Ludwig Goransson brought his talents to The Mandalorian score, making it one of many enjoyable things in the episode’s debut chapter.
When it was announced last December that Ludwig Goransson would helm The Mandalorian score, I was thrilled at how he would bring his unique spin to the Star Wars universe. The first episode gave a clear indication fans are in for a treat as the show progresses throughout the season.
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for Episode 1
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Goransson sets the tone for the Star Wars-themed space western with his eerie and mystifying theme for the show’s titular character. As soon as the Mandalorian makes his first full on-screen appearance, Goransson’s tribal-esque sound greets viewers for the first time. The theme sounds both intriguing and dangerous, a perfect summation of the character that we know little about right now.
Besides the theme, a standout track from Episode 1’s soundtrack — which is streaming now on major music services — is “HammerTime.” This song comes on as The Mandalorian watches The Armorer build his recently acquired Beskar Steel into a new shoulder plate.
The song isn’t just background noise for the welding, but also blares in the flashback to what seems to be the Mandalorian’s youth. “HammerTime” has a violent sound, and it helps illuminate the possible troubled past.
Finally, “You Are a Mandalorian” is another track that demands your attention, but in an uplifting way. We hear this song as Pedro Pascal’s character struggles to mount a Blurgg and wants to give up. But Kuiil, Nick Nolte’s character, reminds the Mandalorian of the people he comes from, and this inspires him to eventually tame the Blurgg — the Mandalorian’s success is reflected as the song swells and he sets out on his mission.
This moment whole moment of strife followed by perseverance is reminiscent of the training montages from the old Rocky films. They utilized scores that showcased the moment of breakthrough for the main character, just like “You Are a Mandalorian” does in Episode 1.
Connecting further to the Rocky franchise, Goransson scored both Creed spinoff movies to wide praise. Goransson excellently blended in iconic themes from the older Rocky movies with his own songs that favored synth and chimes.
The Mandalorian score presents Goransson again with the unique task of hitting on nostalgic themes while adding his own flair at the same time. As Episode 1 showed, the Swedish composer gets the feel of Star Wars and isn’t afraid to give us new sounds that guide us on our journey in the galaxy far, far away.
You can stream the score on Spotify, Apple Music or check it out on Amazon Music.
The series is available for streaming on Disney+.