The Force Unleashed - score

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by Kwenn, Apr 29, 2008.

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  1. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    I tried my hand at it as well. Did you know that the end titles (TPM version, not your AotC version) segues perfectly into "The Force Unleashed" (main theme)? Try it. I haven't thought of a satisfactory way to end the piece after that, though.
  2. WedgeWalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2008
    star 2
    Not necessarily. I was genuinely asking if folks here thought licensing was an issue. I wasn't assuming it was. I wasn't assuming it wasn't. It was just an honest question.

    Fair enough. But I don't think we know either way, technically.

    I asked if licensing had anything to do with the small amount of previous SW musical material in the score. You said, "Given that Kiner did use Luke's theme, Vader's theme, the Force theme, Lando's Palace, Mos Eisley Spaceport, Return to Naboo and Duel of the Fates, no. I'm betting it was just ignorance on his part..." (emphasis added)

    Yet you're not ignorant of these things (as evidenced by the fact you're talking about them). If he is ignorant, but you aren't, then you're more knowledgeable than him.

    And I'm suggesting that that might be a bit arrogant, to assume that you (and many others on this board) are more knowledgeable than someone currently working as a professional composer. Is that possible that you and others have thought of something so basic when he didn't? Yes. Of course. Is it likely? I don't think so.


    And I wish you well. I was a couple of ensemble classes away from a music minor (I took the required year...just a year granted...of theory, went to convo, etc.). But Kiner didn't just nearly minor in it. And he isn't just studying to work as a composer. He is one now. So in the "who's more qualified" line of attack, Kiner beats you. That doesn't make him right and you wrong. But I think you would be wise to give a professional composer a little benefit of the doubt.

    You don't have to agree with his style or his musical decisions. That's a matter of taste. But to suggest those decisions are based on ignorance on his part...that may be a sign of thinking too much of your own tastes. Or, at least, forgetting that they are subjective.

    No offense. I'm just saying. Just because we don't like something, that doesn't make it bad. And it doesn't prove the creator of said thing is incompetent.


    Based on what evidence? It can't be that he didn't use JW themes a lot since...

    So is it that you don't like the way the few quotes or allusions to JW themes were incorporated? That's all I can figure, given that you say...

    So he didn't use them carefully enough. How so? What would be an example of this? (I'm not saying you're wrong, per say. I am asking you to back up your implied assertion.)

    Yet, where's the evidence that he didn't?

    Fair enough.

    And from the promo music that's been released, I too like the TFU score. It seems to definitely incorporate JW themes, and much of his musical vocabulary as well.

    But it is, as most SW video game scores are, a more traditional SW score. They weren't trying anything new in terms of basic style.

    Lucas and Kiner are going a different directi
  3. WedgeWalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2008
    star 2
    Oh, one more thing...

    But of those five you mention...actually it was seven (Luke's theme, Vader's theme, the Force theme, Lando's Palace, Mos Eisley Spaceport, Return to Naboo and Duel of the Fates) how many were direct enough quotes to require licensing fees, and how many were variations that would not require any?

    If, hypothetically speaking, only the main theme (I know it was initially used as Luke's theme...but it was never used with the same precision as other charaters' themes) and the Force theme (which started as Obi-Wan's theme) required licensing fees, that would change the nature of the situation. ("They only used 2 licensed themes...maybe because they didn't want to pay more to use more.")

    But here's a question. Who licenses SW music anyway? Is it Lucasfilm, making this an entirely moot point? (Because why would Lucasfilm not want to pay Lucasfilm money?)
  4. WedgeWalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2008
    star 2
    To quote Yoda, "revealed your position is."

    It sounds like you're disgruntled. You don't like the CW film, and so, perhaps naturally, you don't like the music. There's a lot of emotion and frustration in your post...which you're entitled to. But I wonder if it's clouding your judgment. I truly wonder if you'd have liked a CW score that Williams himself did. (You have, after all, suggested that outside of a few themes and such, the prequel music was crap.)

    1. As pointed out to me by the Firefox broswer: amateurishly

    2. Which two movies were good in your opinion?


    That's a very good point. Writing music that is like, or unlike, someone else's doesn't say anything about the quality of that music. No doubt.

    Not original? Or not original in a way you like?

    Temp music? It's not temp music and you know it. Temp music, by definition, is music written for something else that is put in a film as a placeholder (even if that music remains in the film, a la 2001). You may think it stinks to high heaven (you're entitled to that opinion), but the Kiner music was written for TCW. You may be using hyperbole. But I am going to call you on it.

    Flat? Your opinion. I didn't find it flat.

    Unambitious? Putting non-traditional instruments in a SW score...and writing cues in a non-classic-Williams/Korngold style....
    For a SW movie I'd say that's pretty ambitious.

    It couldn't get more pop-influenced? I didn't hear a theme song sung by Miley Cyrus. (Hey, if Trek can abandon orchestral opening themes for a Dianne Warren song....)
  5. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    My guess would be Star Wars and Empire. There are generally six breakdowns I see among Star Wars fandom:

    Only Star Wars is good.
    Only Empire is good.
    Only Star Wars and Empire are good.
    Only the OT is good.
    Only the OT and RotS are good.
    It's all good.

    I happen to agree that only SW and Empire are start-to-finish great movies, but RotJ is good enough to be a satisfying conclusion. The PT I could do without.

    I also think that Williams's PT scores have been largely disappointing. The man just doesn't write exciting music the way he used to.

    Other than the diegetic stuff and a few quotes of Williams themes, I didn't even really notice the music in TCW. At least it wasn't distractingly bad. I've tried listening to the music on its own, but it's just so generic and bland.
  6. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Okay, this will be a bit of a project!

    Yes, I'm saying that I know the Star Wars scores better than Kiner evidently does. Does that make me a huge nerd? Yes. Should Kiner have been expected to learn the scores forward and back with such a busy schedule? No. However, I get the feeling listening to Clone Wars that Kiner just took bits and pieces of the Star Wars scores and incorporated them as he saw fit. There's no explaining what Lando's theme is doing in the score. And the absence of the Emperor's theme, Yoda's theme and Across the Stars just says to me that Kiner doesn't know the scores too well. I do credit him with using Luke's theme (main theme), Vader's theme and the Force theme appropriately, though.

    Thanks. But this is like saying you can't criticize Steven Spielberg's films unless you're a rich and famous director. I'm not a rich and famous director, but I think I have the authority to say that Hook sucks! And I'm not a working film and television composers, but I believe I have a right to criticize Kiner's work. It's just opinion.

    Well, I wouldn't say Kiner is incompetent. I don't want to personally attack him. But I do honestly think the music he wrote is bland. It's very, very typical film music. Electronics right out of David Arnold's James Bond scores and lots of TV music, taiko drum rhythms right out of... just about every score of the past ten years. And the original themes are very forgettable.

    Yeah, basically. I like what he did with the Imperial March - nice and subtle - and the new version of the main theme is vaguely cool, but that's about it.

    Lando's theme in "Admiral Yularen." But what bothers me more is the absence of the Emperor's theme and Jabba's theme. Instead, we get generic bad guy vibes.

  7. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Nah, I haven't seen the film, and I'm probably not going to. I feel like the Clone Wars period has been sucked dry by the TV shows, books, comics and videogames. Just how many stories can you tell about it? Anyway, judging by reviews the film is lousy. On the other hand, I'm not very excited about The Force Unleashed, but that doesn't stop me from liking its score.

    I think The Phantom Menace is a really great score - The Force Unleashed can't stand up to it. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are pretty uneven, though. I've heard that Williams wasn't too happy about writing them, given how badly his score for TPM was treated.
  8. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    My bad. I never trust the Firefox spellchecker because it doesn't seem to recognize any adverbs at all. Star Wars and Empire are great movies, in my opinion. Return of the Jedi is a huge step down - lazy performances, bad writing (Han has practically nothing to do, and how recycled is bringing back the Death Star?) and a TV movie feel. The Phantom Menace has some really shaky elements, but it's at least a solid film. Attack of the Clones is godawful. Revenge of the Sith is too, only there's a little bit of heart in it. Just in case you were interested in my thoughts... I'm an ultra-purist, I know. On the other hand, I really like the Knights of the Old Republic games, and I liked what I read of New Jedi Order.

    Okay, you caught my hyperbole. Of course Kiner wrote the music. Now, by pop-influenced, I don't mean Miley Cyrus, but I do mean simplistic song-style writing, trendy sounding percussion and a very modern, popular approach in general... I'm talking Brian Tyler, Hans Zimmer, composers like them. Give Kiner credit for forging a new sound, sure, but there's nothing special about the sound itself.

    And I wouldn't dismiss The Force Unleashed as just a traditional Korngold-style score. There's some interesting stuff in there. I think Griskey has a unique voice.

    Sorry about all the post splitting. The board just wasn't being cooperative today.
  9. WedgeWalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2008
    star 2
    But you haven't proven it. What is your proof? You assert a claim about your knowledge verses Kiner's knowledge. But you don't concretely back it up.

    A feeling isn't the same thing as proof. And since when is using a theme (or a variant of it, like the Yularen track) in a way that does not make sense thematically (i.e. a theme for an old smoothie used for some people not at all related to him) without excuse? Williams did it on several occasions (Leia's theme when Kenobi dies, Yoda's theme when trying to rescue Han on Cloud City, the main theme when a random battle droid is shot in TPM). Sometimes you use a theme for it's emotive quality and not it's thematic meaning.

    So you honestly think that those themes weren't in the movie because Kiner doesn't know those themes exist? I'm sorry, and I mean absolutely no offense, but that's just silly, and insulting to a professional. I have friends who never took a music class in their life, and they recognize those themes. To suggest that Kiner just doesn't understand the thematic motifs of SW music, when untrained nerds do...just seems a stretch.

    Isn't it possible that those themes weren't included for another reason? (Even if it's a reason that isn't emotionally satisfying to us.)

    That's not what I'm saying. You can criticize the score even though you aren't a composer. Of course. Not trying to deny that at all.

    But you oughtta do so intelligently.

    Saying that Kiner didn't include a particular theme because he just doesn't know the SW scores is like saying that Spielberg has the camera at an angle for a particular shot because he doesn't understand how to properly use a tripod. You can do it...but it's not really all that intelligent of a move...and might inadvertently make you look a little foolish or egotistical. (Not that I think you're a little foolish or egotistical.)

    Fair enough. Those are your feelings about the music. And you didn't talk about the thoughts/motives/intelligence of someone you don't know. Perfectly legal.

    By the way, I'd have liked Kiner to use Palpatine and Jabba's themes also. As I said somewhere else around here, even Williams uses those themes virtually every time those characters show up.

  10. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    But in this particular instance it's incredibly random. Leia's and Yoda's themes were already incorporated heavily in their respective movies. Williams even came up with a thematic excuse for using Yoda's theme on Cloud City - Luke is drawing on Yoda's teachings at that point, or something. But using Lando's theme to represent the Republic in a Clone Wars movie is thematically akin to using the Jawa music for Boba Fett in ESB.

    THAT SAID, I actually thought the theme worked very well within the movie. The arrangement reminded me of the march music from Jurassic Park (heard near the end of Journey to the Island). Part of me was like, "Why the heck is 'Lando's Palace' popping up in the Clone Wars?" but I mostly didn't care because it worked so well with the scene. My only disappointment with its usage is that it didn't crop up anywhere else. The way it was used made it feel like "this is the Republic's theme", so it was disappointing that the theme wasn't continued later in the film.

    This to me is the major problem of the score. It doesn't seem to know whether or not it wants to utilize style leitmotif style. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't, very inconsistently. And so the effectiveness of the themes that ARE used is diminished by the sense that they were just thrown in at random to make the film sound a little more Star Wars-y.

    EDIT: Of course, this is an awful lot of talk about TCW, considering we're in the Force Unleashed thread...:p
  11. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Eh... I have to prove it? I have the leitmotivic structures of the scores just about memorized. I could identify almost any cue by listening to it. Surely that should suffice.

    Well, I guess "nerds" is the key word. I'd say the general movie-going public would only recognize the main theme or the Imperial March (if even). Granted, Kiner claims to be a huge fan. So I'm not sure. But understanding the leitmotif in Star Wars has nothing to do with being a professional musician. You either know it or you don't.

    Maybe. I wonder what that reason would be, though. Maybe Lucas asked Kiner not to use familiar themes much. Lucas is an awful filmmaker these days, so there you go.

    Nothing to do with Kiner's musicianship. I'm just speculating how much he's studied the Star Wars scores.

    Maybe, but why see Clone Wars when I could see The Dark Knight again? ;) Decisions, decisions.

    Fair enough.
  12. WedgeWalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2008
    star 2
    You have to prove that Kiner doesn't know the scores as well as you do...since that was your claim. And that he didn't incorporate existing themes and motifs in a particular way isn't proof.


    Yes, I understand that. Really though, recognizing melodies or melody fragments, while taking a certain knack, isn't an amazing prodigy like ability. Most folks can do it to some extent. You've clearly put more time into knowing and recognizing SW themes and motives than most (which is impressive), but still.

    But anyway, you did say you're not sure about Kiner's knowledge of SW scores. And later on in that post you said you're only speculating on how much Kiner has studied Williams' scores. So that's a start. You're no longer claiming you know what's in his head. That's good.


    Cheap shot at Lucas (and one many would disagree with you on) not withstanding, you're exactly right. Perhaps Lucas wanted there to be less quotes of existing themes. I'm not sure why he'd do that. But you never know. It's at least a possibility.

    I might have known.

    Oh, and earlier you said, "I think Clone Wars sums it up: a cheesy, amateurly written, commercialistic husk of a once awesome series of movies (okay, two movies)."

    If you're talking about the score for TCW, fair enough. That's your opinion. But if you're talking about the movie, which you've never seen...
  13. WedgeWalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2008
    star 2
    I can see that. I might suggest that we don't know that Kiner was attempting to make a Republic theme. (Maybe he was doing what a lot of composers have done with Star Wars: take an existing cue and tweak it heavily, using it as a base for a new cue. But not intending to make a theme out of it.)

    But I still see your point about the whole leitmotif approach only popping up every now and then. Striking that balance must be tough for composers entering the world of Star Wars. (Too little and it's not Star Warsian. Too much and it's derivative.)

    It's weird to say this, but I think we'll have a better idea what Kiner's trying to do once episodes of the show start rolling out in less than a month.

    Yeah, that's to a large extent my fault. Sorry everyone.
  14. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Yeah, I'm talking about the movie. I admit I'm making an assumption here, but when 80% of critics dislike the movie, that gives me a pretty clear indication of what it's like. And I've seen the trailers and previews and clips. Nothing special.
  15. WookieeWarrior9 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2007
    star 3
    They expected it to be Episode VII. It was great for what it is- a sneak peek of the first story arch of the series.
  16. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    No, they simply treated it like they treat every movie that gets put in theaters: how well it tells a cohesive, engaging story. And they found it lacking.
  17. WookieeWarrior9 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2007
    star 3
    That might be true if critics were actually objective.
  18. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Of course they're not objective - it's ART. Reviewers don't state whether a movie is objectively, definitively good or bad. They say, "I thought movie X was (good/bad), and here are the reasons why:" Generally, they try to be as objective as one CAN be when discussing such a thing as a movie.

    This whole "The critics have it in for Star Wars" persecution complex is utter nonsense. I happen to think Mortal Kombat is an incredibly fun movie. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 24% fresh rating. Do I think the critics have it in for the Mortal Kombat franchise? Of course not. I don't need critical praise to validate my enjoyment of the film. Heck, I'm even fine with the possiblity that I'm one of very few people in the world who actually DO think it's a good movie.

    Attacking the honesty of anyone who dares criticize a beloved film belies an insecurity about said film's beloved status.
  19. WedgeWalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2008
    star 2
    Here's what I know. I'm a 30 year old long-time Star Wars fan who has an undergraduate degree in film criticism. But ultimately, all that means is I can only speak for what I like.

    And I liked the Clone Wars. If others didn't, so be it. But I enjoyed it.
  20. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
  21. WookieeWarrior9 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2007
    star 3
    I don't care a bit what the critics/fans say about SW, for the record (I enjoy the prequels a great deal, so trust me when I say that). IMO a lot of the CW hate seems to stem from their hate for George and him "milking" the franchise, not the quality of the actual product.
  22. darth_meow1138 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Where can I get the soundtrack from "The Force Unleashed"? I know it's on Tracksounds, but it's a Flash animation, and my computer managed to kick the Flash player out, so I can't hear the music :( . Could anybody help me?
  23. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    If you have a torrent program you could search for and download a torrent of the soundtrack. I think this would be legal. However, I can't give you a link to a torrent because it would invariably be bunched in with illegal ones.
  24. ChimealHeltei FanForce Chapter Rep

    Chapter Rep VIP
    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 5
    Try "Flash Decompiler Trillix". With that tool, you can extract the MP3s from the SWF-Files. That's what I did and it worked well.
  25. darth_meow1138 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2008
    The Flash player is working again, but the sound doesn't work. I can play mp3s and stuff I saved on my computer, but no sound from Flash animations. Maybe it's because I installed Flash Block or whatever that program's called. But the problems should have started much earlier if that was the reason, because the sound problem as been occurring since about a month or two, and the Flash Block thingy was installed half a year ago. Does this Flash Decompiler Trillix work for Linux? If it does, how does it work? Help me, Film Music board posters, you're my only hope...
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