Nov. 25: Two Minutes


“A Fighting Chance to Live” by James Horner

I give two minutes…for you and your gallant crew.


I know, I know. Here I go again, right?

This is the third time I’ve picked a cue from STAR TREK III, but damn it if it’s not one of my favorite scores of the franchise.

Following defeat at the hands of Kruge and the Klingons (which I talked about for November 15) and the murder of David Marcus1I’ve always felt that it was the absolute right call by Horner to not score this scene nor Kirk’s reaction to it, Kirk agrees to surrender Enterprise to save the lives of Saavik and Spock, asking for a minute to inform his “crew.” Kruge, in return, gives Kirk two minutes.

Of course, Kirk has one final trick up his sleeve.

This sequence is yet again another example of Horner’s music perfectly accompanying the action on screen. As Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov set the self destruct sequence, pulsing strings ratchet up the tension as Horner’s Enterprise theme is performed by the tuba.

Kirk’s theme comes in once again as he and the others beam off the ship just before Torg and his men materialize on the transporter pad. Swirling Klingon horns play over their walk through the ship and arrival on the bridge.

The music quiets with sustained string notes becoming more and more dissonant as the countdown approaches zero. The actual destruction of Enterprise, while hard to hear over the sound effects, is scored by rumbling piano and thunder sheet; the full orchestra returns with rolling tympani as what remains of the ship enters the atmosphere of the Genesis Planet and burns up as our crew watches.

The cue concludes with a final, dying reprise of part of the Enterprise theme again on solo tuba.

I could say this about a lot of the score to this film, but this is one of those cues where I can picture the action in my head from the music alone. Another brilliant cue by James Horner.

“A Fighting Chance to Live” by James Horner

#Notevember was created by Chris (aka @ShelfNerds) on Twitter.

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