Kevin Kiner is someone, as a Star Wars fan, I have to love and respect. The man put up his own money to work with a real orchestra in Prague to finish the televised run of Star Wars: The Clone Wars to give the groundbreaking series the right musical sendoff it deserved. We’re forever grateful for that. He hit a home run by the end of The Clone Wars.
I’m not going to lie, Kiner was all over the place with Star Wars: The Clone Wars and it was no fault of his own. The musical direction changed from techno, to “ethnic,” and finally ended up more orchestrated with leitmotifs played throughout the episodes. Lucas wanted him to hold back on the John Williams leitmotifs, which meant the music could only be used when it really deeply mattered. While that is solid methodology, it tied Kiner’s hands. It also meant he was left to his own merits, and not allowed to pluck upon the strings of nostalgia very often by referencing John William’s classic themes.
I respect Lucas’ choice there. I think it was for the best and Star Wars: The Clone Wars feels unique and stands on its own thanks to that. However, that meant Kiner started with some base hits. He ended The Clone Wars with a homerun in that final Ashoka arc. But listening to his new theme song for Star Wars Rebels, I feel Kiner has hit a grand slam. It sounds new and fresh, moves into The Force Theme and the Rebel Fleet music from Return of the Jedi effortlessly. In all honesty, it is freakin’ amazingly solid and beautiful. I keep rewatching the video to listen to it.
Hear it for yourself:
I have to be honest, if you start a show with this elegant, powerful theme song, your show has to live up to that bar the music has set. Kiner’s new music ,mixing with John William’s leitmotifs is strong and it just hits you right in stomach with its emotional intensity. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is my favorite television show of all time. This new theme song sets the bar so high, Star Wars Rebels has to be as good, if not stronger, because the theme song proclaims “this is Star Wars, are you ready?” We’re all going to say “hell yes” and then the show has to operate at that level.
It makes me both nervous and excited for the show’s prospects. So far though, I don’t think we have anything to worry about. I look forward to hearing Kiner score the adventures of Hera, Ezra, Sabine, Kanan, Zeb, and Chopper as they travel the stars to Kiner’s awesome orchestrations.
I am so pleased we have Kiner in our corner.
Edit: Rebels Report has the full theme song from WonderCon: