Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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            Giacchino’s work is ubiquitous in popular American media these days.  Born in New Jersey and educated at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, he began his career with Universal Studios, but soon moved to Disney.  Early on he achieved success as a composer for video games, with notable scores written for the games, Call of Duty, The Incredibles, The Lost World:  Jurassic Park, and The Lion King, to name only a few.  He soon moved on to television and the movies.  There, the awards came pouring in.  Among the dozens of them, he has garnered Golden Globes, Emmys, Grammys, and Academy Awards.  Among his many movie successes are Spider Man:  Homecoming, Ratatouille, The Incredibles, and Doctor Strange.  Let’s not forget the TV series, Lost, and the soundtracks for the Disney theme park ride, Space Mountain.  A busy man, indeed!

             Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a kind of space opera film from 2016 that, while incorporating many of the familiar elements of the original films, was nevertheless intended to be a very different take in all respects.  It was a solid hit, ranked the twenty-fifth largest grossing film of all time, but also garnered criticism for the inclusion of computer-generated imagery of deceased actors.  Giacchino was not selected as the original composer for the film, but it fell into his lap at the last moment.  He had all of four and half weeks to score the whole film.  While the music is clearly his own, he did incorporate some of John Williams themes from the early, familiar films of the saga.  The sweeping, dramatic score is apt testimony to Giacchino’s complete mastery of the symphonic orchestra for cinematic purpose, and shows there’s more than one composer whose music can take us to the stars.

--Wm. E. Runyan

© 2018 William E. Runyan