A Random Thought on “The Force Awakens”


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So considering Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out almost two months ago, I’m fairly certain we’ve all seen it at least once by now (I’ve seen it twice myself). As I eagerly began to discuss the film with my friends, I began to notice a trend in the comments people were making about John William’s score. To get to the point, a lot of the people I talked to didn’t think it was very good.

I know everyone can have their own opinion, but I feel this is something I should address, so here goes: I don’t believe that Williams’ score for The Force Awakens is any weaker than the earlier Star Wars scores. I do admit that Williams hasn’t created the equivalent of “The Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back…but I don’t think the film called for such a musical statement.

Here’s my take on the music (and the film in general): As we are being introduced to a new generation of Star Wars characters, The Force Awakens was very much about “passing the torch.” Rey is now flying the Falcon, Kylo Ren is the new bad guy, etc. In that vein, a good chunk of the characters and situations are echoes of what was found before: The First Order is an echo of the old Empire, the Resistance is the Rebellion, etc, and so on. Because all of these things and characters are “echoes” of the original, it makes sense that the music would not be as intense as before, not yet at any rate. Keep in mind that “The Imperial March” was not introduced until The Empire Strikes Back. I firmly believe that Williams has a few musical surprises up his sleeve (unfortunately we have to wait until the end of 2017 to find out what they are.)

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12 thoughts on “A Random Thought on “The Force Awakens”

  1. christinawehner

    That’s an interesting point. I had a similar reaction in that I thought that John Williams hadn’t created any new memorable bits of music. The only parts of his score I noticed were echos of the previous films, but perhaps that was intentional. I didn’t realize the Imperial March wasn’t introduced until Empire Strikes Back! Do you think he’ll go out of his way in the next Star Wars film to introduce some unique themes now that the series is on its own footing and not a transitional film?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Film Music Central Post author

      That’s what I’m thinking, I’m willing to bet that once Kylo’s training is completed and/or once Rey further develops her skills, we are going to see a whole new set of musical themes. Only time will tell for sure though.

      Liked by 1 person

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