Composer Kevin Kiner on closing out “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”

Kevin Kiner Star Wars Clone Wars Composer Kevin Kiner / Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Final Season (Disney+)

Welcome back to the Spool’s weekly interview podcast, More of a Comment, Really…, where editor-in-chief Clint Worthington talks to actors, filmmakers, composers and other figures from the realm of film and television.

John Williams’ score for the Star Wars films numbers among the most iconic, well-recognized soundtracks in pop culture history. But as the universe expands from the films into spinoffs, animated series, live-action shows, and a host of other media, other composers have had to take up the baton and translate the bombastic space opera sounds Williams developed for other corners of a galaxy far, far away.

No one’s done it longer (or more voluminously) than Kevin Kiner, who’s spent nearly fifteen years scoring the myriad CG animated series set in the Star Wars universe. He’s scored The Clone Wars from its original theatrical film all the way to 2018’s The Final Season, for which he’s currently nominated for an Annie for Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Television/Media Production. He also scored all four seasons of Star Wars Rebels and is currently working on the first season of Clone Wars spinoff The Bad Batch.

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A thirty-plus-year veteran of film and TV scoring, Kiner’s a chameleon who can work with the themes and motifs set by other composers and spin them into broader, more dynamic cues demanded by the rigors of television storytelling. That’s borne out in his work for Star Wars, especially, where at this point he’s written more music for the universe than John Williams himself — while he finds moments to work in familiar motifs and themes, Kiner also carves out room for experimentation, which you can hear in the more synth-heavy scoring for Clone Wars: The Final Season.

The Spool sat down with Kiner for a nice, long chat about his long composing career, the challenges of finding creative new ways to spin the most familiar film music in history, and the joys of composing with his sons Dean and Sean Kiner.

Listen to our podcast above, and check out some highlights from the final season of Clone Wars on Spotify below.

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