The Mandalorian more than delivered on the promise of the first ever live-action Star Wars series. However, not even the most optimistic of fans could have predicted the show’s music would also live up to the franchise’s enormous standards. The iconic John Williams casts a long shadow of greatness. Yet composer Ludwig Göransson was more than up to the challenge, especially with his incredible theme song. It’s already one of the best tracks in the history of the galaxy far, far away. But it all began with an unlikely first step. That epic intro music, which required a 70-piece orchestra to finish, all began with a simple child’s instrument, the recorder.
In a new video from Variety, the Academy Award-winning Göransson (Black Panther) explained the process he went through while writing The Mandalorian‘s signature song. Show creator Jon Favreau gave him a month to compose the theme.
So Göransson decided to lock himself in a studio with his instruments as his guide, sort of like a Jedi trusting the Force. That led him to pick up his set of recorders. That’s how he found the track’s instantly memorable opening notes, which are reminiscent of music that would play when a lone gunslinger would prepare for a duel in a spaghetti Western.
But what’s even more unbelievable is that Göransson almost didn’t use what he came up with. He thought the sound was far too simple for the most epic space opera ever told. Fortunately he realized what he had and it became the basis for the song. From there he continued adding elements and instruments. Together they create a theme that mixes elements of Sergio Leone films, classic samurai movies, and sci-fi.
It’s only fitting an instrument like a recorder led to greatness. Like Mando discovered with Baby Yoda, sometimes you find something magical in an unlikely source.
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