Ever since the inception of the Star Wars series in 1977 by director George Lucas, every one of the films has been scored by the same man, the legendary composer John Williams. Williams composed the iconic Star Wars main title film, as well as all of the other music in the films, from A New Hope to The Force Awakens. In fact, Williams’ score for The Force Awakens last year earned him an Oscar nomination - the 50th of William's long and decorated career.
It’s been known for awhile that Williams would not be scoring this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, sitting out one of the films for the first time. The 84-year-old Williams has suffered health problems in recent years, although he’s set to return for next year’s Star Wars: Episode VIII. Veteran Wes Anderson collaborator Alexandre Desplat was originally announced, last spring, as the Rogue One composer, but now it appears he himself has been replaced.
Michael Giacchino is the new composer of Rogue One, the THR reported this week. The switch came as a result of the production's recent reshoots. The reshoots, the report said, led to a rescheduling of the film’s scoring, now set for a time when Desplat was not available, leaving room for Giacchino to take on the project.
Giacchino is an accomplished composer in both film and television. He scored all of the TV series Lost (which was co-created by J.J. Abrams), all three of the Abrams' Star Trek movies and most of the recent Pixar films, including The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Up — for which he won an Oscar — as well as this year’s Zootopia. Giacchino is also a longtime Star Wars fan who even filmed a cameo in the Force Awakens, as a stormtrooper.
While it’s going to be weird to have a Star Wars score composed by someone besides John Williams, Giacchino is an inspired choice. The opening sequence of Up, featuring his score, is one of the most purely magical movie moments of the past 10 years, and if he can bring anything close to that to Rogue One, it will certainly have been the right decision.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.