The old guy still produced a fine, competent, and professional score. He hasn't lost his ability to compose BUT he also doesn't really add any new ideas and a lot of it feels like variations on the OT scores. I respect the guy however they may have done well finding a younger guy who could add a fresh perspective to things.
Hence the saying all artists have a finite set of ideas in them.
>>61702218 They're loyal to John and apparently want him to keep scoring for the franchise as long as he can. As far as anyone knows, he's in pretty good health but he is 83 and things could turn on a dime for him. If he does die or become unable to compose, I wonder what they're going to do?
>>61702218 I agree. The prequel scores were nice as well, but Williams as he got older definitely lost some of the dynamic, cutting edge quality he had in the 70s-80s. He was extremely innovative back then, but subsequent generations of composers have overtaken him. None of the prequel/Disney SW scores are as groundbreaking as the OT ones were.
>>61703043 Well...that goes without saying. Williams would probably have to make multiple 5400 mile plane fights, but a guy in his 80s doesn't want to do that so instead he gets to make a short drive to an LA studio where he can record with old friends he's known for years.
>>61702218 >The old guy still produced a fine, competent, and professional score. He hasn't lost his ability to compose BUT he also doesn't really add any new ideas and a lot of it feels like variations on the OT scores. I respect the guy however they may have done well finding a younger guy who could add a fresh perspective to things
You could be right however it's also quite likely that Williams was intentionally asked to produce variations on the OT themes for the sake of nostalgiafaggotry or to cater to fan expectations.
Granted, 80 year old guys aren't known for being a fountain of groundbreaking creative ideas or straying outside of their comfort zone, but we also don't know if he was told by the Disney suits that it had to sound like the OT for branding reasons.
>>61702636 The ANH and ESB scores were very obviously meant to imitate Wagner; ROTJ and the prequels not so much, but still succeed by sheer compositional dazzle.
It is quite likely that Disney insisted on something similar to the OT soundtrack for nostalgia. Williams could have maybe still produced something more unique and less recycled, although certainly a guy in his 80s wasn't going to top his 45 year old self. That goes without saying.
It always gets to be a problem when a franchise like Star Wars is dragged out long enough that kids who grew up with it are now old enough to produce/star in/direct the stuff. Witness case - JJ Abrams. They're fanboys who end up making the shit they always wanted to see as a kid. I guess with Star Trek, it wasn't so bad since Abrams wasn't a Trekkie so he could approach that franchise from a more objective POV.
>>61703240 "A living, breathing score takes talented musicians to bring it to life. After six previous film soundtracks being recorded in the UK with the London Symphony Orchestra, The Force Awakens marks the first Star Wars soundtrack to be recorded on American shores, utilizing musicians from AFM Local 47. “With this new film, the schedule has evolved to the point that I’ll need to be working with the orchestra continuously for several months, and that’s obviously easier for me to do here in Los Angeles, than it would be in London.”
>>61703999 Uh huh. Keep in mind that Revenge of the Sith (the last SW film) was 10-11 years ago so John Williams has probably aged quite a bit since then and while he could still make those long trips to England up to his early 70s, he can't do it anymore at 80+.
They had to shoot Christopher Lee's LOTR scenes in London because New Zealand is about as far away from the UK as you can physically get and the guy was too old for that shit.
>>61703955 I'm no huge fan of Abrams's Trek films, but quality notwithstanding, they did make Trek viable again as a big screen franchise after TNG movies burned it to the ground and urinated on the rubble.
>>61703955 >>61703839 Yeah at some point, you gotta have innovation or a franchise suffers. Appeal to nostalgiafags and you kill the franchise. Successful filmmakers know how to give the fans what they need instead of what they think they need.
Adam West didn't have a monopoly on Batman, William Shatner didn't have a monopoly on Star Trek, Jack Nicholson didn't have a monopoly on the Joker, Sean Connery didn't have a monopoly on James Bond, etc, etc.
>>61701394 >Is is still possible to write good music at this age? Of course >Does John Williams still write good music Judging by the latest star wars film, not really.
>>61702636 >I've only seen his mainstream films.jpg
Man is capable of anything. Unless you've analyzed his use of leitmotifs in star wars you probably just dont know what you're talking about. Yes he has sensational orchestration and feeling for melody, just like Wagner and Mahler did, but he is able to do far more styles than just that. He writes very well in the serial / atonal fashion as well, but you dont cry about him being a schoenberg copycat.
Literally anyone writing in the late romantic style could be accused of "Wagner pastiche" etc. All music is stealing from those before you and making it your own. Williams did exactly that, and is a generation of great film composers, along with Jerry goldsmith, Morricone, and the earlier generation of Herrmann/Steiner/etc. Mahlerian grandeur has been part of film scores since the very start.
The reason he gets so much work is because he's damn good.
>>61704541 A shame he didn't have the LSO. It changed everything in the score. The horns just dont have the same timbre or punch or brightness
>>61704694 Getting back to my original point. I still think Disney should get a new young guy to compose SW scores who can come up with some original ideas instead of rehashing the OT scores as much as annoying 40 year old nostalgiafags will whine that only John can do it.
>>61704968 While that's true, you can certainly also consider that Williams at his age probably wasn't going to argue with Disney and anyway, coming up with something really new and cutting edge is likely beyond him at this point.
Whereas a vigorous 40-something guy might challenge the Disney suits and say "Nah, fuck you. I have a better idea for this film score."
>>61704694 I wonder if at some point we'll see a new guy playing Indiana Jones? Harrison Ford seems to be going senile because he says he'll still do it if they make another IJ film. Geez, even Shatner had the grace to pass on the torch to that new kid in the Abrams Star Trek movies.
>>61705203 conducting is really just going through the motions and keeping everyone in time. As long as Williams is sitting in on the session, he can still have just as much control about the sound, without ever stepping onto the podium.
>>61704870 >>61704870 >I still think Disney should get a new young guy Bear McCreary seems to be the hot new composer of the decade
>>61705063 I can understand that from a cynical business POV if Disney feels that A. Nostalgiafags would prefer JW to a new guy and B. He's old so will be more compliant and less likely to argue with them over the creative direction of the soundtrack than a guy in his prime would
>>61705928 Yes, back in the 1970s when he was under the age of 50. The guy is several years past the average life expectancy of a white American male (76). He could die or become incapacitated remarkably fast at his current age.
Apart from the use of familiar themes, TFA didn't give me a lot of Star Wars vibes. Which is bad for a Star Wars trailer. Right from the opening keyboard plonk I was a bit, "huh?". To me, Zimmer/Remote Control aesthetics just doesn't feel right for Star Wars.
Like his work or not, Abrams is a showman and a salesman who makes people believe in him. And the fact is, "Felicity" was (on the WB scale) a hit, "Alias" did well, and "Lost" was a water-cooler smash (for a while, anyway). When Gail Berman, a television producer and executive who had known Abrams, became head of Paramount Pictures (briefly), she dipped into her TV talent pool and chose him for "Mission: Impossible III".
I thought the new "Star Trek" films Abrams did were terrible (I actually admired his direction, but the scripts were absurd -- and yes, I know he's not credited with the screenplays). But the first one was a big hit, and the second did just fine.
>>61706737 Here's the issue at hand: Episode VII is written in a vacuum. They've even said that Episodes VIII and IX are unwritten at this time and are at some point in pre-production (somehow? vaguely?) - which means that without knowing the punchline, they've already started on a joke.
Admittedly, not having a second and third act in a large story arc doesn't mean outright failure - Star Trek II, III and IV were written one at a time - but when it comes to the type of storytelling Star Wars is embedded in, this is a sign of basically Disney not giving a shit or a fuck or a goddamn about the property. While movie studios being unscrupulous, no good, very bad things is a cliche, its jarring when you see it done to what is likely the largest perpetual pop culture property of the last three decades.
George Lucas, for his many faults, at least had not only the prequels planned out to a larger degree - but he also tested the waters with that Shadows of the Empire stuff years before he started production on any new films. Disney? Nope. Here's a date, do it by then - and without any planning ahead with the story arc.
I'll fully admit I could be VERY wrong about this - but as it is now, the current media culture we're in does not give a damn about originality; its just about immediate profit, which this film will no doubt be the paragon of like so many other warmed-over reboots (Star Trek, Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man) or remakes to the point of plagiarism (Skyfall, Inception) but... it doesn't matter what the architecture is if people just care about the wallpaper.
>>61706857 We know this isn't true because Lucas had no idea if ANH would be a success at all and the evidence indicates that he didn't think it would. Only after the movie went gangbusters did he plan out sequels. In his original script, Darth Vader wasn't Luke's father, Leia wasn't Luke's sister, and Vader was supposed to have killed Luke's father. That was it. Over the years, GL would talk of making nine or even 12 movies but they were just vague speculation.
During the scripting of ESB, in one version of the early drafts Luke sees the ghost of his father, who tells him about a sister, who is not Leia. Ultimately it was decided Father Skywalker being a separate character just created story problems, so Vader being the father was just more simpler and more dramatic. Similarly, during ESB Yoda says the line: "There is another". This was a setup for a Jedi character we hadn't met yet, possibly Luke's sister, who would be introduced in Episode VI, and would then be the main hero from Episode VII onwards, until the Emperor and co. would finally be defeated in Episode IX (or XII), but it was all very vague.
But then a lot of things happened. The ESB production, which Lucas financed with his own money, was very troubled and went overschedule and overbudget, causing a lot of stress for Lucas. His marriage ran into trouble, eventually ending in divorce in which he lost half his fortune. Lucas was now burned out and just wanted to be done with Star Wars, so he scrapped all those plans for future films and wanted to end the whole thing with Episode VI, so down went the Emperor and the "another" was changed to Leia to finish that plot, even though it made little sense when looking at the previous films.
So the original films were indeed written one at a time, and there was no fixed story for a big Saga.
The final version of SW ended up fairly close to Lucas's original draft script, however he originally had several variations of the story including some that were much more surreal and sci-fi. In the end, the version of SW we got was the only feasible one they could have done with their budget and 1970s technological constraints.
One thing that I found interesting in JW Rinzler's excellent "The Making of Star Wars" (which was based almost entirely on archival interviews from 1975-78) was that Lucas considered the idea of midi-chlorians (many prequel haters' most "Un-Star-Warsy" thing) even back then, as part of his backstory.
>>61707027 Unfortunately Rinzler mixed in bits from new (post-prequel trilogy) interviews with Lucas into that book, allowing him to sprinkle in those claims of having planned the whole saga beforehand, and those midichlorian claims indeed came from a post-prequel trilogy interview, not from anything said in the 70s. Being a Lucasfilm-sanctioned book, Rinzler just put all those bogus claims from Lucas into that book without being able to call it BS or even question all the inconsistencies.
>>61707054 The midichlorian bits were specifically from Lucas' 1977-78 "sequel plans"/guidance for books as sketched out which were included intact/unedited as an appendix, at least, in the Kindle version.
>>61707083 I'm not sure why I should care when George Lucas dreamed up midichlorians -- whenever it was, they are (to me) one of his worst inventions, literalizing something best left mystical.
I have tremendous respect and admiration for George Lucas, but like so many weavers of fantasy worlds before him, as time went on, his interest in telling compelling stories seemed to be overtaken by his interest in simply cataloging his imagined universe. Variations of the same affliction struck Tolkien and Roddenberry, and seems to be consuming Rowling as well -- the worlds seem to be the point, rather than the storytelling. I suppose that could be as valid as anything else to those who want to live in those worlds, but it doesn't much interest me.
I've never understood the flack about midichlorians. It was already stated in the original trilogy that the Force was strong in the Skywalker family, so how else would this be explained except inherited by blood? And there are some OT characters stronger in the Force than others, this just simply gives it a name and why. But it doesn't take anything away from the Force being a mystical energy, it just explains how the characters commune with it and why some have a great propensity for being strong in the Force. And in another way, the concept of midichlorians ties into the overarching theme found "The Phantom Menace", that of symbiosis between two living things. This is presented in the Gungans and Naboo, Jedi Master and Padawan and Sith Master and his apprentice.
>>61707215 Yeah it sort of kills you to see something as mystical as The Force reduced to simple biology. For example, Bill Watterson purposely left the nature of Hobbes's existence a vague mystery and rightly so.
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