Film Score Friday Top 5: “Star Trek” film scores

Okay, so you may have heard, there is a new Star Trek film opening today, and everybody is all a twitter (that word takes on new meanings these days).  So we have reached the end of our 3 week countdown with this: Film Score Friday Top 5’s Star Trek film scores. 

#1. Star Trek: The Motion Picture by Jerry Goldsmith:  You really shouldn’t be surprised by this, considering that in the last two weeks, both lists have been topped by a cue from this score.  Goldsmith really set the trend of what Trek should should sound like with this Oscar-nominated score.

#2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:  If anything, this might be my favorite of the scores, but I respect Goldsmith’s work on the series too much to put him below Horner.  If anyone has heard Horner’s Battle Beyond the Stars score, it sound like an audition tape for the Trek II gig.  Supposdly, the studio wanted a smaller budget so they went with the relatively unknown Horner…largely due to his Battle score.  Guess it worked.

#3. Star Trek by Michael Giacchino:  I’ll post a more extensive review of this score shortly, but after some initial hesistation upon first listening, I have quickly grown to love this score.  It is quite different than previous Trek scores, but it also references them in many subtle ways.  Besides the obvious when the original theme comes in full force in the end credits, there are colors throughout that sound alot like Goldsmith, and to a larger degree, Horner.  As Herr Vogler points out in his post on the score, Giacchino actually uses one of Horner’s former orchestrators.

#4. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country by Cliff Eidelman:  This score, much like the film, does not get nearly enough credit.  The real fans of Trek and Trek scores certaintly know and appreciate them, but we need to do more to inform the public at large.  From the moody “Overture” to the poignant closing send off material, this is a great score from a composer who was getting his first major work (much like Horner in Khan).

#5. Star Trek: First Contact by Jerry Goldsmith: I was really trying to only have one Goldsmith score on the list, but when one person scored 5 of the previous 10 films (and Horner alos racking up two with parts 2 and 3), it’s hard.  The only other composers left after using Eidelman are Dennis McCarthy (and the less said about Generations overall, the better), and Leonard Rosenmann’s Star Trek IV, which was good, I enjoy it, but…I think First Contact is better.  Yes, the film overall, while lightyears better than the previous installment, feels flat after the opening Borg battle, but listening to Goldsmith’s score on its own makes me appreciate it more than the film.  So I’m putting it in the 5 spot.

Well that’s it, I’ll have to start thinking of new topics that are non Trek related now.  But for now, go see the movie because we want them to make more of them!

Next Week: Top 5 Television Themes that are not from the Star Trek franchise

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