Track 01 – Main Titles and Escape
0:00-1:27 The B-flat major main title during the opening crawl is the same as every episode.
1:28-1:36 The brief, meandering piccolo solo is identical to A New Hope.
1:36-1:37 The rhythmic ostinato is very similar to that used in A New Hope.
1:37-1:58 Incidental music as we see the resistance evacuating their base.
1:58-2:06 Two fortissimo renditions of Ren's motive in the horns. This corresponds to the arrival of the star destroyers. Leia: “Oh no!”
2:06-2:18 A meandering iteration of Ren's brooding motive in the low strings as General Hux says “We've caught them in the middle of evacuating.”
2:18-2:41 Incidental music as Poe and Hux have their “can you hear me now” conversation. Hux: “No terms, no surrender.”
2:41-2:46 Rebel fanfare in A Major as the star destroyer starts firing on Poe.
2:46-3:02 Incidental music as TIE fighters are released and the star destroyer fires on resistance base.
Like all the Star Wars films, The Last Jedi soundtrack differs significantly from the music actually heard in the film – and this is the first such instance. In the movie, the main theme is heard just after the star destroyer fires on the resistance base and right before Poe disobeys Leia's order, but that is absent from the soundtrack. Immediately following, Poe's theme is heard in the film but not in the soundtrack. Both instance beg the question: If not written for The Last Jedi, from where does this music originate? Obviously Poe's theme has to come from The Force Awakens (no other film uses that theme), but what about the main theme? That could come from any of the previous films. But I won't be able to positively identify it until The Last Jedi is released on DVD and I can compare side-by-side excerpts.
3:02-3:12 The Resistance March is heard as the good guys mount their attack. “Bombers approaching.”
This is a new triple-meter version of the march – to my knowledge, one not heard in The Force Awakens. And actually, I'm not sure it's heard in The Last Jedi, either. I'll have to wait for my next viewing to confirm, but I believe the Resistance March is only heard once in the film's opening sequence even though it's heard twice in the soundtrack. I *think* the iteration heard on the soundtrack at 3:23 – not this triple-meter version – is what's heard in the film.
3:18-3:23 Resistance March opening
3:23-3:32 Resistance March in full orchestral and in quadruple meter
4:35-4:49 Desperation motives (horn x4, woodwinds x4, strings x3) as the destroyer targets the resistance cruiser
5:02-5:42 Horn calls signify all but one resistance cruiser destroyed
5:42 Dramatic pause following orchestral build up
5:43-6:11 Incidental music. Goes into slow motion as the last bomber pilot kicks the ladder, knocking down the detonator.
6:12 Another dramatic pause as it looks like the pilot didn't catch the detonator as it fell.
6:13-6:35 This sounds a bit like Battle of the Heroes from Revenge of the Sith, but I suspect the similarity is coincidental. If it is Battle of the Heroes, then this is the only prequel theme to be heard in The Last Jedi.
6:35-6:52 Incidental music as she DOES catch the detonator and drops the bombs, destroying the dreadnought. This is pretty glorious and compelling music even though it's incidental rather than thematic.
6:52-6:58 Force theme by strings and horn symbolizes the resistance victory.
6:58-7:25 Incidental music after the battle
The Music of Star Wars
These posts will help focus and develop my analyses of John Williams' film scores.