Dr. Moser and I met and decided on the truly important themes for the film:
Dr. Moser listened to my themes, and provided feedback. He was very complementary of my themes, but in general, expressed interest in expanding my harmonic progressions beyond I-IV-V. My book on leitmotifs mentioned that films are not made in a way that allows for constant tonal progression, and Dr. Moser believes that my themes and variations need to be more harmonically complex. Here are his more detailed comments regarding my themes:
We discussed in depth the cantina scene. The question becomes: how much diegetic music should I use? Should the entire sequence (10 minutes or so) be diegetic, with the band playing the entire time? Or should I try and transition to non-diegetic, “storytelling” music? We decided it might be best to write diegetic music (perhaps disco…) for the entire sequence. Han Solo’s theme will be introduced later, when he is standing with the ship, preparing for takeoff (00:54:35 in the film).
I timed Darth Vader’s theme to fit an important scene in the middle of the film that features his music (01:06:18 in the film, entitled “Secret Compartment”). The first section of this theme arrangement fits perfectly with Vader walking onscreen; I later wrote music for the remaining portion (him talking to an Imperial Officer and then storming away).
Leia’s theme presents a challenge because the role of her character is very two-faced. She is often used as a stereotypical “damsel in distress,” (a large chunk of the film is dedicated to tracking her down and rescuing her) but she speaks and acts very headstrong (after all, she is a leader and general for the Rebellion). I need to write a theme for her that is capable of reflecting both of these sides.
I was not a huge fan of the theme I had written for Luke Skywalker; I didn’t think it fit his character very well. However, I thought the melody had potential. Since Dr. Moser had greatly encouraged me to expand my harmonic complexity beyond I-IV-V, I decided to take the first phrase from Luke’s theme and use it to create a theme for the Force; I wanted it to be more mysterious than the original, so I re-harmonized it utilizing a chromatic mediant. Upon doing so, I further explored this one phrase, lengthening it to be much more harmonically complex than the original Luke theme, and creating (in my opinion), a very appropriate theme for the Force.
Once I had completed this theme for the Force, I worked on a “dark side” arrangement of the theme, and decided to write the cue that would most prominently feature the dark side arrangement, a scene called “The Death Star.” The dark side arrangement enters when Vader mentions the Force. I also added a small motive for Tarkin that plays when he enters during this scene. He strikes me as a “weasel-like” villain, and so I tried to choose a timbre that would represent his character. I really like this motive, I think it fits him well, and it works well with the overall “sound” I have created for the Empire. I’m still working on a Death Star motive, but I included a small section (13 seconds into the piece) that might work as its motive. Like Tarkin’s motive, it fits well within my Imperial theme, and can be orchestrated in many ways depending on the circumstances in the film.