The Mandalorian introduced a number of fresh elements into the Star Wars franchise, one of which was its impeccable score from composer Ludwig Göransson. Creating music is no easy task, especially when doing so for a franchise like Star Wars, which is known for its iconic beats. With this, it was inevitable that fans would compare and contrast his work with that of the great John Williams. But Göransson seems to be taking the comparisons in stride.
Ludwig Göransson, who was recently received an Emmy nomination for his work on The Mandalorian, is well aware that no composer can stack up to John Williams. However, Göransson set a high bar for himself and put plenty of time and effort into constructing every piece of music:
Obviously, no one’s going to write music that is as great as what John Williams did. I set a very high bar, [in] that every piece of music needs to hold a certain class, and needs to be, in itself, interesting. And also, even if it at times sounds easy, there’s always something that I would say is clever about it. I put a lot of thought in every piece of music, [so] that it has some musical value to it.
The Oscar-winning composer went on to explain to Deadline that he and his collaborators were quite thoughtful when it came to the relationship between the vast Star Wars universe and the music. Ultimately, they tried to find a balance between three key elements:
The world he created is so big, and there’s so many characters, so many planets and locations, so we always wanted to also put in an element of this tech and modern production, and also the big, sweeping, romantic orchestra. When we have all those three elements—the organic, the tech and the orchestra—we can really do anything we want.
The Mandalorian signified a change for the Star Wars series not only because it was the franchise’s first TV series but because it’s also one of the more intimate stories set within the world. Ludwig Göransson’s score helped to capture that subtle feel, yet it was also able to be grant and bombastic when moments called for it.
Within the last several years, Ludwig Göransson has made a name for himself within the realms of film and TV. A frequent collaborator of director Ryan Coogler, Göransson worked with the filmmaker on Fruitvale Station, Creed and Black Panther. He would ultimately score the Oscar for Best Original Score for their third collaboration. His latest work will be heard when Christopher Nolan’s Tenet hit theaters.
Ludwig Göransson definitely isn’t John Williams, and he doesn’t need to be. The rising composer has a unique style all his own, and The Mandalorian has been better for it. We’ll be waiting intently to see what he comes up with for Season 2.
The Mandalorian Season 1 is currently streaming on Disney+, while Season 2 is slated to premiere this fall.