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Starfield’s soundtrack actually inspired the space RPG’s aesthetic

Starfield composer Inon Zur reveals in a new interview that the space RPG's main theme was made in 2016 without any knowledge about story or art direction

Starfield soundtrack: A screenshot of someone in a space suit looking up at a towering monster

A new interview with the composer of the Starfield original soundtrack has revealed that the game’s main theme music was one of the earliest creations in the entire development process, with the composition even influencing the aesthetic and art direction of the game.

Composer Inon Zur, who has scored every Fallout game for Bethesda in a more than 20-year partnership, says that he first wrote the first pieces of music for Starfield, including that now distinctive main theme, after a meeting with the developer in 2016 – two years before the game was even first announced to the public during E3 in 2018. At this early stage, Zur had only a very baseline understanding of what Bethesda wanted to achieve with Starfield.

“I composed those cues before I even knew the full vision for Starfield, so they were inspired by just the notion of the exploration, mystery and wonder of space,” Zur tells NME in an interview. “After I visited Bethesda Game Studios in early 2016 I wrote these two pieces based purely on this premise and using my imagination – I did not see any concept art or know the story yet.”

While most videogame OST composers will have some kind of visual references to help inspire their work, it’s clear Zur did not have this when creating the Starfield Suite – the first Starfield music to be released. Amazingly, the entire process was actually flipped, with Starfield Suite actually going on to inspire the game’s artists instead.

“It was essentially music that was shared with the artists for inspiration, and so they found themselves creating the game’s art and design aesthetic along to this music,” he explains. “Most of the time I take into consideration the story, the art design, the motivation of the characters and so on, but in this case, it was a unique chain of events whereby I wrote music that was just inspired by the idea behind Starfield.”

Zur also reveals that the current main theme – which he performed in a recent video from Bethesda – was never intended to be the centrepiece of Starfield’s soundtrack. Another main theme had been made and developed, but Bethesda kept coming back to “the six-note motif” behind the current theme.

With the Starfield release date still feeling rather distant, why not spend some time reading up on Starfield’s companions, factions, and planets? Or, dive into this fan-made Starfield encyclopaedia which holds over 400 pages of info on the upcoming space RPG.