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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Music Composed by Michael Giacchino Original Star Wars Music by John Williams It's not Williams, so I felt that a lot of people didn't like it. But it's not about the composer it's about what's being composed. (BTW Giacchino is still amazing!). This week I decided to follow up on my previous soundtrack review for The Last Jedi with this anthology soundtrack. I promise that next to all of the themes used in this movie are brand new. We will get started soon, but first, any thoughts on this soundtrack or movie as a whole. Track-by-Track Thoughts (OST) He's Here For Us It was not at all disappointing to not see the traditional main title. These anthology films should stick to a sudden boom into the movie in my opinion. This piece is great. The dramatic strings and the Imperial theme for this movie, followed by Jyn's Theme and an ominous Jaws-like ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum. I was quite pleased with this opening scene. Krennic was my favorite new character as you might have guessed from my first profile picture, and the music to accompany him is nothing short of that. A Long Ride Ahead This is also a great track, following up the first. It goes well together with the opening, continuing that Jaws idea. Then sorrow and surprise as (ahem) Lira gets blasted by a death trooper. "They have a child... Find it". Then there is a bit of bumbling brass as the death troopers storm this house, a recurring idea which can be considered as a motif for the dark-clad soldiers. Jyn's theme is present softly as she gets her light to work in the bunker. Then Saw comes, and things are unsure. The music follows into main title, gloriously blasting the Hope theme. Wobani Imperial Labor Camp This track starts out with Jyn's theme, softly as she awakes in prison, and then switches into the Ring of Kafrene, where some great brass carries the shot from the heights to the underworld. The dramatic strings prepare us for the scene to come. Trust Goes Both Ways This one has some good string ideas. Jyn's theme hints and and the Force theme, interestingly, pop up. A whizzing banjo streak pulls into Jedha, where Bodhi is being taken by Saw's rebels. The eerie bassoon, chiming and strings give it a very nice, tense feel. Then the scene ends and this awesome bit, drums and banjo, beats out of the scene. When Has Become Now This is a good chunk of the Imperial Suite. The nice variations carry this one through as Tarkin and Krennic's disagreements are highlighted. Interestingly enough, the Death Star motif is used. Jedha Arrival Jyn has a dream, so her light theme is present, but as she awakes and they land, the mood changes from innocent and soft to serious. There is a mission at hand. Then there is Saw, who is welcomed musically with the banjo. The notes are tense and gritty as Saw declares Bodhi's fate. Jedha City Ambush This is a neat battle piece. Probably a highlight of the highlighting action pieces in the score. A good melodic idea satisfies. Stardust This is one of my favorite parts of this soundtrack. The sorrow and solemnity in the piano is just heart-breaking. After watching the movie as much as I did, I decided to get the soundtrack because of this part.The hurried strings rush in as the Death Star destroys Jedha City. I also liked the beginning part where all the switches and controls are being put in place on the Death Star. Shot for shot of the OT, another good note. Confrontation on Eadu This is a long excerpt from the soundtrack. It's not my favorite listen, but it still offers up some good music. Some brass trills similar to the OT accompany the X-Wing attack on Eadu, and tensity is present on the platform for good reason. Krennic's Aspirations I love the music as Krennic's ship soars to the castle on Mustafar. I was really happy to see some planets we already knew in the movie, but the new ones were very good too. It seems that with each new movie, they always go somewhere else. Anyways, the rumblings in this piece are very nice. I enjoy the Vader reflections in this, as well as the Imperial motif. Rebellions Are Built on Hope I really liked the Rebels and Yavin in this movie. It gave some perspective to where they are at going in to Star Wars. Excellent use of the Hope theme. Rogue One One of my favorite excerpts from this soundtrack. I love the almost March-like theme for this group. It really is a great composition. It follows the hurried and anxious setting of the movie at this point. Cargo Shuttle SW 0608 Previously one of my least favorite pieces, the slowness of the musical repetition has grown on me. I sort of like it now, and it's quite a Williams-esque suspense idea. Scrambling the Rebel Fleet I like all the Rebellion bits in here, and then the extravagant Jyn theme in there is great. This one gives some of that nice brass from the OT to us. AT ACT Assault It's alright and features some more battle music, as well as some of the Guardians of the Whills theme. Another action piece that highlights the score. The Master Switch Beautiful. It's a great building suspense piece, and then the end scene with *ahem* Baze and Chirrut's death, which was beautiful, has the best use of the Guardians of the Whills theme on solo string. Your Father Would Be Proud Yes Michael Giacchino, he would be with this one. The pinnacle of the score. Hope Well, we had to wait 2 hours for the best part of the movie but we got it and the music to go with it. Phenomonal. I knew nothing of Rogue One's story before I watched it, and I was pleasantly surprised. I thought the movie was over but then they threw this at me. It makes me want to see a Vader movie where he's just a total beast. Great job by the choir, who made this scene even more epic. Jyn Erso and Hope Suite Hope Theme> Jyn's theme. Jyn's Theme is not strong enough for her character, but the Hope theme is just that: Hope. Imperial Suite When I watched Rogue One, this is the theme I took away from it. I like how Giacchino didn't automatically resort to the Imperial March for this movie, despite how similar this is to the ESB theme. Guardians of the Whills Suite Very nice work from the voices and a theme that wasn't used enough, at least not in a way it was used in the end credits. Superb work.
Being that this is the first Star Wars score that will not be composed by Williams, What do people think about the decision of having Desplat do it? I never really got into him until recently, mostly "imitation game," "danish Girl," and "unbroken." The man definitely has talent but... Star Wars talent? Maybe he'll pull some great themes out of his ass but what I'v observed is that he excels in more "thoughtful" movies, ya know, the ones where the theatre is filled with a whole lot of white people sitting with their legs crossed and fingers folded on their lap. Not that that is all he does, but the music from "godzilla" or "zero dark thirty" never really stood out to me as much as the ones mentioned above. I might be completely off, but I still feel like someone along the lines of Giacchino would be a better pick? I just don't get the sense that Desplat can make a more than serviceable star wars score based on my experience with his music. Then again, i totally didn't see "The Secret Life of Pets" score coming from him, and that one's great! Thoughts?