The Mandalorian has already made plenty of Star Wars history. It is, of course, the first live-action Star Wars television series in the franchise’s history. It has garnered accolades left and right. Among those accolades are an astonishing fifteen Emmy nominations in just its first season. One of the most refreshing aspects of the show, however, is the haunting and enchanting Mandalorian score from Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Göransson.
As we’ve previously discussed, the show’s score takes an intentional departure from the general Star Wars themes with which we’ve become so familiar over the course of the past forty-plus years. But…. We’re into a whole new era of Star Wars now. Gone are the Skywalkers and the Palpatines, some would perhaps say necessarily so. So how do John Favreau and Dave Filoni set The Mandalorian apart while staying true to Star Wars at the same time? One way was through the Mandalorian Score.
Setting the Mandalorian score apart
Bringing in composer Ludwig Göransson was but one of Jon Favreau’s many strokes of genius when it comes to the show. The blend of traditional and electronic music formats the composer utilizes is audibly mesmerizing. Watching him perform the Mandalorian score (above), set against the show’s many backdrops, is almost hypnotic. In that aspect, though decidedly different than the scores of John Williams, it is also very much the same.
Ask a Star Wars fan to close their eyes and listen to a John Williams piece from Star Wars. In most cases, they’ll be able to identify and describe the scene over which the notes play. That’s the power of music in Star Wars. Göransson captures that same musical depth with the Mandalorian score. It’s not that you can simply imagine the scenes of the show; you can feel them. John Williams scored his final Star Wars film with The Rise of Skywalker. The franchise, however, cannot truly move forward without some semblance of the evocative musical overlay Williams provided for so long.
That’s no easy feat, but, Göransson deftly pulls it off with his innovative compositions. So much so, in fact, that he captured one of the aforementioned fifteen Emmy nods for his work. The Mandalorian score earned a nomination for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series. We’ll find out September 20th if it wins…. About three weeks after that, we’ll hear Göransson’s work again as Season 2 premiers on Disney+. With any luck, we’ll also get a sample when the sophomore season’s trailer drops likely later this month.