Star Wars fans have caught the Baby Yoda bug, and it's all thanks to The Mandalorian. It's an infatuation those behind-the-scenes might have foresaw, as more and more reports come out from those who worked on the show on how they too were enamored with the little Force user. Music composer Ludwig Göransson admitted that the creature was so cute, it somewhat affected his work on the character in the early stages of the show.
Ludwig Göransson recently revealed that it took at least a couple tries to nail the little creature's music, as showrunner Jon Favreau had some concerns with his first attempt. The composer talked a bit about his process, and finding that perfect balance between composing music for Baby Yoda and The Mandalorian.
It was probably one of the most difficult parts of the musical language because Jon [Favreau] is extremely -- I mean he is a genius. And you know the baby is so extremely cute, right? So the first thing you do when you see in it, you refer to it as Baby Yoda, and I would say he’s the character that’s the most close to Star Wars. So early on, my initial thought was to have the music a little bit more in the feel of Star Wars and a little bit more, you know, I can’t… there’s only one John Williams, obviously. But, I think early on I was like, okay, well are we tying into the Star Wars universe with Yoda? I think I like my first pass was like a little bit more kind of a Star Wars-y sounding theme for the the Baby Yoda character. And Jon kept telling me, 'Hey, no, no, he is already visually so overly cute. So if we make the music cute as well, it’s going to be too much.' He was very adamant that the show, musically, is almost always being told from The Mandalorian’s perspective.
Ludwig Göransson had two notes from Jon Favreau. He couldn't make the music too cutesy for Baby Yoda, and Favreau also wanted the music to be something entirely on its own. That meant not parroting the work of John Williams, or trying to develop something that sounded similar. The final result of that is heard in the show, and certainly sounds like something entirely different that what we've heard in the Star Wars universe.
The music in The Mandalorian plays an important role, perhaps more so than other Star Wars series because so much of the show's emotion is driven by it. Ludwig Göransson told Collider the music needed to effectively convey emotion at all times, mainly because it's not always clear how the hero is feeling.
So, what [does] The Mandalorian think the first time he sees this little creature? He’s not like, 'Oh what, is this cute little thing?' He’s like, 'Oh shit, this is not what I signed up for. I don’t even know what this is.' So all the music throughout the show is coming from The Mandalorian’s perspective and it’s what puts his facial expressions on screen because you don’t see his facial expression. He’s wearing a helmet the whole time. So musically I need to tell the audience what his facial expressions are saying.
Pedro Pascal does a great job conveying emotion with his voice, but even the best acting in the world can only go so far under an emotionless mask. Ludwig Göransson helps that problem immensely by making the tension, fear, or any other emotion evident in the music of The Mandalorian, which may be why more aren't complaining about the helmet staying on.
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