"Anakin's Theme" from The Phantom Menace vs. "Atreju's Quest" from The NeverEnding Story
John Williams' theme for Anakin Skywalker bears striking similarities to one of Klaus Doldinger's "Atreju's Quest" from the 1984 movie The NeverEnding Story.
Both share a delicate, youthful innocence and a subdued sense of adventure - or perhaps a sense that adventure is in the not-too-distant future.
Musically, the two share very nearly intervallically identical openings, and share strong rhythmic similarities.
This resemblance is one aspect I've added to my "Music of Star Wars" presentation for tomorrow's 2-hour version of the program.
Friday, 28 October 2016, 10:00 a.m. - noon
Middlesex Community College, Chapman Hall, 100 Training Hill Road, Middletown, CT
The Music of Star Wars: A Celebration of John Williams' Film Scores
Often called a “space opera”, one aspect of the Star Wars films that helped make them such a pop culture phenomenon was composer John Williams' ultra-romantic orchestral score. This 60-minute multimedia presentation will showcase the music of all seven movies, citing historical precedents and comparing musical influences with the twofold purpose of (1) illustrating how the music developed, and (2) enlightening listening and furthering enjoyment of the music.
The four notes that conclude "Anakin's Theme" are nearly identical to the opening few notes of "The Imperial March", sharing pitches, intervals, and contour, and differing only in rhythm (and only slightly at that) and character ("Anakin's Theme", of course, doesn't have the ominous power that "The Imperial March" has).
This connection is made very clear during the end credits of The Phantom Menace, in which John Williams repeats those last few notes several times in a row, as if to say, "In case you missed the foreshadowing, here it is again!" This can be heard in the YouTube video below around 7:45.
The Music of Star Wars
These posts will help focus and develop my analyses of John Williams' film scores.