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Impressions – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story soundtrack – Music by Michael Giacchino

In keeping up with all things Star Wars, I wanted to give my impressions of the film’s score. I spoke briefly on this in my review of the movie. The film was originally set to be scored by prior Gareth Edwards collaborator Alexandre Desplat. Once he was no longer available, Michael Giacchino was called in and only had four weeks to get the music done for the film. The time frame had people concerned that the music would feel rushed. Obviously it would have been better if Giacchino had more time, the product put forth is a solid effort in Star Wars musical canon.

I will admit it still gets me to not hear the iconic theme to open things up. However this isn’t the typical Star Wars film so it makes sense that this isn’t a typical Star Wars score.

The music is thankfully in order as it’s heard in the film. Similar to John William’s score for The Force Awakens there aren’t big, bombastic themes that you can instantly identify. It works Best as a whole as opposed to something you can pick and choose such as the score for A New Hope. 

The first half of the score is similar to the structuring of the film’s first 2 acts. Things move quickly and it seems that Giacchino is trying to get his footing in where to give the film its own musical identity, but still making it Star Wars. Throughout the music you will hear those motifs just to remind you where you are. There’s a great inclusion of The Imperial March that gives me goosebumps.

Once the music shifts the scene to Scarif, like the film it picks up significantly. Giving a beautiful audio mixture of in the trenches war themes and Star Wars familiarity. You hear the evolution of the sound leading up to when the 1977 original comes into play. So as the music goes on, it improves.

Like the film, Rogue One’s music is a good start to this new era of cinematic Star Wars. If Giacchino is to do more music for the series, I am pleased with this effort and look forward to his and other composers to leave their mark on this iconic franchise.

Final Score (3.5/5) Rogue One’s score plays to your ears like the movie does for your eyes. Takes a moment to get itself situated, but once it does, it’s pretty darn good.

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