Was anyone else disappointed by the film’s score? None of the music really grabbed me like it did in the previous films.
I thought it was solid enough and better than the average movie score, certainly. The use of old themes was noticeable and appropriate. But nothing struck me as a new classic as was developed for SW77 (and, hell, even TPM and Clones had some incredible new pieces). On the other hand, I’m admittedly not someone who pays much attention to soundtracks. I only bothered to learn (many of) whose theme is whose in the SW films earlier this year.
It was hard to grasp on to the film’s score while watching it, but I chalk that mainly up to there being so much new (music and other stuff) that it was a lot to take in.
I’ve since listened to the soundtrack in its entirety a couple times, and it is fantastic. There’s nothing bombastic or “epic” like in the prequels, and nothing that’s immediately unforgettable, which is I think why people are mixed on the score so far, but I think once people start to orient themselves with it, everyone’ll appreciate it.
It’s really great and very swashbuckling, more so than even the original Star Wars score ever was (check out “Scherzo for X-Wings” if you want to hear the main theme as if it were in an Errol Flynn picture). I honestly wasn’t expecting that but it works very well and makes the film a lot of fun.
One thing that I’m mixed on was the fact that they used “Burning Homestead” when Rey grabs the lightsaber. Not sure if I’m okay with it because why did they feel the need to use a 38 year old piece instead of a new one and because I recognized it immediately and found it a little distracting. On the other hand, it was epic as f and made me pretty emotional, honestly. So I probably don’t mind it.
I concur with all of this, now that I’ve been listening to the CD. The new themes weren’t terribly memorable - even Attack of the Clones had ‘Across the Stars’ - which was very disappointing in the theater, but they’re still fairly enjoyable when given a listen later (of course I preordered the soundtrack). Some things were out of place - like the needless retreads of old themes and cues in places that don’t make sense, which is something they had Williams do in Revenge of the Sith, too (with the music from Duel with the Dark Lord). This is usually a bad idea even if what’s happening has a direct parallel - goes beyond just ‘rhyming’ as GL would put it. (Using part of the Binary Sunset rendition of the Force Theme in the finale was an acceptable instance of this though.) Anyway, overall - the swashbuckling nature of the thing is pretty great. I especially liked ‘March of the Resistance’ and the last three tracks, as one unit. As Rey’s character becomes more compelling, her theme, which sounds like it came out of the Great Hall music for Harry Potter, may yet come into its own as well.