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The Amazing Star Wars Homages Hidden in Rogue One's Soundtrack

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Composer Michael Giacchino joined Rogue One very late in the game—to the point he allegedly had just four weeks to create his soundtrack for the film. The fact he even managed it was impressive, but as this video shows, Giacchino pulled off a soundtrack filled with intriguing cues and homages to the Star Wars work of John Williams.

We’ve featured the musical analysis work of YouTuber Sideways before, but their latest video on Giacchino’s work for Rogue One really helps highlight the incredible work the composer did.

The subtle hints to John William’s past Star Wars work are impressive enough, but the most intriguing reveal Sideways has for me is Giacchino’s use of the opening notes of “Dies Irae”—a strain commonly alluded to in orchestral music to symbolize impending doom and destruction—throughout his Rogue One music... which makes sense, because Rogue One is a movie all about impending doom. Cool, right?


It’s a wonderfully subtle nod to the wider themes of the movie, and all the little details like this serve to makes Giacchino’s work, created in such a tight time frame, all the more impressive.