While the shooting and reshooting of Rogue One: A Star Wars story went on and on and on, the film’s composer, Michael Giacchino (Up, Star Trek, Doctor Strange) didn’t have the same luxury.
Compare and contrast. Here’s director Gareth Edwards spoke to the LA Times about the reshoots saying (which are pretty much a part of any blockbuster’s schedule these days “I think any other movie you would say, ‘That’ll do. We’re going to get a hit.’ But Star Wars is going to live forever if you do it properly. We just can’t let it go. You’ve got keep going until they prise it out of your hands.”
And here’s Giacchino speaking to Entertainment Weekly. “I mean we were literally planning a vacation when I got the call asking if I could come and talk to them about it. At the time, it left me with literally four and a half weeks to write.”
Part of the reason for the need for Giacchino to work so quickly were those reshoots. Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Argo), was supposed to be scoring the film, but the reshoots caused scheduling problems and he was forced to drop out, with Giacchino stepping in at the last second. Time may have been tight but for Giacchino it was a dream project – he’s been a massive Star Wars and John Williams fans practically all his life. “And I was talking to my brother about it,” he says of discussion he had immediately after being given the offer. “He goes, ‘Oh, come on. You’ve been writing this score since you were 10! You can do this.’”
Certainly the snippets we get to hear in the clip Entertainment Weekly has posted the new soundtrack – the first for a live-action Star Wars film not composed by John Williams (the Ewok movies were TV movies, so they don’t count – still sounds very John Williams. You’ll hear samples from two songs: “Her Path Is Clear,” which is most likely a Jyn Erso theme, and “Approach to Eadu,” which references the storm-drenched planet the Rebel spies visit. Keep an eye out for the timpani player, Don Williams, who is John Williams’s brother.