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
Much of the first two minutes of this track are not heard in the film – or at least not linearly.
0:05-0:32 Force theme, all four phrases, alto flute? English horn? Both?, D minor
0:48-0:57 Main theme, Flute answered by clarinet, C Major. Might this have been used in the opening sequence? Seven minutes into the film, in between the First Order firing on the resistance base and Poe disobeying Leia's order, the main theme is heard – but it's not in the soundtrack. That means the editors must have borrowed that main theme from somewhere else. I suspect it's from here, though I'll have to wait for the DVD release to confirm or deny that hypothesis.
1:12-1:35 Leia's theme, D-flat major, 1st and 2nd phrases, flute with tremolo strings.
The rest of this track is used linearly in the film:
1:50-1:58 Rey melody, E-flat minor, flute, 1st phrase, quietly. This during Maz's “find the code breaker” monologue. Why Rey's melody is heard during Maz's scene puzzles me...
2:30-2:40 Ren's wannabe motive, trombone, C minor, quietly. This happens during Reylo's first ForceTime conversation
2:41 Orchestral crescendo to quiet
3:01-3:17 Sarabande, A minor, woodwinds, both phrases.
3:17-3:25 Crying motive, horn, A minor.
3:51-4:08 Force theme, e minor, english horn? Flute? Both?, 1st and 2nd phrases
4:08-4:27 incidental horn passage sounds very much like Jurassic Park
0:00-0:15 Incidental. Descending clarinet solo followed by active strings. Leia: “Find a new base.”
0:15-0:49 Ren's Power motive as The First Order arrives, tracked through hyperspace
There appears to be some major editing in this track because there are discrepancies between the film and the soundtrack. In the film, the desperation motive is heard between the arrival of The First Order and the Resistance March below. That appears to have been edited in from another part of the music as it's absent from the soundtrack.
0:49-0:59 Resistance March (strings, d minor) as resistance scrambles a defense.
0:59-1:22 Resistance March (brass, E-flat minor). This was not used in the film as far as I can tell.
1:22-1:42 Desperation motive. This was used in the film.
1:42-1:46 Ren's Power motive, trombone. Omitted from film.
1:46-1:50 Ren's Power motive, horn. Included in film.
2:05-2:15 Leia's theme, D-flat major, horn, 1st phrase only
More editing here - a LOT more:
In the film, there's a prominent ascending then descending triplet line in the trumpets, but it's not heard on the soundtrack. I wonder where that came from...?
Also, in the film, Ren's power motive is again heard fortissimo by horns just before Ren doesn't fire on Leia. But that's not heard in the soundtrack. I suspect in this case, the editors copy/pasted from 1:46.
And finally, in the film, the first phrase of Leia's theme is heard in the strings in between Ren's power motive and the pause as Ren hesitates. Again, that's missing from the soundtrack.
2:23-2:34 Orchestral crescendo leading to dramatic pause as Ren hesitates shooting Leia.
In the film, this sequence took a few minutes as we see Ren hesitate, then his colleagues fire anyway, the bridge explodes, and we see Leia sucked out of the ship into empty space. But in the soundtrack it's much faster.
2:34-2:56 Leia's theme (piano? harp? both? I can't quite tell), 1st & 3rd phrases, as Leia saves herself.
2:56-3:06 Force theme, C# minor, strings, 1st phrase only
3:06-3:29 Leia's theme, strings with horn answers, E Major
3:29-3:35 Force theme, first phrase, horn, e minor, as Leia is safe
3:443:58 Rey's melody, quietly and slowly by harp, 1st and 2nd phrases elided, as Leia drops Rey's beacon and Finn picks it up.
0:08-0:38 Low male voices for Snoke. This is also reprised from The Force Awakens, but I'm not sure I can call it a “theme”.
0:38-0:49 Low, scratchy viola as we see Ren approach Snoke
0:49-1:12 Wannabe motive x2 by horn. Snoke: “When I found you...”
1:12-1:20 Imperial March. Snoke: “A new Vader. … I was mistaken.”
1:31-1:38 Brooding motive, bass clarinet
1:38-1:43 Power motive x1, muted trombone, e minor, as Ren takes off his mask.
1:43-2:06 incidental music leads to orchestral crescendo. Snoke: “You fail!”
2:06-2:22 more incidental music
2:22-2:30 low voices again
2:30-2:41 brooding, x2, cellos
2:41-2:57 brooding continues, wannabe superimposed. Snoke: “You're no Vader, just a child.”
2:57-3:17 Power motive, horn, x2 as Ren smashes his helmet
3:16-3:27 wannabe, horn
0:00-0:50 meandering rendition of Jedi Steps, cellos, G minor
0:51 Orchestral crescendo to silence just before Luke tosses the saber
0:52-1:48 incidental music is mixed with Jedi Steps as Rey retrieves the saber and we see porgs for the first time.
In the film, this track was split in two: the begging through 1:48, and 1:48 to the end. In between is Snoke's “When I found you...” monologue, which corresponds to track three from the soundtrack.
1:48-2:02 Force theme, C# minor, 1st and 2nd phrases, horn. Rey: “We need Luke Skywalker.”
2:44-2:56 Rey's theme, D minor, 1st and 2nd phrases, strings. Luke: “Go away.”
2:56 Sarabande, A minor, 1st and 2nd phrases, horn. Luke drinks milk.
3:18-3:26 Crying motive, horn
3:30 key change from A minor to B-flat minor
3:34-3:44 last-ditch fanfare, 1st and 2nd phrases, trumpet, Luke goes fishing
3:44-3:53 last-ditch fanfare, 1st phrase only, flutes
3:53-4:12 sarabande, 1st and 2nd phrases, A minor, brass lead. Luke: “You're wasting your time.”
The Music of Star Wars
These posts will help focus and develop my analyses of John Williams' film scores.