It's hard to imagine a Star Wars movie springing to life without a score from John Williams. The legendary film composer put together a new suite of tracks for The Force Awakens, the Leviathan currently dominating your local multiplexes, social media feeds, and pop culture websites, and that collection of new music is now available for streaming and purchase through each major streaming service. (Spoiler warning: if you didn't catch an early showing of The Force Awakens last night and you're determined to maintain an absolute cone of silence around the movie's events, you should stop reading here.)
Many scores are released in advance of their associated film premieres, but Williams' work on The Force Awakens wasn't made available until after the movie's release. Star Wars has been burned before: one of the track titles on Williams' score for 1999's The Phantom Menace spoiled the fate of Liam Neeson's fatherly Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn. Given the extreme secrecy surrounding every bit of The Force Awakens before its premiere, a premature score release would've been out of place. There aren't any explicit spoilers embedded within the tracklist, but every major character makes an appearance, and you can trace a rough outline of the plot if you're determined to pull some meaning out of the titles. (The music's tone and intensity will give you a few hints, too.)
If you caught a late screening of The Force Awakens and you're desperate to relive the movie's magic, a few trips through the score might help; if you're just groggy and sleep-deprived, it's epic enough to give you a useful jolt. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in theaters now.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Our first reactions
For those of you who have seen the movie, check out a very special Vergecast where we discuss The Force Awakens. Be warned: There will be spoilers