Alexandre Desplat is easily one of the best composers working today, and now he’ll have the distinction of being the first person not named “John Williams” to score a Star Wars movie.
Desplat revealed the news on the French podcast Radio Classique’s Culture Club via Film Music Reporter [via The Playlist] that he would be reteaming with Godzilla director Gareth Edwards to score Star Wars: Rogue One. Desplat had no further details, but his involvement is good enough for me.
When J.J. Abrams was first announced as the director of Star Wars: Episode VII, I flirted with the idea of whether or not he would bring in his longtime composer Michael Giacchino (Star Trek) to handle the score, but Abrams kept with tradition and stuck with Williams. And in retrospect, going with Williams is the right direction. As long as he’s alive and wants to keep writing music for Star Wars movies, then he should. As awful as the Star Wars prequels are, he still managed to crank out some impressive tracks.
While I’m not going to complain about Desplat doing a Star Wars movie, I’m curious as to why Williams isn’t handling Rogue One. It could be that the time crunch is too much, or it could be a way of giving the spinoffs their own personality. The most extreme scenario is that this is a passing of the torch, and that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Williams’ final Star Wars movie, although there’s nothing to believe that will be the case even if you consider Williams’ age. He may be in his early 80s, but that’s not stopping him from scoring both The Force Awakens and Steven Spielberg‘s new movie this year, Bridge of Spies.
With the announcement of the title, the casting of Felicity Jones, and now Desplat coming on board, I’m interesting to see what, if any, other Star Wars: Rogue One news arises in the days and weeks ahead, or if we’ll be going back to radio silence on the upcoming spinoff. The film is due out on December 16, 2016.