By: Dominic Jones
Entertainment Weekly has continued its coverage this week of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with an interview with composer Michael Giacchino. Giacchino joined the project late after Alexander Desplat dropped out of the project due to scheduling changes caused by the reshoots. Giacchino is best known for his work on various Marvel films, including the recent Doctor Strange, and the three most recent Star Trek film. Giacchino sat down with EW's Anthony Breznican to talk about the transition and what it's like to work on a Star Wars film.
He spoke about how he got the call to join the project so late, saying,
Yes, literally the last thing I expected I’d be doing this month would be this. 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. So it was one of those decisions where you’re like, okay, well… And I was talking to my brother about it. He goes, “Oh, come on. You’ve been writing this score since you were 10! You can do this.”
Giacchino also spoke about the pressure of working on a Star Wars film, saying,
Aside from all that it was really fun to do. It was really fun to come in every morning and just look up at the screen and see Stormtroopers running around. And I thought, “This is pretty cool actually…” Part of me was stressing out about the timeline. But the other part of me was just like, “This is the greatest thing ever! This is so much fun!” So I really tried to just keep all the negativity, whatever, or be away from it, just so I could look at it and enjoy it. I wanted to make something that I would be happy with – even though I’m usually not happy with anything I do. [Laughs] But, you know, always at least to try and shoot for it.
When ask what his favorite theme was from the film, he replied,
I really enjoyed working with Jyn’s theme, and tying that into the movie, and having it slowly develop. And it’s sort of a very emotional sweeping thing, which was really nice to do. Now, I feel like there is this interesting sort of thing going on in film scoring where it’s all about restraint. And at times I totally agree with that, but at other times it’s just nice to unleash everything and just let 110 players go for it.
He also spoke about incorporating some elements of John Williams themes into the film, saying,
I think absolutely there are a couple of times when you want to hit upon something that was from the past. For me, even as a fan, it was about going, “Oh, this particular idea would be great if we did it here. I would want to see that if I were watching a Star Wars movie.” As a kid who grew up with John’s music and who was catapulted in this direction because of what he did, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted to use and how I wanted to use it. That being said, I’d say the score is 95 percent original but with little moments [of Williams’ classic score] here or there to accent. If I were sitting in that seat and I heard that, it would totally raise the hairs on my neck.
He also spoke about the opening of the film and how it will be different from previous Star Wars film, since Rogue One apparently won't have an opening crawl, saying,
It’s done slightly differently here because it’s not one of the saga films, it’s not one of the trilogies. It’s sort of its own thing and the whole idea from the very beginning was these should be standalone movies. So it’s going to be a slightly different way to get things kicked off.
This whole reshoots saga with Rogue One has been very interesting to observe, especially given it led to a pretty major crew shake up with the change in composer. It's interesting to hear that Desplat did actually do some work on Rogue One. It would be fascinating to hear that one day.
Also, it appears we have our confirmation that Rogue One will not have an opening crawl since Giacchino refers to working on something different for the film's opening. Personally, I was hoping Rogue One would have the opening crawl and am disappointed that it won't. While I'll keep an open mind (and am somewhat intrigued by) what Giacchino will do, but it's going to be very weird to not have a Star Wars film open with an iconic Star Wars crawl.
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