Alexandre Desplat to Compose Star Wars: Rogue One

Alexandre Desplat

The first Star Wars Spinoff, Rogue One, has found its new composer. While it isn’t John Williams as some had hoped, it is someone who has worked with director Gareth Edwards before: Alexandre Desplat.



Desplat made the announcement in an interview with French website Radio Classique.





A French-speaking Twitter user translated the relevant part of the interview to English:


“We (Gareth Edwards and I) will make another movie together very very soon, which is a Star Wars spin-off.”



Desplat previously worked with Gareth Edwards in his breakout hit, the 2014 remake of Godzilla. Some of his other credits include The King’s Speech, Zero Dark ThirtyArgo, and both parts of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. Desplat was nominated for two Oscars in the recent 87th Academy Awards ceremony, of which he won one. Other awards he has received include one Golden Globe and two Grammies.



Special thanks to Making Star Wars for bringing this to our attention.


+ posts

Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.

Grant Davis (Pomojema)

Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.

74 thoughts on “Alexandre Desplat to Compose Star Wars: Rogue One

  • March 16, 2015 at 6:32 am

    His credits don’t really fit Star Wars type music..

    • March 16, 2015 at 7:27 am

      Whose credits would fit Star Wars outside Williams, IYHO?

      • March 16, 2015 at 3:23 pm

        Joel McNeely who composed “Shadows of the Empire” or Kevin Kiner from “The Clone Wars.”

      • March 16, 2015 at 5:01 pm

        Jeremy Soule, anyone?

      • March 16, 2015 at 6:25 pm

        Howard Shore

        • March 16, 2015 at 8:45 pm

          Definitely onboard with Howard Shore. He scores some really strong music. Look at the LOTR trilogy that was done? That was some grand music. And in 2001 he did The Score – completely different as it was more jazz-themed. But definitely was scored perfectly. Shore’s got the talent and the cred to back. Michael Giacchino on the other hand, is a joke. All of his musical scores sound so child like. Even the music for the rebooted Star Trek series – beyond the themes, the music just lacks a lot of body to me. The only Giacchino score that was actually good was Medal of Honor: Frontline. And that wasn’t even a movie. It was a video game. it has nothing to do with the fact the game was WWII-based and therefore needed something more “mature” and appropriate. A composer should be able to score anything and the music should automatically sound as if it belongs/fits with what’s on screen. It’s a shame that his music hasn’t had that same sound since Frontline.

    • March 16, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Before 1977, how did John Williams’ previous music fit Star Wars?

    • March 16, 2015 at 10:36 am

      TBH i think he’s a good fit, he has done some of the soundtracks of Harry Potter after John Williams, and he paid a great homage to Williams in his ost for the movie and sounded (not all tracks) very alike IMO

      • March 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm

        I agree… Potter music in the last 2 films I remember as being particularly good.

        If it’s Star Wars-ian enough remains to be seen, but it’s a spinoff… a great way to test his skills out. I won’t be heart broken if the music is different than Williams, I mean it’s a spinoff & I feel fortunate enough that we will be getting a whole trilogy in addition to these films!

        If Williams can guide Desplat towards taking the reigns for material post ST then I’d say this is a good way to go. I hope Williams is in good enough shape to at least complete the ST.

          • March 16, 2015 at 4:17 pm

            I don’t,I should probably sign up for it seeing as how I live on this site (haha). Maybe I’ll do that right now.

    • March 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      He’s a talented guy with many big credits to his name, I’m pretty sure he has the capability to write music for a Star Wars film that fits the piece.

  • March 16, 2015 at 6:40 am

    John Williams’ scores are integral to Star Wars. I hope he can at least emulate Williams’ style.

      • March 16, 2015 at 10:47 am

        Why can’t star wars “fans” just relax. Always griping and being pessimistic.

        • March 16, 2015 at 1:47 pm

          The deeper into any fandom (at least SciFi entertainment) you look, the more unhappy people you will find.

          • March 16, 2015 at 1:52 pm

            Has anyone ever declared being a fan forces you to nap any bowl with its brand name slapped on?
            Critic is the highest form of passion. Look for that thing called love. Please let people crititize

          • March 16, 2015 at 4:12 pm

            Constructive Criticism to better a human being you care about is love. Criticism about a form of entertainment is obsession and therefore it lacks love.

          • March 16, 2015 at 7:42 pm

            Wow. I totally disagree with you there.

          • March 17, 2015 at 12:10 am

            I really think you’re wrong on that. Anonymous March 16, 2015 at 16:12 PM

      • March 16, 2015 at 5:07 pm

        It would behoove Desplat to do what John Williams did: Listen to a butt-load of Gustav Holst, and make his own rendition of that.
        Star Wars was originally supposed to use adapted music from Holst’s “Planets” pieces, if I’m not mistaken, until the adaptive composer John Williams asked Lucas if he could just write his own, using the style and spirit but with new melodies to better suit the film and show off William’s abilities.
        the style similarity is eerie

        Desplat would be a fool to JUST copy Williams. I hope Desplat has the guts to show us his take on “the Planets”, because we all know no one does Williams better than Williams.

        It’s good they’ve got a new composer.
        If I heard the “Dual Sunset” theme playing to a non-Skywalker/Kenobi character it would just be wrong, I don’t know about you.

  • March 16, 2015 at 6:45 am

    Personally, I don’t care if the spinoffs have a different vibe. I just hope that the trilogy pieces keep in line with previous versions

    • March 16, 2015 at 7:03 am

      Exactly. The spinoffs were always going to end up being their own thing, but my hope is we get Williams (he’s 82, for crying out loud) for 7-9 and at least get the 9 movies Lucas originally teased us with and they feel like genuine Star Wars films. Anything beyond those is just icing. And yeah, the spinoffs could be in whatever style they want as long as they’re good.

    • March 16, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Absolutely. I actually think it would be much better if the spin offs have a different vibe. It would help the episode films retain their primary importance. These spinoffs are adventures that just happen to be set in the wonderful Star Wars universe. It will be interesting to see how different film makers approach that universe in the spinoffs. Just so long as the episode films feel like classic Star Wars, I’ll be happy!

      • March 16, 2015 at 4:34 pm

        I think so too. They should be waaayyy different as in R-rating. There could be a really hardcore bounty hunter film or something.

  • March 16, 2015 at 7:25 am

    -Darth Vader’s response when hearing John Williams isn’t scoring the spin-off films

    • March 16, 2015 at 7:32 am

      Oh please. Give the legend a well-deserved break. Besides turning 83 last month, he plans on composing for Star Wars every 2 years instead of the traditional 3.

      Congrats and good luck, Alexandre Desplat! =D

  • March 16, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Giacchino is a excellent choice

  • March 16, 2015 at 8:26 am

    What? Desplat is not that great…. :/

  • March 16, 2015 at 8:32 am

    It seems Disney is taking seriously the spin offs.
    Desplat is not “anybody”, people.

    Excellent choice!!

  • March 16, 2015 at 9:42 am

    How well he did in filling John Williams’ shoes can be heard in the last two episodes of Harry Potter; which is, not very well.

    • March 16, 2015 at 10:59 am

      There have been several composers in the Harry potter series

    • March 16, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      I always felt Harry Potter 7/8 had weaker music IMHPO, for me Half-Blood Prince was the peak of music quality. Williams made BRILLIANT melodies but man was the fanfare LOUD, like, really loud.
      Half-Blood Prince was very well-balanced.
      In the Harry Potter battle, Williams wins out for better melodies. Very interested to hear where Desplat takes it.

  • March 16, 2015 at 10:27 am

    This was gonna happen anyway. Williams’is 83 years old. Its sad for me to say but at some point he’s not gonna be with us. In fact after Episode 9 he might retire. Williams will forever be the greatest composer in the history of film(if you ask me he’s the greatest composer ever.) At some point a Star Wars movie will be scored by someone else. Plus Jeremy Soule composed for Kotor; that had original music and it was awesome.

  • March 16, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Very sorry to hear this. Desplat is my least favorite working composer. His compositions tend to be muted and . . . I suppose “understated” could describe them, but I think it would be more appropriate to say “uncomplicated and unromantic.”

    I did really enjoy Wong Chia Chi’s Theme, though ( Perhaps he’ll surprise?

    • March 16, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Really? No one is worse? Disney is going to regret this movie.

      • March 16, 2015 at 1:50 pm

        You seriously just formed an opinion on who is the worst composer in the world after a forum poster called “G” posted a reactionary post? Aside from the fact that he would have said this about anyone who isn’t Williams, you could have maybe formed your own opinion?

  • March 16, 2015 at 11:28 am

    He looks pretty pleased with himself

  • March 16, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Desplat is a great composer. Even if I would have preferred Giacchino, Desplat will be more than fine. There is no way John Williams would have the energy at 83 to compose music for the spinoffs. His original SW theme(s), however, will probably be used in some parts of the spinoffs, as was the case with Superman Returns.

  • March 16, 2015 at 11:44 am

    …he`s just been nominated for 2 Academy awards,so look`s an excellent choice:}

  • March 16, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Please not Giacchino! I love Horner and he would do a phenomenal job anything. He is truly a master of this approach. Some say hes a lousy thief, but the opposite is the thing with Giacchino, composing all new music. But staealing well is an art. I cant stand if composers throw away former work that invented a brand. Whatscstarcwars withou its music, star trek etc. This is called tribute. I dont like composers that feel the arrogance reinventing the wheel or style.

  • March 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    We’re dooooomed.

  • March 16, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Well I remember an interview with John Williams from years back where he mentioned Alexandre Desplat as being one of the best ‘newcomers’. So in principle of the Williams Seal of Approval… I also approve! (Never been able to get really into any of Desplat’s scores though…)

  • March 16, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Surprisingly I like this idea. No thoughts on him specifically, but Williams at his age is not going to score EVERY spin-off movie. I think it would be nice to save his talent for the “episode” films and have different music (keep the main theme though obviously). These star wars spin-offs will definitely be very different from the main saga so let the score reflect it. It will be a good chance to let other composers cut their teeth on star wars music with less risk.

  • March 16, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    For what two movies did he get nominated for in the Oscars?

    • March 16, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      The Grand Budapest Hotel (WIN) and The Imitation Game. Also, we should take note that he has been nominated for eight Academy Awards in the last decade.

      • March 16, 2015 at 11:40 pm

        I don’t believe in accademy awards since when interstellar got no significant nominees

  • March 16, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    In my opinion, whoever they get to fill John Williams’ shoes going forward HAS to be somebody who can compose leitmotif-heavy film scores in a similar style. I understand why a lot of folks may think that since Williams is a master of this type of composition, future Star Wars composers should just drop the Williams style and go with a different musical style altogether rather than trying to copy what Williams did. Be careful what you wish for, though.

    Trust me, I’ve seen bands go this way in replacing a lead guitarist before. The idea of letting the new guy go his own way and not try to emulate the style of whomever he’s replacing sounds good in theory, but when it comes down to the actual performance, more often than not it leaves one missing the original guy that much more. Especially when the band is playing old classic favorites and the new guy is off on his own little musical trip.

    Most film composers tend to do one or two recurring themes for a film, and then the rest is just sort of generic incidental music not tied to any particular themes. Especially for something like a Star Wars movie, this ends up feeling like a little bit of meat and a whole lot of cereal filler.

    No, Williams can’t do this stuff forever. And in fact, we’re damned lucky that he’s here to do Episode VII (and hopefully VIII and IX), But if his successors cannot or choose not to compose in the classic Willaims Star Wars style, believe me, we’re going to notice it and end up missing it a lot more than many of us probably realize.

  • March 16, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Sounds like a good choice. And sorry to say this, but I feel that Williams has lost his mojo. At his age, it’s understandable. In my opinion the OST for episodes I, II, and III had few highlights, and nothing more (Attack of the Clones OST is almost nonexistent). Because of this I have my fears about what Williams achieved with Episode VII. I hope I’m not right.

    • March 16, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      perhaps not the same number of amazing tracks, but the highlights were very well done. I would contend that Duel of the fates and Battle of Heroes are among his best compositions

      • March 16, 2015 at 4:06 pm

        Agree. I just hope that the episodes to come (VII, VIII, IX and spinoffs) do not suffer the same fate as the episode II, musically speaking.

    • March 16, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      There was way too much repetition of whole sections of music in the PT, I agree. He wrote some great stuff for those films, though. The high points were somewhat fewer and further between than what we used to hear from him in the old days, but there were still some very memorable themes in there and it all still sounded very much like Star Wars.

      But yeah, he’s getting up there in years, and as we get older we very often become less inventive. But John Williams operating at 75%-80% is still likely to give us a memorable score for Episode VII.

      I just hope they have somebody waiting in the wings who can compose in this same style to take over scoring the main saga films if it comes to it.

    • March 16, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Well I mean… look at what he had to work with (lolz). They literally copy/pasted scores from Ep 1 into other films.

      His Harry Potter music was fantastic.

      The teaser music was fantastic as well… I got the chills immediately upon hearing those dissonant strings at the beginning. He’s still got it when the gettin’s good.

    • March 16, 2015 at 4:30 pm

      I pretty much agree with everything said here in this string of comments. But for now, I give Williams a pass on the PT in terms of theme reuse because, I assume, he was going for cohesion with the OT. Now, however, we are moving past the OT supposedly so I would expect more original material.

      • March 16, 2015 at 4:58 pm

        It wasn’t that Williams reused themes, it’s that he (or maybe it was Burtt and Lucas) recycled entire portions of the recorded score. In some cases (like the “There’s The Blockade!” sequence from TPM) multiple times throughout the PT films.

        Obviously, you want to hear variations of themes from all of the movies in order to maintain cohesion between them all. No question about it. It’s when we start hearing the exact same recording of the exact same piece of music over and over again that it kinda goes off the tracks for me.

    • March 16, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      I’m mixed about this. Most of the prequels music wasn’t all that great or memorable, but then how much is that as a result of poor films that we didn’t have an emotional connection to.

      Also, I suspect, like with the prequels level of direction, Lucas maybe didn’t do a very good job of discussing the films with Williams well enough to get across the music he needed. Lucas directed the prequels so lazily, especially 2 and 3, and I suspect this laziness in script, direction etc also had an effect on the music in the end.

      I trust in Williams and JJ to work together to bring the new films to life.

      • March 16, 2015 at 5:59 pm

        As I understand, when it came time to compose the OST, Lucas did not get involved in the process and let Williams did his thing. This could influence what bland and repetitive of his last compositions. But apparently Abraams is much more proactive in this area, so this injeccion of energy could make Williams shine again. I hope so.

        • March 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm

          To make it clear, this comment is referred to the prequels.

  • March 16, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Desplat is a huge name today as a composer in Hollywood, so Disney is obviously going for quality.

  • March 16, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Can anyone link us to some examples of themes and other bits of his scores that might give us a sense of what Desplat might come up with for SW: Rogue One?

    • March 16, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      You should search on Youtube for music themes from the likes of:
      The King’s Speech
      The Imitation Game
      The Queen
      The Grand Budapest Hotel
      The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
      Zero Dark Thirty

      Altogether, they are not really grandiose but much more intimate pieces. In any case, his fine music is usually associated with quality films.

      • March 16, 2015 at 11:42 pm

        sincerely, I remember from him only Godzilla, snd not really bring a so great score. While the king’s speech was just a piano tune. Most of this last movie’s tunes where classicak pieces, during the main speech we hear Beethoven.

    • March 18, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      He also did the music for the last few Harry Potter films which I thought was fantastic

  • March 16, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Desplat’s music is very cerebral and intriguing. Not really screaming for attention or even memorability. It’s a more serious and sophisticated take on movie music.

    John Williams has the same if not larger degree of technical creativity, but he’s not afraid to take it to eleven. And Star Wars [the 1977 film] was ALL ABOUT ELEVEN!

    I’m not against Desplat [though that photo is not reassuring], on these conditions:

    1: Look up Gustav Holst’s “Planets” music, the classical piece(s?) that inspired the sound of Star Wars.
    Get that style into his head, then

    2: Establish themes for factions / people.

    3: NO ONE copies John Williams- just copy what John Williams was copying in the first place [see condition #1].

    If he does all these things, then I’m on board.
    The music in Jurassic Park and Lincoln bear little resemblance to that of Star Wars. Don’t you get it? Even now John uses a different musical language for Star Wars, the language invented be Holst.
    Fingers crossed this language can be taught to Desplat.

    Mind blown yet?

    PS, expect a much more “intelligent” galaxy far far away with Rogue, I’m thinking a more espionage, WWII underbelly sort of soundtrack. very interesting choice…

  • March 16, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    This is a great pick!

    I do hope at some time that Jeremy Soule (composer for KOTOR, Elder Scrolls Oblivion, Skyrim, etc.) will get a shot at composing for one of the spinoffs. He also describes himself as being influenced by John Williams, and from hearing his compositions, I think that he would do a great job if given the opportunity.

  • March 16, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Is that Balki?

    • March 16, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      jajaja the great 80′

  • March 17, 2015 at 12:48 am

    His music will only work if he rips off John Williams, why not just get John Williams? Why not use existing music? I have a bad feeling this won’t sound like Star Wars.

    • March 17, 2015 at 2:48 am

      early 1980: “Wait, Luke gets maimed and then goes to get training from a muppet, and Han falls in love? This is not going to feel like star wars 🙁 “

      • March 17, 2015 at 8:56 pm

        That’s got nothing to do with TESB soundtrack. Plus the composer was exactly the same guy who scored ANH…And some of Williams’ pieces for TESB (Han & Leia, Yoda’s Theme, and the Imperial March, of course) not only felt like SW; they’re some of the most iconic pieces of SW music ever.

Comments are closed.