In 1978, the first installment of the Star Wars film saga earned John Williams a Music, Original Score Oscar. Forty two years later, the first season of the first live-action Star Wars TV series, Disney+’s The Mandalorian, landed Ludwig Göransson a Music Composition for a Series Emmy Award.
Göransson earned his first ever Emmy nomination for The Mandalorian after winning an Oscar last year for Black Panther. He also won Grammys for Childish Gambino’s This Is America and the Black Panther soundtrack. His victory on Night 5 of the Creative Arts Emmys brought The Mandalorian tally in its awards debut to 6 wins. (By the end of the night, the Star Wars offshoot went up to 7 Emmys, tied with HBO’s Watchmen for most overall wins by program.)
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Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian centers on Din Djarin, a lone Mandalorian bounty hunter, who methodically hunts down criminals in the outer reaches of the galaxy.
In an interview with Deadline, Göransson remembered his first meeting with Favreau on the project during pre-production. “I got a call that wanted to see me, and I went down to his office in Playa del Rey. As soon as I go in there, I see Jon in the middle of this big room, and he’s surrounded by all this incredible visual art for the show,” the composer recalls. “Jon comes up to me and starts telling me about the show, about his inspiration— about samurai movies and Westerns—and I was just kind of astounded, and really inspired. I think from the very start of our conversations, I got to understand that it was going to be a really fun experience.”
Heading into a universe most closely associated with the work of a legendary composer—five-time Oscar winner John Williams—Göransson also knew that he had his work cut out for him. “What John Williams created for Star Wars was probably the best film music out there—at least, the most known film music. I remember watching the movies as a kid and the impact the visuals and the music had with me,” he told Deadline. “I can still remember that feeling, and it was that feeling that I wanted to try to recreate.”
Göransson is finishing up the upcoming second season of the Disney+ hit. He is one of the most sought after film composers at the moment; he recently finished the score for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.