Track 15 is the first instance of a theme new to The Last Jedi: Admiral Holdo's theme. We hear this theme loud and clear just before Holdo attacks the First Order fleet at lightspeed. It might be heard in the film before this point (I'm going to see the film again on Saturday, so I'll be listening closely for previous iterations of Holdo's theme), but this is the first time we hear it on the soundtrack.
0:18-0:27 Incidental “Battle of Hoth”-like music. While similar music is heard in the film (on track 16 of the soundtrack), I do not believe this particular music is.
0:27-0:35 Holdo's theme, horns, B-flat minor as Holdo prepares for her lightspeed attack on the First Order fleet.
In the movie, Holdo's lightspeed attack is followed by several seconds of silence. Since this dramatic pause is missing from the soundtrack, I must conclude that the decision for silence was not made by John Williams.
1:05-1:08 start of Rebel Fanfare as BB-8 rescues Finn and Rose in the AT-ST
1:20-2:00 incidental bass drum hits (ala Rite of Spring) as Finn calls Phasma “chrome dome” and they duel.
0:12-0:25 low male voices as we see Snoke. We hear this low male chorus twice at this point in the movie: First at the 93-minute mark, second at 98. On this track of the soundtrack, we only hear it once. Which one (or is it both) comes from the soundtrack? I don't know.
Interestingly, immediately after the second instance of those low voices (at 98 minutes into the film) Palpatine's Sith Theme is heard in the movie. That is absent from the soundtrack, so I suspect editors borrowed this music from Return of the Jedi. Consequently, I do not believe John Williams ever intended Palpatine's Sith Theme to be used in reference to Snoke.
1:17-1:33 Force theme, B-flat minor, 1st and 3rd phrases (but not 2nd), brass, loudly, as Ben kills Snoke. I believe this iteration of the Force Theme was removed from the scene where Snoke dies (about 1:45 into the film - which is where the rest of this track is heard in the film) and is instead used in the scene where Yoda burns down the tree on Ahch-To (about 1:22 into the film – most of which is heard on track 13).
1:33-2:26 incidental battle music, Reylo vs. Red Guards
2:26-2:35 Rey's melody with trumpet and trombone accents, 1st and 2nd phrases, horn, loudly
2:35-3:11 incidental. Kinda sounds like “Rite of Spring” in spots. Reylo defeats guards.
0:00-0:34 Force theme, horn, 1st and 2nd phrases, D minor as Rey departs Ahch-To island.
0:34-0:45 Yoda's theme. Yoda's ghost appears. Luke: “I'm going to burn it all down.”
Next in the film, the 1st phrase and a revised 3rd phrase of the Force theme is heard in the trumpet. But I believe this comes from track 14 at the 1:17 mark – not from track 13. This music is heard as Yoda sets fire to the sacred tree and texts.
0:45-1:04 incidental scary brass followed by a weak flute. Not heard in film.
1:04-2:09 Force theme, trumpet, loudly, A minor, 1st and 2nd phrases. This was replaced by another iteration of the Force theme (played by a horn) in the film. I don't yet know from where this horn iteration was borrowed.
2:09-2:40 Force theme, solo horn, quietly, C# minor, 1st and 2nd phrases.
2:40-end Yoda's theme, cello, C major. Much dialogue over this music. Luke: “I can't be what she needs me to be.” Yoda: “The greatest teacher failure is.”
0:00-0:26 creepy incidental music as Rey enters the cave
0:26-0:40 incidental noodley clarinet
0:40-0:55 incidental noodley viola
0:56 crescendo to quiet #1
0:57-1:27 more creepy incidental music
1:28 crescendo to quiet #2
1:29-1:35 crescendo to quiet #3
There's more editing going on at this point. In the movie, the music swells to quiet only one time – as Rey sees herself in the infinite mirrors. But in the soundtrack, we hear three such crescendos to quietness. Which one of those three is heard in the film, and which are the two that are edited out? I am uncertain.
1:38-1:52 incidental high flute solo
1:52-2:00 incidental high clarinet solo
2:00-2:15 incidental poignant strings
2:15-2:29 Rey's melody, C# minor, flute, 1st and 2nd phrases. Not heard in film.
2:29-2:58 incidental poignant strings. Not heard in film.
0:00-1:28 incidental music with prominent horn rips as Finn and Rose escape
(1:03 hints of Rose's theme in the horns)
1:28-1:37 Rose's theme in full, horns, A-flat major
1:37-1:44 Rose's theme, altered, trumpets, D-flat major
2:12-2:19 Rose, flute, C major, 1st phrase only
2:19-2:26 Rose, horn, G major as Finn and Rose are trapped against cliff.
Much like track 7, track 10 appears to be non-linear in the film.
Luke says the title of this track 24 minutes into the film (with no musical underscoring), yet it's placed in between tracks 09 (heard 55 minutes into the film) and 11 (heard 66 minutes in).
That “who are you” scene does feature music (that, as far as I can tell, is not included on the soundtrack) both before and after the title question.
Immediately before, as Rey explores the Jedi texts, we hear a lonely english horn with a sustained pedal in the low strings.
And immediately after we hear the 1st and 2nd phrases of the force theme played quietly by a horn after Rey says, “Something inside me...”. There are also some poignant strings as Luke says, “it's time for the jedi to die...” and somber brass as the scene shifts from Luke and Rey to Leia, right before she demotes Poe.
Okay, so where does this music appear in the film? I have no idea...
0:13-0:23 Rey's melody, cello, a minor, 1st phrase only
1:16-1:27 Ren's Brooding motive harmonized, bass clarinet
2:10-2:13 hints of the Rebel Fanfare
2:25-2:32 Main theme, horn, loudly, G major, 1st phrase only
2:54-3:03 hints of Ren's power/wannabe theme (descending minor second), horn
This reggae cantina scene is pretty obvious: It's heard in the casino scene, 55 minutes into the movie. Not all of this music is heard in the film, though. My brief analysis will consider the structural (rather than narrative) functions.
0:00-0:39 Incidental orchestral music
0:39-1:23 A section, D minor
1:23-2:16 B section, g minor
2:16-2:35 Recap of A section, g minor
I love the key change from D minor to G minor. Reminds me of Sousa marches :-)
Also reminds me of “The Throne Room” from the end of A New Hope.
0:18-0:48 Rey's melody, 1st and 2nd phrases, flute, slowly and quietly, A minor. Luke: “Reach out with your feelings.”
0:48-1:07 Force theme, horn with tremolo strings, 1st and 2nd phrases, C# minor
1:07-1:18 Rey's melody, flute, 1st and 2nd phrases, F# minor
1:18-1:36 incidental music turns dark, F# minor
1:37 key change to g minor
1:38-end intense incidental music. Luke: “You went straight for the dark.”
I see why this track was included in the soundtrack – there's lots going on, including all three themes new to The Last Jedi – but I'm not sure where any of it is heard in the movie.
Track 6 was obvious: It was used starting at the end of Maz's monologue, about 45 minutes into the film (corresponding to Rey's theme heard at 1:50 into track 6), continued through Reylo's first ForceTime conversation (at around the 46-minute mark), and concluded around the 48-minute mark (just before Luke starts teaching Rey).
Track 8 is also obvious: It picks up right after Luke starts teaching Rey, where Luke says “reach out with your feelings.”
But what happened to track 7? There is about one minute of film in between where track 6 ceases and track 8 begins (at the 49 minute mark), but track 7 is about four minutes long. And that minute, during which Luke says “Reach out” and Rey sticks her arm out in front of her, contains no music. So obviously, track 7 is not heard in between tracks 6 and 8. So where does this music belong? I'm not certain. And thus my analysis will consider only the themes heard in the soundtrack, and not where in the film these themes are used.
0:00-0:23 Rose's theme, cello and horn, both phrases, D-flat major to F major
0:23-0:34 Rose's theme, horn and flute, both phrases, starts in F major
0:34-0:52 Rose's secondary theme, both phrases, D-flat major, strings & flute & trumpet (2nd phrase only)
0:52-1:01 last-ditch fanfare, trumpets, F minor
1:01-1:13 Rose's theme, horn & strings with triangle, F major to A major
1:13-1:20 hints of Rose's theme, A major-ish
1:20-1:32 Last-ditch fanfare, woodwinds
1:32-1:50 Sarabande, A minor, horns, both phrases
1:50-2:02 Sarabande, flutes, quietly, both phrases
2:02-2:15 Crying motive
2:15-2:25 Last-ditch fanfare, B-flat minor, trumpets answered by horns, both phrases
2:25-2:33 Last-ditch fanfare, flutes, F minor, first phrase only
2:40-2:53 Sarabande, flute & muted trumpet, A minor, both phrases
2:53-3:02 Rose theme, Cellos, A major
3:08-3:21 Sarabande, trumpets, B-flat minor, both phrases
3:21-3:34 Last-ditch fanfare, full orchestra, B-flat minor
3:40-3:48 hints of Rose's theme
3:48-end unison B-flat orchestra hits
Track five is tricky. Yes, much of this music is heard in the film, but it appears to often be used non-linearly. This is another spot where there's a significant amount of editing that yields substantial differences between the soundtrack and the music heard in the film. Anyway, most of this music is found in the scene where Finn and Rose meet.
0:00-0:18 Rose's theme (first hearing on soundtrack), English horn, D-flat major, both phrases
I'm uncertain if/where this is used in the film. Roses's theme is heard so frequently throughout this scene where she meets Finn that it's incredibly difficult to discern which iteration in the film corresponds to which iteration in the soundtrack.
0:27-0:42 Rose's theme again, alto flute & horn, D-flat major
0:47-0:54 Dies irae hints in a low viola ostinato
This dies-irae-like ostinato is heard three times in the film: First, about 38 minutes in, is right after Holdo and Poe have their first confrontation. Second, about 41 minutes in, just after Rose shoots Finn. And third, just a moment later, when Finn says, “the fleet is doomed.” Again, it's pretty much impossible to discern which of the three is used in the soundtrack until I can get my hands on a copy of the film.
0:54-1:07 viola ostinato continues, hints of Resistance march (strings) added
1:07-1:18 hints of Resistance march, alto flute
1:37-1:52 Leia's theme, D-flat major, english horn and clarinet
1:52-2:12 resistance march, strings and horn, G# minor
2:12-2:32 Incidental with artificial fade out
The Music of Star Wars
These posts will help focus and develop my analyses of John Williams' film scores.