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how much do musical cues matter in terms of story? (ST spoilery)

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by Tanjint, Jan 19, 2018.

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  1. Tanjint

    Tanjint Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2015
    I’ve seen so many articles over the years about the importance of the themes in Star Wars. Characters have themes, ideas have themes, teams have themes, and they all give cues and clues and appropriate corroboration to their scenes…Yoda’s theme doesn’t play when Vader walks into a room, the Imperial march doesn’t play when X-wings show up etc….. one of the main reasons I was very convinced of Rey as a legacy in the post-TFA discussions here was because the musical themes seem to point to it.

    The theme to the Force is used in all SW films so this is the weaker of my two examples so I’ll start with it- it’s still very much one of Anakin and Luke’s themes and the way the end credits to TFA shows how Rey’s theme can be “sung”/played over / at the same time as the Theme to the Force seemed to be a very big hint to me.

    More importantly when Leia and Rey speak, even when Han is not around “Han & Leia’s theme” plays quite clearly in TFA….to me why not just play Leia’s theme if the intent is not to hint at her being a Solo?
    I’m not as invested in Rey Legacy anymore but I would like to unpack the stuff that gave me that impression. I don’t even think it’s likely but given the hints in the score and Kylo’s unreliability as a teller of truth I feel like it’s stuff that should be explained/addressed.

    -T
     
  2. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Can't speak for TFA or TLJ, but the previous movies were always described by Lucas as silent films, in the sense that the visuals and music tell the story by themselves, no need for dialogue (which is true, it's why young kids all over the world can understand what's going on even though they might not understand the language or the dialogue). And that can only be accomplished when the music is carefully assembled with thematic purpose in sync with the visuals.
     
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  3. firesaber

    firesaber Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Simple test. Watch the scene with Luke looking out at the twin suns in SW or the awards scene on mute and see what you feel. Then watch it and pump up the volume. The answer becomes self evident. ;)
     
  4. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Dictator star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Think more about that scene. What are the characters talking about or thinking of at that moment?

    Thinking of this video perhaps?
    (Epilepsy warning for the opening channel logo)

     
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  5. firesaber

    firesaber Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Brilliant! :) And there you have it LOL
     
  6. Tanjint

    Tanjint Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2015
    i'll go back, I remember they mention Han in it but it felt weird because she had no exchange with Chewie about it. Even that she'd have a moment with Rey about Han's death before Chewie to me is part of why I saw that musical cue as a hint.

    - T

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
     
  7. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Musical themes are indeed very important in the storytelling of Star Wars, but not as clues to what will happen in the future. Most likely John Williams doesn't have any idea of what will happen in future episodes, so he doesn't include "clues" in the soundtrack in that way. He never has.

    The Force theme playing over Rey's theme is very nice and seems to fit thematically but only as Rey as a Force user (and it's mostly because musically both themes follow the same musical chords!).

    Han and Leia's theme plays when they talk about Han, if I'm not mistaken.

    Anyway, there have been ocassions when Williams has used themes without any conection to the characters on screen, just because it felt right dramatically (Yoda's theme plays several times at Cloud City, Leia's theme plays when Obi-Wan dies...)
     
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  8. Tanjint

    Tanjint Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2015
    I just watched ANH again and didn't catch the Leia theme at Obi-Wan death....will def have to revisit, that would about wrap this train of thought for me.

    And I didn't think Williams was dropping hints about events so much as people which he does do...and tbh it's kinda hints about events at times too like Anakin's theme becomes imperial march melody at multiple times....

    - T

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
     
  9. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2009
    That was differente of course: in that case everyone knew that Anakin would becoe Vader. That was the whole purpose of the PT. So naturally, Williams did use small hints of the Imperial March.
     
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  10. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 6, 2016
    It doesn't matter as much to story, or rather plot, as it does to emotion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    Howard Hand likes this.