And now we are continuing the review of Rogue One's soundtrack!! I hope you all have had a great Christmas. On to ... Part 2.
"Across the Stars" is Anakin and Padme's love theme from Attack of the Clones. Not that Rogue One has any noticeable romance in it at all, but the next track, "Jedha Arrival" features one of Giacchino's new melodies that begins with the first two or three notes from "Across the Stars." I was fooled the first time around, thinking that he'd actually taken that melody, but then it changed because the rest of the tune is different. Guys, there is a ton of Easter Eggs and references that just run rampant in Rogue One that serve as references to the other Star Wars movies and the Clone Wars TV series. In fact, here's a Spoil It! Constant Collectible podcast we aired live on recently where we talk all about Rogue One and those Easter Eggs. But Easter eggs in the actual soundtrack??? If I even get started, I'll never finish. With Giacchino composing a new melody with the first few notes from a theme by John Williams from an earlier movie, including all the familiar themes from A New Hope, well, that stuff just deserves all the hype.
I'm so excited about what I'll talk about next that I'm almost glad Michael Giacchino composed Rogue One rather than Williams. Moving on before I take that back: The track "Star-Dust," (Jyn's nickname her father gave her, also the name of the Death Star plans) starts almost exactly the same as the track "The Hologram/Binary Sunset" from A New Hope. The same instruments and intonations are used in the very beginning of both tracks. I'm not very fluent in music language, so I can't describe exactly what I want to mean, but I'll let you compare the two tracks. Just listen to the first 10-15 seconds of both and you'll hear the similarites.
"Confrontation on Eadu," "Scrambling the Rebel Fleet," "AT-ACT Assault," "The Master Switch," and "Rogue One" are the high action tracks, and I love how Michael Giacchino composes those. John Williams has a very unique style with the action and fight sequences, and Michael Giacchino sticks to that very well, while adding some of his own unique melodies and twists. While listening to movie soundtracks John Williams composed, I noticed that he takes some of the main themes and, even though they're slower and quiter, revves them up to fit with the tense, high action scores. "Scrambling the Rebel Fleet" is a good example of such brilliance. "Rogue One" is a cool track in that there is some piano used, just like the action soundtrack from the Battle of Hoth in Empire Strikes Back. I think that's one of John Williams's unqiue techiniques that Michael Giacchino decided to use. Has anyone here heard a high action soundtrack with a piano? Not me, unless it's from Star Wars. The tracks "The Master Switch" and "Your Father Would Be Proud" are good tracks if you're looking for something sorrowful, compelling, heart-rending, and dramatic. *sob*
I'm not sure exactly who the main antagonist for Rogue One is, but I'm suspecting it's Krennic. He doesn't actually have a theme song, but in the middle of and at the very end of the track "Krennic's Aspirations," we catch a little bit of the Imperial March (Darth Vader's theme) which goes pretty well with Krennic and all those dudes.
"Scrambling the Rebel Fleet"
"HOPE" IS EPIC!!!! 1) It's very highstrung, 2) there's a choir, just like "Duel of the Fates," and 3) Darth Vader acts in all his glory as ALL THE THEME SONGS FROM A NEW HOPE PLAY IN ONE SONG. There was even one time while listening to that track when I would have sworn Giacchino had copied note for note from Williams's orignal melody from A New Hope. Simply put, it's a wonderful track to end a wonderful movie.
As for all the new themes Giacchino came up with for Rogue One, the last three tracks in the soundtrack album are suites. A suite, from my understanding, is a melody from the movie as one whole, solid song which probably didn't play completely during the movie except for in the End Credits. These tracks are "Jyn Erso and Hope Suite," "The Imperial Suite," and "Guardians of the Whills Suite." When it comes to the End Credits, I believe the beginning and end fanfares were John Williams's original composition. For all the Star Wars End Credits, they're all exactly the same except for that movie's mainstream themes that play in the middle. I just sat there overcome with awe in the theater because I was not expecting to hear John Williams's End Credits at the very end, and that's what I was hearing.
"Jyn Erso and Hope Suite"
"The Imperial Suite"
"Guardians of the Whills"
I'm very sorry to say I could find the End Credits nowhere. You're just going to have to watch the movie itself if you want hear the Main Theme/Opening Titles and the End Credits. Nice move in not putting those songs on the soundtrack album, but what about after we've all seen it?
So there's my whole review on Michael Giacchino's soundtrack for Rogue One. Overall, I'm giving the soundtrack a 5 star and the movie itself a 4.89 (it WAS a 4.5. I enjoy using decimals for accuracy's sake). Giacchino did an incredible job in composing for this incredible movie and if he was trying to imitate John Williams's style, I'll just say I think he did better than I'd ever expect someone to. The different instrument variations, melodies, and dynamics were all surprisingly similar to the earlier movies, in particular, A New Hope. *smirk*
What did you guys think of the movie and the soundtrack? I want to hear AALLLL about your opinions and feedback. Thanks for reading and may the Force be with you all.