An awesome new fan-made edit shows what the epic battle scene at the end of Rogue One would have been like if it were set to John Williams' iconic score. It is abundantly clear after watching the behind the scenes extras of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that Disney wanted to set the film apart from the rest of the Star Wars universe. The film was to be a one-off; no sequels, no prequels, just one standalone film to set up A New Hope. One of the more controversial ways besides not utilizing the famous opening crawl, was the decision to not use composer John Williams for the musical score, which makes Rogue One the first live action Star Wars film not to utilize the instantly recognizable talents of John Williams.
84-year old Williams said at the time of the release of Rogue One that his workload was too much, which is understandable, since he is 84-years old. Some of the more eagle-eared super fans have wondered what Rogue One would have sounded like with Williams iconic score intact and decided to take action. Maple Films YouTube channel has shared their version of the epic Rogue One battle using the Williams score, and it's pretty awesome and nostalgic. The video first shows the original scene, then a scene with the music taken out where the video's creators had to recreate sound effects on their own, and then the their complete vision. A lot of care and work went into the fan-made clip and it shows.
One of Williams' best-known tricks for the original scores was the use of musical themes. The Force has a theme, the Imperial March has a theme, the Death Star has a theme, and all of the movies (except Rogue One) start with the instantly recognizable Star Wars Theme. Rogue One composer Michael Giacchino (Star Trek) had four and a half weeks to compose the new score. While Giacchino mostly did his own thing, he made sure to echo Williams's original themes when plot points reflected the original trilogy. For example, what theme is playing when Rogue One introduced Darth Vader? Even Giacchino's original Rogue One Theme is repurposing notes of the original Star Wars Theme for continuity. When placed with an intimidating task, Giacchino rose to the occasion with a thoughtful score that added just the right amount of nostalgia.
Gustav Hoist, William Walton, Sergei Prokofiev, and Igor Stravinsky heavily influenced Williams' original Star Wars score. The score was written in 1977 while A New Hope was being made and was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The score is often credited for bringing the grand symphonic scores back into Hollywood in the late 1970s, using themes and motifs to anchor certain parts of the film to the soundtrack. Williams went on to win an Academy Award for best score at the 50th Oscar Ceremony held in 1978.
It's almost impossible to think of what Star Wars would be like without John Williams, but Rogue One did a great job of setting itself apart from the other films and setting its own tone. Giacchino's score is obviously the right score for the movie, but it's still fun to see what could have been. Check out the fan-made edit below.