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Compare John Williams’ Original Score for One Key ‘Force Awakens’ Moment to the Movie Version

Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm

The best part of The Force Awakens, if I had to pick just one, is probably the fakeout when Kylo Ren is chasing Rey and Finn through the snowy forest, and the lightsaber he reaches for zooms past his face and into Rey’s outstretched hand. I went to see that movie three times in theaters, and every time that moment happened, people cheered. It’s made even cooler by the addition of John Williams’ “Force Theme,” also known as “Binary Sunset” from the original Star Wars. It was adopted somewhat as Luke’s personal theme, but generally signals the Light Side of the Force.

For the final cut of The Force Awakens, in that scene that theme is overlaid onto another bit of music from Star Wars to create a kind of theme sandwich, but one savvy YouTuber has replaced the audio with the original cue from the movie’s soundtrack, and there’s quite a difference.

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As YouTuber Bobby Roberts writes in the description:

When Rey grabs the lightsaber in the climax of The Force Awakens, John Williams’ *original* score for the moment (it can be heard on the official soundtrack in the track “The Ways of the Force”) was replaced in the final edit with tracked-in music from Star Wars (“Burning Homestead” on the Special Edition soundtrack, “The Return Home” on the original soundtrack LP). The music as scored doesn’t fit exactly with the final edit (hence the tiny silence before Rey’s saber ignites) possibly suggesting that the tracked music was chosen as much for its length as it was its emotional power, or that the scene was lengthened to accommodate the emotion of the tracked music.

Compare this to what the music sounds like in the movie:

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The two themes at once in the final cut kinda work, but I honestly like Williams’ original cue much better. And I dunno, I think the silence as Rey fires up the lightsaber totally works for that moment, because in that split-second you’re thinking “Is she gonna do it?” and then “SHE’S GONNA DO IT.” A couple seconds of tense silence would have been terrific.

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