Preview: Once again it’s time to break out the tin-foil hats and declare that the sky is falling for Lucasfilm’s first stand-alone Star Wars movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. For the record, I like to craft my metallic headgear into the form of an 1800’s Tricorn style hat. With the hat firmly affixed to my head, and looking quite dapper, let’s cross the Delaware and see what scuttlebutt lies waiting on the other side.
The most recent news surrounding Rogue One is that Michael Giacchino will replace Alexandre Desplat as the composer for the film. This news is one giant Sarlacc pit (or package) of both terrifying and exciting.
Due to the Summer reshoots, the production schedule for the film was altered just enough, that the Academy Award winning composer was unable to score the film due to a scheduling conflict.
I don’t know how Hollywood works, but this all sounds a bit fishy. I can’t imagine what was bigger than becoming the first composer other than John Williams to score a Star Wars movie?
It was reported that Desplat’s next gig is to score Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets which is scheduled for release on July 21st, 2017. There’s no way he left Rogue One to do that, so it had to be something else.
I just can’t imagine what it could be, though. Are the people in the movie industry so professional that scoring a film is just another job, and that the film itself does not matter? I doubt that.
I can’t help but believe that between the reshoots, and everything else, Desplat just wasn’t the right person for this film, but who decided that? It certainly wasn’t Gareth Edwards, the film’s director. He and Desplat worked together back in 2014 on Godzilla. Desplat wasn’t some random hire, he was Edward’s guy. Not only that, but Alexandre Desplat wasn’t some slouch. He comes with some serious credentials. He won an Academy Award for The Grand Budapest Hotel, a film I highly recommend, and he was nominated for seven additional Academy Awards for various films including Argo and The King’s Speech.
In the end, we may never know the real reason for Desplat’s departure. Assuming that it was a scheduling conflict, it doesn’t sound like there was a lot done to keep him onboard. If they really wanted him for the score you think they could have offered him more money, a new car, or even a fancy title. That last one usually keeps me around. Whatever the reason, Alexandre Desplat is out and Michael Giacchino is in.
I always figured that Michael Giacchino would get the nod to score a Star Wars film, with Episode IX as the likely candidate. I’m sure it’s John Williams’ to turn down, but Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow and Giacchino worked together on Jurassic World, so it’s a natural fit.
I like Michael Giacchino a lot. I absolutely love the work he did on Lost and the Star Trek movies, and I have no doubt that he’ll do a wonderful job with this film. That’s assuming, of course, that composing and entire film score at the eleventh hour isn’t some Herculean feat that even a Bach, Beethoven or Brahms could not achieve.
Interestingly, the timeframe may not be all that dire. According to Wikipedia, “The composer usually enters the creative process towards the end of filming, at around the same time as the film is being edited… The length of time a composer has to write the score varies from project to project; depending on the post-production schedule, a composer may have as little as two weeks, or as much as three months to write the score. In normal circumstances, the actual writing process usually lasts around six weeks from beginning to end.”
Granted it’s Wikipedia, but Michael Giacchino was not returning my calls for an interview, so it’s all I’ve got. Believe it or not, this is not unchartered territory for Giacchino. In a 2013 interview with Vulture.com, he had this to say about his work on Lost.
“[Lost taught me] how to be quick, be fast, don’t overthink things, go with your gut, and get it done as efficiently and properly as [I] can,” he says. Giacchino didn’t discuss musical ideas with J.J. Abrams or anyone on the show — there wasn’t time. For “There’s No Place Like Home” and its repeated use, it was hitting the notes, orchestrating, then sending off for recording. “I could do anything I wanted. I had a lot of freedom to do what I wanted to do. There was no time.”
I don’t know how much freedom Giacchino will have on Rogue One, but he’ll certainly need to work fast. If nothing else, I hope he can find a way to sneak in his rendition of The Imperial March, complete with lyrics, of course. It has to be the choral version.
The Cantina Cast
The wretched hive your Jedi Master warned you about!