Star Wars |OT2| This is getting out of hand. Now there are two of them! [NO IX SPOILERS]

Cross-Section

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,084
Because I’m a weirdo with too much time on his hands, I sat and relistened to the whole Episode 4 soundtrack last night. No distractions, not even track titles on the screen, just a reclined chair and a nice pair of headphones. Noticed a few things I hadn’t before:

- The Force theme is surprisingly versatile. I mean, it can be an action motif, a mystical interlude, even a militaristic refrain. In comparison, the main/Luke theme is not as easily adapted; simply put, it’s too damn cheerful and heroic (at least in ANH). I can count the amount of times it appears in a tension-filled context on a single hand.

- In all these years, I never caught on to the little bits of the Rebel motif attached to the rendition of Leia’s theme in the End Credits. Appropriate, to say the least.

- Speaking of the Rebel motif: It never really occurred to me how much it is basically just “The Millennium Falcon motif” in ANH and not much else. It works thematically, but I wonder when exactly it made the transition to encompass the entire Rebellion in the later films.
So I continue to have too much time on my hands. Here's some rambling thoughts on ESB to perhaps save us from going full-tilt into TLJ chat:

- To my weird music nerd mind, ESB will always be the most memorable merely because of all the damn score that was cut from the final movie. Seriously, Hoth? Half its music, gone. The climactic duel between Vader and Luke? Again, halved. And the funny thing is, I totally agree with it, in the end:
  • Williams tries to do a cool thing by evolving his Hoth motif into something far more hostile as the setting transitions to night and Han goes out looking for Luke in the blizzard. Problem is, this ironically smothers the danger; with no music, there's a sense of isolation as the heroes trudge through the endless white. With music, it's like the blizzard is a freaking villain, some sort of mythical snow demon to be fought, completely eroding the feeling of real, tangible danger in the scene.
  • The Imperial March/Vader theme appears much, much earlier in the original score, like in the first few seconds post-crawl. It's a short, nasty statement that doesn't really do justice to the main motif. It pops up a few more times (reminding me, for example, that the hunting-the-probe-droid scene initially had music under it) before the big Imperial fleet reveal. That scene, too, has a different, more-understated motif from the final film, which makes sense because we would've already been introduced to it. My guess is the editors/director/Lucas thought that people wouldn't catch onto the new bad guys' theme, so they ripped all the previous statements out and plopped down the full concert piece in the Executor reveal for maximum attention-getting.
  • Similar to the Hoth issue, the piece that accompanies Luke and Vader clashing blades in the carbon chamber is an atmospheric, menacing track, but still somewhat crowds the scene and takes attention away from (in the context of 1980) the most long-awaited moment in Star Wars history. And, again, the removal works; it ends up a tense scene where both characters and audience try to get a handle on who's winning and who's simply getting toyed with.
  • Most, if not all of this cut music got a second lease on life in the mid-90s to early-00s run of Star Wars games. For example, a lot of folks probably associate this motif more with the menu screen to Shadows of the Empire than its original use.
- In Yoda's intro scene, Williams runs his theme through like 3 different variations of "playful." I miss when he tinkered around with his motifs to that extent, these days, it's mostly the same resolve-filled quotation of Rey's theme over and over again (though obviously that's on modern film-making as much as the composer)

- Speaking of Yoda's theme: An action variation of it is all over the dang climax for no reason. Luke shooting it out with stormtroopers in the Bespin hallways? Yoda theme. 2nd part of Vader duel, right after Luke jumps out of the freezing chamber? Yoda theme. Leia, Lando, and the rest booking it through Cloud City? Yoda theme. I can at least buy the second instance, which could be an example of Luke making use of Yoda's training, but the rest, I dunno. It still sounds great, admittedly.

- Going back to my ANH comments, there's easily more versatility in Star Wars/Luke's theme this time out. Lots of darker variations and such. Also, Rebel motif is 100% for the Rebels now. The Han Solo and the Princess theme pulls double duty (or rather, triple) for the Falcon in ESB.

- Also noticed this: Barely any Leia motifs except in the very beginning and end; curiously, they're both times when she's either emotionally or physically distant from Han. Otherwise, it's all Han Solo and the Princess.
 

RyanW

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
3,554
Pretty sure this whole thing was written after TLJ was written.

Plus, I don't get why Rae Sloane "was requested by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax to rescue the young boy". Who is Rax? Why did he wanted to rescue Armitage?
He was the protege of the emperor and basically the leader of the Empire post ROTJ.

As for Hux:
“Is it wise to devote resources to rescue his boy [Armitage Hux]?"

"
The Empire must be fertile and young. Children are crucial to our success. Many of our officers are old. We need that kind of vitality. That brand of energy you get with the young. The Empire needs children.”

SLOANE LEARNS ABOUT RAX'S VISION FOR REBUILDING THE EMPIRE
 

Oozer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,001
You know how, a little while ago, there was a presentation about the special effects of the Star Wars films put on by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences? Well, as part of that they showed a double bill of Rogue One and A New Hope. And the kicker? The print of A New Hope was from 1981. And the showing was approved by George Lucas himself.


 

Blader

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,310
I need to watch RO and ANH back to back someday. Never managed to do that somehow...
I just finished rewatching RO and ANH with a week between them, but I also did the back-to-back thing a couple years ago, it was actually pretty cool.

RO definitely works so much better as a prequel than the actual prequels did. The background given in ANH of Anakin, Vader, Obi-Wan, the Jedi, etc. just does not line up well at all with how these things are presented in the prequels. Obviously Lucas retconned a lot of things along the way, but when you revisit where all these retcons are supposed to lead to, it feels outright off in some places. RO fits better. I also get a kick out of that first paragraph in the opening scrawl now, visualizing Jyn and all the stuff on Scarif when it describes the rebels' first victory.
 

NiallGGlynn

Member
Apr 16, 2019
113
I love Hux, especially when he's gonna outright murder Kylo while he's unconscious. Showin' Uncle Luke how it's done.
 
Jun 12, 2019
39
But we're given no development, no backstory. Nada. In the first five minutes of Rogue One, we know who Krennic is, and what he's after. With Hux, it's 'you're generic fascist Empire general, go'.
he's generic which is Ok for the character who isn't the main villain and has limited screen time. it's problem when characters with much bigger screen time are generic and uninteresting. I'm not disputing Krennic was better done, which he should be as the main villain, but he was also better done than non-entities called heroes too (all 8 or so of them).
 

RyanW

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
3,554
This really makes me excited about potentially visiting the park when I’m in LA for Celebration next year.

 

Cheebo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,261
Ann Arbor, MI
But we're given no development, no backstory. Nada. In the first five minutes of Rogue One, we know who Krennic is, and what he's after. With Hux, it's 'you're generic fascist Empire general, go'.
Hux has more development and depth than Tarkin. There is nothing more compelling about Tarkin on screen than Hux I think.
 
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DiipuSurotu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,661
France
Tarkin's backstory isn't told on-screen but they still tell you a lot about him through subtle dialogue hints. For example he isn't afraid to give orders to Vader and you get the impression that the two have some amount of respect for each other. If I recall correctly he even calls Vader "my friend" at one point.

Meanwhile Hux is cartoon evil with everyone, with zero nuances.
 

Einchy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
23,948
Tarkin's backstory isn't told on-screen but they still tell you a lot about him through subtle dialogue hints. For example he isn't afraid to give orders to Vader and you get the impression that the two have some amount of respect for each other. If I recall correctly he even calls Vader "my friend" at one point.

Meanwhile Hux is cartoon evil with everyone, with zero nuances.
Hux isn't afraid to order Kylo around and you get the impression that they both hate each other's guts.
 

Einchy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
23,948
That's exactly what I said: "Hux is cartoon evil with everyone, with zero nuances."
Not with Snoke.

And I really don't see how Tarkin is a nuanced character when Hux isn't. Both characters don't really have that much characterization (I'm talking just TFA) but they're the same when compared to each other.
 

BDS

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,625
Tarkin's backstory isn't told on-screen but they still tell you a lot about him through subtle dialogue hints. For example he isn't afraid to give orders to Vader and you get the impression that the two have some amount of respect for each other. If I recall correctly he even calls Vader "my friend" at one point.

Meanwhile Hux is cartoon evil with everyone, with zero nuances.
"Tarkin and Vader like each other" is not an inherently deeper character relationship than "Kylo and Hux don't like each other," the Tarkin/Vader thing only becomes interesting in light of later films where we see Vader doesn't get along with others.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,176
That's the cardinal sin of TFA, almost anything of import is relegated to books.

What the hell is Bosnian Prime? Book. First Order? How? Book. Hux? Book. Phasma? Book.
We’re talking about Star Wars. It has always relied (well, that’s a strong word, maybe benefitted from) books to fill in the details that aren’t crucial to the story in the movie. Which none of those are beyond what the movie makes obvious. You get a good enough idea. First Order is an Empire spin-off. Hosnian is the new Republic Capital. Hux is a nepotist tool. Phasma is an elite soldier. Snoke is Kim Jong-il. Beyond that isn’t relevant.
 

Ichthyosaurus

Member
Dec 26, 2018
6,569
We’re talking about Star Wars. It has always relied (well, that’s a strong word, maybe benefitted from) books to fill in the details that aren’t crucial to the story in the movie. Which none of those are beyond what the movie makes obvious. You get a good enough idea. First Order is an Empire spin-off. Hosnian is the new Republic Capital. Hux is a nepotist tool. Phasma is an elite soldier. Snoke is Kim Jong-il. Beyond that isn’t relevant.
I disagree. They didn't need to go all in, but they needed to do a better job so the logistics don't break down with five seconds of scrutiny and the audience to have a greater emotional connection to those things. Characters need to be more than single line to explain who they are, otherwise why should we care what happens to them?
 
Oct 28, 2017
7,004
Tarkin's backstory isn't told on-screen but they still tell you a lot about him through subtle dialogue hints. For example he isn't afraid to give orders to Vader and you get the impression that the two have some amount of respect for each other. If I recall correctly he even calls Vader "my friend" at one point.

Meanwhile Hux is cartoon evil with everyone, with zero nuances.
That’s more due to the fact that Lucas didn’t have a clear idea where Vader’s place/ranking in the Empire was when he wrote ANH, evidenced by Leia’s comment about Tarkin holding Vader’s leash. In ANH Vader comes off almost as an independent entity; somebody operating in between the military ranks.

By the time Lucas wrote ESB he had established Vader as second only to Palpatine.

Honestly, Vader and Tarkin's relationship doesn't make much sense in ANH.
 
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Oct 28, 2017
7,004
That's the cardinal sin of TFA, almost anything of import is relegated to books.

What the hell is Bosnian Prime? Book. First Order? How? Book. Hux? Book. Phasma? Book.
TFA and the sequel trilogy has the burden of bridging a thirty-year gap where a myriad of things has occurred leading up to the fragmented cast of heroes (and villains) we are introduced to in the new films.

These films give us the pertinent information necessary to convey the narrative specific to the movies but there’s only so much exposition that can be crammed into a film.
 
Oct 28, 2017
7,004
I disagree. They didn't need to go all in, but they needed to do a better job so the logistics don't break down with five seconds of scrutiny and the audience to have a greater emotional connection to those things. Characters need to be more than single line to explain who they are, otherwise why should we care what happens to them?
The audience isn't supposed to have much of an emotional connection to Hux or Phasma; they are the very definition of supporting, ancillary characters.

I'm curious what logistics you think breaks down in five seconds in these films.
 
Oct 28, 2017
7,004
I’ll take it a step further and say Hux isn’t any less defined that Palpatine was in the original trilogy.

Palpatine is mentioned once in ANH, has a brief holographic appearance in ESB, and then gets his screen time in RoTJ but even then, we know next to nothing about him. He’s just some crusty old dude in a cloak who talks serious shit and tosses out lightening in the third act.

The prequels are what actually defined him.

Hux is a supporting character who is a slimy, bureaucratic weasel. I’m not sure why he would even require additional nuance.
 

Ichthyosaurus

Member
Dec 26, 2018
6,569
The audience isn't supposed to have much of an emotional connection to Hux or Phasma; they are the very definition of supporting, ancillary characters.
Hux is a big factor in the First Order, and characters with less screen time then he is have been fleshed out with less time (that older commander in TLJ's start), and Phasma is a wasted opportunity of a villain.

I'm curious what logistics you think breaks down in five seconds in these films.
How the Republic works, and it's relationship with the Resistance.
 

RyanW

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
3,554
That's the cardinal sin of TFA, almost anything of import is relegated to books.

What the hell is Bosnian Prime? Book. First Order? How? Book. Hux? Book. Phasma? Book.
You’re literally describing A New Hope.

You’re thrown into a conflict with little to no backstory and story bits are thrown at the audience as if they’re expected to already know what’s going on. We don’t really catch that nowadays because most of us know what’s going on, but when it came out in ‘77 it was just like TFA.
 

Cheebo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,261
Ann Arbor, MI
The prequels sort of had this weird effect of making people expect these films to be Wikipedia articles. The OT didn’t dwell much at all a the political state of the galaxy or the histories of its various characters. Look how little the function of the senate and it being removed was talked about in ANH.

The prequels deep diving the history of every main OT character and explaining the political function of the government is not the norm.

We don’t need the film to stop and explain the relationship of the Resistance and the Republic in detail because everything we need to know is on screen. Republic = peaceful government of the galaxy. Resistance = independent force with backing of the Republic. There you are good to go, and we get that info in the crawl.