Re-imagining the Future
In 2006, I read that Paramount had decided to reboot the Star Trek franchise. 40 years of 6 television shows and 10 movies had somehow lead to franchise fatigue, go figure. To breathe new life into a rundown franchise, Paramount turned to J.J. Abrams and his team to make a Star Trek movie that the general public would like and didn’t alienate the millions of people who had loved the franchise for decades.
One of the things that struck me in the article, was that Michael Giacchino would be doing the score for the picture. This really excited me, because music has long been my favorite technical aspect of movies. Sure, special effects are great, but try experiencing them without music, they completely lose their impact. Now, listen to a soundtrack or your favorite song without video, it’s still alive and becomes its own entity. Michael Giacchino’s work on The Incredibles was pardon the pun, incredible. It’s jazzy, secret agent theme rivals that of James Bond and instantly put Giacchino in the company of some of the most highly demanded composers in the film industry. This gave me high hopes for Star Trek. Could he infuse some of that energy and scale into the new Star Trek movie? The answer was, yes!
While the main theme may not be as complex and emotional as Star Trek themes of the past, it perfectly fits the overall feel of this movie. The high energy and non stop pulse of the film is captured in a score that very seldom takes a breath and slows down, with the rare exceptions being “Labor of Love”, “That New Car Smell” and Spock Prime’s theme, which is a sad and intriguing piece that shows the emotional complexity of a character that still grapples with his emotions and logic. One of the most cinematic moments in the film also involves my favorite sequence of music. “Hangar Management” and “Enterprising Young Men” are back to back hits that work beautifully in the movie and culminate with the reveal of the Starship Enterprise being shown for the first time in space dock. Coming in a close second would have to be the return of the original Star Trek theme accompanied by Leonard Nimoy’s “Space the Final Frontier” leading to the “End Credits” which are an exciting mix of the classic Star Trek theme by Alexander Courage and Michael Giacchino’s new theme. The weakest parts of the soundtrack involve the Romulan/Nero theme. Like the character in the movie, Nero’s theme seems boring and simplistic compared to the scores for the Enterprise and her crew. The amount of extra music added to this release is astounding. It seems as though everything from the movie is in this version. Two things I do wish the deluxe edition had included are the movie version of “Nero Fiddles, Nerada Burns” and “That New Car Smell”, but those are minor gripes in an overall impressive list of additional scores added to this edition. Out of all of the tracks on this expanded CD, the ones that display the best work of Giacchino are “Labor of Love”, “Hangar Management”, “Enterprising Young Men”, “Jehosafats”, “Trekking Down the Narada”, “That New Car Small” and “End Credits”.
Deluxe Edition Packaging
The packaging for this product is simply spectacular. Included inside is a beautiful 28 page color bookletthat presents the characters along with popular moments from the movie. You will also find two nice write ups, one by Kerry O’Quinn, who does a nice semi review of the soundtrack and the other by J.J. Abrams who chronicles his pastwork with Michael Giacchino along with praising the “epic scale” of this movies score. Best of all, the 2 CD’s are detailed as the saucer sections of the USS Enterprise and Kelvin. The packing for this deluxe edition is by far the finest I have ever seen for a movie soundtrack and Varese Sarabande spared no expense in giving fans what they wanted.
Deluxe Edition: Final Thoughts
Simply put, they should have titled this the Ultimate Edition. With 29 extra tracks and 53 additional minutes of music, it more than doubles the amount of content found in the original release. An amazing score along with excellent packaging and a massive amount of extra content make this a must buy for any Star Trek or Movie Soundtrack fan.