Exploring Jerry Goldsmith's Stellar Musical Contributions to Star Trek

12 August 2023

Jerry Goldsmith, a prolific and iconic composer (refer Alien), left an indelible mark on the world of film and television scoring. His musical contributions to the Star Trek franchise, spanning from the original series to the Next Generation films, are particularly noteworthy. In this discussion, we will delve into the unique elements and impact of Goldsmith's compositions on the Star Trek universe.

jerry goldsmith star trek composer

Setting the Stage: The Original Series (TOS):

Goldsmith's involvement with Star Trek began with the 1979 film "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." The challenge was to create a score that would reinvigorate the beloved television series on the big screen. Goldsmith's score for the film combined his signature orchestration with innovative electronic elements, resulting in a sweeping and ethereal soundtrack that captured the awe-inspiring nature of space exploration.

The main theme, with its majestic horns and celestial choir, became an instant classic, and its influence can be felt throughout subsequent iterations of Star Trek.

Expanding the Universe: The Next Generation (TNG):

Goldsmith's contributions to Star Trek extended to the television realm with the launch of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." The theme he composed for the series captured the spirit of exploration and curiosity while maintaining a sense of continuity with the original series' music.

His ability to create memorable character motifs, such as the elegantly regal theme for the Klingon Worf, added depth to the show's emotional resonance. Goldsmith's musical craftsmanship played a pivotal role in establishing the distinct identity of TNG.

Cinematic Ventures: The Next Generation Films:

Goldsmith's involvement with Star Trek continued into the cinematic realm with his scoring of "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Star Trek: Insurrection." In these films, he skillfully blended his established Star Trek musical motifs with new themes that reflected the evolving storylines.

"First Contact," in particular, is noted for its intensity and action-driven score that heightens the film's suspense and drama. Goldsmith's ability to adapt his music to different narrative tones showcased his versatility and understanding of the franchise's essence.

Legacy and Impact:

Jerry Goldsmith's musical contributions to the Star Trek franchise extended beyond the immediate impact of his compositions. His themes and motifs have endured, becoming integral to the overall Star Trek experience.

The emotional resonance of his music helped define the sense of wonder, camaraderie, and exploration that are central to the franchise's themes. Furthermore, his influence can be seen in subsequent Star Trek adaptations, where composers have paid homage to his work while infusing their own creativity.


Jerry Goldsmith's role in shaping the musical landscape of the Star Trek universe cannot be overstated. His ability to capture the essence of exploration, the vastness of space, and the depth of character relationships through his compositions has left an enduring legacy. Goldsmith's work has become an integral part of what makes Star Trek so iconic and beloved, resonating with fans across generations.

As we continue to explore new frontiers in the Star Trek universe, Jerry Goldsmith's musical legacy will remain a guiding star, reminding us of the boundless possibilities that lie in the cosmos.

Here's a list of the Star Trek soundtracks that Jerry Goldsmith composed for:

1. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) Goldsmith's score for this film marked the beginning of his involvement with the franchise. It introduced the iconic main theme that became synonymous with Star Trek's sense of exploration and wonder. 2. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)* Although not as well-received as some other films in the franchise, Goldsmith's score showcased his ability to adapt his musical style to the film's narrative. The score included both new compositions and variations on familiar themes. 3. Star Trek: First Contact (1996): Goldsmith returned to the franchise for this film, which is often regarded as one of the best Star Trek movies. His score skillfully combined the established Star Trek motifs with new themes that heightened the film's intensity and action. 4. Star Trek: Insurrection (1998): Goldsmith continued his collaboration with the franchise by composing the score for this film. The soundtrack blends his established Star Trek themes with new elements that emphasize the film's themes of rejuvenation and exploration. 5. Star Trek: The Next Generation - "The Best of Both Worlds" (TV Episode, 1990):** While not a full soundtrack release, Goldsmith's music for this iconic two-part episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" is noteworthy. His music contributed to the tension and drama of the Borg storyline. 6. Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) Goldsmith's final contribution to the Star Trek franchise came with this film. His score once again showcased his ability to create emotionally resonant and dynamic music that elevated the film's impact. These soundtracks collectively highlight Goldsmith's ability to capture the essence of Star Trek's themes, characters, and narratives through his music. His work remains an integral part of the franchise's legacy, contributing to its enduring popularity among fans.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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