Deconstructing Jerry Goldsmith’s Main Title/ Klingon Battle music For Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Before the director’s cut of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, it was an incomplete film. Jerry Goldsmith ended up being the true hero during the troubled post-production. Robert Wise had to fire an entire FX company and replace it with another team, so he didn’t have time to add many sound effects to the movie. Goldsmith came in and ended up doing many of the sound effects within his musical score.
One such example was the V’ger theme, heard during after the TMP fanfare. Using Craig Hundley’s Blaster Beam was a brilliant way of conveying the alien nature of V’ger.
His Klingon theme here, heard for the first time, would make appearances in STV, First Contact, and Insurrection. Ron Jones, who is also a Family Guy composer now, would have his Klingon theme closely influenced by Goldsmith’s theme. I liked how Goldsmith used tribal and rhythmic tones to convey the Klingons. Plus, it was a complete contrast to the bright Trumpet/ French Horn heavy Star Fleet/ Enterprise themes.
Goldsmith also used two different themes, The Klingon theme and the dark V’ger theme, to conflict with each other. It truly feels like the two themes are fighting it out just like the scene.
What makes ST: TMP special is that the movie is more of a musical than any other Trek Film. There are scenes that go on for 5-6 minutes at a time with only the music and FX being used. Goldsmith’s score ended having more screen time than many of the actors, I’m not making this up. Goldsmith himself found this refreshing because he could write complete pieces of music.
Of course, James Horner would take the music in a more action-centered direction, not that’s a bad thing. (Horner would use The V’ger blaster beam in both his scores)
Anyway, please click on the link above and listen to a section of one of the best scores of the 20th century. I still love that Fanfare.