Should the Imperial March be added to A New Hope?

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by Demon_Lord_Piccolo, Apr 13, 2001.

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  1. Neil_S_Bulk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    I agree 100% with this post found here.

    There is no doubt that John Williams? concert piece "The Imperial March" is one of the most recognizable pieces of film music ever written. The cue, described as ?Darth Vader?s Theme?, is a driving march that perfectly describes the relentless pursuit Vader was on searching for Luke Skywalker and ultimately, the rebels. Cold and mechanical, the piece is the total opposite of Williams? own ?March from Superman? which makes sense, as Superman stands for everything Darth Vader is not.

    The march was first used in The Empire Strikes Back, when the Imperial fleet is first seen. After the introduction of a new spacecraft, the unimaginatively named ?Super Star Destroyer?, we get our first glimpse of Vader in the new film. Apparently, a lot has happened to the character since the last time we saw him, flying away in a damaged TIE fighter, possibly the only survivor of the Imperial fleet stationed at the Death Star. In Star Wars Vader seemed to be almost a body guard to Grand Moff Tarkin aboard the Death Star. Vader was always by his side, doing Tarkins dirty work, such as torturing Princess Leia and actually going out in a TIE fighter to fight against the rebels. All of the big decisions, such as destroying Alderaan, were the work of Tarkin. Vader was clearly not the decision maker of the two.

    Once Tarkin was killed at the ?Battle of Yavin? (when the Death Star was destroyed), Vader seems to have moved up in rank and in power. While it was never really clear what Vader?s military status was in Star Wars, by the time The Empire Strikes Back came around, Vader had clearly gained some prominence, as no decision is made without his approval. In Star Wars Vader took the orders (?Terminate her, immediately?).

    Also demonstrating Vader?s lack of authority in Star Wars, note the conference scene. Admiral Motti stands up to Vader, even calling the Jedi ?an ancient religion?. Vader eventually sways Motti to change his attitude, through the use of a ?force guided? choke hold, but it?s clear that people are not afraid of standing up to Vader. Contrast this with The Empire Strikes Back. When we first see Vader walking across the platform to discuss what the probe droid has found in the Hoth system (a shot that is actually from the end of the film, only reversed), look at the faces of the men in the control pit. They have fear in their faces. Vader has clearly changed, from being Tarkin?s bully to being someone not to be messed with. This is an important change, and it perfectly explains why Vader now has his own theme. He has become an important character. That is why it?s critical that ?Darth Vader?s Theme? not be heard until those early moments of The Empire Strikes Back.

    There are those that think ?The Imperial March? should be incorporated into Star Wars to provide some sort of continuity, but this is not correct. The Vader in Star Wars doesn?t deserve his own theme. In that film he?s part of the much larger Imperial fleet which has its own musical theme, that was supplanted once Empire came out and essentially shifted the focus of the entire series to being the life and death of Darth Vader.

    Even the filmmakers of the Star Wars films seem to have forgotten what this piece is really meant to represent. In the latest film, Attack of the Clones a grand Imperial army of clones is seen while ?The Imperial March? plays. This is wrong in every sense of the word. Vader isn?t even a character yet in the series, and Anakin Skywalker isn?t even in the scene. A much more appropriate idea would have been to go back to the ?Imperial Theme? that Williams wrote for Star Wars. This would provide the correct continuity for the series, and it would further show the evolution of the Empire and Darth Vader?s position in it. Also hearing ?The Imperial March? this ?early? in the serie
  2. Ogmios22188 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2004
    star 4
    Well, I don't agree with the misplacement in Attack of the Clones. It was used for probably two things: 1) To show the might of the Republican Fleet, which will become the Imperial Fleet. "The Imperial March" is always used around the Imperial Fleet. 2) As foreshadowing of how the Republican Fleet will become the Imperial Fleet. I'm sure Mr. Williams knows what he's doing.
  3. Neil_S_Bulk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    I'm sure Mr. Williams knows what he's doing.

    Except for the fact that that sequence was famously rescored. Williams composed something else for that scene and then was asked to rescore it with "The Imperial March". When you consider that "The Imperial March" is also called "Darth Vader's Theme" on the Empire soundtrack album (it is, you can check that out yourself) and the fact that Vader isn't in that scene (neither is Anakin) none of it makes any sense. It's a poorly handled sequence and destroys everything Williams was working for.

    Neil
  4. General Kenobi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 1998
    star 6
    Well, what we know as the "Force Theme" is called "Ben's Theme" in ANH. It is used often throughout the saga when Obi-Wan is not present. And "Yoda's Theme" is used during the escape from Bespin.

    I like the use of the IM in the "Dawn of the Empire" scene. It would be interesting to hear how Williams would have scored that scene with a bold rendition of the ANH Imperial Theme instead.
  5. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    The Imperial March, is a march for the Empire, therefore most appropriate for the Dawn of the Empire.
    It's played when the Avenger chases the Falcon (Vader being very far away there), all throughout about ten minutes on Hoth, before Vader sets foot on the planet and in the beginning when the fleet is shown it actually fades out and gets quieter when Vader appears.
    One could say that only the quieter or slower parts of the Imperial March are actually Vader's theme and the grand bombastic ones for the Empire itself. Of course, there are exception to this, but it also doesn't seem very solid to have the IM be supposedly ONLY for Vader.

    The Dawn of the Empire scene actually mirrors the fleet of TESB and The Emperor's Arrival (both the scene and the piece of music) very well. In the latter, the IM is also played in a scene that is clearly not a Vader-scene.


    (oh, and, by the way, sentences like "It's a poorly handled sequence and destroys everything Williams was working for." always bugged the hell out of me, no matter what topic they're about.)
  6. Neil_S_Bulk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    by the way, sentences like "It's a poorly handled sequence and destroys everything Williams was working for." always bugged the hell out of me, no matter what topic they're about.

    Yeah, those pesky opinions sure can be annoying can't they?

    The fact is, Williams was slowly building his theme for Anakin into "The Imperial March" for the introduction to Darth Vader. It's obvious to anyone who has heard "Anakin's Theme". Williams did not write "The Imperial March" into AOTC initially. It was added later and you can hear the cut. You can also hear about three notes of his original composition in the "radio edit" of "Across the Stars" and naturally, you can hear the same section tracked into the "Conveyor Belt" sequence (I think it's as Padme falls into empty bucket, but please don't make me watch the scene to confirm it).

    So to bring this back on topic, "The Imperial March" doesn't belong in AOTC or ANH.

    Neil
  7. General Kenobi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 1998
    star 6
    Just like Lucas came up with some new ideas for the saga after ANH in 1977, so did Williams (i.e. The Imperial March).

    Now don't get me wrong, the ANH score is one of the masterpiececs of modern cinema...

    but I'd say that given Lucas' revisionist attitude, the IM belongs in ANH more than Greedo shooting first does! :) :p

    I would just love to hear what Williams would do given the chance to score (or rescore) the complete saga unfettered.
  8. MustafarNative Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2004
    star 3
    I personally not sees a particular scence where the IM can be added.

    Diveded to front and ending.

    Front:

    1. you not playing when they catch up above Tatooine

    2. Those cut with Tarkin meeting room.

    Ending:

    1. Vader wait Obiwan at the corridor.

    2. Those battle where Vader aboard his Tie-fighter are not suppose to play IM.
  9. baritonep1aya Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 1
    Well Neil, Twilek just gave several good reasons as to counter your argument, and you mention none except the final sentence, which has nothing to do with the argument. I'd like to hear your counter arguments to Twilek's, if you'd please.
  10. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    LOL... you will never get Neil to agree that anything in ANH should be touched. He longs for the version of Star Wars that was just Star Wars with no ANH title on it... :p

  11. baritonep1aya Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 1
    ...how about "Episode IV"? haha
  12. The-Tennis-Ball-Kid Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2004
    star 3
    The IM should not be added to ANH, and should not have been added to AOTC.

    My interptation of 'Darth Vader's theme' from ANH is that it represents the 'more machine than man' element of Vader. The IM ,with it's roots in Anakin's theme, represents his human side, which comes to surface in ESB when he is searching for his son. IMO DVT should be used in ROTS once he has become Vader, with subtle references to the IM before that as in the first two prequels. The first full blown rendition of the IM would then come in ESB.

    Another reason I don't think it should be added is the bombastic nature of it. You can't simply replace the quieter,almost mechanical sound of DVT without greatly altering the feel of the film. ANH is Luke's story, and it's score rightly centers around him.

    RE:AOTC: Neil's right, it shouldn't be there. If the 'saga' is supposed to be viewed in chronological order, this is terribly misplaced. It isn't the Empire marching there, it's still the Republic. That scene is the equal of playing 'The Emperor's theme' every time Senator Palpatine is in the room. It's foreshadowing with a sledgehammer.


    IMO of course...
    ttbk
  13. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    baritone I was referring to the original 1977 version that was not ANH or Episode IV or anything. It was only Star Wars.

  14. mojorising Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2005
    star 1
    I know what you mean...
  15. Obi_Frans Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2003
    star 4
    My interptation of 'Darth Vader's theme' from ANH is that it represents the 'more machine than man' element of Vader. The IM ,with it's roots in Anakin's theme, represents his human side, which comes to surface in ESB when he is searching for his son.

    And lo and behold, Clones represents the first stage of Anakins descent into machinery - likewise it represents the start of an Empire (a government that now has to rely on an army, dictated by one man).

    IMO the end of Clones is the perfect introduction the DV theme - it is the ultimate signal that "things have just changed drastically".

    That scene is the equal of playing 'The Emperor's theme' every time Senator Palpatine is in the room.

    Yet "The Emperors theme" plays everytime Sidious appears onscreen (and during Anakins confession)

    He isn't an Emperor yet...
  16. The-Tennis-Ball-Kid Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2004
    star 3
    Yet "The Emperors theme" plays everytime Sidious appears onscreen (and during Anakins confession)

    He isn't an Emperor yet...

    :rolleyes: He may not be the Emperor yet, but that theme is really better named "Darth Sidious' theme", or "The Dark Side theme", not the same thing at all.

    ttbk
  17. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
  18. The-Tennis-Ball-Kid Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2004
    star 3
  19. Obi_Frans Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2003
    star 4
    He may not be the Emperor yet, but that theme is really better named "Darth Sidious' theme", or "The Dark Side theme", not the same thing at all.

    You're the one that brought up 'the Emperors theme' as the comparison :confused:

    Then we could also call the "Darth Vader Theme" is "really better named" 'The Imperial March'

    And when do we hear it in Clones? When Anakin confesses to a Vaderish action and when we see an entire army, under the rule of one man, marching.

    Seems fitting to me...
  20. The-Tennis-Ball-Kid Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2004
    star 3
    Then we could also call the "Darth Vader Theme" is "really better named" 'The Imperial March'

    :rolleyes:
    And when do we hear it in Clones? When Anakin confesses to a Vaderish action and when we see an entire army, under the rule of one man, marching.

    But, he's not Vader yet, and they aren't the Empire yet, making a full fledged rendition of The Imperial March(Darth Vader's Theme), inappropriate.


    ttbk
  21. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    I think it works beautifully. And yes... that IS the dawn of the Empire. It is appropriate for that theme at that moment.

  22. General Kenobi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 1998
    star 6
    The main point of AOTC (besides the love story) is how Palpy manipulated the start of the Clone Wars. He now has emergency powers and an army. The Empire has begun, it's just that the Jedi don't realize it yet. The other shoe drops in ROTS. Stay tuned for bigger doses of IM in Episode III. :D

    The IM works perfectly in "Dawn Of The Empire", IMO. What other score there would have got me so incredibly amped up after seeing AOTC?
  23. The-Tennis-Ball-Kid Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2004
    star 3
    The IM works perfectly in "Dawn Of The Empire", IMO. What other score there would have got me so incredibly amped up after seeing AOTC?

    Maybe the music which Williams wrote for it in the first place? :D

    I don't deny that it works to get the blood flowing, but on an intellectual level it doesn't seem right to me, maybe I'm overanalyzing it? Oh well...

    It still doesn't belong in ANH though, I'm sticking to that! :p

    ttbk
  24. General Kenobi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 1998
    star 6
    Maybe the music which Williams wrote for it in the first place?

    As good as it may be, nothing could have been as emotional as the IM.


    I don't deny that it works to get the blood flowing, but on an intellectual level it doesn't seem right to me, maybe I'm overanalyzing it? Oh well...

    You are overanalyzing. I don't watch Star Wars for intellectual stimulation. I want it to blow me away.


    It still doesn't belong in ANH though, I'm sticking to that!

    Oh, sure! Trying to get this thread back to its original topic, eh?
  25. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    You can always try!

    It's foreshadowing with a sledgehammer.

    Now THAT is art. True art. I mean it, that quote is brilliant!
    I can definitely see where you guys are coming from. I have no idea if what JW originally wrote for that scene was the Imperial Theme from ANH, but if that is the case, then I think it would've been awesome to hear that playing at the dawn of the Empire, in a bold march rendition.
    Then, when Anakin becomes Vader, the IM could step in as the official theme for the Empire, because Vader is the head figure of the Imperial Army and it's therefore quite fitting that his theme becomes their theme. In ANH, the first Imperial Theme would then sort of live on as a memory that fades into oblivion....

    :_| That's beautiful!

    In a perfect film saga, this would no doubt be reality, but Star Wars has never been perfect and never will be. It still is the best damn film saga of all time, though. As wonderful as the scenario above would be, to have the IM at the end of AOTC is very powerful. Lucas and Williams may not think exactly alike, but at the end of the day, they're both very good at what they do and when they work together, I'm never disappointed.



    Personality is the key to art
    /LM
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