It’s been a week since I wrote my review of John Williams’ score for Revenge of the Sith. In that review, I expressed great disappointment in the score, and I accused it of being “boring” and largely without thematic development or direction.
Since then, I’ve had several constructive conversations with readers via e-mail as well as with my wife, and those conversations caused me to decide to take a few days completely off from the score, and then to revisit it. Here’s what I found.
When I sat back down, I decided to revisit the Episode 1 and 2 scores first, to get a taste of where Williams was taking the music. I found in Episode 1 that he was trying to sound like the John Williams of the late 70s and early 80s, and essentially trying to write an original trilogy score. While he succeeded in some part, I feel that the score was a bit flat overall. In Episode 2 he seemed to abandon that approach, and wrote a score in his current scoring voice. Thus, the score felt natural, had an energy to it that Episode 1 rarely had, and made for an interesting listen on CD. The only thing missing? Not a whole lot of themes carried over from the original trilogy or Episode 1, except for the force theme.
And so I arrived back at Episode 3. And you know what? This score is actually pretty good. In fact, I would say that, on CD, it’s equally as good as Episode 2. It’s just totally different. You can tell that Williams was writing for a movie that actually had something to grasp onto, unlike Episode 2. This score has a TON of drama to it. I think that’s what I missed during my initial listening (and what I wasn’t listening for, thus my negative taste for it initially).
Now, don’t get me wrong. This score sounds NOTHING like the original trilogy scores (except for a section of track 9). And, if you haven’t liked either of the prequel scores, there’s a very good chance that you won’t like this score either. BUT, that being said, I am changing my rating of this from 2 1/2 stars to 4 stars.
Rating: **** out of ***** (4 out of 5).
NOTE: This is a followup to my original review, which can be found here.