176

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

To be fair to the prequels, Qui-Gon did jabber on about "the living Force" a whole bunch, so stretching the prequel version of things may still support that.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

I've always rationalized it as midichlorians are drawn people who are strong with the Force. And so they can be used to measure Force strength and provide empiric "knowledge of the Force" but aren't what actually determine Force strength. To me, that's the only way midichlorians can somewhat fit Obi-wan and Yoda's description of the Force in the originals. Still, I don't understand why they were even introduced into the prequels to begin with.

Thumbs up +1 Thumbs down

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

theMaestro wrote:

I've always rationalized it as midichlorians are drawn people who are strong with the Force. And so they can be used to measure Force strength and provide empiric "knowledge of the Force" but aren't what actually determine Force strength. To me, that's the only way midichlorians can somewhat fit Obi-wan and Yoda's description of the Force in the originals. Still, I don't understand why they were even introduced into the prequels to begin with.

It was an arbitrary way of saying Anakin is awesome without actually showing him doing something awesome. The best comparison is in X-Men 3 when they introduce levels or classes of mutants. But, at least in that movie we saw Jean do crazy stuff with her powers, versus Anakin who mopes a lot.

Kylo Ren and even Rey are what Anakin should have been in the PT, in my opinion. Raw, untapped potential and doing things they either don't know they are doing, or, have limited control over.

Regardless, Rey's growth is not a stretch for me. I think it is another side of the Force that we have not seen yet.

God loves you!

Thumbs up +3 Thumbs down

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

I wonder what the boys have to say about The Force Awakens.  Can't wait to hear the obligatory movie commentary for this one!

Thumbs up +2 Thumbs down

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

It'll be a Death Star 4. Technically that's never been done wink

Witness me!

Thumbs up Thumbs down

181

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Squiggly_P wrote:

Rian Johnson has said that his sequel is going to have something that has never been done in the Star Wars films before. I hope it's musical numbers with elaborate dance choreography.

It's been done.

Although I guess if your emphasis was on elaborate, sure, we can do that, but looking at that and saying it needs more choreography is like looking at the first Death Star and saying, "It needs to be bigger."

Last edited by Boter (2016-01-13 04:18:06)

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

That whole scene goes of for soooooo loooooong. That clip doesn't do it justice.

"ShadowDuelist is a god."
        -Teague Chrystie

Thumbs up Thumbs down

183

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

It's easily the best scene in the entire special though so I'll forgive it that transgression.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

The Jefferson Starship bit was clearly better, and the best is of course the Boba Fett cartoon.

Last edited by ShadowDuelist (2016-01-13 05:08:24)

"ShadowDuelist is a god."
        -Teague Chrystie

Thumbs up Thumbs down

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Ahem.

Last edited by BigDamnArtist (2016-01-13 05:07:47)

ZangrethorDigital.ca

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

That's not even the same movie man. You can't submit scenes from a clearly better movie as the best scene in a different movie.

"ShadowDuelist is a god."
        -Teague Chrystie

Thumbs up +1 Thumbs down

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

https://i.imgur.com/iWKad22.jpg

Not what I was talking about, but sure, whatever gets you through the day.

ZangrethorDigital.ca

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Ah, I got you now. Context is hard.  hmm

"ShadowDuelist is a god."
        -Teague Chrystie

Thumbs up +1 Thumbs down

189

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Squiggly_P wrote:

Rian Johnson has said that his sequel is going to have something that has never been done in the Star Wars films before. I hope it's musical numbers with elaborate dance choreography.

I've heard two things about his draft:

1) everyone agrees it's the most bizarre Star Wars script anyone has ever turned in. 

2) Flashbacks

Eddie Doty

Thumbs up Thumbs down

190

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Lots of people out there are hating on the score. Here's a long, in-depth review of it, by Christian Clemmensen.

http://filmtracks.com/titles/force_awakens.html


A few snippets:

You witness countless criticisms of The Force Awakens that revolve around the notion that Williams failed to write themes for the picture that you can retain in your memory after the conclusion of the film, and such comments are cheap and without perspective. Only A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, two truly transcendent, classic scores atop the "best of" lists of all time, contained game-changing themes destined to be heard in sports arenas for decades to come. While The Force Awakens, like the four previous scores in the franchise, does not reach those heights, it's arguably closer than all the others. Between the two primary new themes in The Force Awakens, you have material that is not only short and memorable in the case of the villain but flowingly lovely and inspirational in the case of the new heroine in ways that compete with the love theme from Attack of the Clones in terms of tonal majesty. Williams' ability to manipulate the level of tonality in the harmony of chords supporting his themes remains unchallenged in cinema today, no other composer capable of expressing so much dynamic range of emotion with the same set of progressions. He is the master of anticipatory bass enhancement to a theme, holding back the bass region's harmonic resonance during a theme to denote anticipation, turmoil, or immaturity in the story, the melody sounding seemingly unresolved except in specific instances of unison performances deemed worthy of resolution.


To think that a composition such as "The Jedi Steps and Finale," with its incredible end credits arrangement that is not simply an edited amalgamation, is possible from Williams in 2015 would have seemed inconceivable just ten years prior. Not only should this score's detractors remember how lucky they are to have a score of this magnitude from Williams' own pencils in the mid-2010's, but they have to recognize that The Force Awakens, by the grace of the maestro's continued undiminished excellence, is superior to damn near everything else being produced for blockbuster features of the era. It exists at the pinnacle of 2015 regardless of any controversy surrounding the film's reliance upon old formulas, and it eclipses the appeal of the prequel scores and may even surpass Return of the Jedi for some listeners.


It's a powerfully melodic and excitingly complex piece of grand artistry from an era of greatness that seems a long time ago in a movie industry far, far away.

Thumbs up +1 Thumbs down

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

I like the score.

And listening to Rey's Theme in isolation, it sounds like a Christmas song.
Not a bad thing. Just a thought smile

Last edited by Writhyn (2016-01-14 14:12:26)

Witness me!

Thumbs up Thumbs down

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Yeah, it's pretty good.  My favorite is the opening Jakku attack scene.  All in all, I felt like the Williams score was conservative and spartan...perhaps on purpose? I don't know, but there was definitely hits of the whimsical nature of the Harry Potter music in this movie.  Which, yeah that's fine by me.  I do agree, however, that there is nothing strikingly romantic in the score of this movie.  It does all the right things, and definitely is subtle (good thing for sure) but, yeah, nothing you can really hum to afterwords.

Bloggy:  Inf0verload

Thumbs up Thumbs down

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Not much romantics going on in the movie either, to be fair.

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

I myself bought the soundtrack in its entirety. But I am one of those a bit let down by it. It is beautiful in its own right but, outside of Rey's theme, doesn't bring anything that stands out as memorable. It doesn't particularly sound very Star Wars, until a previous Star Wars theme is suddenly tacked in out of nowhere as to pay fan service.

Most of the action sequences actually sound like an Indiana jones movie. "Follow Me":
Bum bum bum baddapum baddapum bum bum baddapum (then suddenly the Millenium Falcon theme because, well, there's the Millenium Falcon)

It just seems like pretty cool music, then suddenly Star Wars, then back to something else. Compare this score to Duel of the Fates or Anakin vs Obi-Wan. Both of those were instantly identifiable as Star Wars yet completely new. As beautiful as this new score is, nothing in it comes even close to being as thematic as those two alone.

In fact, while listening to this score in my headphones, I was able to hum a uniquely identifiable theme from each of the first six movies. You know how hard it is to think of one piece of music while another one is playing, yet this new score was that forgettable.

I know it sounds like I'm dogging this score pretty bad, I do actually like it and listen to it often, it's just not as memorable as the previous six. It's good music, just not as good Star Wars music.

Thumbs up Thumbs down

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

I'm with preach.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

Thumbs up Thumbs down

196

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

We should get Alex Ruger in here to hit us with some composer knowledge.

I agree that the score just isn't as memorable as any of the previous six. That said, I'm amazed it's as good as it is considering how old Williams is and how many ideas he must've run out of. I was saying for a while before Williams was announced that I would've liked to see Giacchino take it rather than the old maestro, but at the same time having one last hurrah with him in the form this trilogy is wonderful even if he's not as melodic as he used to be. And really, if we're being honest, not a lot of the original music for AotC or RotS was very melodic anyway. Each had one great theme (Across the Stars, Battle of the Heroes) and a lot of other music that was really nice without being particularly identifiable (ignoring the chopped-up TPM cues).

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

IDK, Giacchino had to take the reigns of the Jurassic franchise this year and, well, I thought his score for that movie was not in keeping with the Williamsian tradition that preceded it.  It felt much too generic.  In light of this, I'm not sure he would be the right guy for the job.  Thomas Newman, however, Williams seems to have great faith in because he suggested to Spielberg that Newman score Bridge of Spies while he was sick. 

That does touch on another point though.  Why has Williams grown less melodic in his composing?  I think it started happening somewhere around 2000 (I first noticed it in Minority Report).  I've hypothesized that maybe he listened to the chorus of critics over the years who accused him of lacking subtlety and being too unoriginal.  Or maybe it's just his belief that that kind of music writing is how a "young" composer writes?  It would be interesting to get some insight from the man himself.

Bloggy:  Inf0verload

Thumbs up Thumbs down

198

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Alright, I'm sorta drunk so bear with me. Please excuse any typos.

"I'm amazed it's as good as it is consider how old Williams is."

"He's not as melodic as he used to be."

I don't think these problems are his fault. Thankfully, composing music is one of those things that you only really get better at. If he's getting worse at writing music (he's not), it's only because his brain is declining (it isn't). I've been privy to a small amount of info regarding the creation of this score, and he was given as much flexibility (in terms of time and working conditions) as any composer could ever conceivably hope to have. And JJ definitely wasn't fucking around with his music, because he's a lifelong fan--getting to work with Williams was quite possibly *the* highlight of directing TFA, except for obviously actually directing it.

I was incredibly disappointed with this score. If you had told me that I would walk away from Ep VII with only a handful of criticisms and one of the biggest was the SCORE?! I'd tell you you were crazy. I went in to this movie thinking that even if it were as bad as Ep I, we're guaran-fucking-TEED another fantastic Williams score. He brought the pain on the prequels, just as he's always done for every single score he's ever touched.

But like I said, I don't think the fault lies with Williams. This score was, in a phrase, incredibly indicative of where film scoring as a whole is in 2015/2016.

I don't know this for sure, but my gut tells me our fingers should be pointed at whatever roundtable of producers at Disney were giving the final word. Imagine: so many producers (i.e. "the suits," in the worst cases, though there are many fantastic producers, contrary to popular opinion) at Disney have climbed the corporate ladder to arrive at this moment. Their money-making boners are harder than carbonite. They are in charge in STAR FUCKING WARS and are about to make a shit ton of money. Possibly the most money a movie has ever made. And they want to exert their control over every aspect of the thing. I can totally see them going, "Yeah, that theme is a little too...what do you call it...melodic? Tone it back there Jimbo, we don't know if you're gonna be around to score this whole trilogy so we need to be sure the other guys can match the bar you set." Not that it's the fault of many of the other incredibly talented composers working today that they don't get a chance to show what they can do. The needs of scoring have changed.

Side-note: I've seen this sort of thing happen. When I was working for a certain Mr. Big Time Composer, I saw some producers for a certain film complete disregard who he is and his history and frankly treat him like shit. They didn't care, because it was Their Movie and there was Money To Be Made and egos to be stroked, so Fuck You and your supposed Legacy, or let alone how much better you could make this movie if we just let you do your job.

So that's one thing.

Here's what we do know about the TFA score: Many "suites" of music were composed, roughly 10 to 20 minutes each, and were edited to picture by a music editor. Why? Because the nature of filmmaking now is to frame fuck until the very last minute. When the cut was set, composers could write music that was intricate and interesting--TO picture--and know that what they were going to record at the scoring stage was going to be in the movie (or maybe there would be a few minor cut changes, but nothing a good music editor can't handle).

Intricate and interesting music takes a shit load of time. It's very difficult and takes a lot of internal revisions before it even makes its way to the ears of the director. Also, scores used to only be run by the director and *maybe* a producer or two, but now there are legions of producers on every film and they all want their say. So we end up with a lowest common denominator score--and what's worse, one that's decided by people that very often have no taste and only have their job because they have money.

So J-Dawg now has to deal with getting his score past a committee and has to make sure that his music can work with the changing-every-second picture cut, so what does he do? He does what Zimmer and many other composers do: he records suites (that are all relatively boring, musically speaking--in 4/4, usually mezzoforte or forte) and says, "Fuck it, you deal with it" to the music editor. Can you blame him?

That explains the general feeling of "flatness" throughout the score. Also, he didn't record with the LSO at Abbey Road, but instead recorded with LA musicians here (I believe at WB but I'm not sure). It's a different sounding room, so that effects things. And frankly, the LA studio orchestra(s) just aren't as tight as they used to be. There's a whole big thing about the union fucking shit up...long story...but basically what you need to know is that thirty years ago the scoring stages were packed every single day. And now, I feel like every year another scoring stage shuts down. London, on the other hand, still gets a decent amount of work, so the LSO is very tight and plays together well. So the performance wasn't as awesome as it could have been.

That's all stuff that's obviously outside of JW's control. But...

The themes just weren't there. Disregarding the amazing dynanicism (is that a word?) of the other Star Wars scores, the thing that ties them together and makes them so powerful is their use of themes. And can we sing any of the new themes? I can sing The First Order/Kylo Ren's (are they the same theme?), but that isn't so much a theme as it is a phrase. It's too short to be a theme. That's one of Williams' incredible skills--he can whittle a musical phrase down to its essential parts so that it can be transported to any number of places and used in any number of dramatic or musical ways, but it also contains enough information and holds enough weight to stand up on its own. That is a theme. The First Order "theme" is a phrase, not a theme. It's a sonic signature.

Conversely, Rey's theme (while beautiful--it's my favorite from the movie) is too long. There's no "essential nugget" to it. It takes a while to get going, and you sort of have to get through the whole thing for it to feel complete. There's a lot of moving parts. You can't insert the melody here and there in all sorts of different ways like you can with Luke's theme or Vader's theme.

Is that the fault of Williams? Hard to say, but again, given his track record, I don't think it is. His writing is just too masterful. It's like, if Bernie Sanders suddenly voted on something that boiled down to, "fuck the poor and fuck racial minorities," wouldn't you suspect that there might be some tomfuckery? I feel like Williams got jerked around a lot in the pre-production process of the score, and then had to deal with the consequences as he finished it.

Regarding Giacchino:

No.

He's a decent composer, and he may very well be incredible (one of the unfortunate side effects of the state of scoring in the 21st century is that the music that is wanted never requires a good composer to fire on all compositional cylinders), but now that JJ is no longer involved, I don't see any reason to invoke his name over far more qualified composers. First, JW hasn't said that he's going anywhere. I hope he doesn't.

But if he does, Kyle Newmaster and/or Gordy Haab are *the* best composers for the job. They get JW's style and have both proven it in multiple Star Wars projects. Bill Ross is also a great choice. He did the Chamber of Secrets score and no one was the wiser. Lastly, Thomas Newman was suggested by Williams to Spielberg for Bridge of Spies. Before Skyfall, I wouldn't have said that Newman was the right guy for big sweeping orchestral scores, but my opinion has since changed.

And that's *it.* Aside from working with JJ and scoring another geek franchise with the word "Star" in it, Giacchino has no more reason to be named along side those fine gentleman than any other composer--most of whom have zero business even presuming that they could be named along side them in their dreams.

One of the crazy things about Williams is that, aside from Morricone and Goldsmith, he is head and fucking shoulders above every other person working in the field. Like, to a degree that doesn't exist in other fields. I guess put Elon Musk in the world of Ideocracy, and then make him whatever job requires the least amount of intellect and compare him to his coworkers, and then *maybe* you have a comparable scale of "Williams vs Everyone Else." His work is absolute composer porn. There isn't a composer worth his salt in talent or humility that doesn't recognized this. To compare yourself to him is to being a bodybuilder and comparing yourself to Thor.

So the whole replacement thing worries me. If Williams himself isn't shielded from the mechanisms that dumb down the art of film scoring, then no one is. And no one can even do it as good as he does on a bad day, so...I guess I'm scared for the future of Star Wars music and film scoring in general. It seems that we're leaving an era that could only really happen once, and TFA felt like the final nail in the coffin.

Last edited by Alex (2016-01-21 08:54:57)

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Depressing, and yet so enlightening. Thank you so much, Alex.

Sébastien Fraud
Facebook | 500px Gallery | Instagram

Thumbs up +1 Thumbs down

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Saniss wrote:

Depressing, and yet so enlightening. Thank you so much, Alex.

clap

God loves you!

Thumbs up Thumbs down