Giacchino: ‘Star Trek’ Score To Honor Original

It looks the like nods to Original Series in the new Star Trek film will also extend to the music. In an interview with SciFi Wire, the longtime Abrams collaborator and Star Trek composer Michael Giacchino states he will be incorporating the original Alexander Courage Original Series theme into his score:

I think that the thing to do would be to hold on to the only thing that does speak—that says Star Trek—universally, which is the [opening theme from the original series]…To me, that fanfare, boom, that says it all right there. And this film is about everything that came before that. So, yes, I want to keep that.

This is welcome news, but should not be a big surprise. Giachinno took the same approach with his score for J.J. Abrams first film, Mission: Impossible: III. That score stood on its own, but also incorporated the original TV series’ theme by Lalo Schifrin nicely.  Giacchino also acknowledged Trek film composers who have come before him, such as James Horner and Jerry Goldsmith:

I grew up listening to all of that great [Trek] music, and that’s part of what inspired me to do what I’m doing, So, yeah, it’s horrifying to think that I’ve got to go and stand in line with those guys.

Read the rest at SciFi Wire


Giachhino Confirmed – Wants Score to Be Different

Abrams on Music and Giacchino


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Happy to hear the original score will be incorporated – I will be looking forward to that.

PLEASE USE THE TMP THEME AS WELL :D I can picture fanboys everywhere CREAMING if they here it!!!!!

lets think about this… is ‘craming fanboys’ something we want to see at a movie theatre?

I dunno but hearing the Enterprise theme when JTK first sees the Big E i would have a total and complete dorkgasm!!! but it is great to hear because the music is integral to what Star Trek is.

Glad to hear it. Looking forward to seeing what he cooks up.

#2 Yeah, I agree. Though the TMP theme isn’t strictly TOS they should definitely find a place to put it in…though I am very glad they’re keeping the TOS theme too :)

Hope they include the music from “Amok Time” that they reused for pretty much every fight scene thereafter too…perhaps the oft-used “Shore Leave” theme (with Finnegan) as well.

I really enjoyed how TOS reused scene music…every time you hear one of them it brings back a flood of memories…

One of the best things about Star Trek TOS is the original soundtrack and the wonderful music cues. None of the spin off series or movies had a soundtrack that is as recognizable or as memorable as the original. I would be hard pressed to even remember any music from the post TOS series or movies, except for their opening themes.

I’m happy to hear this announcement and I really look forward to hearing the soundtrack for the next movie.I hope it’s good!

Mike :o

I hate the TOS music TMP/TNG music for the win all the way ;)

It’s a question if “honor the original” means TOS or TMP.
I mean, both are the “original”.
The beginning is also included in the TNG score.
Would be great to hear a mix of both.
The soundtrack of TMP makes it the most “cineastic” ST-movie, i think ST XI is gonna be the same thing.

HAH! YES! I KNEW IT! I absolutely KNEW he’d use the fanfare!


Hmm… TOS fanfare + TMP theme = TNG theme. I doubt it’ll be used.

It may be a TOS movie, but the TMP theme has become the theme music for all of Star Trek, they HAVE to use that, even if it’s just at the end; it wouldn’t be a Star Trek movie without the TMP theme at the end!

“I grew up listening to all of that great [Trek] music, and that’s part of what inspired me to do what I’m doing, So, yeah, it’s horrifying to think that I’ve got to go and stand in line with those guys.”

Well, this is promising news. TOS had brilliant, memorable music written during each season–far and away the best of all Trek series, and it can only help that Giacchino respects that great musical legacy.

When people think of the Star Trek music, I’m sure what they think of is the music from TMP and TNG.

That’s the Star Trek music everybody knows!

There was a time when Horner’s music and Goldsmith’s was unique, but now there are a LOT of movies that “sound” like that. The Trek movie scors were good, but I really hope Giacchino travels back to TOS for his inspiration.
The music of TOS, not just the fanfare, is very unique and it a huge part of the show’s identity. I hope he retains a lot of that style and if he incorporates a cue or two from the show, including the fanfare, I’d be very content.
His work on The INcredibles was awesome, so he has shown he can adapt various styles to suit the movie he is working on. I just hope his influence for TOS is TOS and not the movies.

TNG had no music, it was all background noise. The TNG theme was a hacked up version of TMP. TNG never stood on its own, and never will. Even the 20th Anniversary had to ride on top of the original series legacy.

When people think of Star Trek, it is all about the original series. Kirk and Spock are icons, Picard and gang aren’t.

The Movie/TNG fanfare for me is much more associated with TNG. The original TOS score stands by itself and is represents the original era on its own. So I’m hoping the Alexander Courage score is given the appropriate representation in the movie. If they want to slip the TNG fanfare in somewhere fine but I’m much more eager to hear the Space, the final frontier music.

Kirk/Spock fight music, as sung by Peter Griffin:

Nah na na na, na na, nahhh, na na neh neh!

# 15 jonboc, I agree with you 100%. I have a degree in Music and studied film scoring and to me it would seem a waste to try and revamp an already overly orchestral score from one of the films. The best way to get something unique but still “honour” the original music is to take the simple melodies from the the original series use them to build new cues with thicker harmonies and richer textures than they had in their original inceptions. My approach would be to assign some of those original themes to some of the charcters in the film and use them during the characters screen time. New themes with similar qualites to some of the originals could be created to strectch the TOS music library but still provide a continuity with the original music. The key would be to develop all off the themes into something much richer and more orchestrally interesting than what was heard during the series.

I am really happy to hear this! As a student of music, I’ve always been tuned in to hearing different soundtracks and hearing how it conveys a scene, apart from the acting.

When done well, the music can be a character all its own in any scene.

For TOS, the music, as has already been said, was quite a part of the series, and was used very well.

My 6 year-old daughter, when she’s playing like she’s giving the nerve pinch, will do the couple note musical cue for it also:


That’s a testament to how integral that music is.

#16 – I agree. Overall, to me, TNG is not much more than a sterilized, emotionless imitation of the original.

I also say F the ST:TMP TNG music. This new film has the potential to rock so hard with the right orchestral arrangements. I say in addition to the TOS main theme, they pluck TOS here and there – – stuff from Doomsday Machine, Mirror, Mirror. That stuff has POWER, and if they ramp it up for today’s audience, it will have the power to put hairs up on the back of people’s necks.

I’d love to hear (besides the Alexander Courage fanfare) the Gerald Fried Spock theme from “Amok Time” in the movie since it’s apparent that he’s to play a pivotal role. Also, if the Romulans are indeed the villains, I’d also love to hear Fred Steiner’s Romulan theme from “Balance of Terror.”

I agree with William that these original melodies can be fashioned into great music with “thicker harmonies and richer textures” in the new film. I would not however want any of Goldsmith’s TMP music or Horner’s for that matter. That, to me, says modern Trek and wouldn’t have the right vibe. Not that I don’t think highly of their music (Goldsmith is my favorite composer of all time) I just don’t think they’d be right for this film considering everything we’ve heard about it so far.

Keep in mind, though, that film scoring is a collaborative art and that Mr. Giacchino is going to be beholden not only to the director’s wishes, but also to the needs of the film. As much as I’d love to hear Fried’s and Steiner’s themes in the new film, if the film doesn’t call for it, I wouldn’t want them shoehorned in there either. That being said, Giacchino is one of my favorite composers and I have no doubt that he’ll do an awesome job.

Plus, think about all of the new music we’ll be getting! I’m sure that there will be characters and situations that we’ve never seen before in Trek and that will afford Giacchino an opportunity to boldly go where no composer has gone before! ;)

Maybe I am the minority, but I say, apart from the opening fanfare and *maybe* a nod here and there to the original theme (as Goldsmith did in the TMP score during a few “Captain’s Log” sequences), I think Giacchino should take advantage of the opportunity to create a new main theme for “Star Trek.” After all, hopefully this will be the first of many new Trek films with a new cast, and even though it will be (ostensibly) set in main Trek continuity, it will be in the minds of the general public a new franchise. Create a new theme, use it boldly, and only go to the original music for occasional seasoning — like Bear McCreary has done in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. Don’t be afraid to create a new audio identity for “Star Trek.”

I agree, Mike P. There should definitely be a new main theme.

By the way, it wasn’t Jerry Goldsmith that scored those “Captain’s Log” sequences with Alexander Courage’s original theme. It was an uncredited… Fred Steiner!

#15. and #17.
you both make great points, i agree. the TMP theme is to be avoided.

surely the fanfare “says it all”, but a sharp composer might be inspired to rethink the spirit of the theme song as well (which i believe is the point of making this film-a recapture of spirit). maybe not down to the bongos, but why not a vocal (maybe choral), partly accapella signature? a sort of “enya, sail away” type mood?

that said, #23, i think a new theme would be a great step to rebranding the series (if there is one) as well.

also, gotta be said, the hacked-up cues from both TOS and TNG really helped make nemesis the crap that it is. IMHO.

Why I’m encouraged…

The Incredibles! He created an origanal score the was the best synthesis of the 60’s spy/action movies I’ve ever heard. It was dead-on for the feel and essence of the movie.

MI:3! Great score that borrowed heavily from the movie’s musical roots. And if I’m not mistaken, it wasn’t limited to the main theme. I think there were several moments where he lifted other familiar cues too. Hopefully Star Trek will get the same treatment. (Some of TOS best music didn’t come from Alexander Courage.)

I think he’ll apply those same sensibilities to the new movie; delivering a fresh but familiar take on classic Trek scoring. He’s certainly demonstrated that he “gets” and appreciates the 60’s vibe.

Can’t wait!

Yeah…sorry…no TMP music for a pre-refit Enterprise adventure.

That’s awesome news. I can’t wait to be sitting in the movie theatre and hear that the TOS theme as the lights go down!

I just get more and more excited about this movie each day!


I disagree completely. Why make a new theme?? Courage’s theme IS Star Trek. This movie is an attempt to rekindle the magic of Star Trek after Berman and CO all but destroyed and tried to bury it. The problem with recent Trek is everybody tried to make their own version of it and re-create it. Screw that!! Give me the classic themes and music that this classic Trek fan has been dying for for years.

BTW, this is outstanding news that Giachinno is using the original theme!

Boy, I surely agree with the ‘music’ people above! I’d like to see the music reflect the best from the show and let’s move away from the sterile elevator music from the spinoff series. Plus, it would be wonderful to see GNP release a new album with music that hasn’t yet been released from the show. There is plenty of music that hasn’t been done from the second and third seasons.

#26 “The Incredibles! He created an origanal score the was the best synthesis of the 60’s spy/action movies I’ve ever heard. It was dead-on for the feel and essence of the movie.”

You said it! He nailed that “genre” and it went a long way into making that movie so much damn fun to watch. I sure hope he takes the same approach to Star Trek and gives us, not the exact same music, but the same style as TOS, only bigger and better.

Leave the generic music of modern Trek OUT of the equation, PLEASE.


Why write a new theme?

Because the film may call for it. We don’t really know what this film is about yet and neither, really, does Mr. Giacchino.

Yes, he may have read the script, but he’s not going to start writing cues until the film is shot and locked (one hopes).

He may start developing ideas and sketch some themes based on the script, but the real music will come when the film is finished, which won’t be for a while.

Besides, Alexander Courage’s theme (that is, not the eight note fanfare) is a little too unmalleable. It wasn’t even used in TOS as part of the underscore as I recall, only the main title.

# 8 & #15 –

I agree completely. The TOS music was one of its creative strongpoints — not just Alexander Courage’s intro, but Fred Steiner’s scoring. (There were other composers, too, I think.)

So much of the original series’ bold emotionality, color schemes and artistic design were complemented by music. Really terrific music, too. I always heard a lot of 20th-century Russian touches to it — chromatic harmonies and spiky rhythms. Fantastic stuff, and really efficiently arranged with (I’m assuming) a small orchestra.

The TMP/TNG music? Meh. I’d rather hear Giacchino incorporate motifs from incidental music in TOS. . . or come up with something entirely new. And yeah, (re: #26), his work on The Incredibles is among my favorite recent scores. The guy has a real ear for different idioms, exactly what’s needed in a Trek reboot.

#30, agreed.

Assuming they’re trying to recapture the swashbuckling spirit of TOS (and not do something “arty” again like TMP), I’d LOVE if the new music sounded like a bigger and richer version of the 1960s TOS style.

The one thing I don’t want to hear is the TNG theme again. I loved that show dearly, but it never had the strongest theme and I’ve REALLY gotten sick of it after the last few movies.

The more they stick to TOS the better off this movie will be. That includes music, sets, storyline, ships, etc.

I wonder just HOW much the original TOS Main Theme will be ‘referenced’ by Michael. As much as I loved Jerry Goldsmith’s Main Theme for ST:TMP, I didn’t think it sounded in any way like the TOS series Main Theme by Alexander Courage, and I missed that.

I hope he does his own spin on an ‘extended’ Alexander Courage Main Theme, much like the brilliant 3 minute 40 second one done by John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra a few years ago…rather than JUST include a ‘few bars’ at the beginning…

BUT, what I really would like, is for him to weave in some of the fantastically mysteriously foreboding and exciting CUES that peppered the original series, to REALLY generate some true TOS-era flavour… :)

New theme, please, with occassional use of the fanfare. This is, for intents and purposes, a “new” Star Trek. Why bother too much with recycling old music just for the sake of giving a few of us a thrill? Take a cue from Goldsmith (pun DEFINITELY intended!!) and put a new stamp on things, but nod to the past at the same time.

You know, if the lyrics Gene R. wrote for Alexander Courage’s music were sung by Nyota Uhura in this film (as a slow, broadly-felt love-ballad), that might—if done right—add a whole new dimension to the series. Here are those lyrics:

“Beyond the rim of starlight
My love is wandring in starflight.

I know he’ll find in star-clustered reaches:
Love, strange love a star-woman teaches.

I know his journey ends never,
His star trek will go on forever.

But, tell him while he wanders his starry sea……
Remember, remember me.”

(The last line there was a title of an episode of TNG [—yes, with a nod to TOS lyrics of the theme song—], when Beverly Crusher disappeared into Wesley’s warp bubble on the engineering deck.)

I’d love to hear some of the creativeness and intelligent writing the original show had. I’d love for it to have some of that color. Some of that flavor.

I always knew that the score would pay tribute to the original series. Just listen to Mr. Giacchino’s score for M:i:III, he not only used the theme that we all know and love, but he used a few more that Mr. Schifrin did for that show. And Mr. Giacchino is easily the best composer working today, so can’t wait to hear what he has in store for us next year.

To me, the Horner music has been what the movies are all about-especially since they continued to use it in most all the trailers after the first one. I think if they really want to recapture that sort of magic of the original cast films, they should use that again. Anything to remind people of Wrath of Khan will probably only help.

This no surprise. Now, if they incorporate some of that eerie 1st season TOS episode music that will be a surprise.


“Tenacious-D” has a live version of the TOS theme out there in a mp3 format…with GR’s lyrics…interesting…

Fnaboy in me says it would be VERY COOL to see the closing credits reflect TOS closing credits, with still shots from the movie we have just seen in the BG…at least for the first 60 seconds…

Also, whichever label produces the soundtrack, let’s hope they release a version with “all the music” first, not a later release we would have to buy again…

very excited about the movie at this point…hope they keep up the pace!!!

Wow, I’m always caught off guard to find fellow members that are trained musicians. Shouldn’t surprise me though as musicians are the most well rounded and enlightened forward thinkers known to man. Easy, I’m just teasing the rest of you. A little;).
Now as most of us realize. for a lot of of folks, the only taste they have resides in their mouth. That having been said, I think it would be cool to utilize some of the incidental music from TOS. TV hasn’t had good cue music for years and years and I think that it would be a good nod to the fans AND it is viable music that can be used as part of a score. Go ahead, hum the love themes. Doomsday Machine tension music. Spock’s “theme” as it were. All are well known and are almost as much a part of the lexicon of Trek as the characters.

And quit bashing on TMP’s score. There was a nod to Courage’s opening theme used, albeit briefly. And TNG’s incidental music did what it was supposed to do: stay in the background. It was a different time stylistically and didn’t make such a large statement as music from the previous eras had. Remember, there is no bad music. Except country.

I’m kidding again. Sheesh!

I remember a QVC or Home Shopping Network slot, when they were offering the CDs of music that had the re-orchestrated TOS music (was it on Varese Sarabande label?), and they had Gerald Fried as a guest.

He brought a flute, and played the “Scotty Theme” and the fight music from “The Trouble With Tribbles”.

That was an immense treat, to see that stuff played live, and to remember what those pieces went to.

One thing some folks may not know (maybe all of you know), but the TOS Theme is 2 different parts: the fanfare being titled “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, and the main body of music being titled “(Theme From) Star Trek”.

The stand out musics from star trek the franchise are…

TMP Theme – Nemesis Version at the end etc

TOS Theme – Not that I like it, but it is well known

Voyager Theme – The best of all the series

First Contact – Opening

Undiscovered Country – Opening

Nemesis – Opening


I’m with you. I’ve cited several times how the original music and the composers from that era were doing great stuff. Really well schooled musician/composers who were essentially writing their own masterpieces in little chunks that were only heard in spurts. I guess they figured if they were’nt going to be played by the major symphonies of the world, they were going to make it great for the home audience people. If only in limited playing time. And they were overlapping, writing for other shows like Wild Wild West, Mission Impossible, Twilight Zone and others. I’d really love to heard some stuff that lends a nod to the old show’s music.

#44 I would love to have seen that. Do you think it’s Youtubed?


The reason Roddenberry wrote those “lyrics” is so that he would be credited as co-writer for the theme and get a piece of the royalties.

Though this was a common practice in those days, Courage was so incensed at Roddenberry’s under-handedness that he never wrote music for Star Trek again.

46 – I don’t see it out there. Unless it may be under another name. I tried his name, then “Star Trek QVC” and “Star Trek HSN”, but no soap.

I’m going to have to look for that somewhere, because it really was cool. It was when they’d have folks like Ted Williams or Joe DiMaggio on to sell signed baseballs or bats, and I love Fried’s work, so for me it was amazing to see.

Gerald Fried also souped up Jerry Goldsmith’s version of “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” theme, and really modded it up for the 2nd and 3rd seasons of that series. I believe he also scored “Roots”. Wonderful composer.

Given Giacchino’s prior work, I rank him with David Arnold (current composer of the Bond movies) as someone who “gets it”. They know their sources, and can pull it off beautifully.


I had forgotten that opening music from Undiscovered Country. So radically different from the rest and absolutely dripping with tension and anticipation. Thinking back on sitting in the theater for my first viewing of that movie, I remember feeling that I was in for something quite different than the usual. As a result, VI has remained my favorite Trek movie. So much like a really well done Trek novel rather than a long version of a great extended episode.

“TOS Theme – Not that I like it, but it is well known”

“Voyager Theme – The best of all the series”

oh my god you must be kidding.