doesn't seem as refined as it could be, perhaps because Williams didn't have much time to write it, or because of the restrictions of how much you can do in a present day series main title (if the concert version is close enough to that; I haven't seen the show yet). It does sound like a fitting composition for that, i.e. a a short cue that sets a specific mood without making the whole title sequence basically a music video for "the big theme" (like TV shows used to do in the last millennium).

 

 

Interesting. I thought I was the only one going on about Williams's surprising Bruckner touches in (very select moments in) the ST. I don't know if I would have made the connection myself in this case, but with the Wagnerian turn of the second phrase of the theme and the ostinato, I guess there might be something there. On the other hand, the ostinato almost sounds like Wagner's own upside down riding motif.

 

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1 hour ago, BB-8 said:

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There is one wrong note in that opening solo. Coming down from high C(concert pitch) third note( eighth note) should be A, not Bb.

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10 hours ago, BB-8 said:

 

Well, obviously, but those associations have been there since the day Williams employed heroic fifths in Star Wars. I don't think you necessarily need to draw further intentional or semi-intentional inspiration from the Ring to end up with further similarities, simply by developing what you already have.

 

 

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Yeah. Williams took the structural idea from Wagner (and, I'd say, not directly but rather via Wagnerian film composers of the previous generation) but his music doesn't have a particularly "Wagnerian" sound, especially not the Ring sound.

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18 hours ago, BrotherSound said:

To my ears, the opening of Bruckner’s 4th Symphony is a likely model—conscious or not—for the opening of the Obi-Wan theme arrangement, both sharing hushed string tremolos and wide-ranging horn solos at a fairly slow tempo:

 

 

That opening is so distinctive, and so deeply ingrained in my musical mind, I don't think I've ever heard something else that directly reminded me of it. That hyper mysterious string tremolo and the combination with the solo horn is utterly unique in my brain.

 

Funnily enough, a musician friend of mine says he can never hear the Kings Row similarity in the Star Wars main titles because that same passage reminds him too much of the Bruckner bit at 2:07 in the Solti recording above. I never made the connection, and my mind never makes the reference on its own, but it's probably a closer (and equally unintentional) fit than the much cited Korngold plagiarism.

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12 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Yeah. Williams took the structural idea from Wagner (and, I'd say, not directly but rather via Wagnerian film composers of the previous generation) but his music doesn't have a particularly "Wagnerian" sound, especially not the Ring sound.

I agree, the vintage Star Wars style is closer to Holst, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Elgar.

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On 27/05/2022 at 3:44 AM, blondheim said:

The first chord sounds so much like the first notes of Mahler's 2nd or am I crazy?

 

I think it is even closer to the beginning of Mahler's "Der Spielmann" from "Das Klagende Lied" - the way suspense is generated by the string tremolo.

 

 

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