Composer Michael Giacchino Confirms Return For Star Trek Sequel

Composer and long-time JJ Abrams collaborator Michael Giacchino has confirmed that he will be returning for the Star Trek sequel. While not a surprise, it is welcome news for fans of the Oscar-winner’s music. 



Giacchino back to the final frontier

Michael Giacchino composed the music for JJ Abrams 2009 Star Trek movie and had in in the past spoken about how he hoped he would be returning. Now Coming Soon quotes the composer as confirming "Yes, I’ll be back…I’ll be there just as soon as they finish it."

Giacchino will next be heard on another JJ Abrams production, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which comes out December 16th. He will also be doing the score for the live-action  John Carter film due March 9, 2012.

Michael Giacchino scoring the 2009 "Star Trek" movie

What to expect?

With Giacchino back, fans can start speculating on what they can expect for his next Star Trek score. ComingSoon notes that it will likely not be more of the same:

Though he provided the score for 2009’s Star Trek, fans shouldn’t necessarily expect more of the same. Giacchino points to the differences between his scores for Mission: Impossible 3 and Ghost Protocol as an example of how he likes to treat sequels like altogether new projects. That said, he’s not sure at this stage what direction the Trek sequel will take.

And at a screening of the Star Trek movie in September 2010, Giacchino spoke about possibilities for the Star Trek sequel. Here are some highlights.

  • Giacchino wrote music for the deleted Klingon scenes in Star Trek 2009, but "would not want anyone to hear it" as it didn’t think the scenes worked and didn’t think the music worked, and his "happy to have it gone"…He would not use the Klingon music in sequel, noting "when and if they do bring Klingons back, I know it will be for the right reasons and will be part of the story and it will be easier for me to write music because I will have something to react to"
  • On sequel and if they will use original Trek music: "I have no idea. It depends on the story" later saying "I have no idea until I see the film. I don’t know what the film needs – what it asks for until I see it. I could sit here and say I really hope so, it would be fun to find a moment to do something like that. And certainly as fans we all deserve that kind of fun. I hope so, but I can’t say no"
  • Specifically on using the famous Gerald Fried "Amok Time" fight music I asked since it has been used in comedies, does it run the risk of becoming parody, Giacchino replied "You always want to watch for that, if you do that you are not paying attention to the story…so if it is going to ruin that you don’t do it, but you never know. You might be able to orchestrate it in such a way where it suddenly doesn’t sound like what you are used to hearing, but it still is the same thing. Because that music only sounds funny to us now because we know it as it was so well, but you could do something different with it. Still have the soul of it but do it seriously and without making fun of it"

See original article for more from Giacchino and to watch the video discussion.

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I would not want it any other way.


Of course, by the time the film gets here, it might call for Giacchino writing “Enterprising Older Men” and “Used Car Smell”.

Awesome !!!

I think it’s good they are sticking with the same composer. One of the things I didn’t like about the other Trek films was that they kept changing composers all the time. I was not ga-ga over the the score for the last film though…too many starts of something great that just degenerated into the same old “sonic wallpaper” kind of stuff (although bombastic sonic wallpaper) that we’ve had in Trek for the last decade or two. The original series music was always very thematic….and so were Goldsmith’s scores and even Ron Jones’ scores for TNG. I miss that style of musical score and I don’t think Giacchino brought enough of that to the last film. Still, he’s a better composer than most. Nowadays, only Alan Sylvestri really comes to mind as a great composer. John Williams isn’t what he used to be and neither is Horner…

I thought MG did a great job on “The Incredibles”.

But I’m hoping he manages to work a MELODY into his Trek score this time.

I find Giacchino very hit and miss. Some of the Trek score was very moving and some of it was pretty plain. He’s no Goldsmith or Horner, but Jerry’s not with us anymore and Horner’s not Horner anymore either.

I like this guy, the opening score was epic and moving.

Good to hear!

Also it sounds like the Klingons may not be in the sequel.


I think he knows and is only playing dumb.

Giacchino did better than any of the TNG scores, and he said many times he purposely avoided using any TOS themes until the end of the movie, at the point where they “became” the TOS crew. Works for me.
Oh, and a few more titles for Star Trek 2’s score:
“Nailin’ the Coffin”
“Geezer Bar Talk”
“Welcome Back, Khan”
“Galaxy’s Worst Khan Recasting”
“Orci Sighted”
“Plotter? I Barely Know Her”
“Did You Zip Up Your McFly?”
“Orci Planks, Lindelof Lightsabers”
“To Boldly Get Around To It”
“100 Light Year Dash”
“Call of Doody”

I like consistency, but I am not a fan of Giacchino’s score on the previous film. I was kind of hoping they would find someone else. Oh well, he’s not “awful” just not my favorie.

I doubt if Star Trek will ever see composers as good as Horner or Goldsmith again (yes, in that order)

I wasn’t thrilled with the music on my first (and second) showings in the theatre, but it has grown on me. And my four-year-old loves humming the theme as he’s playing with his action figures.

I really hope that Giacchino takes a cue (so to speak) from the John Williams-Star Wars approach, and realizes that the classic theme should not be like holiday china, only taken out for special occasions: it should be used whenever possible, and incorporated into other motifs.

And hearing some reworked versions of TOS musical cues would be wonderful – in addition to the fight music from ‘Amok Time,’ there’s the staccato beat of ‘The Doomsday Machine’, and I’d even be happy to hear a reworking of Goldsmith’s Klingon theme from TMP.

So: my hopes are up. Giacchino certainly has the talent to hit it out of the park; I hope he allows himself the freedom to do so.

I’d prefer that “Enterprising Young Men” be retained as the theme for the sequel. Honestly, I don’t want to see any of the TOS music rehashed. I think the time has come for an entirely original score, unique to the J.J Abrams films.

Christopher Nolan brought in Hans Zimmer to score his Batman movies. He did not bring back any of the music from the previous films.

Speaking of Zimmer, I’d love to see him do music for Trek once J.J Abrams is done. I like his work on the Batman movies, as well as “Inception” and “The Lion King”.

Glad to hear it. Sequels never feel right to me when they switch composers.

I have mixed feelings about his return for the second movie. On one hand, he’s done some really good stuff. On the other hand, this is how I imagine the scoring session for ST09 went:

*ring ring*

“Bluhh…I’m comin’, I’m comin’.”

*ring ri—*


“Mike? Where the hell are you? We’ve been waiting for half an hour!”

“Ow, why are you yelling? Could you not yell? My head’s just…is really hurting right now.”


“Man, that was a hell of a party last night. Y’should’ve been there, Jayj—JJ. Aw, I dunno if I’m up to comin’ in, though. I can’t…can’t find my, uh…can’t find my pants. Know they’re around here somewhere…”

“Wha…? C’mon, man, Jesus, you gotta give us something. We’re running out of time up here!”

“Ow. The yelling. OK, um. Um.”


“Mike? You still there?”

“Uh-yeah, OK, here, I just…I just, uh…daah, da-da-da-daah…daah, da-da-da-daah, daaaah, da-dah-dah-dah-daaaaa!”


“OK, and then what?”

“Whaddya mean, then what? I dunno, just loop it until the end credits. My head hurts. Man, that was a great party. Buddy, you shoulda been—”

“Fine, OK, OK. Listen…crap, OK, I’ve gotta go, they’re expecting something, anything. Call me back, alright? Mike?”




No droning, atonal, unwhistleable crap.

I’m no score fanboy, just know what I (and the general public) like. I saw the last Trek movie 6 or 7 times. and could not even BEGIN to hum or whistle any musical theme from the movie.

Why do directors of the Bay/Abrams ilk go for every lowball visual trick, but try to get all arty and subtle about the music? I want the score to grab me by the collar and shake me!

@17: While I agree that there are few memorable melodies in the score (and the few I do remember, I really wish I could forget), the phrase “grab me by the collar and shake me” does come to mind at times. It certainly doesn’t lack enthusiasm, which is a quality I think suited the overall tone of the movie (in a positive way).

YESSSS! Klingon theme!!!!

When I listen to this

I imagine a huge epic reimagined Klingon Warship passing by and the camera pans through the enormity of the ship as it decloaks and passes by the Klingon home world, slowly camera pans towards the homeworld and we see the home world in all it’s glory and act 1 scene 1 starts. Enter Kor.

So glad to hear about MG!! He is an excellent composer. Now all the “old” crew is back! Now, hurry up 2013!!

Maybe they should just recycle the beautiful and memorable music from “The Rocketeer”.

Not surprised by this announcement, as JJ can’t seem to find another composer to work with.

This film is now officially stillborn. I’ll wait until I can rent it on Netflix. At least then I’ll be able to watch it with the sound off.

Bear McCreary

Boo. A lot of the soundtrack by MG is very generic sounding. Sure there are highlights, Enterprising Young Men (and the main theme that goes with it) and Labor of Love come to mind, other than that, it’s all sort of cookie-cutter bland. Keep the main theme and jettison just about everything else, Michael.

“Composer Michael Giacchino Confirms Return For Star Trek Sequel”

Welcome back !

It would be nice to hear a version of one or two of the original ‘Fred Steiner’ cues weaved in to the sequel this time, to really capture that TOS vibe.

But what I’d REALLY love to have incorporated into the next soundtrack is the awesome trailer music that ‘Two Steps From Hell’ came up with for the first movie. Hell, it should be the MAIN THEME this time around!

‘Freedom Fighters’ by Two Steps From Hell –

Yay! One of the better parts of the 09Trek! The music was terrific, it actually had a theme you could hum! I hate how current films do not have recognizable themes. But, Giacchino is old school in that way. He’s a theme-fan!

I hope “Enterprising Young Men” makes a return – that was an amazing track and also, it wouldn’t be Star Trek without the Original Theme.

Collaborating with Two Steps From Hell would be awesome!!!!

Enterprising Young Men, Nero Fiddles, Narada Burns, Labor Of Love… Some of the best tracks I’ve heard in the last decade. The ST09 OST is the only OST I listen to repeatedly on my mp3 player while walking to work. I hope for more like that. Maybe a bad ass Klingon theme.


I agree completely; “Enterprising Young Men” should be the theme for the next movie. I’d also love for it to be the reveal for the Enterprise; just like they played the same tune in the Pirates movies when the Black Pearl first appeared on screen.

I also think he should collaborate with Bear McCreary; both of them are great composers.

Seems a few fanboys are out in force on this news.

Reminder that Giacchino won an Oscar for his 2009 work… on another film. His ST had a few good secondary cues, but the primary stuff was severly unmemorable. Perhaps he should listen to prior work from Goldsmith, Horner & even Eidelman, might get some ideas that might help him along.

Perhaps he’ll do an Oscar-worthy job on ST this time around, not for some other film in the same year?

That’s good news; I still think his Oscar winning score for “Up” was one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard. Bought it off i-tunes and absolutely love it. Track 3 still moves me to tears!

As for the next Trek movie, now that ST is settling into a somewhat more familiar pattern (Kirk and crew are all assuming their familiar TOS roles), it’d be nice if the music had a few more familiar cues from TOS sprinkled throughout the movie.

I want John Williams to do a Trek before it is too late… He won’t be around forever.
Don’t like Giacchino’s work.

I like Giacchino’s work – not only on The Incredibles but on Speed Racer – but I was a little let down by his work on ST09, or maybe I was expecting too much. I’m OK, though, with him having another crack at it.

My favorite ST movie soundtrack scores:


@ #36 Bob Tompkins

I sure love the way he reworked the original TOS theme with the Boston Pops, I gotta say. It’s a great version!

Sorry but the musical score to Star Trek The Motion Picture was more memorable. This guy added nothing to abrams vision.

paramount should have totally sold out and gone to the legend, “John Williams” for the score. Since they were shooting a Star Wars plot anyway.

I enjoyed the score enuf to buy the limited edition deluxe soundtrack-luv it—also luv that mg is a true trek fan…trek was one of the reasons he became a film composer–also luv his trek model on the ceiling n his wearing of the gold uniform shirt …he won an academy award-he is one of the top film scorers of today—great news all around-

#39 Of course, the musical score to TMP is more memorable. People have heard it played for more than 30 years, off and on, and then it became the theme tune to TNG. Anything would be memorable if it had that much air time as the TMP theme has. Not that I am saying it is not good, because I think it is brilliant, but it is silly to compare it to the much later Giacchino score because it is more memorable.

#41 — I immediately loved the TMP score when I saw the film. Aside from Enterprising Young Men, and Spock’s theme, such was not the case with MG’s score for the last film. It was a very uneven score with a lot of bombast to be sure…but it just wasn’t very melodic overall.

That’s the problem as I see it.


Sounds good to me! The Rocketeer had an excellent score. Of course, this is James Horner were talking about….

They should use the Star Trek theme music from the Insurrection end credits at the end of the sequel. The inclusion of the album version of Russell Watson’s ‘Where My Heart Will Take Me’ would be a bonus.

The Original Series theme music and new theme music in the last movie was unnecessary. The soundtrack was disappointing overall. ‘Labour of Love’ was the best part of it.

The reason people have been hearing TMP for 30 years is because it was an excellent score. We knew that at the time it was in theaters, all that re-use followed later. It didn’t become excellent only after 30 years of re-use. It doesn’t work that way.

MG’s work on ST 2009 won’t be noticed 30 years from now. Or even next week. Except when people compare it to so much other ST work that was better.

Maybe JJ’s just to tough on his composers so no one else (that’s really good) will work with him? Or he’s just stubborn? (Odds we’ll see some redesign work on the awkwardness of the E?)

I just read the last paragraph and looked up to see “Music by Gerald Fried” come up on my TV screen at the end of a movie. Weird…

@45: I disagree with your implication that Giacchino isn’t good — he’s done far, far better work for a number of other movies. Why he came up with what he did for ST09, and why it got green-lit anyway, are mysteries which may forever be hidden away behind the egos of the filmmakers involved.


You are lying if you didnt think enterprising young men theme was not epic.

From the delta shield turning to the reveal of the enterprise, anyone who didnt like it is tone deaf or trolling.

*delete didnt

I for one will not be seeing the next film. The ONLY way I would have been interested in seeing this wold have been if James Horner reprised his incredible scores for Star Trek.

One day people will realize that what JJ is shitting out has nothing to do with Trek.