Various Artists: Star Wars Headspace

Credit: Annabel Mehran

Zen master music producer Rick Rubin has played Yoda to countless musicians over the last decades. So he's the perfect guy to executive produce an album of Star Wars-themed EDM. The possibilities for such a project are pretty limitless, and the best tracks here approach the beloved source material with a sense of humor: Miami duo GTA's trap-step jape "Help Me!" is a frenetic, screw-ball mash-up of triumphal storm trooper-stomp horn flares, Princess Leia distress calls and Darth Vader heavy breathing. Other artists go for evocative beauty (see avant-hip hop visionary Flying Lotus' "R2 Where Are U," an adorably bleepy microhouse glide). Rubin himself teams up with producer A-Trak for a spacily slamming remix of "Jabba Flow," a reggae-tinged track written by director JJ Abrams and Hamilton genius Lin-Manuel Miranda that appeared in The Force Awakens. 

It would've been nice, however, if more contributors had taken chances. Claude VonStroke's "R2 Knows" is so-so techno with goofy planet-rock rapping that recapitulates plot points from the movies, and artists like "Harlem Shake" auteur Baauer's "Cantina Boys" or Royksopp's "Bounty Hunters" seem content to throw a snatch of Vader or 3PO or Boba Fett over a pro forma hunk of electro-throb and and call it a day. For the Star Wars generation, it can be hard to get beyond timid fanboy reverence.