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star trek lower decks theme music

Star Trek: Lower Decks, Vol. 1 (Original Series Soundtrack)

By chris westlake.

star trek lower decks theme music

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Star Trek composer Chris Westlake breaks down the bold audio Easter eggs in Lower Decks

Star Trek lower decks crew 109 westlake

Credit: CBS

Just because  Star Trek: Lower Decks  is presented as a comedy, the composer for the series, Chris Westlake, knew the music couldn't be in on the joke. And, if you'd heard the  Lower Decks  main theme before actually seeing the show, there's a chance you might not even know that it was composed for a series that is (mostly) poking fun at Trek . That said, because this Trek series is specifically smaller in scope than some of its predecessors, Westlake admits he knew the theme couldn't be "too bombastic." In other words, when the  USS Cerritos  hits that space iceberg in the opening credits of the series, there's no rimshot doubling down on that visual joke. The sound of  Lower Decks  isn't the sound of "silly"  Star Trek . It's simply a new and unique  Star Trek  sound that is somehow very old at the same time.

**This story contains mild spoilers for  Star Trek: Lower Decks  Season 1, Episode 9, "Crisis Point."**

"There are jokes in the situations the characters are in, but the music has to think it's in a [ Star Trek ] movie or one of the TV shows," Chris Westlake tells SYFY WIRE.   "It has to be sincere and not too aware of itself. And the more seriously we took the music, the funnier the comedy became. Which is why we added that choir to the main theme. We decided to just go for it. And the choir made it funnier. I mean, we did go through six or seven themes, which were narrowed down to two. One was more slow and stately, and we're between that and the one we ended up with, which is more energetic." 

Like many TV series that have been completed in the COVID-19 era, Westlake reveals that the entirety of the  Lower Decks  score was recorded remotely, with each musician recording their part individually. This challenge was compounded by the fact that the debut of  Lower Decks  was "moved up by about two months," which Westlake says he thinks is "because we swapped with  Discovery  Season 3 in the schedule. Mostly because we could move forward because we were an animated TV show. So my timeline was super squeezed." 

star trek lower decks movie

Mariner creates a Lower Decks: The Movie (Credit: CBS)

Despite these challenges, Westlake and his musicians "rose to the occasion," and have delivered unique music for each episode of  Lower Decks  that not only "gives  Lower Deck  its own sonic identity," but also, as Westlake freely admits, sprinkles in a fair amount of auditory Easter eggs. In Episode 3, "Temporal Edict,"  we get some musical homages to  Original Series  fight music when Jack Ransom battles a large alien, Captain Kirk-style, while the overall tone of  TNG  incidental music is subtly updated for a newer Trek . "I feel like fans have caught most of the Easter eggs," Westlake says, but this mostly refers to the musical cues from the episode  prior  to Episode 9, "Crisis Point." Because this is the episode where the Lower Decks  score itself becomes a non-stop Trekkie Easter egg machine.

When Ensign Mariner turns a holodeck program into a "movie" featuring herself and the other Lower Deckers, the best references to past Trek s are not ones you see but embedded into the clever score for this episode. When Mariner and the gang watch the "opening credits" for the Lower Decks movie, old school Trekkies will immediately recognize what Westlake's music is doing: referencing those French horns from James Horner's score for  The Wrath of Khan . 

"Even though we had our own sonic identity for the show, we wanted to tip our at the to the great composers who have written music for Star Trek ," Westlake explains. "I mean, if I were a Lower Decker, my bridge crew would be like Jerry Goldsmith [ The Motion Picture] , James Horner [ The Wrath of Khan ], Jay Chattaway, and Ron Jones [ The Next Generation ]. But, there's nothing more exciting to me in all the Star Trek scores than James Horner's horn writing for  The Wrath of Khan . It's tremendously exciting music. Of all of the movies, Horner's work feels the most action-packed and the most nautical." 

reliant twok

Credit: CBS/Paramount Pictures

The director of  The Wrath of Khan,  Nicholas Meyer , certainly backs up Westlake's assessment of Horner's score for  The Wrath of Khan.  In his memoir The  View From the Bridge,   Meyer writes that he told Horner that the music "should suggest the majestic sweep of the ocean. Nautical, but nice." This specific concept — that the score in Star Trek tells a musical story about sailing ships in space — is important for Westlake, and that's because, as someone who worked on trailer music for  Star Wars: The Force Awakens , he knows that the pull of a John Williams score can be a very strong influence. 

"I came from more of the John Williams side of things," Westlake reveals. "[ Lower Decks  showrunner] Mike [McMahan] and talked a lot about what makes Star Wars music Star Wars and what makes Star Trek music Star Trek . I mean, it's impossible to erase that John Williams influence entirely, and I'd say that even some of  Next Gen  was inspired by Williams. But, what's the difference? And the thing that I always have had in mind, is that Star Wars music is fast-flying ships and dogfights and ducking and weaving and fast movements. But Star Trek music is slow-moving ships. That nautical thing. And I even think that James Horner is doing a riff on Jerry Goldsmith."

For fans who might not remember, Jerry Goldsmith is the composer who wrote the main theme for  Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, which later went on to become the opening theme for  The Next Generation  in 1987. (Boimler is humming this theme in Episode 3 of  Lower Decks .) And somewhat more famously, Goldsmith also wrote a slower — and very nautical — version of that famous theme, called "The Enterprise," which plays while Kirk and Scotty admire the  Enterprise  in an extra-long sequence in that film. And, just in case you weren't sure why the crew circles the  USS Cerritos  for so long in the newest  Lower Decks , it's 100 percent a very long (and hilarious) homage to that scene, and perhaps more importantly, to that Jerry Goldsmith track.

"Yeah, we had to do our own movie-fied version of the  Lower Decks  theme," Westlake says with a laugh. "I don't think we can use it again. That is unless there is another Lower Decks movie."

Star Trek: Lower Decks  has one episode left in Season 1. The finale will stream on CBS All Access on Oct. 8, 2020. One week later,  Star Trek: Discovery  Season 3 will debut.

  • Star Trek: Lower Decks

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Star Trek: Lower Decks, Vol. 1 (Original Series Soundtrack)

October 8, 2021 53 Songs, 1 hour, 42 minutes ℗ 2021 CBS Studios Inc. Star Trek and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All rights reserved.

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Published Oct 5, 2021

Listen to the First Track From the Star Trek: Lower Decks Soundtrack

A main theme worthy of a great second contact

By StarTrek.com Staff

Star Trek: Lower Decks Volume 1—Original Series Soundtrack, Coming Soon!

StarTrek.com

Relive some of your favorite Star Trek: Lower Decks moments with the Star Trek: Lower Decks Volume 1—Original Series Soundtrack, featuring music from the first and second season of the series, from Lakeshore Records. The 53-track album, featuring an epic orchestrated original score by composer Chris Westlake ( Castle Rock ), will be available digitally October 8.

Listen to the first track, the triumphant main theme for the show, here on StarTrek.com:

Check out the album art and track listing below, and listen to the full soundtrack on your favorite streaming platform today!

Star Trek: Lower Decks

  • Main Titles
  • Romulan Prison
  • Strange Energies
  • The Time Of His Life
  • Riker's Plan
  • Stay Alert, Stay Alive
  • Mistress Of The Winter Constellation
  • The Black Mountain
  • Mariner's Secret
  • A Compromise!
  • Delicate Dooplers
  • Ejecting the Warp Core
  • Stumbling on History
  • City Escape
  • Making Tendi Laugh
  • Lord Agimus
  • Agimus Reigns
  • Temporal Black Hole
  • The Lower Decks
  • I Am Available For Chess
  • A New Officer
  • Death Battle
  • What Are Your Orders, Captain?
  • Departing Space Dock
  • Getting Desperate
  • Into The Unknown
  • Standing Down
  • Don't Date Barnes
  • Welcome To The Cerritos
  • Humble Farmers
  • Finding The Cure
  • Swords and Spears
  • Ransom vs. Vindor
  • Saving Lives
  • Failed Ascension
  • Division 14
  • The Farm Cures All
  • Saying Goodbye
  • The Cleaner
  • The Cerritos
  • Today You Die!
  • The Real Mariner
  • Self Destruct Timer
  • Pakled Attack
  • Badgey Gets Loose
  • Memory Loss
  • Bonus Track: batlh vIpoQ!

Share your favorite Star Trek: Lower Decks moments with us in social!

Get Updates By Email

Star Trek: Lower Decks streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel. The series will also be available to stream on Paramount+ in the UK, Canada, Latin America, Australia, Italy, France, the Caribbean, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland and South Korea.

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  1. Star Trek Lower Decks Main Theme (From "Star Trek Lower Decks

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  2. STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Soundtrack Coming October 8 • TrekCore.com

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  3. Star Trek Lower Decks Main Theme (From "Star Trek Lower Decks")

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  4. VioDance "Star Trek: Lower Decks (Main Titles)" Sheet Music (Violin

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    Star Trek - Lower Decks - Ending Theme - Movie Style (Jerry Goldsmith Edition) ... Star Trek Music Compilation Now with Lower Decks. Tiberius Kirk

  5. Lower Decks

    Provided to YouTube by Symphonic Distribution Star Trek Lower Decks Main Theme (From "Star Trek Lower Decks") · Geek Music Star Trek Lower

  6. Star Trek: Lower Decks

    Hello everyone! Here's our rendition of the main theme from the opening titles of Star Trek: Lower Decks series.

  7. Star Trek Lower Decks Intro

    Good lord the scene where the Romulans are fighting off The Borg and just Nopes out of there is hilarious every time.

  8. The "Lower Decks Theme" is possibly my favorite tune of all time

    But i like all of Star Trek themes tbh. Maybe sometimes after a while (Enterprise), but yeah, i like all of theme, just Voyager more. Lower

  9. Star Trek: Lower Decks, Vol. 1 (Original Series Soundtrack)

    Star Trek: Lower Decks, Vol. 1 (Original Series Soundtrack). by Chris Westlake · Main Titles · Romulan Prison · Leg Day · Strange Energies · The Time Of His Life.

  10. Star Trek: Lower Decks Theme

    Listen to Star Trek: Lower Decks Theme - Epic Version on Spotify. L'Orchestra Cinematique, Alala · Song · 2022.

  11. Star Trek: Lower Decks' musical Easter eggs, explained

    For fans who might not remember, Jerry Goldsmith is the composer who wrote the main theme for Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, which later

  12. Star Trek: Lower Decks, Vol. 1 (Original Series Soundtrack)

    Listen to Star Trek: Lower Decks, Vol. 1 (Original Series Soundtrack) by Chris Westlake on Apple Music. 2021. 53 Songs.

  13. Star Trek: Lower Decks, Vol. 1 (Original Series Soundtrack)

    Amazon.com: Star Trek: Lower Decks, Vol. 1 (Original Series Soundtrack) : Chris Westlake: Digital Music.

  14. Listen to the First Track From the Star Trek: Lower Decks Soundtrack

    By StarTrek.com Staff · Main Titles · Romulan Prison · Leg Day · Strange Energies · The Time Of His Life · Riker's Plan · Stay Alert, Stay Alive