For 38 years, American composer John Williams has brought the world of Star Wars to musical life. While George Lucas may have created that galaxy far, far away, it’s William’s score (for not just the original trilogy, but also the prequels and The Force Awakens) that has given the universe a sense of grandeur and scope. Williams has even won numerous awards for his work, including an Oscar for Best Original Score, but he’ll soon be passing the torch.
This year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be composed by Alexandre Desplat, making it the first major Star Wars film without Williams as the primary composer, and there’s no word yet on whether or not he’ll be back for Episode VIII. Despite this news, now is a good a time to talk about some other Star Wars music on the horizon within the next month.
Disney has announced that an official Star Wars compilation album will be available for purchase February 19 to all digital outlets and March 18 to retail stores everywhere. Headspace, from legendary executive producer Rick Rubin (co-founder of Def Jam Records) is a new compilation of original electronic dance music infused with Star Wars sound clips and effects. Available for pre-order now, it will gather some of the biggest names and emerging talent in electronic music.
The first track on the album is ‘C-3P0’s Plight’ by iconic DJ Kaskade, which uses blaster fire and Wookiee roars, as well as quotes from the droid for a track that “captures the humor of Star Wars, the melodrama of C-3PO, and is a kinetic, dynamic production that sets the stage for what follows.” Zane Lowe also premiered three of the songs on his Beats One radio show today, including an original song from Rubin called ‘NR-G7,’ one from Baauer called ‘Cantina Boys,’ and a new track from Flying Lotus called ‘R2 Where R U?’
You can check out the album cover above and full track listing for Star Wars Headspace below. Also, get an early preview to those three new songs below via iTunes.
STAR WARS HEADSPACE TRACK LIST:
1. C-3P0’s Plight – Kaskade
2. Help Me! – GTA
3. Force – TroyBoi
5. Jabba Flow: Rick Rubin Re-Work (feat. A-Trak) – Shag Kava
6. R2 Knows (feat. Barry Drift) – Claude VonStroke
8. Ghomrassen – Bonobo
9. Bounty Hunters – Röyksopp
10. Sunset Over Manaan – ATTLAS
12. Druid Caravan of Smoke – Shlohmo
13. EWOK PUMPP – Rustie
14. Scruffy-Looking Nerfherder – Galantis
15. Star Tripper – Breakbot
While the new music is not actually written for the films, it is officially endorsed by Disney and Lucasfilm. Using well-known sounds and themes from the series, these artists invoke the magic of the Star Wars universe in much the same way as Williams does when he composes the score. They’re songs inspired, influenced and reworked from the movies themselves by some of the biggest names in the electronic music world. Some may think that the album is just a simple cash grab from Disney (and maybe it is), but at the very least, it also seems to be a labor of love from all parties involved with a solid group of people behind it.
Star Wars Headspace is available for pre-order now. It will be available on February 19 at all digital outlets and March 18 to retail stores everywhere.
Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens is now in theaters, and will be followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode 8 on December 15th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode 9 is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.