rogue one clip

Thanks to all the trailers, clips, photos, and featurettes released so far, we know very well what Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will look like. But what will it sound like? We’d be excited to hear new Star Wars music under any circumstance, but we’ve been especially curious about Rogue One because it’s the very first Star Wars film not to be scored by John Williams. Instead, Michael Giacchino is stepping into that role — and he’s got a tough balance to strike, trying to meld the familiar and the new.

Obviously, we won’t know for sure how his efforts panned out until Rogue One opens next weekend. But we do have a little taste of his work to share today. The first two snippets of Giacchino’s Rogue One score have been released, and you can hear them below. 

Entertainment Weekly debuted a video of Giacchino and Gareth Edwards working with the orchestra on the Rogue One score. Here’s what to expect:

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.

Giacchino has said in the past that he’s particularly pleased with Jyn’s theme, so it should be a treat to hear what he has to offer. Listen below:

Giacchino was a very late addition to the Rogue One team. Originally, Alexandre Desplat had been tapped to compose music for the Star Wars spinoff. Then in September, he was abruptly replaced by Giacchino. The official reason for Desplat’s departure was “scheduling conflicts.” But Giacchino’s hiring presented some scheduling challenges of its own. Namely, the fact that he’d have to write the entire score in just four and a half weeks. He even wound up having to work on his birthday — not that he sounds too broken up about it. “I didn’t want to go to work that day,” he confessed. “So I go and sit down and turn on the screen to work and all of these Stormtroopers are running around and I thought to myself, ‘All right this is not a bad birthday.'”

Seeing as Giacchino has cited Williams as one of his biggest creative inspirations — and seeing as this is, you know, a Star Wars movie — it should come as no surprise that we’ll hear elements of Williams’ Star Wars themes in Rogue One. “I think absolutely there are a couple of times when you want to hit upon something that was from the past,” said Giacchino. But he found plenty of room to make his own mark on the series, too. Giacchino continued: “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.”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives in theaters one week from today, on December 16.

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