The seventh episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian shifts the focus to Ludwig Göransson and his fantastic score – and it just might be my favorite episode yet.
Compared to the previous six episodes, this one takes a far more streamlined and narrow focus; only three people are interviewed (Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and Göransson), and the focus is clearly on Göransson and his score.
We see his process for developing the iconic theme to the show, as well as plenty of other pieces of music. We see him writing, playing various instruments, composing, and then overseeing the orchestra as it plays and brings it all to life. It’s fascinating to see Göransson’s process in going about making music that’s very distinct, yet feels true to Star Wars all at the same time. There’s discussion between Favreau, Filoni, and Göransson, but much of the dicussion in the episode is just Göransson walking us through his process, his thinking, and how John Williams’ work (particularly on Star Wars) got him into composing.
I think part of the reason why this episode is so great is that it blends together so much of what makes Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian one of the best behind-the-scenes looks you’ll see: it blends a stunning look behind the curtain of the process, it features truly entertaining commentary from the people involved, and it explores how it honors the legacy of Star Wars while taking it further.
In fact, just like in almost every episode, Dave Filoni has a moment where he reminds us all about what Star Wars really is. He spoke about how the familiarity with Star Wars both helps and hurts them in making it, using the illustration of a stormtrooper: if a stormtrooper shows up, they don’t have to explain it (like George Lucas did), because everyone knows it. That helps them… but it can also hurt, and Filoni’s words here to Göransson are worth reading for all Star Wars fans:
“Well and at the same time it can also hurt us because people almost put too much grandiose importance on things that should be fun or it should be light or it should just be allowed to play. Yes, it’s Star Wars, but if we lose focus on it being this exciting adventure that is mainly directed at kids, as George always held to that, then we’re changing it into something it’s not meant to be because we’re trying to cherish it too much we’re holding it too tight. And the same could have been true of the music. You know, when you did it, if we just stuck to what was always done and didn’t take a chance to do something different and yet honor what was there. It’s a very fine line.”
As the show closed, Filoni mentioned how Star Wars is generational, and that there are kids growing up who will have such a powerful connection to the music of The Mandalorian, and they will become the next generation carrying on Star Wars stories.
John Williams is the secret behind Star Wars’ success, and Ludwig Göransson is the secret behind The Mandalorian. His score is absolutely tremendous, and I loved getting a look at how he went about composing it. It’s my favorite episode yet.