Galaxy's Edge theme song

Earlier this month, Disney released John Williamsfull orchestral version of his Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite…but visitors will never actually hear that version of his theme song in the parks. (Well, I guess they technically could download the track and just listen to it through headphones, so there’s a workaround for you.) They will, however, hear little snippets of it and several pieces of music that were inspired by it.

Learn more about that below, and find out what you’ll hear when you ride attractions like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance.

Variety recently spoke with Matt Walker, Walt Disney Imagineering’s executive in charge of music, about Williams’ Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme song and when visitors can expect to hear it. But they learned something relatively surprising: guests will never hear that full version at all. Instead, “the original symphonic piece serves as the musical foundation for Galaxy’s Edge and will be heard occasionally in various contexts throughout the outpost.” Walker explains:

“We never wanted this to sound like background music. We’ve done deconstructed versions, so you’re not suddenly saying, ‘Wow, there’s the 90-piece [London Symphony Orchestra] playing this incredible piece of symphonic music.’ We tease you, and begin to set up his thematic material and weave that in as you enter. Then where you are in the land, and what needs to happen, begins to take over.”

William Ross, who’s also working on Galaxy’s Edge and previously adapted John Williams’ Star Wars music for the Star Tours ride, elaborated:

“It’s going to be more like the small group of musicians you might hear in some exotic and faraway village marketplace. But John’s theme informs the entire Galaxy’s Edge musical experience.”

So those with a careful ear will probably hear various riffs on Williams’ Galaxy’s Edge track in several places throughout the land – perhaps even within some of the DJ’s songs in the new cantina. That makes sense, considering how Galaxy’s Edge is supposed to be a totally immersive environment – it’d rip you out of the world if you suddenly heard a full orchestral song blaring from a speaker in the bushes as you walk by.

But when you’re on the rides? That’s a whole different story. Disney executives told Variety that the land’s two key rides, Smugglers Run (which will be operational on opening day) and Rise of the Resistance (which is delayed until sometime this fall), “will draw extensively on the vast catalog of previous Williams Star Wars themes.” So don’t be surprised to hear snatches from your favorite Star Wars tunes when you’re cruising in the Millennium Falcon or escaping from the First Order.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in Disneyland on May 31, 2019 and in Walt Disney World on August 29, 2019.

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