Music Review – John Williams’ Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite

The orchestral scores of legendary composer John Williams have been a key element of the iconic Star Wars film series from the very beginning: as an audience member, Williams’ music is the first thing you hear when the Star Wars logo hits the screen and the last thing you hear when the credits finish rolling. It’s also prevalent throughout each movie in the Skywalker Saga, punctuating the action, drama, romance, and mysticism in a way that only this master has perfected.

Over the course of nine feature films (including this December’s upcoming Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker), John Williams has proven himself among the most essential elements of the franchise’s ongoing success. And now he’s continuing that legacy with a contribution to Disney Parks’ immersive Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge themed lands coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World very soon. Late last night Disney released the audio of Williams’ five-minute Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to finally hear this piece on its own.

Listen to John Williams – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite (Audio Only):

Last month, during the Disney Parks Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge panel at Star Wars Celebration 2019 in Chicago, actor Josh Gad, Walt Disney Imagineer Scott Trowbridge, and Lucasfilm Story Group member Matt Martin played the Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite in its entirety for the very first time, but the music was unfortunately drowned out by the crowd exiting the Celebration Stage arena.

Earlier in the panel, Trowbridge commented, “It wouldn’t be a great Star Wars experience without the music of Star Wars, and so we’ve got John Williams. John has composed some amazing new music for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and I [have to] tell you: the music itself feels like a character, the way it brings these experiences to life throughout our land. I’m so excited about his participation in this.”

Watch The Music of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: DJ Rex and John Williams:

Now that the Symphonic Suite has been released by Disney to enjoy on YouTube, download to own, or stream for free, we can sit back and soak in the sweeping music of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in the comfort of our own homes, during our commutes, or through our mobile devices’ earbuds. The score begins with a rousing adventure theme, calling to mind the wonders we will see when we first step through those gates into Black Spire Outpost, then segues into a military-style march, heralding the arrival of the evil First Order (and their rival the Resistance) on Batuu.

What is perhaps most interesting about this piece is that Williams has chosen not to rely on previously established Star Wars cues, with only minor allusions to themes we’ve heard before sprinkled subtly throughout. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set on a new planet, and its intention is to provide Disney Parks guests with a playground to live out their own Star Wars adventures, so it makes perfect sense that the accompanying music would have its own life as well, stretching out from the groundwork Williams has established over the past four decades. Listening to the Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite on a loop this morning, I can’t think of a better way to prepare myself for the experience of a lifetime.

Watch John Williams Creating New and Original Star Wars Themes Exclusively for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge:

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens Friday, May 31 at Disneyland and Thursday, August 29 at Walt Disney World. For more information and advance ticketing resources, be sure to visit the official Disney Parks website.