A Leitmotif for Oma Tres
January 12, 2020 2:46 PM   Subscribe

May the Score Be With You: How John Williams Defined the Sound of ‘Star Wars’ (Ben Lindbergh, The Ringer) "The legendary composer was the most consistent part of the franchise. What will happen now that he’s stepped down?"

Examines an analysis of Williams' work by Frank Lehman, a music professor at Tufts University who has compiled a "catalogue of the musical themes of Star Wars", complete with links to music clips on Youtube. Notes classical influences on John Williams work (MPR), and speculates on who will succeed him with Lucasfilm.

Also: see a list of John Williams' compositions, dating back to 1958.
posted by ZeusHumms (16 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
As I said ever since the prequels came out: You could look at George Lucas' film and listen to John Williams' score and realize that one of those people had grown and matured as an artist over the intervening fifteen years and one had not.
posted by dannyboybell at 3:32 PM on January 12 [13 favorites]


Ludwig Göransson has done excellent work with The Mandalorian. One of the reasons that works so well is the score. If Disney aren't complete idiots, they'll have him work on some of their future projects.

Michael Giacchino did a very good job on Rogue One as well. He'd be a very safe choice, but he's in high demand too.

We have been entranced by Göransson though.
posted by bonehead at 3:44 PM on January 12 [16 favorites]


The soundtrack to Solo: A Star Wars Story with Williams' collaborator John Powell is also great, IMO. Our family has spent many car trips listening to their favorite tracks.

📖‘Solo’ Composer John Powell Reveals His Process for Tackling a ‘Star Wars’ Movie

👂Marauders Arrive
posted by ArmandoAkimbo at 3:53 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


Disney should just hire Danny Elfman to see what kind of reaction they get from the fanbase.
posted by TrialByMedia at 5:03 PM on January 12 [7 favorites]


We have been entranced by Göransson though.

One of the many Community alumni who have gone one to bigger and better things. We were so lucky to have him. Also having him help out with Childish Gambino. Wow. His resume is fast becoming gobsmackingly impressive.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:58 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


Disney should just hire Danny Elfman to see what kind of reaction they get from the fanbase.

This has been theorized by Family Guy and I think the reaction at the end is appropriate.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:04 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


Having come out of The Rise of Skywalker, I wondered aloud to the wife that I couldn't remember a single memorable theme or piece of music from the entire sequel trilogy. Neither could she. (Contrast this to what an immediate impact Duel of the Fates had in The Phantom Menace, to say nothing of the original trilogy.) Huge respect for all the work he's done in the past, but IMHO it's high time for some younger, hungrier composer(s) to take charge of Star Wars. Maybe I'll discover something in the eventual rewatch of the trilogy, and maybe I'm just an ignorant muppet for saying this, but it did seem like he was phoning it in a bit in the last three films.
posted by jklaiho at 11:34 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


Really? Nothing for March of the Resistance or Rey's Theme? Or the way The Spark builds on previous themes and complements that particular scene so well? I've got nothing from Rise yet and also left disappointed that it would be his last.

L3 and the Falcon and Reminiscence Therapy demonstrate that if we want John Williams pastiche punched right into the nostalgia organ then go with John Powell over Michael Giacchino. Alternatively, maybe give Michael more than four weeks to write a score?
posted by Molesome at 1:53 AM on January 13


Still no "Fanfare for the Common Droid" ...
posted by chavenet at 4:05 AM on January 13 [5 favorites]


For what its worth, he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Score for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:13 AM on January 13


Does no one else think Williams' scores for the three recent sequels are unbearably insistent and oppressive? They punctuate every emotion - hell, sometimes every sentence - in such a loud, obvious overbearing way that I find myself tuning the score completely out just to enjoy the damn visuals.
posted by mediareport at 7:21 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]






Having come out of The Rise of Skywalker, I wondered aloud to the wife that I couldn't remember a single memorable theme or piece of music from the entire sequel trilogy.

As I understand it, the process for scoring has changed with the latest trilogy. Previously Lucas provided a shot-complete edit for precise scoring. In the latest trilogy, there is a rough cut of what is happening but editing is still done after the score is in the can. The score seems to meander in this trilogy; it pads along lacking any urgency.
posted by mazola at 3:19 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Thanks for posting that video, avocet. And thanks to Mrs. Vilve Yachke for the cabbage rolls and the coffee.
posted by MrBadExample at 7:11 PM on January 13


i got to see him conduct many years ago. it was a concert of "john williams favorites" or something like that and included star wars and indiana jones and probably etc and jaws and etc. we were on the lawn, but it was still so exciting to me to get to see JOHN WILLIAMS and not just people playing his music.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:03 AM on January 14


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