"The Creation and Use of Themes in the 'Star Wars' Scores" -- a topic for discussion

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by solojones, Jan 30, 2005.

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  1. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I don't know how many of you are familiar with the IB programme, but for my Extended Essay (the high school equivalent of a thesis paper), I chose this as my topic. Now, it's certainly not perfect and was limited by a 4,000 word count. Anyway, I just thought I'd share what I had written (open to any constructive criticism as well) as a means of opening some discussion.

    Here is my essay :)

    And it is very helpful if you follow along with the music itself. If you have the SE sets for the OT and the normal TPM and AOTC cds (I didn't have TPM UE yet), you can follow along here:

    Audio Appendix
    Track 1- ANH, ?The Hologram/Binary Sunset?. 2:21-2:54.
    Track 2- ANH, ?The Battle of Yavin?. 6:43-7:06.
    Track 3- ROTJ, ?Shuttle Tydirium Approaches Endor?. 2:03-3:01.
    Track 4- ANH, ?The Throne Room/End Title?. 0:18-0:50.
    Track 5- ROTJ, ?The Emperor Arrives/The Death of Yoda/Obi-Wan?s Revelation?. 1:06-1:37.
    Track 6- ROTJ, ?The Battle of Endor II?. 5:40-6:49.
    Track 7- 'Anakin's Confession'. This music is not on any of the CDs. It plays when Anakin confesses to having killed the tuskens in AOTC.
    Track8- TPM, "Augie's Great Municipal Band and End Credits." 0:06-0:19.
    Track 9- ESB, "The Imperial March." 0:09-0:38.
    Track 10- ESB, "Rescue from Cloud City/Hyperspace." 0:53-1:31.
    Track 11- AOTC, "Confrontation with Count Dooku and Finale." 2:58-3:37.
    Track 12- TPM, "Augie's Great Municipal Band and End Credits." 8:49-9:29.


    Note: For the purpose of making the themes make more sense to whoever the grader in whatever country is going to be, I called the Emperor's Theme the Dark Side Theme and the Imperial March, Darth Vader's Theme.

    If you see a = inexplicably, that means the flat symbol. A > I believe is a sharp. You just may not have the font I used for that ;)

    These are kind of musically technical, but I admit I'm not the biggest expert on that. If anyone has any thoughts on how to improve my notation or discussion, feel free to share them. And if you're not a big technical music person, that's fine, too.


    -sj loves kevin spacey
  2. General Kenobi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 1998
    star 6
    A fine essay! :)

    I'm not a music major, so I'm not familiar with the keys that cues are played in. I can identify a key change ( :p), but learning that so many themes surrounding Anakin are in G-minor was very interesting.

    BTW, you should include the strange similarity that the Force Theme bears to "House Of The Rising Sun". :)
  3. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Thanks for taking the time to read the essay. I know it's rather long.

    Wow, thanks for bringing that thread to my attention. That's pretty uncanny. I kind of thought about doing a comparison between SW and some Wagner stuff (I mentioned this in the other thread), but I couldn't do that and this topic. We have to pick something narrow, so going on and talking about influences and all wouldn't be topical in this essay, I'm afraid, though it's something I'm interested in :)

    Yeah, I had no idea those three kind of Anakin-Centric story themes were all in G-minor. I don't even know if JW did that consciously. But when I was figuring them all out and listening to these clips over and over, I was just like... huh... [face_thinking]

    -sj loves kevin spacey
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