December Sun – A Web Comic

November 17, 2006

George Lucas and reuse of music in ‘Revenge of the Sith’

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:58 am

** I had written out these comments awhile ago and, not sure if these have ever seen the light of day, thought I’d post them here **

So I’m watching ‘Revenge of the Sith’ again and listening to the music, and I can’t help but wonder if during the making of this film, George Lucas was thinking, “Oh, just re-use that music from ‘Empire Strikes Back’ for this scene, you know, the part when Vader starts levitating objects and hurling them at Luke… oh, but tag on the last 5-notes of the Vader theme to make it sound different… no one will notice….”. Is it assumed that fans are completely stupid and will assume the score is completely new?
The reused material is so blatant here, and at times seems unrelated to the scene unfolding. What does the music from Luke vs. Vader on Bespin in ESB have to do with Yoda and Palpatine battling? What does Qui-Gon’s funeral music have to do with Luke and Leia’s birth? What this film score functions to do is take music that I distinctly associate with another scene in a different film and completely scramble it, in effect RUINING the scene for me. Lucas pulled the same garbage in ‘Attack of the Clones’ – virtually the entire Jedi arena battle and Clone war features music all lifted from Phantom Menace. Why?

I think that Williams/Lucas/whoever really dropped the ball with this one. As a fan of Williams’ music, this was THE worst score of the bunch. I did my best to avoid teasers/trailers of Sith, to make the content of this film as much a suprise as possible. I enjoyed Sith, but as the film unfolded, I’d see a new scene with old music slapped in, and the scene suddenly lost it’s excitement and impact. “Oh, it’s that battle music from TPM again… yeah, that fits the Wookies perfectly….”

What I wish had happened was this: for whatever reason that the music was reused, if it was Williams health, or Lucas’ disapproval, or tight deadlines to squeeze in more unrealistic digital backdrops – I just wish that the primary decision maker had said “Since we don’t have the music we need, let’s bring in someone else to help fill in the gaps.” Surely there is another skilled composer who could have jumped in and said, “Oh, I could write a theme for the crash landing sequence. I’ll bring in the Force theme once, but otherwise it will be something dramatic and brassy, etc. etc…” It wouldn’t be Williams, granted, but at least it would be new, interesting material. If it stank, at least it was something new and not something cut and pasted out of TPM, or Clones, etc.

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