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back to article May the fourths be with you: Muso John Williams returns to Star Wars

Top movie muso John Williams will pen the latest Star Wars flick's music, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has announced. The Oscar-winning composer, who put together the score for all six of the previous films in the saga, said he was happy to be coming back for the latest instalment. "I've loved doing the Star Wars films …

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No plot? Hollywood movies these days have plots?

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Facepalm

yes

but only if you count rehashing what's been done before.

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Surprised...

that he wants his name associated with the franchise any more. Phantom Menace et al were mostly soulless awful kid flicks.

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Meh

Re: Surprised...

The first film was and is the definitive Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi were natural follow ons but didn't add to the original which was a stand alone film. The studios were just cashing in.

The prequels on the other hand are just over CGI'd teen film crap. Fully of pretty people, no real story line which relied on special effects to sell themselves. My biggest gripe is the technology in these films, the sci-fi tech is more complex that the original 3 films. It is as though time has gone backwards.

I hope the New Star Wars stays honest, no over the top CGI, no pretty teen clones, tech that appears to belong to the particular time.

Make it a bit more adult, appeal to those that saw the original rather than the tweenies the prequels were aimed at.

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Re: Surprised...

He has two choices. Get on board, be in control and at least make sure the music is good... or... walk away and leave his music in the hands of Hollywood executives. They'd hand over his music to some talentless idiot, who'd garble it through something like Garageband and make a total pig's ear of things.

In the end, either way, his name would appear, as the composer of the main theme and imperial march.

Can you imagine the impact of the music being given the Jar-Jar Binks treatment?

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Re: Surprised...

"Phantom Menace et al were mostly soulless awful kid flicks."

As opposed to the deeply philosophical originals which children found dense and impenetrable?

My friends' five-year-olds liked The Phantom Menace, Jar-Jar Binks and all just as much as I ever liked Star Wars.

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Re: Surprised...

" My biggest gripe is the technology in these films, the sci-fi tech is more complex that the original 3 films. It is as though time has gone backwards."

I like the contrast between the luxurious, almost decadent style of the peaceful republic and the rough-and-ready, 'good enough' is good enough tech of the later civil war.

There are some bits of silliness (R2D2 being able to fly) but nothing that ruins the films for their intended audience.

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Re: Surprised...

Composer of the main theme? Well, arranger, maybe...

See if you can find the main title to King's Row (1942), music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold

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Pint

Re: Surprised...

In fairness, the music was some of the best stuff about the prequel trilogy. I remember when it was due to come out, I was listening to the music and got very excited about the film.

The plot may be bad. The acting may be bad. With John Williams behind it, the music will be fantastic.

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Re: Surprised...

Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like Shaft.

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Re: Surprised...

@Minophis +1 for the Spaced reference.

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Re: Surprised...

"My biggest gripe is the technology in these films, the sci-fi tech is more complex that the original 3 films. It is as though time has gone backwards."

I thought it was sort of that case. That there is no real advancement in tech, in fact the Old Republic had better tech? Also there's been 20 years of war. As I understood (but people more informed do step in) tech is fairly static, it's more engineering now? Plus the prequels are set (well, the shiny bits) in the capital, wheras 4-6 are mainly in backwards ass ends of the galaxy. Where the empire is building *new* megaships without megashipyards.

Isn't there supposed to be some Roman allegory here? High point of empire, then the fall, splitting into factions. New legions who look like the old ones but can't fight for toffee? Clone troopers vs Stormtroopers.

In general, I've found that which star wars you love depends on which protagonist you identify most strongly with, Luke or Anakin, in their first films. Are you the stroppy teenager or the tearful kid, both are coming of age and "leaving for the temple" but only one makes me cry.

As for the appeal to make it more adult, uh, it's owned by the Mouse. I believe it's the books you'll be looking for.

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Re: Surprised...

Interesting, didn't realise he'd drawn quite a bit of inspiration from another piece. Doesn't sound as though he makes any secret of the fact, though.

Here it is on Spotify:

http://open.spotify.com/track/4AORr9TMPYybuZgy0nirmm

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Re: Surprised...

The only part of the prequels that moved me was John Williams' Imperial Theme towards the end of part, as the stormtroopers are shown coming out of a transport vehicle (thus bridging to part IV)

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Re: Surprised...

Almost all of John Williams scores are derived from classical or earlier works.

That isn't unusual for composers though, and as long as you do it well, nobody really cares. I'm getting downvoted below for suggesting he "steals", which of course he does, but in a good way.

For instance, listen to the "Cloud City" theme in Empire Strikes Back, then the opening violin solo in the Sibelius Violin Concerto. You'll find Holst, Stravinsky and Walton in the original film, too.

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Holmes

Re: Surprised...

You people (and I'm no singling you out) do realize that he was conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. I believe that he took over after Arthur Fiedler (sp?) retired.

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Re: Surprised...

What I'm really surprised at is that he composed the music for episodes 1,2 and 3. I've seen them all (yes, I'm a sucker for punishment) and can't remember a single notable theme tune.

The original 3, on the other hand, I can probably play inside my head, video, dialogue, music and all.

I want 7,8,9 to be more like 4,5,6.... but that's the triumph of hope over experience.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surprised...

You people (and I'm no singling you out) do realize that he was conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra.......

yes but still does much of his works with the LSO.....

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Re: Surprised...

> I've seen them all (yes, I'm a sucker for punishment) and can't remember a single notable theme tune.

Seriously? Duel of the Fates, The Droid Invasion, Darth Maul? Whatever else you can say about the prequels, the music was as good as ever.

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Re: Surprised...

" Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like Shaft. "

I suspect that Jar Jar is the reason Disney was able to get its hooks in the franchise...

"Well, you can sell the Star Wars franchise to us for a tidy sum, or we can keep you tied up in court until the heat death of the Universe for ripping off Goofy"

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Re: Surprised...

Thanks for the link - yes, that's the one.

Even some of Williams' arrangement is similar, although of course it isn't an exact copy.

Of course, Korngold was inspired by Sibelius (part of Finlandia) for some of that...

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Episode 7: The Triumph of Hope over Experience

a working title?

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LPF

Re: Surprised...

Nope composer, its like the classical version of sampling, accept what he does is much much better than the source.

I would say its equivalent too two songs have the same lyrics in a passage, but the difference is how its performed.

But calling him an arranger, nope too far

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re. "fourths and all"

Thank you for that link. I regard myself as musically 'dyslexic' but I do enjoy reading about musical theory. Try as I might, I can never 'hear' the music in my head and can't understand most of what I read. That doesn't bother me though; I'm just glad that other people can do it.

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He'll have to find some more themes to steal...

...though to be fair, he does steal them quite well. :-)

I'll stick with the Wagner Leitmotifs though (where do you think the idea of associating characters and actions with themes came from?)

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Re: he does steal them quite well. :-)

IANAL but IIRC the trick is to not get sued.

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Re: he does steal them quite well. :-)

All art is 'borrowed' to some extent.

I think Williams acknowledged Korngold, and he can hardly do otherwise of Steiner (an early film composer) and ultimately Wagner for the leitmotif idea. The rest (Prokofiev, Walton, Holst, Dvorak, etc) aren't around to complain...

Brahms was told that he'd ripped off Beethoven in his 1st Symphony and his only response was "Any ass can see that". That doesn't mean it isn't worth listening to.

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Could be worse

As parodied in Family Guy.

Luke/Chris returns to the family farm and finds everybody dead, including John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra, and that the rest of the episode will have to be scored by Danny Elfman

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Re: Could be worse

until one day Hans Zimmer wanders onto the family farm and finds everybody dead, including Danny Elfman, and realizes the rest of the episode will have to be scored by himself, and that his only chance to get out alive is to run the score retrograde

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Anonymous Coward

well at least the music wont be crap.

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Am I the only one who is actually looking forward to the new star wars movies? they have been handed over to a company that in general makes descent films!

Sure they will be aimed at a younger audience though that didn't hurt Pirates of the Caribbean or most the Marvel movies. I will await them being released before I pass judgement

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Re: Am I the only who is actually looking forward to the new star was movies?

Yep. It's just you.

"The movie now has a producer, director, screenwriter and composer, but no actors or plot possibilities have been confirmed yet. " Nor indeed are they likely.

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I concur, however...

You probably means "decent movies". Descent, while many people associate closely with Star Wars lately, has different meaning.

Otherwise, I agree with your sentiment and keep my opinions to myself until i actually see the movie.

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Headmaster

Re: I concur, however...

sneaky s got in there! and i think you meant "mean"

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FIFY

"I've loved doing the Star Wars films, with all the fanfares and flourish and being paid lots of money. The galaxy far, far away - I actually feel like I'm still in it and being paid lots of money, that I never really left it and being paid lots of money, having worked on all of the six films and being paid lots of money! I'm just happy to be continuing to be part of the whole fun of doing it and being paid lots of money"

Cynical; moi?

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Big Brother

Sod all this Phantom Menace is bollocks/ Star Wars was great chuff, sure SW is good but I'm sorry Lucas' THX-1138 will always be his greatest movie to my mind!

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Lucas sold the franchise to El Raton, I don't know if he's even involved in any of the upcoming movies.

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"The search for more money"

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Joke

"Keep firing, Assholes!"

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Oh God

Disney film.....

As they own Justin Bieber... means he will be luke skywalker...

God no lol

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Re: Oh God

Seeing how The Mouse also owns Marvel but didn't cast Bieber or any other pop starlet as Avengers, I remain cautiously optimistic about this incoming trilogy.

You won't see me queuing at midnight for the premier, but I'll give them the benefit of doubt, at least until it is announced what role will Lucas play in the production. Hopefully it won't be anything more than consultant, or "associated something-or-other", and they won't let him anywhere near the script.

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Re: Oh God

If Bieber is cast in some role, and a rather aged Jar Jar is still around and they fight, the fans win whichever kills the other!

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Headmaster

Musical correction to title

I beleive the first 'da' quoted should in fact be a 'DA', otherwise it starts with a bit of gallop, which would not be right. Tsk.

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