SOUNDTRACK REVIEW – Star Trek Beyond: The Deluxe Edition

Varese Sarabande’s deluxe two-disc soundtrack release features 29 cues of previously unreleased music from Star Trek Beyond, including full Jaylah and Yorktown Themes.

 

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Having the expanded 47-track deluxe edition follow so close behind the initial soundtrack release was a pleasant surprise. Varese Sarabande’s previous two expanded releases for Giacchino’s Star Trek soundtracks each took over a year, yet this release came only five months after the 18-track version released in July.

Reviewing the initial soundtrack in July, we noted Michael Giacchino’s latest Star Trek score quickly took its place among his two previous outings. His “Star Trek Main Theme,” first introduced in 2009’s Star Trek, played throughout the film, woven with solemn pieces of music, wistful moments and typical blockbuster fare. However, there were several omissions, including the glaring absence of the revelation of the original crew photo. Fortunately, with over two hours of music on The Deluxe Edition, fans can now own the complete film score.

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SPOCK, KIRK AND THE YORKTOWN

Among the new cues are several standout tracks, which alone are worth the price of buying the soundtrack, including “The Dreaded Rear Admiral,” which captures that magical quiet moment as Spock opens the photo among Ambassador Spock’s personal effects. It also features a somber variant of “Night on the Yorktown”, as Admiral Paris congratulates Kirk on his victory and offers him the Vice Admiral post.

“The Dreaded Rear Admiral” is actually a callback to an earlier track, “To Thine Own Death Be True”, when Spock learns of the death of Ambassador Spock, which also combines Kirk’s first meeting with Admiral Paris. Typically, a character’s theme will take its journey musically throughout the film, and the Kirk-Spock cues are also revisited in “Spock’s Vulcan Grip on Death”. It’s a nice piece of music, extended with variations from the earlier cues.

One of the special treats in the release includes the full “Yorktown Theme,” which ties Kirk, Spock and the Yorktown together magnificently. It might be the best piece of overall music from the film. “Yorktown Theme” is a more intimate presentation of “Night on the Yorktown,” capturing the final crew moments of the film. Thematically, the music exquisitely encapsulates the individual journeys Kirk and Spock make from the beginning of the story, all of which is connected to the Yorktown.

Jaylah in Star Trek Beyond

JAYLAH

“Jaylah Damage” and “Mocking Jaylah” (from the first soundtrack release) give listeners little pieces of the character, but it’s not until “Bright Light Big Velocity, Part I” that she gets her musical moment to shine. The cue starts with Giacchino’s “Star Trek Theme”, as the Franklin breaks orbit of Altamid, before being replaced with the wonder of Jaylah’s realization she has finally escaped the planet.

Jaylah also provides another exceptional gift to The Deluxe Edition with the inclusion of “Jaylah’s Theme”, a tender piece of music with violins representing the sadness of her story throughout the first 90 seconds of the cue. Giacchino then superbly revisits the hope of a new life from “Bright Lights …”

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50 YEARS OF MUSIC

Teasing listeners with small moments from Alexander Courage’s iconic Star Trek theme at the conclusion of the previous two films, Giacchino takes the theme out for a full ride over Beyond’s end title credits. He masterfully incorporates small thematic elements from the film, but only momentarily before coming back to Courage’s theme. It is a pleasant experience listening to such a skillful composer tweak and add a new variation to a piece of music fans have been listening to for over 50 years.

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ONE FINAL MISSED MOMENT

Sadly, there is still one disappointment from this release, and that is the exclusion of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage.” Considering how integral the song is to Beyond, it is unfortunate that it was not included in either the initial release or The Deluxe Edition.

 

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VERDICT

Overall, Star Trek Beyond might be Giacchino’s best score of the three Star Trek films he has composed. The Deluxe Edition allows fans to appreciate his music to its fullest, while also having the benefit of extended Yorktown and Jaylah themes. Even for fans that purchased the original soundtrack release in July, The Deluxe Edition’s $24.98 retail price makes it a no brainer to buy. However, fans should beware, for as in the case of Varese Sarabande’s previous two expanded editions, Star Trek Beyond: The Deluxe Edition is limited to only 5,000 copies and not available for digital download. Copies of Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness deluxe editions currently fetch upwards of $200 on the secondary market.

Star Trek Beyond: The Deluxe Edition Soundtrack is available now at VareseSarabande.com for $24.98.

Here is a video of Michael Giacchino talking about working with Varese Sarabande on the Star Trek soundtrack releases.

 

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