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


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I've listened to it through once (not having seen the film yet).  It's okay, nothing that great and nothing really disappointing.  I did get bored halfway through though, and didn't get back into it until "The Master Switch." The best bits for me were the reappearances of old themes.  I've had the new Imperial theme stuck in my head since that one "highlights" clip released last week, but the full version is a bit meh.  The other themes aren't bad. I liked Jyn's theme but I can't remember it now...  The "Across the Stars"-like theme I didn't even notice until it's concert suite rendition at the end of the OST.

 

Maybe I will like it more after I see the film, but I think it'll go the way of Jurassic World (my last Gia score), which I listened to for about a week after seeing that film, but it has been collecting virtual dust in my iTunes library ever since.

 

In the end, Rogue One for me is  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Have you not seen the track list for his score to 'The Light Between Oceans?'   Music Composed by Alexandre Desplat   1. Letters 2. Tom 3. Jyn Erso takes flight 4. T

The idea that Giacchino is the successor to Williams is an inane one that I wish would stop being entertained. That's not a jab at Giacchino, I like him. He certainly has his moments. But to whimsical

Well, exactly. It's the same thing that started the "M. Night Shyamalan is the new Steven Spielberg" trend after The Sixth Sense. Eventually these guys either carve out their own identity or they fade

6 minutes ago, dfenton85 said:

 

I'm a big Giacchino fan too, and I hear a lot of merits even in his less popular scores, but Rogue One has really underwhelmed me. :(

 

Well, I really like Doctor Strange, and most here don´t. In the last two years it is my second favorite effort from him (my favorite is Tomorrowland). And Star Trek Beyond let me cold (but I´m hope my opinion would change with the extended edition).

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I'm not a huge fan of many of the traditional Giacchino styles, particularly when used in big action movies, so I was happy that Star Wars forced him to go a little closer to Williams, largely abandoning choir, sad piano chords, long emotional string sections, etc. 

 

I love "Trust Goes Both Ways"!

 

---------------------

 

This new?

 

http://time.com/4594729/rogue-one-composer-score/

 

Nice interview.

 

One line is rather laughable though:

 

Quote

Composers typically have a year. (to compose a score)

 

Apparently the score is 98 percent original. 

 

He also notes that, unsurprisingly, everything you hear is his "first pass."

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1 hour ago, dfenton85 said:

The timing of all this is a little surreal. Within the period of about 4 hours, I was absolutely loving the Star Trek Beyond deluxe release followed by considerable disappointment while watching Rogue One. I can't think of any other time where I had such opposing opinions of a composers work in such a short timeframe.

 

I know right? 

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Just got home from seeing this in the theatre --- agree wholeheartedly with the disappointed reviews posted in the previously few pages.  I went in to the film fresh, having only heard those two preview tracks and being less than impressed by them.  I noted at the time that it felt that Giacchino was tripping over himself trying to emulate JW and that he also demonstrated his lack of ability to compose the complex, intricate and perfectly-fitting music that we've been blessed with for Star Wars with JW at the helm.

 

IMO, the music in the film was a mess 70+ percent of the time.  Too overbearing and loud at times, especially with forced crescendos, old Star Wars themes shoehorned in at some awkward places and used in unfitting or just blatant fan-servicing etc.  I'd have to watch again to really break down the issues I had with it scene by scene, but overall, the score was possibly the main thing weighing the movie down from greatness (along with the uneven, poorly paced script & quirky dialogue).  So many scenes begged either a different musical tone to them or required less (or more subtle) music ---- Giacchino just didn't seem to understand subtlety and restraint when he approached this score (and maybe he just lacks the ability to do so?)  When he used the OT themes in his work, there was maybe 1 or 2 times when it sounded nice and the rest of the time, it sounded awkward, forced, and in the film they were used in inappropriate ways.  My concern started with the terrible film title reveal music ---- how do you mess that up so badly?  It was very cringeworthy and set the tone for the rest of the film.

 

Please do not let Giacchino touch Star Wars again until others get their chance at rising to the bar that JW has set.

 

Planning on listening to the OT tomorrow --- hoping that some highlight sections can be picked out, but am expecting for this to be a score that I don't revisit often.  Since the Star Wars saga has my favorite film music of all time, this is a massively disappointing feeling.....

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Just ran through my first listen.

 

Ouff!! That new Imperial theme...truly cringeworthy stuff.

 

Overall, pastiche is clearly not Giacchino's forte, and it shows. Also, am I the only one who struggles with Giacchino's weakness for thematic manipulation. Jynn's theme literally has the same construction in contour and progression for all of its statements. And the Williams thematic quotes were all pretty awkward.

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1 hour ago, Score_Fan said:

Well, to hear Michael's score isn't great is disappointing, but not shocking. He did only have about 2 months to compose and conduct, after all.

I suspected that it wouldn't amount to Williams own calibre but credit goes to Giacchino for at least pulling it off. I see this tonight. My appreciation of the score will be purely in context of the score in the film.  I im curious if the Main Star Wars title theme is used for the opening as an excerpt  or not?

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Not going to find many disagreements there. It's a huge factor I reckon.

 

His mastery of the entire orchestra is unchallenged. Every time you hear a pastiche it becomes quickly apparent that they just can't work out how to balance the ingredients like JW can (and record it so it doesn't sound like a muddy mess).

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Alright, having watched the movie and listened to the soundtrack I think my impressions are pretty firmed up though I will revisit the OST again simply for academic purposes. This is a Gia score through and through with some very pastiche Star Wars/JW flourishes that are mostly poorly executed. Overall the small use of the Imperial March and original Vader/Death Star theme was more fitting and effective than the overuse of the Force Theme which sounded off quite a few times in the film. Beyond the actual quotes, Gia just isn't up to the task of emulating JW and he really shouldn't try. The new Imperial Theme is so close to the actual Imperial March, it's like he was tasked with writing a facsimile of it without breaking copyright law or something.

 

Jyn's Theme is completely forgettable and has the same Gia quality of trying to say too much too quickly. Most of the major musical moments in the film had that quality of being fast, busy, and loud without a clear direction and not really saying much of anything at all. I'm hardly one to criticize heavy handed music in films but it did seem like Gia was overdoing it throughout the film. One of the worst moments was the shot leading up to the reveal of 

Spoiler

Vader's castle. That music was a mess. Hyperactive, super loud, and without any clear melody.

But the absolutely worst musical moment in the entire film is near the beginning

Spoiler

when the Rogue One title card appears and we are treated to a truly awful, pastiche, Spaceballs quality not-the-Star Wars-main-title-theme but trying to be thing that Gia composed instead of just using a brief quote of the main title theme. Really, what the hell was that and why did anyone think that was a good idea.

I stayed all the way through the end credits to hear the music again and it did nothing for me. The film itself was solid though. I left satisfied but also without any desire to watch it again. 

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1 minute ago, publicist said:

First glance: depressingly simple in idea and construction with orchestrations to match - so far nothing new in the Giacchinoverse - but the sly Williams references like the Hoth quote in 'Jedha Arrival' are really unbecoming in their amateurishness, or rather, exposing how little MG has to offer musically (his own thematic material borders on work refusal). 

 

I for one do not think that Williams set an unreachable bar here: a composer of Christopher Gordon's caliber (insert other classical-trained composers with a firm hand for drama here) would have surely delivered his own distinctive version of the 'Star Wars' idioms but as it is, we are stuck with Golden Boy here.

 

Just for the record: Desplat really got fucked on this one.

 

Yup pub. Yup indeed.

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9 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

 

In-fucking-deed!

 

They should have him record his score and replace Giacchino's for the home video release!

I think Gia's score sounds as tired as he claimed to be when he was offered this gig.

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Most people watching the movie won't even notice they changed composer. 

 

The score is arguably serviceable for the most part. There were though more than a couple of times when Giacchino needed to calm it the fuck down a lot, because a lot of suspense scenes are poorly judged by the music, and it was distracting. It's a poorly spotted movie. 

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The best parts of the score, and the most Star Wars like, were the tense underscore moments. A could times he used woodwinds (clarinets especially) and brass to recall that militaristic underscore sound of the OT. But as soon as his hectic strings got started with their military vibe it all got to be too much. The simpler musical moments were good. The loud or thematic moments were all meh to bad.

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9 hours ago, alextrombone94 said:

Is the score available to listen to anywhere for people in the UK yet?

 

The score is now available on Disney Music YouTube Channel

 

And by the way, I just heard a great similarity between "The Imperial Suite" at 1:16 and "The Jedi Steps" at 0:58. I guess it's just a variation of the imperial march

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14 minutes ago, ChewyBomber said:

 

The score is now available on Disney Music YouTube Channel

 

And by the way, I just heard a great similarity between "The Imperial Suite" at 1:16 and "The Jedi Steps" at 0:58. I guess it's just a variation of the imperial march

Thanks! Time to give this soundtrack another listen. Despite not being impressed with it at all, I do want to understand it better. One problem is that the recording quality seems very flat. And I don't be dry like how TFA was recorded but really flat. The dynamics sound wrong.

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Let’s talk about the good stuff first. Giacchino definitely got the sound of Star Wars right for the most part. It sounds like Star Wars and I especially love the way he uses brass in opening seconds to draw you in. In terms of specific cues, I love parts of “Star-Dust” because Giacchino is just awesome with piano. Jyn’s theme is awesome, but definitely a rip-off of “Night on Yorktown.” Still, powerful stuff. If there is one cue I am buying it is the “Jyn Erso and Hope Suite.” His incorporation of Williams’s themes is very appropriate and transitions very nicely.

There are two main problems with the score. The first is that most of the action cues are so dry. It is not necessary bad composition, just dry. Like I am listening to an opera sitting in a white room without seeing the characters. I mean, it sounds like a space opera, but without the organic, fun, lively feeling that Williams put into his scores. And maybe it is because of the time constraint, but Giacchino fell back to the method of using a slow repetitive build up leading to a rising crescendo a bit too much. Giacchino also clearly struggled to imitate the complexity and intricacies of Williams’ underscore (as do much composers), and he is at his strongest, instead, when he let his own emotional voice shined through. The last part of “Rebellions Are Built on Hope” for example, is beautiful. Another example is the cue “Your Father Would Be Proud.” That cue sounds the least like Williams, but it is definitely a highlight of score.

The second issue is that most of the score sounds the same. It not because it is a continuous narrative, rather the cues stay flat throughout. There are too much of the same instruments, too much of the same rising notes, the same frantic orchestration. A lot of the cues lack a clear identity and are nearly indistinguishable from each other.  

After my first listen, it is probably my favorite Giacchino score of the year, but that is not saying much because I didn’t like any of his scores that much. I give it a solid ***1/2 stars. I can’t help but think what this score would be like had Desplat stayed on.

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Okay so I've have a had a couple of listens through and here are some thoughts (bear in mind I'm yet to see the film)

 

- It does sound like a Star Wars score, a Giacchino Star Wars score, but a Star Wars score nonetheless

- Jyn's Theme is quite nice, very Giacchino-y

- The action material is mostly engaging, the best material comes when he's clearly trying to write like JW (Confrontation on Eadu)

- Some of the adaptations of the Imperial March are slightly awkward, however I enjoyed the integrations of the Force Theme

- Was pleasantly surprised by some of the Star Wars themes that were referenced up throughout the score 

 

I'm not exactly overwhelmed by this score but I think it is a pretty solid effort given the time he had to write it in and the inevitable comparisons with JW. Obviously no way near the quality of any other Star Wars score, but did anyone expect it to be?

 

Of course I'm #teamdesplat so I'm still longing for what could have been.

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I wish I enjoyed Jyn's Theme. To me it sounds overwrought and its concert arrangement is particularly notable for how much its trying to sound grand and emotional. And the orchestration is a bit all over the place. I feel like Gia still doesn't understand how to write for the full orchestra. In one moment he has Jyn's theme playing on an aching string solo then fluidly by the whole string section backed by an over the top brass repeating phrase. The textures are all over the place and feel unconnected. Its just an non-cohesive piece of music with a melody that doesn't say much.

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59 minutes ago, publicist said:

Since i haven't seen the movie (and generally judge the music on its own terms) i think bad spotting is the least of its problems. 

 

I think it's the precise opposite since I always consider the occurrence of a standalone listenable work to be a happy bonus. I'll not be getting this one's OST though. 

 

56 minutes ago, artguy360 said:

The best parts of the score, and the most Star Wars like, were the tense underscore moments.

 

Have you seen the movie? The tenser moments are hamfistedly handled, there's loud mickey mousing all over them. 

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Yes I've seen the movie. Maybe it depends what moments you're talking about. I thought the quieter moments that weren't scored with Jyn's theme were the most effective at emulating the sound of Star Wars music. In those moments the use of woodwinds and brass was more effective than in the big moments. Some of the rhythmic string writing is pretty good too but occasionally hyperactive.

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