STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2015)
How can one not look up to John Williams? The American conductor, conductor and pianist has a career spanning over 60 years, and have given the world some of the most popular movie themes. IndianaJones, JurassicParkand Harry Potter – yup, those tunes you’ve been humming to came from the talented mind of the 84 year old maestro.
What would the cinematic universe be without the Star Wars movies? Williams is the man behind the recognisable film scores as well. One of his Academy Award wins was for his work on the first Star Wars film in 1977. His other four were from Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Jaws (1975), E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982) and Schindler’s List (1993).
And with his work on the latest Star Wars movie directed by JJ Abrams, Williams is getting his 50th Oscar nomination. That’s a real feat, if you ask us.
The 77 minute soundtrack album is a must own for any film fan (especially if you already have the CDs from the six other Star Wars movies). Of course, as you’d expect, the album kicks off with the Star Wars’ opening text crawl and its signature fanfare (this is a cultural product, mind you) in “Main Title and The Attack on the JakkuVillage”. Venezuelan conductor and violinist Gustavo Dudamel is listed as a special guest conductor on this opening track – probably a great honour for the 35 year old musician. He is also involved in later cues like “The Starkiller”, “March of the Resistance” and the closing track “The Jedi Steps and Finale”.
Those who are fixated with themes from the previous movies would be eager to pick them out in this soundtrack. While there are hints of earlier music, this is a new composition altogether, and rightfully so. The track that will stick in your head is “Rey’s Theme”, a string and woodwind composition that is heavy with optimism and good feelings.
Elsewhere, there are action sequences like “Follow Me”, “The Falcon” and “Scherzo for X Wings’ which will set your pulses running. The baddie of this movie Kylo Ren doesn’t get Darth Vader treatment, but the ominous theme in “Kylo Ren Arrives at the Battle” does signify his bad ass attitude. Following that is “The Abduction”, a cue that is also aptly moody for the tortured villain.
Perhaps, the question most people have is whether this score is worthy of an Oscar win? Let’s just say, with Williams’ reputation in the film industry (check out the Internet to find out the countless American Film Institute, BAFTA. Emmy, Golden Globe and Emmy awards he has clinched), it doesn’t really matter any more.
Recommended Track: (6) Rey's Theme
Review by John Li