Alien: Plans for The Tomita Planets as a soundtrack

leading from
Isao Tomita

1) Introduction to Tomita
Ridley Scott had been introduced to the music of Isao Tomita by his film editor Terry Rawlings who was fiddling around with the music as a temp score, and so wanted to use the music from his album The Planets, which was basically Tomita's electronic interpretation of Holst's Planets suite which was released in 1976.  Dan O'Bannon was also very interested in the music and so he and Ridley pushed to get Tomita's music used, but it didn't lead anywhere since Ridley was talked out of it for various reasons and indeed Tomita wasn't very well known to Fox Studios. Certainly his music hadn't been used in movies by then.

2) Ridley powerfully inspired
Ridley thought that the music was so outrageous and powerful that it brought him to feel that "Mars The Bringer of War" said all that there was to say about what the alien was. He would imagine many of them them with the capability of getting about.

Source quotes
  1. Dan O'Bannon: Fox did see a lot of similarity between Alien and Star Wars, and between Alien and The Omen. They picked it up in the first place because they figured they could tap two hot markets. A lot of people thought that John Williams should write the score. The director, Ridley Scott and I wanted a Japanese composer named Tomita. I understand that Jerry Goldsmith is doing the music now. (Starlog, June 1979, p21)
  2. Dan O'Bannon: Probably the reason Fox didn't get Tomita is their reluctance to deal with folks who are not 'movie people.' I had the same difficulty convincing Fox to get Giger to design the alien. (Starlog, June 1979, p22)
  3. Cinefantastique:  Was it Dan O'Bannon who was pushing for you to use the music of a composer named Tomita? Specifically Tomita's overwhelming rendition of Holst's "The planets", the Mars Bringer of War section?
    Ridley Scott: Actually I was, Tomita was first brought to my attention by editor Terry Rawlings, who was my sound editor on THE DUELLISTS. He brought in "The Planets." It was so powerful and outrageous. That music said all there was to say about what the alien was. Imagine many of them, a lot of them, having the capability of getting about. Christ almighty! I think Tomita's music evokes that. I was talked out of using it, finally, for various reasons, and went for more conventional genre route in film music. It worked out quite well, though. (Cinefantastique V9:1 p15)

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