Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives 3 months from today, but we’ve received some shocking news: Alexandre Desplat has departed as composer of the film due to scheduling conflicts and has been replaced by the great Michael Giacchino!
Giacchino, long-time collaborator of The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and Oscar winner for Up, is the perfect choice to score a Star Wars film: he’s widely considered to be the principle heir to John Williams, sharing many stylistic qualities with the original Wars maestro. Desplat, an excellent contemporary of Giacchino’s, was undoubtedly an interesting choice, and we’re disappointing that his Rogue One score will never reach our ears, but Giacchino generally seems a much more suitable fit for the world of Wars!
One downside of this change is that it signals further internal difficulty in Rogue One‘s production. The film has been engaged in last-minute reshoots following reports of studio dissatisfaction. Rumours suggest that Bourne Legacy director Tony Gilroy has taken control of the edit from credited director Gareth Edwards, and that the script was given to Chris McQuarrie for improvements. After the mess that was Suicide Squad, a summer blockbuster with a messy production and visible creative schizophrenia, fans are rationally concerned that this experimental Star Wars spin-off could go in a similar direction. Giacchino, busy with work on Marvel’s Doctor Srange, will hopefully have enough time to create something magical and memorable for Edwards’ film (we suspect his Strange score is done and dusted anyway).
Giacchino’s best work- Lost, The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol– is well-known, but if you need proof that he’s still on top form in 2016, look no further than his fantastic music of Star Trek Beyond (the best thing about that film by a mile):
In 2014, I produced a half-hour radio documentary on Giacchino’s career and music, which you can listen to below:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for release on December 16, 2016.