Tag Archives: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens “March of the Resistance” (2015)

When Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrived at theaters in 2015, John Williams proved that he hadn’t missed a step by filling the film with all kinds of musical themes. Heroes and villains alike were given their own memorable themes. “March of the Resistance” is one of the heroic themes and was written for the Resistance as a whole, though I feel it could also be applied to certain characters. Check out “March of the Resistance” below:

This theme arrives for the first time in the midst of the Battle of Takodana, just as our heroes have been taken captive by the First Order. It starts as the camera turns and reveals Resistance X-Wings are racing towards the ruins of Maz’s Castle led by Poe Dameron.

“March of the Resistance” is one of the more “classic” Star Wars themes that John Williams created for The Force Awakens. By “classic” I mean that this theme could easily fit into the original trilogy with its jaunty bass tones and upbeat rhythms. Think about it, doesn’t this theme feel like it could apply to the Rebellion just as much as the Resistance? Not only that, but I really feel this theme could apply to Poe Dameron as his own personal theme. It fits Poe perfectly: it’s brash, it’s loud, and it just oozes confidence, all qualities that the future Resistance general definitely possesses. I’m not sure if Poe has his own theme or motif, but if he doesn’t, I’m probably just going to apply this theme to him from now on because it is just too perfect for him.

This theme recurs at several points in the sequel trilogy after debuting here, most notably in The Rise of Skywalker when the Resistance is departing to bring the fight to the Final Order. It’s a very versatile theme, good for playing over sections of the film that show the Resistance in action. It’s also quite memorable, as its one theme from the sequel trilogy that I’ve found myself humming from time to time.

I hope you enjoyed listening to “March of the Resistance” from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Let me know what you think about this theme in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens “Kylo Ren’s Theme” (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens “Rey’s Theme” (2015)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi “The Spark” (2017)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker “Kylo Ren’s Theme (Redeemed Version)” (2019)

Film Soundtracks A-W

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens “Rey’s Theme” (2015)

This is my honest opinion: if you try to tell me there are no great musical themes in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, then you haven’t been paying attention, because John Williams introduces a beautiful, original theme relatively early in the film. This is “Rey’s Theme” and it comes when, you guessed it, we first meet Rey living as a scavenger on Jakku.

 

The theme starts as Rey is leaving the ruins of the crashed Star Destroyer, having finished her work for the day. It starts off with a bit of whimsy, a soft chiming melody that soon grows into a flowing theme with the strings and woodwinds. This melody tells us several things: that Rey is young and idealistic (much as Luke Skywalker was many years ago), but also that she has her own inner strength even before she starts to use the Force. The former is heard in the opening part of the theme, and the inner strength is revealed when the strings come in, pushing the theme to new heights.

This original version of “Rey’s Theme” lays the foundation for several melodies to come in the sequel trilogy, particularly in The Rise of Skywalker. Williams will put this melody through several variations, altering it to meet Rey’s changing circumstances as the story progresses.

As a musical introduction to one of the most pivotal characters of the sequel trilogy, “Rey’s Theme” performs its purpose beautifully. This theme deserves to be remembered just as much as “The Force Theme”, “The Imperial March”, “Duel of the Fates” and any other classic Star Wars theme. For me, this theme is clear proof that John Williams is just as talented as ever when it comes to creating memorable film music themes.

I hope you enjoy listening to “Rey’s Theme” as originally heard in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, let me know what you think about it in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens “Kylo Ren’s Theme” (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens “March of the Resistance” (2015)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi “The Spark” (2017)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker “Kylo Ren’s Theme (Redeemed Version)” (2019)

Film Soundtracks A-W

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Film 101: Deus ex machina

Literally translating to “god from the machine,” deus ex machina refers to a plot device in which a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the inspired and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object. The phrase originates in ancient Greek drama, where the mortal heroes would be rescued from their dilemma by the direct intervention of the gods (usually wheeled onto stage with some kind of machine, hence “god from the machine”).

With the invention of film, naturally examples of deus ex machina abound, though usually they’re the source of great scorn from the audience, as resorting to deus ex machina is usually perceived as “taking the easy way out” when it comes to telling a story.

Some notable examples include (but are by no means limited to):

  • The Eagles in The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings: The Great Eagles of Middle-Earth actually serve this purpose on multiple occasions: Eagles rescue Bilbo, Gandalf and the Dwarves in The Hobbit; Eagles show up out of nowhere to save the day in The Battle of the Five Armies; Eagles show up out of nowhere to save the day in The Return of the King (I sense a pattern here); an Eagle rescues Gandalf from Isengard; an Eagle rescues Gandalf from Moria (though to be fair, that’s more explicitly stated in the book than in the film); and of course, Eagles rescue Frodo and Sam from the exploding Mount Doom after the Ring was destroyed. So much of this story would not have happened without the Eagles (often unexpected) intervention.

Vizzini_battle_of_the_wits

  • Immunity to Iocane powder in The Princess Bride: So in order to save Buttercup, Wesley challenges Vizzini to a “battle of wits” where the latter has to determine which cup of wine has been poisoned with deadly iocane powder. Only after Vizzini is dead does it come out that both cups were poisoned because (conveniently), Wesley spent several years building up an immunity to the substance.
  • Fawkes and Gryffindor’s sword in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Things get pretty dark for Harry by the end of this film: he’s been poisoned by a basilisk, he’s isolated in the Chamber of Secrets deep below Hogwarts, there’s no way he can possibly survive, right? Well…out of nowhere, here comes Fawkes, a magical phoenix whose tears can cure any poison! Fawkes also has the Sorting Hat, which, oh how convenient, produces the legendary sword of Godric Gryffindor, giving Harry the means to kill the basilisk once and for all.

Kylo_Ren_Interrogates_Rey.0

  • Rey’s mind-reading abilities in The Force Awakens: If this is not a deus ex machina moment then it treads dangerously close to being one. Doesn’t it seem particularly odd that, when Kylo is attempting to read her mind to find the information about the map piece, that Rey is suddenly able to turn it around and read Kylo’s mind, just like that? And on a related note, how did she know to use the Jedi mind trick on that stormtrooper?
  • The Martians in The War of the Worlds: This has to be one of the biggest examples of deus ex machina ever made, and no matter how it’s spun for a film, it always sounds really stupid. Consider: Earth has been overwhelmed by a fleet of Martian ships that slaughter and destroy all in their path. Nothing the Earth has can stop them, it’s only a matter of time before everything is wiped out. And then suddenly, all the Martians begin dropping dead. It turns out these unstoppable aliens were brought down by…germs? That’s right, all the military might in the world couldn’t get the job done, but microscopic germs could (it just took time for the Martians to be affected by them). Independence Day somewhat parodies this when David uploads a computer “virus” to the mother ship, bringing down the shields of the invading ships.

I would also like to point out that The Matrix Revolutions somewhat parodies this concept when Neo meets the central interface of Machine City, known as The Deus Ex Machina.

So there are five examples of deus ex machina in film. Let me know what you think of these examples in the comments below and also feel free to share any examples you can think of that I didn’t mention. Have a good day!

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See also:

Film 101: Archetypes

Film 101: The MacGuffin

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