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Comparison Of Music In Star Wars And Lord Of The Rings

1835 words - 8 pages

Comparison Paper: Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings

The first about a heroic journey to rescue a princess in space, the other a story of four courageous hobbits on a quest to Mount Doom, both Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings have become monumental films due to both their storyline and musical score. Having never seen either of these epic films, I decided now was a good of time as ever to acquaint myself with Luke and Frodo. Even more, having heard both soundtracks before, I was curious how they each fit into the films. Star Wars: A New Hope opens with the oppressive Darth Vader boarding a rebel ship. The story then follows the life of Luke Skywalker and his allies as they try to ...view middle of the document...

In Star Wars, the music as a whole had strong emotional strength and was consistent throughout the film. Each theme used throughout the film developed an emotional connection between the audience and each character. For example, evil has come to be associated with The Imperial March, also known as Darth Vader’s theme, as the Stars Wars: Main Theme is recognized world wide as one of adventure and excitement. Star Wars was an original score composed by John Williams specifically for the film. However, John Williams has a particular and recognizable style that is reflected throughout the music. In addition to its originality, the score from Star Wars is very sincere and comes across as both emotionally heartfelt and genuine. Throughout the film, there are very few scenes when music is not heard, such as when C-3PO and R2D2 are communicating. However, whenever one of the main characters is on screen, there own personal theme, or a variation of their theme, is usually heard in the background. Without the music, the film would not have had the same impact on the audience, as it supports the mood through different styles of music. For example, whenever the imperial soldiers are seen on the screen, the music is very militaristic and march like, evoking emotions of dread and war. The music also plays a very heavy role in supporting the characters, as mentioned above, through each character’s individual theme. In addition, the music as a whole is very appropriate for what it occurring on screen during the film. One of the functions in the film that was extremely effective was the music’s ability to relax the pace of a fast-paced film. For example, the first scene in the film is Princess Leia’s ship being attacked by the imperial forces. The pace stays fairly quick until Luke is not granted permission to attend the academy to become a pilot. Rather upset, Luke leaves his house and ventures outside to watch the sun set. The music played during the memorable “sunset scene” reflects Luke’s feelings of isolation through a French horn solo, which, in turn, drastically relaxes the pace. A second function that plays an important role in the film is the music’s ability to parallel and underscore the action taking place on screen. For example, when the first fight is taking place between Princess Leia’s ship and the imperial forces, the music is loud and percussive. The use of percussive scoring throughout the gunfight portrays the percussive nature of an actual gunfight.
Much like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings also had vast emotional strength that grew throughout the film. For example, at the beginning of the film, when the audience has not yet made an emotional connection to the story or the characters, the music is more depictive and introductory. By the end of the film, when the audience is fully involved, the music is very emotional as the hobbits set off on their pivotal journey. Composed by Howard Shore, the score was entirely original and written...

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