Cobra Kai said:
I just listened to it as well.
It’s fine, but it’s pretty anemic when it comes to new thematic material with a couple of exceptions (both of which Sir Ridley mentioned). I know this isn’t a complete soundtrack, but as-is it has the least to offer of all three sequel trilogy soundtracks. It either spends a lot of time playing with different colors or weaving quickly in and out of motifs we’re already familiar with. I know John Williams is very old now and I honestly wonder how much involvement he really had in scoring this movie. Much of this soundtrack sounds like it might have been delegated to one of his proteges.
Also keep in mind, most of Williams’ scores that he’s composed over the course of his career were written AFTER the final cuts of the movies were finished. That is no longer the case as modern big budget movies are now cut and re-cut right up until the release, so composers no longer have such luxury. As a result the final scores end up being cut up and patched together by the music editor to match the final edit.
This is one reason why thematic scores in general are mostly a thing of the past; modern scores are no longer linked to the movie structure, but are just relegated to simply being appropriate moments for individual scenes.
So yes, Williams is very old now, but it’s also not really fair to compare his modern scores with his old classics where he was completely free to work his magic.
Yes, that’s true. But not being able to score the final cut doesn’t preclude a composer from writing compelling thematic material for the individual scenes you mention. Comparing this score to OT or PT scores is unfair and not something I would do, but even when comparing it to TFA, this score has a lot less meat.
At Johnny’s age it’s almost a certainty he had collaborators who contributed musical material to this score, so it’s not so much a question of if he had help, but rather how much help he had. And honestly that’s fine. I love John Williams and I’d rather he contributed only 50% of the score than if he didn’t contribute at all. It’s a fine score and it’s no less than I expected.