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Soundtrack Review: Star Wars the Last Jedi
by Richard Jack Smith

Frankly, I delayed listening to John Williams’ Star Wars: The Last Jedi because there was little at stake. Quite simply, this score fails to delivers on the promise of its predecessors. The force might not be so proud.

Experiencing “The Rebellion is Reborn” a second time, a troubling truth develops. It feels extravagant minus the heart of more fundamental measures. What made A New Hope and Return of the Jedi two of the finest Star Wars soundtracks? Purity. Somehow, “The Rebellion is Reborn” comes across as an overachiever. To make an analogy, Michael Giacchino’s “Night on the Yorktown” from Star Trek Beyond dealt similar furies. Personally, I found the latter more gratifying.

As brilliant as ever, the fanfare/introduction behind “Main Title and Escape” synchronizes John Williams’ 1970s sensibilities with the 21st Century equivalent. A more powerhouse starter for 2017 would be hard to find. Adding to which, “Ahch-To Island” allows Rey’s Theme to resonate greater than The Force Awakens.

However, “The Fathiers” tacks on Golden Age pomp to generic harmonies. While some might embrace such self-fulfilling bluster, I was left unimpressed. Elsewhere, “The Cave” applies murky dissonance to the fold.

This has not proven to be the Star Wars experience from my youth but rather the diluted artistry of a grandmaster. Although “The Sacred Jedi Texts” promotes nostalgia, the inclusion of Yoda’s Theme at 2:47 felt insulting.

Super bad, “A New Alliance” veers dangerously close to self-parody as Williams applies second rate Attack of the Clones battle music. Too harsh? Well, when you adore the universe of Sith and Jedi warriors as I do, you expect a certain strength… especially from the composer who initiated the drone strike.

Does “The Battle of Crait” live up to similar themes for Yavin, Hoth and Endor? Despite creating a few splashes, these are mere phantoms of the maestro’s greatness.

As I settle the bill and decide a final rating for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it’s clear my heart has slumped. Overall, this disappointing soundtrack receives two stars.

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