Star Wars: Rogue One Will Not Be Scored by John Williams

By  · Published on March 16th, 2015


It’s not everyday that we report on film composers here. We like to leave most of the coverage of movie music to Alison Loring’s via Film Music Reporter, that he’ll be scoring Star Wars: Rogue One.

That’s exciting if you liked the score for last year’s Godzilla, for which he previously teamed up with Rogue One director Gareth Edwards. He’s also reunited here with Chris Weitz, who is scripting the final draft of the standalone Star Wars installment and who previously worked with Desplat on his directorial efforts The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Golden Compass and A Better Life. Other reunions include Desplat and actress Felicity Jones, who both were involved with the 2009 movie Cheri, and Desplat and producer Kathleen Kennedy, previously collaborators on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

What’s more interesting, though, is that this will be the first live-action theatrical release in the Star Wars franchise not to be scored by John Williams. Surely the 83 year old can’t keep doing these forever, but he Williams did the iconic music of the original trilogy, continued with the prequel trilogy and so far is on board for the new trilogy, confirmed at least for this year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He did not, however, score the animated Clone Wars movie nor the live-action Ewoks spin-offs nor a lot of other expanded universe soundtracks.

Rogue One is definitely going to have a different feel from the main series, and while Desplat has worked on varied sorts of pictures, the rumor that remains about this spin-off entailing a heist premise has me thinking of the music he’s done for The Fantastic Mr. Fox and the Oscar-winning Grand Budapest Hotel. But it’ll probably more like his score for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Either way, I await the YouTube videos of Star Wars scenes re-scored with his music.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.