The Hall Is Rented, the Orchestra Engaged: Michael Giacchino Returns to Score Star Trek Beyond

Returning for a three-peat, master composer Michael Giacchino announced this week that he has begun scoring the music for Star Trek Beyond. Adding the musical score is one of the final parts of the movie-production process, in that everything needs to be done and edited before the music can be added as the final layer.

Giacchino’s contribution to Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness were high points of the films, providing an emotional core that transcended action blockbuster fare. His heart-melding “Labor of Love” from 2009 makes you wish YOU’D been born to this song.

To capture the spirit of the Vulcans in 2009, Giacchino employed the two-string Chinese Erhu, a two-stringed fiddle, most clearly heard in the piece “That New Car Smell.” No word if Beyond will feature the same exotic instrument. (I’m rooting for at least one Ressikan flute, though.)

Giacchino is a frequent collaborator with J. J. Abrams, having also done the music for Alias, Lost, Mission Impossible 3, and Super 8. Here he is leading his orchestra in the main Trek theme.

And some more photos and videos the conductor posted to Instagram this weekend:


As the individual responsible for NuTrek’s music, he (well, probably at the behest of JJ Abrams) did bring the Beastie Boys Sabotage into the Star Trek universe with 2009, which was unpopularly incorporated into Beyond’s first trailer. We’re looking forward to Giacchino’s own stellar music come July 22 when Beyond hits theaters!

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Just another bit of good news…

I really LOVE and adore Giacchino’s Trek scores, especially the original 2009 score. It’s the best Star Trek score ever written and there’s hardly any day I do not hum the new main theme of the reboots.
That said, the score to STID was a bit weaker than expected, the best parts were those elements directly taken from the 2009 score. Ode to Harrison was okay, but not as brilliant as it could have been.
I really hope Giacchino can come up with a bit more creative stuff for thise one again. I’d hate to see his work go down the same road as Goldsmith’s and Horner’s contributions to Trek. Both started out with true masterpieces (TMP and TWOK), but later failed to live up to these cornerstones ever again (with Goldsmith’s FC score still being the best of the bunch)…
But then, even people like John Williams (on Star Wars) and Howard Shore (on The Hobbit) weren’t able to keep up the ultra-high qualiry of their original works…

I agree. I like STID’s score but I I wasn’t a huge fan of the piano stuff when Kirk was dying – and the Khan theme was a little Austin Powers over the top, I thought. Still fun.

“I really hope Giacchino can come up with a bit more creative stuff for this one again. I’d hate to see his work go down the same road as Goldsmith’s and Horner’s contributions to Trek”

What the hell are you on about JG was, if not “the” best movie composer of all time. His scores all the way through the Trek timeline in movies and TV shows were groundbreaking and original.

Yet Giacchino does one good score, then copies it for the next movie and you think he’s the best?

Seriously, you really have no clue what you’re talking about.

@ziplock9000, umm…resent NuTrek much? lol

MG’s score was impressive. The touching cues he wrote for Spock and the one used in “Labor of Love” were great. But let’s not kid ourselves. Goldsmith was great. His Motion Picture main theme has become a staple and his work on other Trek (Let’s not forget the impressive Voyager theme) remains great. Even a sub par feature like TFF can be enjoyed because of the late Mr. Goldsmith.

And please, John Williams is the king of all film composers. No one has ever come close. He is STILL great even as he approaches his 80’s. The new cues he wrote for TFA are fantastic and he is the most Oscar nominated person of all time.

John Williams is well into his 80s; he’s now 84.

Just a few nods and a wink to the late great Goldsmith TMP score would warm my cold Trekkie heart to this film

Yeah, for me the Goldsmith theme is so tied to TMP that I think I’d find it super distracting (it seemed weird in V to me). And on TNG it always felt stolen. But who knows, it may work.

@ Jack: For me, I just associate Jerry Goldsmith’s theme with Star Trek. That’s probably because I first saw it on TNG. I wasn’t even born when TMP came out. If I remember correctly, my very first introduction to Star Trek was through TNG, not TOS. That’s why Goldsmith’s theme is more representative of Star Trek for me personally than even the TOS theme.

I agree.

Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek theme is much more iconic than the one from the original series (imo).

Can’t wait to see where he uses that incredible percussion.

If THOR is your father then you can’t be anyone else then – James T. Kirk of Chuck Norris

sorry: “or Chuck Norris”

“Labor of Love” from “Star Trek” (2009) is essentially a variation of “The Gathering” from Season 2 of “Lost” (and “The Gathering” was later sampled in the “Lost” finale when they escape from the island). I generally enjoy his work but his scores from Star Trek fall a bit short for me. I was hoping for something new.

Am I the only one that thinks this process is behind schedule since the movie comes out in July? Thoughts?

Yeah sounds too close. I don’t know the process but if at least some of the scores were written before the 24th and if you don’t sleep it’s possible. They have less then 8 weeks to release.

It amazes me someone says they don’t know the process in one breath and then say it seems too close in the other. Unbelievable.

Thanks Condescending Cadet.


Plenty of time left.

The films locked, they are a week in on scoring, a process that takes maybe three weeks. Plenty of time.

Three weeks!? Why would you make such a statement?

@ Curious Cadet: I can’t imagine the recording takes several weeks. I mean it’s probably about 2 hours of music in total, depending on the movie length. It’s not like Giacchino is writing the score while they are on the stage with all the musicians. That would be far too expensive. Most likely, he has been working on the score for the last weeks or even months, and now they are recording it. Even with rehearsals and some changes on the spot, a few days should be enough.

You really don’t have a clue how movies are made… do you?

Scores are the last thing usually done on a movie. And they can be scoring right up to the day before release date. This is not unusual in the slightest. Seems like they are right on track with plenty of time. Stop stressing about every little detail. And there may be some final last minute edits that can be done too… that mean absolutely nothing! By the way, did you hear that they have to reshoot Star Wars Rogue One?

The scoring for The Motion Picture was done at the end of November, including over Thanksgiving weekend for a film that came out the first week of December. THAT is running a little late.

This is not uncommon and the score can be tweaked if needed just weeks before release.

One or two good tracks per score, the test is filler. I have the same issue with his other scores. Last year’s Jurassic World was just as forgettable. Definitely a weak link and no comparison to Goldsmith or Horner or even Eidelman.

Michael Giacchino scores have been enjoyable and compliment the films nicely.
Yes Goldsmith was a master.
Horner did another great job.
If you follow film scores as I have my biggest complaint about Horner was he used some of the same melodies in Star Trek as can be clearly heard and found in films like Aliens, Titanic and , Avatar.

Generally speaking if you have listened and collected scores from the best film composers, with the practiced ear you generally begin to hear some of the same melodies insert in all their music.

Horner has always had controversy surrounding his reusing of certain melodies. I think the most striking one was in For Greater Glory where the Braveheart “FREEEDOOOMMM!” melody is used so much it’s kind of embarrassing… ..Or the “danger trumpets” from Enemy at the Gates used in Avatar, etc. I always found it distracting but maybe its just me.

As far as reusing his work from Wrath of Kahn: I think The Rocketeer is the most blatant example.

Yes, i collect a lot of them. Horner was good in his prime, but even then the copying was a little annoying. If you listen to avatar, there are some amazing tunes, but also lots of skippable stuff, mostly because it all sounds like we’ve been there before.
For Giacchino, i think he has done some great work in the past, but maybe his heart is just not into the big Blockbuster fare. One complaint i have with the sound of his ST scores is the missing epicness, mostly because he tries real hard to capture that TOS vibe – Goldsmith went down a totally different route with TMP (granted, the tone and mood of the movie was different), but I prefer my Trek a little more epic.


I wouldn’t be so quick as to lay that all on Michael. JJ gave him a hard time on the 2009 score rejecting much.

While true, it would be more accurate if you said he used the same melodies in his other major films as he did in Trek, since ST2 was released in 1982 while the others you noted were years later.

You do not hear the same tunes but you can pick up on styles. Horner’s scores had a distinct percussion-y sound. Some of his cues are lifted from other work on occasion I have noticed. I do not think that is so much from him but it is often some sort of last minute change from the director for some reason or another. I have even heard a James Horner cue from Aliens used at the very end of Die Hard. A film Michael Kamen scored. Sometimes that happens.

I Khan Believe It An\’t Butter,

You need to go further back. Try listening to Horner’s BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS.where he performs the trick of borrowing from Goldsmith while separately and simultaneously creating cues that he will later recycle for WOK.

Giacchino’s talent is the brightest part of either of the previous two Abrams Trek films.

I do like his score for these reboot movies.
Goldsmith is still my favorite, followed by Horner (RIP) in the film realm
Courage is still tops all round creating the ultimate icon music.
The many composers who added their touch to TOS also deserve mention.

Perhaps he could discreetly use the blaster beam, as a homage to TMP, just like in that poster we’ve seen before.

Hate to be a nitpicker, but why does the photo at top show a Fox stage entrance while the paperwork in the 4th photo indicates the scoring being done on a Warner stage? Regardless, I’m really looking forward to the score. And I hope he incorporates a few TOS cues in this 50th anniversary film score!

The left-hand score says Warner, but the right-hand one says Fox. Same dates on both, though. I don’t know how close the stages are to each other.

They are not close at all. This scoring session was moved a few times. It was originally supposed to happen a week earlier, then a week later. The Sony stage was booked first, and is a much better room IMO, but was unavailable for the new dates. It’s entirely possible that both Warner and Fox were booked at the time the parts were printed, and for whatever reason it ended up at Fox.

A little research reveals that it was a joint preservation effort to save various scoring stages (Paramount sold theirs, which in turn was shut down by new owners).
A long list of supporters like Warner Bros Studios and Clint Eastwood resulted in saving and updating remaining scoring stages.
So listings on sound stages might be the stage location and listings on sheet music might mean group supporters and dedications.

That the score has been recorded is great news. I was very pleased to hear that Michael Giacchino was returning having loved his work on the last 2 features. Nice to see some musical continuity in this film series and I look forward to both movie and score at the end of July. As for the track titles, I’m cool with it and actually enjoy his word play.

Is he just going to reuse the same music from the last 2 movies again like he did the last time?

@ ziplock9000: I’m sure he will reuse some of the major themes from the last 2 movies, such as his Enterprise/Kirk theme or the Spock/Vulcan theme. But just like he created new themes for Into Darkness (the stuff for Khan and Admiral Marcus) he will probably also create new themes for Beyond. It’s quite similar to what Jerry Goldsmith did with all his Star TreK scores: Reuse some melodies to provide musical continuity and add new themes each time that are specific to the movie.

Alexandre Desplat for the next one please. Giacchino is not an ‘A’ list composer.

@ Bob: Not trying to antagonize but how do you define an A list composer? Giacchino has won an Oscar and a lot of other prizes, and he usually does several big movies each year. Granted, he does a lot of animated movies and scifi/fantasy stuff, so it’s not exactly the top contenders. However, I can’t remember any Alexandre Desplat score from the top of my head, so either I didn’t see any of his movies or I didn’t find the music memorable enough to associate his name with it.

I am very much looking forward to hearing tracks from the new score
Can’t Wait!

I am sure it will be another disappointing score for another disappointing movie.

Oh NOOOO! Not again! How about someone with new vision for music?


Been more of a fan of Dennis McCarthy, James Horner and Cliff Eidelman. Leonard Roseman did the Voyage Home exceptionally well. Not to mention the late, great Jerry Goldsmith. :(

I really liked ‘London calling’ and the cue used during the death of pike in ‘into darkness’.