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The Story Behind the Music of the Official Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer.

Star Wars Music

Who composed the music to the last Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens trailer? We’ll give you a hint – it wasn’t John Williams (who is still hard at work finishing up the soundtrack). Take a look ahead to see who worked on repurposing some of Williams’s old work while weaving it in with new material.

 

First, I would recommend that you listen to a music-only version of the trailer that was officially sanctioned by Disneyland:

 

 

Music fanatics may be familiar with some of the subtle nuances of the music John Williams writes, and were able to figure out that this was music inspired by his work (as opposed to being his own work). SlashFilm did their homework on the subject and were able to figure out the people who were involved with composing music for the trailer itself.

 

No, it’s not newly composed music by John Williams as some others have reported (we haven’t heard that yet, trust me). But it is remix and reworking of mostly previous music, along with some new material created just for the trailer, and not by Williams. I don’t know exactly who arranged the music we hear (you probably know by now that there are a bunch of composers who create music just for trailers).

However, we do know some of the people involved: Frederick Lloyd says he has contributed music to the latter half of the trailer, namely the “Force Theme,” while John Samuel Hanson of Confidential Music worked on the first half of the trailer music. Trailer editors Josh Dunn and Brent Rockswold helped complete the edit of the trailer you see before you. But we’ve heard there are others involved with both the edit and the music.

 

 

In any case, as great as the trailer music was, it only makes me even more excited to hear what John Williams has in store for us in less than 60 days.

 

 

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  • Robb

    My first thought was that this music was a departure from Williams’ usual style. Reminded me more of Zimmer’s Batman soundtracks. I liked it, but it sounded different than what I was expecting from a Star Wars movie. I’m excited to hear the real soundtrack.

  • Ben Smith

    Glad this is getting pointed out. I absolutely loved the music composed for the second trailer especially when “Yoda and the Force” started. This trailer’s music was good but it lacked the humanity of Williams’ scores.

  • Boberg

    Interesting. I figured that there were more people involved, but I was happy to hear Williams take a more “modern” approach, as I though it was him. Damn, I who have been praising his for this trailerscore… haha.

  • KalKata

    I absolutely loved the trailer music! Reminds me of the original trilogy. I like that it’s slighty modern, fits in with the idea of old/new cast and story. It would be boring if it were exactly the same. Can’t wait to hear the rest!!!

  • Kenny Ritchie

    Listening to the music only trailer, I picked up would could be construed as a nod to Star Trek the original TV series theme tune (around 1:05), the female soprano.

    • 3dspiderbat

      Agreed, I loved that little touch, ST-inspired or not. Williams’ latter-day SW scores have featured heavy use of chorus, so perhaps we’ll get something similar in the real thing.

      • Kenny Ritchie

        I really hope so. Really love that trailer music.

  • johnnythunders

    So this music won’t be on the soundtrack?!?!?!? If so, then that’s a major bummer. The trailer version of “Han Solo and the Princess” is chilling and brings me to tears every time. I hope a full version gets released somehow.

  • Me Vil

    Epic!!! In the trailer i didn’t appreciate like that! The power and importance of music in films!

  • Luke

    Knew it!!! Although I had thought maybe Giacchino had been involved, there were a lot of thematic similarities to the Trek reboot…

  • Crixxxx

    I knew it wasn’t Williams. Not his style at all. Still excellent renditions of the classic themes, though.

  • junderwood13

    I love the war drums; 1, 1-2-3-4 beat with the accent on the fourth beat.

  • jazzsax

    I like this version better than the one that aired on Monday night. Leaves more to the imagination.

    • Saudade

      I do too

  • Astro

    I never thought it was Williams, but all the comments made me second guess myself.

  • David Hunter

    I’m kind of glad I think this wasn’t William’s music. I loved the start, and the little shot of Kylo Ren was cool, but the rest was very cool, very emotion inducing, but not quite Star Wars. In fact I think the music helped make it sound a lot like Star Trek to me. Think they did the Star Wars tune using a horn very similar to the Star Trek theme, making them sound quite similar… Anyways the music was still fantastic for that trailer, but I’m glad this wasn’t William’s take on the music for the actual film.

    • Samuel Wallace

      Hey, it’s a trailer, so I’m not too worried either.
      At times like this, I think of the trailer for LOTR: The Two Towers, that had stock music that was shit, nothing compared to Howard Shore’s compositions.
      Though this trailer — for a trailer — has a good tune,

      • Peter Jackson

        It wasn’t stock music, it was actually a freshly recorded version of Requiem for a Dream done specially for that trailer. I think it’s called Requiem for a Tower.

        • Samuel Wallace

          well it’s stock music now… I’ve heard it 3 or 4 times since then

    • rebelgb

      Seriously enough with the Star Trek comparisons. Im a huge Star Trek fan and own all the movies and the soundtracks. This music sounded like Star Wars to me.

  • Paweł Cichoński

    There is only one thing that worries me now. The day the movie hits the cinema… we should all avoid the Internet until we see the movie. I love this place… but just because some idiot might jump in and said “what happens in it” – i would rather avoid it.
    Sth like when I went to Armageddon with Willis to the cinema and before I entered the room – guy walking out of the cinema said next to me “Shame Willis died at the end”.

    • Xtraflo Xsane

      I agree, but that’s going to be incredibly difficult.

      • Mathew

        I agree it will be difficult! Maybe a good test for humanity, to prove we can live without the internet for a few days? :)

      • Paweł Cichoński

        ADMINS OF THIS PLACE SHOULD DISABLE COMMENTS FOR A WEEK OR TWO AFTER THE PREMIERE OF THE MOVIE. OTHERWISE THIS PLACE WILL BE FLOODED WITH SPOILERS.

        I mean we all search for the info about the movie… out of excitement and that is probably we would like to know if JJ is not putting Jar Jar there. But there is a line, I just don’t want to spoil all the fun of not knowing how the movie will eventually end.

        • Darth Mickey

          I understand what you mean, but it wouldn’t really help. People want to be able to discuss the movie and the internet will be flooded with info. Maybe there should be a spoiler warning screen before entering new articles to remind you again about the fact that there could be spoilers. But then again, we all know that after the 17th this site will contain many spoilers. Maybe we should just avoid visiting this site until we’ve seen the movie ourselves. But then again my tickets (plural) are for the 16th at 10:00 (Europe), so I will have seen it ;-)

          • Paweł Cichoński

            100%. When you see it you want to share your emotions here and read what others thought or did they liked it or what scene did they enjoy. If you haven’t seen it – probably there will be as you said a warning screen. That makes sense. 10:00? Nice one. I’m in the cinema at 19:30 in UK :)

        • muskymuskmusk

          Instead of disabling comments, why don’t you just NOT READ THEM?

    • Josiah Johnson

      I won’t be on this site from Dec. 14 until I see it on the 18th

    • John C Newbern IV

      Exactly! The reviews will start dropping on the 15th as well so I’m going on an internet blackout all that week until Friday the 18th!

    • DeathStar Indie Contractor

      It would be like waiting in line for Empire and some guy leaves the theater telling his buddy “I can’t believe Darth Vader is Luke’s father!”….

      • swiss73

        Which is what exactly what happened to me as a 7 year old kid!! My mate at the time saw the earlier showing and was coming out as we were waiting to go in and ran up to me and blurts out “guess what? darh vader is luke skywalker’s dad!!”

    • AlpineNewt

      Similar thing happened to me with Sixth Sense.

  • Josiah Johnson

    Within the trailer I liked the music, but isolated in the Disneyland video I wasn’t a huge fan- kind of glad to hear this is not FA score

  • Petar Ramljak

    The best part of th trailer was actual music

  • Gabe Pope

    Williams DID do the music for the first two teasers though, right?

    • Samuel Wallace

      I’m thinking Teaser #1 was all Williams. Teaser #2 was Williams for the opening shot [the Star Destroyer in distance shot], but had someone else do the music for the rest [starting at Luke’s dialogue/ Vader-skull].
      This trailer was all other people.
      So i guess Teaser #2 was sort of the trade-off point where Williams fades out into Trailer-composition.

  • José Luís Ferreira

    Loved Hanson… Lloyd less original ( in the score version…)

  • Darth darth

    i just assumed it was john williams and was surprised at that bit with the knights in the rain because it sounded alot like star trek first contact soundtrack

  • Jason Solo

    Oh my I know why they want the lightsaber but there is something they do not know. it is called attack of the clones. The Jedi took Anakins arm. Plagueis said you can not clone the force, but can they?

  • Jason Solo

    They can sell Lukes DNA or Mitochlorians but not Anakins. However the Jedi Have an Arm. Yoda knew to scoop that up because it was the chosen ones arm. Star Wars Episode 7 : The force Awakens also known as the further Adventures of Luke Skywalker. Like said

  • Jason Solo

    I can only hope the one true link to the darkside in the film will be Pagueis. JJ clearly alluded to it perfectly withe the buy a day fan. THE STAFF IS ACTUALLY IN EPISODE 4 BEHIND OBI WAN. Or he was inspired by Plagueis design.

    • Crixxxx

      Abrams and Kasdan do not know or care about Plagueis or any of the other prequelly crap.

      • Ghost of Obi Wan Kenobi

        Correct. They only know and care about the original trilogy crap.

        • Crixxxx

          The OT wasn’t crap. The prequels were.

  • Jason Solo

    But……. the Darth Plagueis slight was because he did not know how to write for a resurrected Muun who taught Sheev Palpatine everything. It looked like Chebbacca dies
    The Power to Save the ones you love. I wonder if Luke follows behind saving the people he loved. OH BY THE WAY MAX VON SYDOW is ANAKIN SKYWALKER and his GRANDDAUGHTER IS REY

  • Ian

    Blasphemy

  • Ghost of Obi Wan Kenobi

    I didn’t recall hearing any new music. What scenes were the new music featured in?

  • Jeraco

    I love the starting part and I thought the whole score or this trailer was very epic. I hope the starting part of the music will make it to the movie. Maybe its Rey or Finn’s theme?

  • PaddyIrishman

    I’m going to stick to my guns on this. I still believe Michael Giacchino was involved in this as too many elements sound like his work

  • Jedi John

    Maybe some know, but I find it hard to believe when people go “yeah I knew all along” who it was or wasn’t. Particularly when no one mentioned it before this post !

    • rafael

      i dont remember if i mentioned before but i strongly suspected it wasnt williams music; just felt generic and uninteresting to me

    • Old Fart Orrimaarko aka Grant

      Someone did on Jedi Temple Archives but nobody believed them, lol. Listening to it again, I can see what they mean now.

  • laberinto911

    the classic “love theme” from TESB, revisited with chorus, is simply percfet. I don’t know who rewrited John William’s music, but he has done a very beautiful and fine job. When the “Force theme” starts, tears start too. Bravo!

    • Dani Català

      The nostalgic and sad touch of the love theme reminds to Han being pushed to the carbonite chamber, which is, adding the chorus, as perfect as you say (in addition, playing it when Rey and Han talk is quite significant).

      But the Force Theme I disagree. It fits really well with the trailer, and I can’t imagine a better way to go for the climatic second half of it. Nonetheless, it’s a very “trailerish” interpretation, with all that ugly digital hits. When you listen the solo music version sounds poor to me.

      Back to the beginning: That piano piece is just WONDERFUL. It sounds like the beginning of the Behind the Scenes video and I really hope is Williams work or at least an interpretation of what he’s doing for The Force Awakens.

  • 80sRobot

    Some observations about the third trailer:

    * — In the last shot when Finn is facing Kylo, Kylo is unmasked.

    We of course know Adam Driver is Kylo, and it’s likely he’ll look as he did in the Vanity Fair photo shoot: With his normal face. No scars or facial markings.

    What I think could be significant is why and when he is unmasked. To the viewer, it’s not that big of a deal, since most of us know it’s actor Adam Driver. But I think it’s significant within the movie because this will reveal Kylo’s true identity to other characters who would know him. So chalk this up as another argument that he could be Han and Leia’s son and maybe Rey’s brother/half-brother. (The Star Wars movies have all been about the dysfunctional Skywalker family, after all.) In the forest setting, he could take off his mask before Rey to reveal to her who he is; this could be this movie’s “Luke, I am your father!” moment.

    * — The First Order Stormtroopers bracing themselves, readying for the approaching X-Wings: This looks like a role-reversal of the AT-ATs approaching the Rebel base on Hoth.

    * — The first three characters shown and highlighted are Rey, Finn and Kylo, and I think they are all have the Force within them:

    Lupita Nyong’o voice-over at the start and end sounds as if she’s talking to Rey, telling Rey that the Force is calling to her and that she should let it into her.

    When Han Solo says in his voice-over “…the Jedi,” the shot holds right on Finn. I think this is intentional.

    Kylo is shown doing some voodoo on Poe which makes him scream. This implies that Kylo does indeed have Force powers.

    * — The shot of Rey in tears: The more I watch this and try to figure what she’s crying in front of, the more I think it’s Han’s body in front of her — perhaps being held up by Chewie.

    * — As for that last shot, again, when Finn faces an unmasked Kylo, I’m still going to go out on a limb and speculate why Finn is descended from Mace Windu: It would make this scene extremely symbolic and a callback to a pivotal moment in Episode III — Anakin Skywalker bringing down Mace.

    So in this moment in The Force Awakens, Kylo (a Skywalker) is about to bring down Finn (a descendant of Mace), who is welding Anakin’s lightsaber — the same lightsaber that killed Mace. The symmetry would be perfect.

    • KingCharlemagne

      Not sure about that last one…it would require Mace to have procreated and we all know how the Jedi feel about that sort of thing.

    • Michelle Lehto

      I don’t think that’s “voodoo” Kylo is doing with Poe. I think it’s just some kind of face-off, maybe one’s got the other dangling off of a ledge.

      But even then, we DO see Kylo push out towards the screen, followed immediately by explosions and people falling over, indicating that he does indeed have Force powers.

  • Dani Català

    It felt like Hans Zimmer reproducing Williams’ work.

    In the other hand, the first teaser really (I mean, really) sounded like Williams composition. Was it ever confirmed that was his work, as they had reported previous to the teaser release? I can imagine that music for Finn and Rey scape.

  • Firebender

    To me it felt like a Giacchino combination. A lot of it felt like elements of Star Trek 1+2 soundtrack and added the force theme as well as Leia.

  • TheFalls

    The vocals / choral makes it sound like Star Trek

  • origonalname112

    Still amazing either way. I can’t wait to see what ‘duel of the fates’ level of mind blow whatever new themes we get will have.

  • rebelgb

    Absolutely loved the music. Sick of the Star Trek comparisons, thats just the vogue thing to do now, compare everything to Star Trek. YES there is a more dramatic use of percussion in this trailers music. YES certain bridges are slowed for dramatic effect. So that means its like Star Trek? No that means its like 100’s of other movies that use the same effects in their sound tracks.

    They did a very good job with this.

    • Michelle Lehto

      Agreed. Why is it even a bad thing that it sounds like Trek?

      • Concealed Courier

        It’s not.

    • Moral Hazard

      I agree it’s a great job. Maybe it’s vogue, maybe there’s truth to it.
      I did notice what I take to be a more specific reference to Star Trek with a theremin (that spooky wailing instrument) carrying the melody to a crescendo right before the Falcon’s jump – just like the classic Trek theme.

      I’m no Trek fan at all – but I don’t mind for a minute if film makers/composers give little nods and references to their influences. We are all imitators and must enjoy some degree of theme repetition in our musical stories…

  • Concealed Courier

    We got sixty days and Williams is still working on the music.. cutting it close. I sense some long nights for the sound editors coming up.

  • Ian

    Recording starts this week!! ‘The new score is endearing beyond words.’

  • Ian

    Recording starts this week!! ‘The new score is endearing beyond words.’