Baby Yoda is the breakout star of The Mandalorian on Disney+ and the dizzying pile of memes is proof. In a sit-down with Collider, The Mandalorian’s composer Ludwig Goransson said that the cute little creature presented some major challenges for him musically. If you’ve seen the series, the western influences don’t really leave a ton of room for the sort of loving emotions elicited by a furry little puppet that looks like a baby. But, with the hand he was dealt, Goransson was able to weave some pieces that captured that wonder of running across this defenseless creature. He was also very careful to avoid retreading other musical forms that have comprised Star Wars since the beginning of these movies. That balancing act was just one more thing on the list of tasks at hand when scoring The Mandalorian.
“It was probably one of the most difficult parts of the musical language because Jon [Favreau] is extremely -- I mean he is a genius” Goransson began. “And you know the baby is so extremely cute, right? So the first thing you do when you see in it, you refer to it as Baby Yoda, and I would say he’s the character that’s the most close to Star Wars. So early on, my initial thought was to have the music a little bit more in the feel of Star Wars and a little bit more, you know, I can’t… there’s only one John Williams, obviously.”
He continued, “But, I think early on I was like, okay, well are we tying into the Star Wars universe with Yoda? I think I like my first pass was like a little bit more kind of a Star Wars-y sounding theme for the the Baby Yoda character. And Jon kept telling me, 'Hey, no, no, he is already visually so overly cute. So if we make the music cute as well, it’s going to be too much.' He was very adamant that the show, musically, is almost always being told from The Mandalorian’s perspective.”
“So, what [does] The Mandalorian think the first time he sees this little creature?,” Goransson continued. “He’s not like, 'Oh what, is this cute little thing?' He’s like, 'Oh shit, this is not what I signed up for. I don’t even know what this is.' So all the music throughout the show is coming from The Mandalorian’s perspective and it’s what puts his facial expressions on screen because you don’t see his facial expression. He’s wearing a helmet the whole time. So musically I need to tell the audience what his facial expressions are saying.”
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