'Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian' Episode 7: 'Black Panther' composer Ludwig Göransson decodes Star Wars music
The episode focusses on how Ludwig Göransson made his mark on the musical legacy of the cult franchise
Disney+ has a massive hit on its hands with 'The Mandalorian'. Also known as 'Star Wars: The Mandalorian' the American space web television series created by Jon Favreau follows the title character, a Mandalorian bounty hunter named Din Djarin, and his exploits beyond the reaches of the New Republic. And with 'Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian' we go behind-the-scenes to understand what makes the show such a rage with the viewers.
For all its grandeur, 'Star Wars' always revolves around a more quiet heart. This episode opens with the composer for 'The Mandalorian' Ludwig Göransson (also credited for 'Black Panther') messing around with his recorders. It's a quiet opening, and as he explains the instruments, he picks up one recorder and begins to play – and it is instant, recognizable magic – the opening notes of 'The Mandalorian.'
Though the episode continues to flash between past 'Star Wars' behind-the-scenes moments, clips from 'The Mandalorian' and round table interviews with Favreau and Dave Filoni, what it largely is, is a more quiet focus on Ludwig Göransson, and how he brought the magic of 'The Mandalorian' to life through the musical score. In a memorable opening sequence, he walks the viewer through his creation of the 'The Mandalorian' theme, instrument by instrument, from the opening notes of the recorder to the final cutaway, and orchestral fanfare.
The episode talks about how Göransson became involved with 'The Mandalorian,' on a recommendation from 'Black Panther' director Ryan Coogler, who happens to be Göransson's college roommate. Göransson's unique musical style is exactly what Favreau was looking for, wanting 'The Mandalorian' to still fit into the 'Star Wars' universe, but be recognizably different. To this end, Göransson was given a lot of freedom to experiment with the music, play with it, push it in new directions – all of which, worked out magnificently.
The score for 'The Mandalorian' has its own unique challenges – from the pressure of fans with high expectations of the 'Star Wars' legacy and the fact that each episode of the series is so tonally unique that a different theme for each episode was required, with the theme of 'The Mandalorian' running through it all, tying it together. Göransson locked himself in his studio for a month after reading the scripts, just to figure out the score by creating intimacy with his instruments, and it's that personal touch that helps make the music of the show so iconic.
Even the inclusion of the 80-person orchestra is all about that human touch. Göransson's wife, and unborn son, were a part of the live scoring experience too. Shots from the very first scoring day on January 29, 2019, are included in the episode, and you can see how the magic is being brought to life. Göransson's got a lot of charisma in his passionate explanations of what makes the music of 'Star Wars' so special, and how he put his own mark on the legacy.
The music of 'The Mandalorian' was an instant hit with the fans and will define a new generation of 'Star Wars' audiences as much as John Williams' original score did. To be able to see the love, attention, and detail that was put into its composition is a real treat, making this episode one of the more enjoyable ones in the 'Disney Gallery' series.
The next episode of 'The Mandalorian' airs on June 19 on Disney+.