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Ludwig Göransson's THE MANDALORIAN (2019-present)


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For all the challenges that 2020 brought us, the two albums for the second season of The Mandalorian were an encouraging reward at the tail end of an...interesting year. The music was, for me, love at

Due to the nature of this season's score release, I have concluded that while it is not exactly ideal to continue the thematic analysis precisely as I did last year, it would still be good to dissect

EDIT: Sorry to spam with so many Youtube links  .  Just wanted to get the discussion started on this score more in-depth!  Also, @Falstaft some potential new entries for your catalog     ---

Ahsoka's theme, hell yes!!! I want that epic rendition of the theme at the end

 

And that Yoda's theme was subtle but really nice

 

I guess this means this season (and the following ones) are gonna include more references to previous material (williams, but also kiner's).

 

I sense The Force theme playing sometime before the end of the season

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Just finished watching season 1.

 

Meh, it would've been cool if Gorannsson made a reference to the Imperial March when the stormtroopers from Moff Gideon arrive. Also, it would be nice a Force theme reference when that Mandalorian woman name-dropped the Jedi.

 

One season of music, and not a single reference to Williams' scores. This is slightly disappoiting, although I quite like Gorannson's style on hiw own.

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I’ve purposely stayed out of this thread since early S1. I though that the scoring was too much ‘western’ and not enough ‘space opera’, and I thought the score overall was ‘serviceable’.

 

Man, do I have to eat my words!

 

Ludwig’s main theme is quite possibly the most iconic and accessible piece of a film score to come out of Hollywood since The Imperial March!

 

Me and my wife are humming it constantly... not a day goes by!

 

My only lamentation is that the rest of the score seems to build of off pieces of the main piece, limiting how varied the score sounds. It’s a bit like eating the same chocolate bonbon but just covered in different toppings.

 

That said, the score still rocks, the main theme is made up by so many individual parts that - combined with different arrangements - it multiplies nicely.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, ymenard said:

Is this the first time that Göransson aknowledges somehow any previous material?

SE2 E2, March of the Resistance.

 

Ahsoka is the first quote of Non-Williams material (not counting Goransson's material obviously)

 

Yoda is the first quote of Original Trilogy material

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1 hour ago, rough cut said:

My only lamentation is that the rest of the score seems to build of off pieces of the main piece, limiting how varied the score sounds. It’s a bit like eating the same chocolate bonbon but just covered in different toppings.

 

Hmm, I don't think I agree with that.  Have you listened to all the individual Season 1 OST albums, or are you just going off what you remember from watching the episodes?  Because I think there's a ton of different ideas throughout the first season, it's definitely not all just variants on pieces from the main theme suite

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24 minutes ago, rough cut said:

I could definitely be wrong, I haven't dug in to the material at any depth, so I have full respect for any opinion that differs from mine in this respect.

 

Check out these 4 tracks right now!

 

 

 

 

 

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Disappointed some of the standout variations of the main theme are missing on the season 2 OST - especially from 'The Marshal', and instead replaced by some truly bizarre pieces like 'Enjoy the Fights'. 

On 11/30/2020 at 9:36 AM, Edmilson said:

 

 

Meh, it would've been cool if Gorannsson made a reference to the Imperial March when the stormtroopers from Moff Gideon arrive. Also, it would be nice a Force theme reference when that Mandalorian woman name-dropped the Jedi.

 

Don't expect any huge thematic developments, there's a chase scene in season two that cries out for something interesting and dynamic musically, but it's scored with some inscrutable beats that don't add anything to the scene. The Empire has no musical theme, either, it's all very anti-thematic music. 

 

Looking back, I admire season one's scores for their originality and the range of variations Gorannsson weaves with the Mando theme, not to mention some interesting electronic accompaniment, whereas season two really does seem like the pandemic has restricted the palette with which he used to color the first series.

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I feel quite disappointed with this first CD of the second season... But to be fair I'm not a huge fan of Göransson's score for the series, there're some good moments as @Jay showed but overall the heavy electronic style doesn't fit with my taste specially in the majority of the action music.

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@crumbsIt has a similar structure but it's definitely its own distinct theme. I'm not sure if it's just coincidental or if it's actually meant to resemble Kylo's theme. It only really sounds like Kylo's theme to me in certain statements. Other times it has a similar structure of melody but has a completely different feel. 

 

It's been woven though all of season 1 and 2's score in various forms. As @The Illustrious Jerry mentioned, Grogu already has his own theme in "Bright Eyes" (confirmed by Gorannson himself). This could be a second them for Grogu, bright eyes being the more playful one for his antics and this one a more noble/heroic one. Or as @Knight of Ren speculated, it could be a theme for the relationship between Mando/The Child

 

Here a big statement of it from season 1:

 

 

 

Hearing it in that moment at the end of the latest episode to me definitely cements it as representing (at least in part) the child. 

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8 hours ago, crumbs said:

So that was definitely an allusion to Kylo Ren's theme at the end, right? I noticed it much more prominently this time (can't remember who pointed out the more subtle previous reference).

The theme at the end was the Mando & Child motif, albeit a sinister variation with a darker ending. It was also the first music heard in the episode, before the mysterious theme for the baby played as the arrived at Tython. Last season it developed over the course of the pair’s relationship, with darker renditions foreshadowing various trials and particularly hopeful iterations appearing in the finale. It can be heard in the following tracks: Face to Face (Ch. 1), Jawas Attack (Ch. 2), A New Day (Ch. 3), Man of Honour (Ch. 7), A Warrior's Death (Ch. 8) and The Baby (Ch. 8). 

 

There was a melody that appeared to be much closer to Kylo's theme in Ch. 12, but it is very likely that it is a discreet version of the second half of Moff Gideon's theme, as it grows into that. 
 

EDIT: Forgot to mention that there is a part in Experiment that is also the second half of the full version of the Mando & Child motif, as noted by @Knight of Ren a few posts above.

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Here's my speculation in terms of what chapter each of these tracks belong to (and their rough order in-episode):

 

Spoiler

Chapter 13: The Jedi 

The Sorcerer - opening Ahsoka's theme and main title (possibly paired with cool arrival music)

The Story - Ahsoka talks to Mando about Grogu's past: soulful recorder, cute strings (possibly Yoda's theme quote)

A Mandalorian and a Jedi - Ahsoka and Mando raid the evil lady's village: wild sounds and percussion, kinda cool
Ahsoka Lives -  end of episode recorder fugue

 

Chapter 14 - The Tragedy

The Seeing Stone - arrival at Tython string-y idea, main title and magical music for Grogu on stone

The Armor - possibly Boba Fett's arrival?

Capture the Flag - Fennec, Boba and Mando fight the troopers and try to "capture" Baby Yoda first: cool idea for Boba Fett, strains of Gideon's theme, percussion

Troopers - Gideon's dark troopers land from the sky: hard electronics a la Mando Flies (Ch. 8)

 

Chapter 15 - The Believer

Come With Me - gang picks up Mayfeld at scrapyard: very different main title with prominent strings

Invaders on Their Land - percussion, cool idea and celebratory strings for rhydonium transport set piece

Brown Eyes - atmosphere for Mando and Mayfeld in cafeteria, picks up with action

 

Chapter 16 / miscellaneous

The Sword

A Friend

Rest In Peace

Activated

(possibly The Armor if it's not referring to Chapter 14)

 

Whereas with Volume 1 there was still some wiggle room, these track titles are pretty easy to decipher. I'd wager most of these are open-shut surefire bets for being correct.

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Waiting for Volume 2 to release like...

Actor Adam Pally on punching “Baby Yoda” in 'The Mandalorian': “[He's] a  bit of a diva” | Connect FM | Local News Radio | Dubois, PA

 

Here's the new credits piece to make the wait a little easier:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GzDN51owVhDub6HN3V84uxMNqltgOKT1/view?usp=sharing

 

Also looks like that Bart Oss fellow has confirmed the tracklist:

image.png

 

The Chapter 13 cues were exactly as we thought. The Chapter 14 ones look like they include The Armor, which may cover some Boba Fett stuff. Rest in Peace is quite clearly now a cute joke title for when they leave Bill Burr. And then the rest of the album is full out Chapter 16 stuff, and with good reason!

 

EDIT: 

 

It's up!!!! 

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Just got done watching the season finale.  Certainly the best score of the season, and if I'm not mistaken also the score of the season with the most new material and least tracked season 1 material.

 

All the cues were great, but man, that end credits cue was >chef's kiss<.  It better be on the OST album!

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Oh my god, 'Open the Door' is such lovely and nostalgic cue!! I'm in tears. Do we know the name of the motif we hear from 1:20 to end? I'm sure its linked to Grogu but don't know if we can say that's his theme.

 

What an amazing use of The Force theme. Goransson did an incredible job this season including older themes, but this was the cherry on the top, the best way to finish a great soundtrack.

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I must say that Chapter 16 is perhaps the best-scored episode of the series, featuring some of Goransson's finest work to date (a second Emmy in the bag IMO). I think it's safe to say that A Friend, Open the Door, and Come With Me are three of the best cues of his career. 

 

Anyways, I have some writing to do! ;)

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13 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

I must say that Chapter 16 is perhaps the best-scored episode of the series, featuring some of Goransson's finest work to date

 

Definitely agree!

 

 

~

 

 

Open The Door has The Force Theme


Come With Me is the cool end credits cue!

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3 hours ago, Yannick said:

Oh my god, 'Open the Door' is such lovely and nostalgic cue!! I'm in tears. Do we know the name of the motif we hear from 1:20 to end? I'm sure its linked to Grogu but don't know if we can say that's his theme.

 

I remember that motif mostly from when Grogu uses the force against the Flame Trooper

 

And at least with this release I feel like got everything important with what they could cover.

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3 hours ago, Yannick said:

Oh my god, 'Open the Door' is such lovely and nostalgic cue!! I'm in tears. Do we know the name of the motif we hear from 1:20 to end? I'm sure its linked to Grogu but don't know if we can say that's his theme.

You're on the right track! That is, as far as we've been able to tell, the theme for Mando & child, as it has essentially charted their relationship from early on in Season One. See my earliest explanation here:

 

On 5/11/2020 at 4:42 PM, The Illustrious Jerry said:

I had also considered, like yourself, if it could represent the development of Mando's relationship with the child, and from a certain point of view (hehe) this could still hold up. The first time we hear it is in an unreleased cue in full menacing mode as Mando takes his quarry to Navarro, where he'll eventually receive his next job (wink, wink). Then again in, if I recall correctly, Face to Face, when the client discusses the asset with Mando. While these both occur before we've met our beloved baby Yoda, they could, in a thematic sense, foreshadow the reveal of his character and, more specifically, his yet-to-be relationship with Mando. 

 

We then hear it in Jawas Attack as a synth and brass blast while Mando and baby Yoda walk through the desert. The next time it appears is in A New Day, where it again appears in a darker form, possibly signifying the forthcoming trials born out of Mando delivering the asset to the client. This is where my memory goes a tad off, but if I recall correctly, the next time we hear it is in those two emotional climaxes that you've cited, which are rather self-explanatory. When viewed in this light, I'd wager that it could work as, say, a Mando & Child motif. 

 

For context, we had originally shot for "travelling" after the first three episodes because that was the best connection we could make between the above dots. Now with the knowledge of the final two statements and the character development in the show, a more apt notation can be assigned. 

 

There have been a few more allusions to it this season as well, such as in Vol. 1's Experiment as well as in Vol. 2's The Seeing Stone. I'll be sure to provide a full breakdown for this album in the same format I did for Volume 1.

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The music in Luke's big Rogue One hallway scene was really bad. It was completely lacking in JW's badass quality or even a consistent sense of mystery which is what it seemed to be going for. 

 

Both visually and musically, Rogue One did it better. Gia 1, Ludwig 0.

 

I'm gonna listen to it again to see if it grows on me or sounds better without the visuals.

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I think I remember someone on here asking why didnt they use the force theme when Grogu used the force on the flame trooper? and someone else commented saying how they are probably saving the force theme for a big climactic moment later on and it would dilute the importance if they used it willy-nilly. Well boys, it sure payed off that was one satisfying Force theme when

Spoiler

Luke took off his hood!

 

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