Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer Music (John Williams)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer Music by John Williams (2015)

Back in November, JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy gave the world a first look into the new and upcoming world of Star Wars – a look that included John Williams.  Listening to the trailer (just listening), it is very promising for fans of the original trilogy’s music.  The thing about it is that, although the music is new, it has a quality about it that points back to ‘classic’ Williams – but with a modern recording.  It is definitly action oriented.  But then, the main theme.  Let’s just say that, even though it was not recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra (nor will the film be), it still sounds like the great theme we all know and love.  Give a listen to the music only below:

(NOTE:  In an attempt to remove the vocals and focus on the music, the makers of the two following videos have slightly lessened the quality of the music.)

More recently, the new Star Wars Dynamic Duo (Abrams and Kennedy) released a second teaser trailer at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in California.  Signs are pointing toward the music being a new recording for this trailer specifically by Williams himself.  This trailer’s music is quite intriguing.  First, it utilizes a familiar sound in the Force theme.  But after, it changes.  Although still in the same style of sound, it takes on a more powerful and less active place.  As it continues, a theme emerges.  Even though it is familiar music that we usually associate with triumph, there’s just something more powerful this time.  Not quite ominous, but powerful, dramatic, and impactful.  Now give it a listen as well to just the music (oh but fair warning – it is hard to listen to it and NOT hear Han Solo telling Chewie, and us, that they’re home).

Stay tuned for updates on new trailers and check out our Star Wars music series leading up to the release of the next film.  Do you think a teaser trailer for the Star Wars Spinoff film (now referenced as Anthology films) Rogue One will feature music by Alexandre Desplat?  Or do you think that will be held off until much later in the process, as with most films?

Star Trek: Into Darkness (Michael Giacchino)

Star Trek: Into Darkness Soundtrack Cover (2013)

Star Trek: Into Darkness Soundtrack by Michael Giacchino (2013)

Get it: If you are looking for a dramatic soundtrack that relies on themes and not generic sounds

Don’t get it:  If you want a soundtrack that leans toward light adventurous music

If you saw that this score was composed by Michael Giacchino and expected something along the lines of The Incredibles, think again.  He has gone deeper in this soundtrack than many of his other previous scores.  The very first track puts forward a strong beginning that immerses the listener in action.

Throughout, there is a fairly consistent and good use of the entirety of the orchestra instead of relying on one section alone to carry the score as many modern composers do.  The alternation between these sections creates a very heavily dramatic soundtrack.  The use of Giacchino’s main theme, with the build-up to it, is quite majestic.  In this soundtrack, parts reflect a whirlwind – almost frenzy – of confusion.  At other times, there are distinct parts where panic is mixed with focus, a match for the characters of the film.  The piano element and the manner in which it is used adds something missing from other films in the sci-fi/action film genre.  If the listener picks an emotion, odds are that somewhere, at some point, you will find it expressed in the music.

This is not generic action music by any means, but rather it is a very unique, though still intense, action music that has various themes throughout that tag it as a part of the Star Trek  universe.  The occasional hat-tip to Alexander Courage and Gene Roddenberry’s original theme is expertly done.  It may even get the listener very excited for Giacchino’s upcoming work on Jurassic World.  The way that he blends the original theme with the overall soundtrack is excellent.  One might even call the OST deceptively complex.

The themes from the first film, Star Trek (2009), are even stronger here and have even more of an impact.  It is fascinating how Giacchino makes some of the instruments cry while others scream and still others seem to support the rest with their strength.  Toward the end, specifically in “Kirk Enterprises”, there is a wonderful sense of renewal, almost as if the storm has passed.

Overall, an excellent soundtrack that does not disappoint anyone who enjoyed the soundtrack from the first 2009 one.  One word of warning, however.  This soundtrack does not contain the end credits to the film.  If that is not a deal-breaker for you, (which it alone shouldn’t be) then you’re good to go.

Click here to listen to a clip

Click here to shop for the soundtrack