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Michael Giacchino's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

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Does anyone know Giacchino's early composing/music background before he composed for games and tv? After listening to the OST more and the FYC material I still find his style of noisy, directionless action music without a clear structure annoying to listen to. But when Gia does smaller scores or even smaller moments in scores there is much more balance to the orchestra and music in general. 

 

WIth JW, you can totally hear his jazz background in how he divides up the music among the different sections of the orchestra, in how his music stretches the orchestra to play so many different but intersecting parts, and in his music in general. I think JW's jazz background helps him in his dexterity with the orchestra. 

 

I'd love to understand what informs Gia's music or specifically action music.

 

I'm reminded a bit of Thomas Newman's first Bond score. I had never heard much Thomas Newman action music before but once I listened to the score I immediately understood where he was coming from. His action music keeps a very simple structure with some reliance on short hits of orchestral noise to create impact. Other than that his rhythms stay pretty simple and the music itself is easy to follow. Somehow it made sense to me that this is what Thomas Newman action music would sound like.

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25 minutes ago, Quintus said:

I tried to read the Filmtracks thread and I had to evacuate my eyes from the page shortly after because the formatting was making my brain begin a phased shutdown.

 

2003 called, they want their forum back. 

 

I read Filmtracks' forum everyday but contribute here a lot more specifically due to the forum design. The user experience is just not great over there and JWFan has the best forum software of all the score and non-score forums that I visit.

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18 minutes ago, leeallen01 said:

I think if the Rogue One title card had to be there, then it should have had Jyn's theme over it, for example 1:50 - 2:15 in 'Rebellions are built on Hope,' would have been great over the title card.

 

Anything would have been better than the actual music that plays over the title card unfortunately.

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4 hours ago, Stefancos said:

 

And yet you award it 3,5 and at times 4 stars!

3-3,5 stars actually and some moments merit 4 stars. Yup.

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Just now, peter.anschutz said:

They had a choir but didn't do Duel of the Fates! 0/10, would not listen again.

Oooh tough crowd!

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3 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

And soon, you'll brand it as a 5 stars score!

Gia would have to pay me a handsome sum for such grovelling.

 

 

 

P.S. Gia if you are reading this I am open to offers. 500 000 dollar minimum.

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2 hours ago, artguy360 said:

Does anyone know Giacchino's early composing/music background before he composed for games and tv?

 

He attended Juilliard... He's a graduate of the Harvard business school. He travels quite extensively. He lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. He's seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME HE SEES IT... NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY... NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think he's qualified?

 

4 hours ago, leeallen01 said:

I like to think of Giacchino's Imperial theme as just a precursor to the Death Star motif

 

That's because the Imperial March was composed out of the Death Star motif!

 

82116-Scanners-mind-blown-gif-HD-hea-0kK

 

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, leeallen01 said:

I really love the piece 'Hope,' as it reminds me of Williams Episode 3 approach, and of course specifically where Giacchino clearly wanted to emulate the feeling of this similar scene, especially 1:10 onward - 

 

Definitely one of the highlights of the score and film. Great choir backing and a good horror sound. I only wish the ending to the Imperial March quote was a little more seamless. There's just a slight awkwardness to it and the very final punch to the end credits doesn't quite land either.

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Is it fair to say Gia has trouble communicating emotions clearly in his themes in Rogue One? For me a lot of moments in the Rogue One score around Jyn's Theme and the Guardian of the Whills theme sound generically emotional but without any clarity. They're just big sweeping music moments.

 

In contrast, I am listening to Torn Apart from the TFA soundtrack and JW lands every emotion in the build up to 

Spoiler

Han's death

from a sense of fate, to a lot of hesitancy, a bit of optimism, conflict, then pain. The music is so delicate, deftly following the flow of the scene, and yet is also completely beautiful to listen to on its own. Musical moments like this is what I find missing from Gia's broader emotional music. Something about how to constructs themes and employs them in the score doesn't quite hit the nail on the head.

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14 hours ago, crocodile said:

The examples of which are...?

 

Karol

 

Sorry, I was going to post youtube excerpts and all, but never got to it. Off the top of my head, themes that come to mind are the "villain" themes from Jupiter Ascending (Abrasax?), Star Trek (Nero) and Tomorrowland. Perhaps they're not necessarily overtly "cheesy" per se, but they are equally generic, relying on those same old "bad guy" intervals that Williams popularized in the film medium anyway.

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I'm really disappointed that the end credits suite wasn't included on the OST, I really don't understand why they omitted it.  Is this the first Star Wars soundtrack that doesn't include the end credits suite?  I know not all the others included the actual film versions but, they had a version of it, right?  It just makes for an odd ending to a Star Wars album.

 

All the marketing for the film itself did everything under the sun to make the connection to Star Wars but, this OST seems to do everything it can to distance itself from Star Wars.  With all the easter eggs and connections the film makes to ANH, why did they not want the same thing from the score?

 

Yes, I'm bitter about the omission of the full end credits, it's just an odd choice IMO.  Outside of a few moments, it just doesn't feel like a Star Wars album.  I'm not sure what I was expecting but, I'm a little disappointed.

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3 minutes ago, rolltide1017 said:

I'm really disappointed that the end credits suite wasn't included on the OST, I really don't understand why they omitted it.  Is this the first Star Wars soundtrack that doesn't include the end credits suite?  I know not all the others included the actual film versions but, they had a version of it, right?  It just makes for an odd ending to a Star Wars album.

 

All the marketing for the film itself did everything under the sun to make the connection to Star Wars but, this OST seems to do everything it can to distance itself from Star Wars.  With all the easter eggs and connections the film makes to ANH, why did they not want the same thing from the score?

 

Yes, I'm bitter about the omission of the full end credits, it's just an odd choice IMO.  Outside of a few moments, it just doesn't feel like a Star Wars album.  I'm not sure what I was expecting but, I'm a little disappointed.

 

That's probably my biggest gripe with the album. Especially since the credits music is a new recording! Not sure why it was ommited.

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52 minutes ago, Damien F said:

I've been listening to the OST again and it occurred to me that the Imperial theme is very similar in character and tone to the nazi theme from The Last Crusade. The problem therefore is that the Indy movie is lighter in tone and the Empire requires a more malevolent and powerful sounding theme.

 

I think that's one of the reasons the Imperial theme sounds like a misstep to some people.

Yeah to me that's not just an odd decision, it is baffling to not have the last track of the OST be the end credits. But I don't remember the end credits music very well even though I sat through all of it. Maybe it was just a copy and paste of other cues instead of new arrangements so Gia didn't feel a need to include it. 

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The end credits in the film is just a new recording of the ANH end credits opening, pieces of each of the three suites that end the CD, then a new recording if the ANH end credits closing. 

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Could the "misstep" with the new Imperial/Krennic theme be that it's in too "peppy" of a key? I don't know much about keys and moods, but what if it were in a different key?  Also, I was listening to the OST again and my brain kept connecting Jyn's Theme with the Imperial/Krennic theme, even though that's obviously not what the music was doing. It was like the Imperial statement could have finished off the statement of Jyn's theme. They both have similar jumps between notes in the first few bars (and so does the Hope Theme for that matter), which is what made me think of the Imperial/Krennic theme being perhaps too sprightly. Or I'm just making connections that aren't actually there...

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Just got back from seeing the film, which is exactly how I expected it to be, perhaps a little more optimistic. The score worked wonderfully in the film, even if it didn't have a clearer emotional driving center other than Jyn and Krennic's themes. When the new imperial theme blasted out the first two or three times I noticed it didn't seem as effective as the Imperial March, but a few more times and I loved it, I think it was communicated more effectively than Jyn's theme which I still liked!

 

The Approach to Eadu cue is my favorite from the film, so I hope an official expanded release is on the horizon! 

 

 

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to better organise my thoughts on the score I'm going to split it into pros and cons.

 

PROS:

- I do quite like the proto-Imperial March theme and Krennic's theme, even found myself unable to stop humming it

- some of the underscore tricks me into thinking I'm listening to Williams and for the most part, the Star Wars sound is there

- Jyn's theme despite being a bit generic is hummable and effective, particularly in the track 'Your Father Would be Proud' which brings me to the next point...

- pretty much everything about 'Your Father Would be Proud', love the tone, the orchestration and the Prequel-style dramatic ending to the piece

- pretty much everything about 'Hope', in particular the middle section with the Tantive IV escaping conjures up some very strong emotions and I connect it instantly to Star Wars even though I'm not sure why

- the integration of Williams themes is well done for the most part, favourite examples would be the deconstructed Imperial March in the choir from 'Hope' followed by a brief statement with a new and exciting flourish, and the very seamless and appropriately eerie Deathstar motif attached to the Imperial theme

 

CONS:

- while not the worst examples I've heard, its very frustrating to hear the start of a theme you are very familiar with and then have it turn into something different. examples of this are the notes of Across the Stars in Guardian of the Whills and Luke's theme in the Hope theme.

- the action music is pretty bland and relies more on rhythm than melodic identity, the attempt to emulate Williams' ecclectic nature fall flat and there's not much distinction between the action-heavy tracks. this is a huge missed opportunity with the amazing action in the movie, imagine what Williams would've written for that space battle!

- inconsistency in thematic writing. Giacchino doesn't really commit to manipulation and inclusion of themes to tell a story though leitmotif and if he does do it, the quotes of the themes are static for the most part

- the quotes of the Force theme are quite bland and feel misplaced at times. there were opportunities to have a thematically different take on these, maybe a more militaristic one like in Episode 3

 

13 minutes ago, RPurton said:

Just got back from seeing the film, which is exactly how I expected it to be, perhaps a little more optimistic. The score worked wonderfully in the film, even if it didn't have a clearer emotional driving center other than Jyn and Krennic's themes. When the new imperial theme blasted out the first two or three times I noticed it didn't seem as effective as the Imperial March, but a few more times and I loved it, I think it was communicated more effectively than Jyn's theme which I still liked!

 

The Approach to Eadu cue is my favorite from the film, so I hope an official expanded release is on the horizon! 

 

 

you can listen to it here: http://www.waltdisneystudiosawards.com/music/rogue_one/4m25ApproachtoEadu.mp3

 

probably the most interesting action music in the movie even if it doesn't change as much in rhythm as I would have liked. bit of an 'Asteroid Field' feel near the middle of the track and the brass blasts are quite exciting. also noticed that Jyn's theme works really well in an action context as a driving force, would've liked to hear more done with that.

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2 hours ago, Jay said:

The end credits in the film is just a new recording of the ANH end credits opening, pieces of each of the three suites that end the CD, then a new recording if the ANH end credits closing. 

 

Actually, and I posted this on the FYC thread since it is not there either, there is a very low playing of the Whills theme after the end of the ANH 2nd half. It's sort of like how JW finished TFA although I would say even more subtle. It sounded to me initially just like a sustain of the last note, but in my second viewing of the film, I could distinctly hear the theme. 

 

So, I too wish they had put in the whole end credit sequence as mixed on the OST. Guess I will just grab it from the Blu-ray release when that comes out. I will say the transition from the last suite back to ANH was pretty rough though in terms of the edit/mix.

 

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5 hours ago, KK said:

Sorry, I was going to post youtube excerpts and all, but never got to it. Off the top of my head, themes that come to mind are the "villain" themes from Jupiter Ascending (Abrasax?), Star Trek (Nero) and Tomorrowland. Perhaps they're not necessarily overtly "cheesy" per se, but they are equally generic, relying on those same old "bad gay" intervals that Williams popularized in the film medium anyway.

 

KK... And I thought you were a decent guy...

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Weren't the end credits for TFA different for theatrical release and dvd/blu-ray release. I saw it on TV a week ago and noticed that they inserted Rey's Theme from the concert version and not the End Credits, Jedi Steps and Finale version. 

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6 minutes ago, KK said:

Uhh...uhmm...erhmm...well...

 

...

 

 

The "bad gay" intervals... Sounds like something religious fanatics would say!

 

"Anyone would will be heard whistling the bad gay intervals will be burned at the stake!"

 

That's it, you're going on my Ignore List!

 

2 minutes ago, RPurton said:

Weren't the end credits for TFA different for theatrical release and dvd/blu-ray release. I saw it on TV a week ago and noticed that they inserted Rey's Theme from the concert version and not the End Credits, Jedi Steps and Finale version. 

 

Yep, it was changed for the home video release (I think it was because the text was changed a bit to include more people).

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1 minute ago, RPurton said:

Weren't the end credits for TFA different for theatrical release and dvd/blu-ray release. I saw it on TV a week ago and noticed that they inserted Rey's Theme from the concert version and not the End Credits, Jedi Steps and Finale version. 

 

Yeah. The film simply edited in a part of the "March of the Resistance" concert suite to extend it when it was in theatres but they extended it further when it came out on home media. Forgot to mention a few people, did they?

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2 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

 

The "bad gay" intervals... Sounds like something religious fanatics would say!

 

"Anyone would will be heard whistling the bad gay intervals will be burned at the stake!"

 

That's it, you're going on my Ignore List!

 

I have no idea what you're talking about! I'm being set up!

 

This won't bode well for my upcoming campaign for Moderatorship, will it?

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Forgot to mention the only jarring moment in the score with the film was when Jyn and Cassian are inside the archive room climbing the unit as Krennic enters. Not sure what track FYC or OST it's on but it was two repeated notes just at maximum loudness. 

 

EDIT: Oh, it's in beginning of The Master Switch.

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1 hour ago, RPurton said:

Forgot to mention the only jarring moment in the score with the film was when Jyn and Cassian are inside the archive room climbing the unit as Krennic enters. Not sure what track FYC or OST it's on but it was two repeated notes just at maximum loudness. 

 

EDIT: Oh, it's in beginning of The Master Switch.


That whole scene felt like rushed re-shoots to me.

Spoiler

 

As soon as Cassian had that vague "death" after falling, I knew he'd come back with a clichéd 'saves the day' moment by saving Jyn from Krennic. Lo and behold, that was exactly what happened.

 

They were probably meant to escape the archives, head back down to the beach, then reach a different comms tower in the original cut. Krennic follows them and their trail of destruction, has a different confrontation atop the tower, and has a far more satisfying death (I almost wish the "fake" spoiler I read a few days ago had been real -- Vader choking him to death for letting the Death Star plans escape).

 

 

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I knew he [Cassian] wouldn't die there. I was probably bugged by Krennic's disposal more, but I'm still debating that with myself. I'm crazy.

If those rumours were true I think it would be too much Vader.

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14 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

This is not the spoiler-allowed thread, dudes!

 

Discussing fake spoilers and events that never happened in the final cut ain't spoilers!

 

Well, okay, maybe a bit. Post edited.

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I'm loving this piece more and more.

 

Like the quiet and understated Death Star motif at 0:45.

 

And from 1:20 - 1:55 is basically the most Imperial 35 seconds of music in Star Wars history. We get Imperial rhythms, followed by Vader's motif, followed by Giacchino's new Krennic theme, and his new Imperial theme, then the Death Star motif, all in that little section. Jam packed full of Imperial goodness.

 

 

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Another thing I'll add, Gia's handling of Mustafar sucked. 

 

Like, seriously, how can you listen to the music JW composed for that planet and not even attempt to recreate the brilliant bombast of it? At the very least, give us a slice of the brassy musical identity JW gave it (considering the lack of title card). To think we finally got to see Vader's castle and it was accompanied by... that. :angry:

 

And just echoing everyone else, it was actually more distracting that Gia went to such lengths of avoiding established themes during key moments in film (when it called for them). By the climax, every scene with Vader deserved to be full-blown Imperial March because it would have felt 'earned' after his restraint throughout the rest of the film (using his new Imperial theme everywhere).

 

It just became thoroughly irritating by the end, the amount of times you hear two or three notes of a stalwart JW theme only for it to go in a completely different (and incongruent) direction. The "opening title" was the worst offender. Stop being a cocktease and just embrace the older themes!

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Maybe he actually cared about the sanctity of Williams' thematic development throughout the original trilogy, and didn't want to plaster the film with Leia, Force theme, Rebel fanfare, Imperial March, Luke's theme, before Williams masterfully introduces them for the next film. Oh and he perhaps also wanted to write his own stuff, and not copy and paste. Otherwise what's the point of even showing up?

 

If people want to hear lots of old theme statements, then I could suggest a few films that they are in abundance.

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Oh, I'm not trying to defend that moment. It does sound bad. One of the worst moments in the score.

 

Just trying to explain to those that say "Why tease us with something that sounds like the theme instead of simply using the theme, Gia?" that maybe Gia was asked not to use that theme. Simple as that.

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13 minutes ago, Daniel Clamp said:

I'm eager to hear this score on its own but my local music stores have all sold out.

 

And I don't want to download it because I want to hear it properly on my hi-fi.

Which stores in Australia have it in stock? It's scheduled for release on the 19th from JB HI-FI.

EDIT: whoops, it must've sold out! Yikes, I didn't expect it to be that popular.

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