There are few film scores more recognizable than those of the ‘Star Wars’ movies. The music from composer John Williams has even transcended the franchise in some ways. How many of us instantly associate evil with the initial notes of the Imperial March? Or a sense of grandeur with the theme that comes with the title credits scrolling across the screen? Now Williams is returning to contribute more of his work to the Star Wars legacy with ‘The Force Awakens’ leading some to believe that the composer also put together to musical accompaniment of the latest trailer. Turns out, that’s not the case.
Composers tend to work closely with directors to give a consistent feel to their work. John Williams, for instance, works regularly with both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. When I heard that Williams didn’t do the trailer’s music, my first suspect was Michael Giacchino, who regularly scores the films of J. J. Abrams. Giacchino has scored the new ‘Star Trek’ films and ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ to become a pro at bringing in classic themes and expanding on them. I also considered composer John Ottman who reworked John William’s ‘Superman’ themes for the 2006 film ‘Superman Returns,’ but then realized these composers probably don’t have time to work on a trailer for a film they aren’t composing.
According to /Film, Frederick Lloyd says that he contributed music to the second half of the trailer, called the “Force Theme.” John Samuel Hanson of ‘Confidential Music’ worked on the first half which is essentially a take on Han and Leia’s love theme. Trailer editors Josh Dunn and Brent Rockswold helped with the edit of the trailer. There may be other involved as well. About 57 seconds in the John Williams influence really breaks in with heavy percussion and bass.
If you want to take in the music of the final ‘The Force Awakens’ trailer without all that pesky dialogue, here is a music-only version released by Disneyland and revised by Tim Gonzales.