There is no other franchise in film where the music is as integral as the Star Wars franchise. John Williams seven scores have been as much a character in the saga as any onscreen presence, and there’s scarcely a person in Western Civilization who doesn’t know a few pieces from Star Wars scores (even if they don’t realize it). Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in addition to being the first non-episodic Star Wars film, is also the first film to not be scored by John Williams. Oscar-winner Alexandre Desplat (who took over for Williams on the Harry Potter series) was slated to score the film, but today The Hollywood Reporter announced that due to a scheduling conflict the new composer of the film will be Michael Giacchino.
So is this a reason to panic? Should we panic? No. Michael Giacchino is, to me, a huge upgrade. I mean that as no disrespect to Desplat, who has done some wonderful scores, but I’ve always hoped that when the sad day comes that Williams cannot continue the musical journey he began, Giacchino would be THE perfect person to continue Star Wars‘ legacy of epic scores. Giacchino has an Oscar of his own for Up, he’s a regular composer for Disney’s Pixar films, and raised the Star Trek scores back to epic status with his work on the last three films in that franchise. He’s JJ Abrams’ usual composing partner (going all the way back to Lost), and a gigantic Star Wars fan himself, so-to me-this is great news. John Williams is scoring Episode VIII and now we have the best possible choice scoring the first spin-off. Lucasfilm and Disney score again.