I’ve been away from home so I haven’t been able to work on some bigger ideas on my main work computer, but I did get a chance to play around with a small idea on my laptop.
I’ve been thinking about ways to make the Rey/Ben romance a little more explicit in the trilogy. I think one simple way to do this would be through simple rescoring. One thing Han/Leia and Anakin/Padme have that Rey/Ben lacks is a love theme. It’d be hard to do that without a “love theme” track, like the other two romances have, but we could retroactively establish a “love motif” by seeding it in at least the second film in the trilogy (in comparison, the previous love themes also didn’t make their appearances until the second film in their trilogies). In TROS, when Ben resurrects Rey, the first indication we get that Rey is alive is that her hand comes into frame and touches Ben’s hand. At this moment, we get this great swell of music as Ben and Rey stare into each others eyes. So, I’ve taken this piece of music, and inserted it into the moment when Rey and Ben touch hands and stare into each others eyes in TLJ.
Here is my test track (music only): https://streamable.com/pwg1wp
Just as an experiment, I also replaced much of the music from that scene with pieces of music from the “Anakin and Padme” track from the AOTC score. It’s not the main “Across the Stars” motif, but what I like to call the “forbidden love” motif of their theme. It’s hard to describe, but I think the feeling of that piece represents the inner turmoil Anakin and Padme feel regarding their relationship. I feel like this motif actually works well with Rey and Ben, since their feelings for each other might feel wrong, initially, since they are enemies. It’s not as immediately recognizable as Across the Stars, but audiences might still recognize it enough to associate the music with romance.
Another interesting thing about the music choice is there is a moment in this track that is reminiscent to the build up to the Tristan chord in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde (compare the beginning with the 0:45 mark in my test clip). For music lovers, this might create an interesting association between Rey and Ben and Tristan and Isolde, who also started their story as bitter enemies.
What I think is also interesting is how the original track for this scene and my test track are actually rather similar. Here is the original scene, for comparison. Similar oboes, similar Tristan-esque notes when Rey raises her hand. It makes me wonder if they had used parts of this track for the temp track. It’s possible Rian saw similarities between this scene and the AOTC scene between Anakin and Padme, since both scenes are visually similar, taking place in a dark, fire-lit rooms.