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Andora Composer Nicholas Britell Recreates Star Wars Magic With Soundtrack (Exclusive)

The music of Star Wars is indelibly rooted in the grand operatic scores of multi-Academy award-winning composer John Williams, and has always complemented the fiery space opera in many ways.

From Jedi lightsaber duels and daring rescue missions to deep space dogfights and the diabolical deeds of the Sith Lords, these Star Wars soundtracks, heard from a galaxy far, far away, resonate on every cinematic level.

To add to this rich musical heritage, Academy Award-nominated composer Nicholas Britell (Moonlight) performed a small miracle by creating fresh sonic magic for the Disney+ Rogue One prequel Andor.

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“Andor” was composed by Nicholas Britell. (Image credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Britell’s innovative fusion of orchestral and synth music lends this impressive 12-episode series an air of dignity and distinction, presenting a listenable selection of tracks reflecting the show’s rebellious themes. Working closely with Andor writer and creator Tony Gilroy has created a unique sonic palette that has evolved over time, revealing rare emotional depths.

“This is not science,” Britell explained at a recent Andor press roundtable. “Each episode teaches you something. You can try the theme in one episode and it really feels right. You can then try the same theme on another episode and it won’t work at all. The film just rejects it.”

Impressive meteor storm Eye of Aldani in Andor. (Image credit: Disney+)

As for the difficulty of creating something both epic and intimate, Britell’s vision was to enhance Andor’s visuals by tapping into the sense of nostalgia that all fans bring to the franchise. His recipe for getting the tone he wanted took him back to his childhood and his very first Star Wars movie.

“I don’t know if you’ll ever know if you’ll nail anything,” he told Space.com. “You always put in the time and effort and you follow your instinct that if it works for me, I hope it resonates with other people as well. And if it works for me and Tony, then I get even more confident.”

From the beginning, Britell recalled that Tony Gilroy and Kathleen Kennedy were so supportive and articulate about wanting a unique soundscape for Andor and hoping that it could have its own unique soundscape, new themes and textures.

“It really gave me a sense of freedom to explore things. Obviously, I love working with orchestras, and one of the greatest pleasures of being a composer is writing for an orchestra. I was immediately drawn to those old analog synths. And I rarely have to write with such a sound palette.

Promotional art for Andor on Disney+. (Image credit: Disney+)

Britell grew up loving Star Wars, and Return of the Jedi was the first movie his parents took him to see when he was three years old.

“The idea is that it happens before this trilogy and before Rogue One,” he said. “There was something almost retro about it. It seemed to me that this retro analog synth was approaching the “before” stage, which could then grow into the greatness of what we all know about Star Wars. And not all on the synthesizer. We recorded with this huge string orchestra, horns, percussion and amazing musicians.

“I think the actual orchestration really changes from episode to episode. We’re on different planets, in different places, and in different parts of history, so it felt like each episode should have its own unique thought process, which certainly added to the work. that Tony and I gave ourselves.”

Andor is currently streaming exclusively on Disney+.

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Watch Andor on Disney+

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