Thursday, April 28, 2016
John Williams Appreciation Post: Rey's Theme from The Force Awakens (2015)
There were many things I enjoyed in the Star Wars prequels, but the parts could never quite match the whole of what I was hoping for. Among the bits I enjoyed - Williams' scores stayed up to snuff. But I figured when Disney picked up the franchise, he'd be retired. Little did I know.
I was delighted that, in his 80's, he was willing to come back to Star Wars. He's not a kid, and we should be quite grateful that he's not just alive, but still, if the Force Awakens score is any indication, still as good as ever.
I loved Rey's theme.
It's difficult to talk about, as I lack the vocabulary for discussing music properly, but it has a Williams-ian adventure hook, but it's also got some lighter bit in the woodwinds, "feminine", lighter, more "humble" than anything. She's a - as the track is called on the soundtrack "Scavenger". She's one of these desert people scraping by. She doesn't even have an Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru and pleasantly domestic existence - but she also can't leave, even if she doesn't entirely understand why. Luke sought the great expanse beyond his twin suns. Rey wants someone to come to her, but, instead, she has to go.
The music goes from simple woodwinds to orchestral sweeps, just as she goes out upon her adventure. It's a complex piece, to my ear, as Rey is perhaps a more complex character than Luke was before her - at least at the beginning of her story in comparison to his own in Episode IV. There's a lot more going on there for her here in Episode VII, with 6 movies of history preceding her, and a history that's taken place between those films.
As Luke's theme was what we think of as "The Force" theme, Rey's theme merges with The Force, and the next part of the Star Wars saga begins in earnest.