Over the past several years, moviegoers have received the pleasure of listening to Michael Giacchino scores for a number of major films, including the most recent Star Trek film series. His new main theme became a franchise staple when it was first introduced in Star Trek, and he returned to compose the music for its sequels.

Star Trek: Beyond presented the composer with a challenge: 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the legendary franchise. With Anton Yelchin’s tragic death in the summer, it made it all the more important that Giacchino deliver something worthy of both the franchise and Yelchin’s memory. I am delighted to say he has done so.

Beyond‘s score beings like Giacchino’s previous two scores in the franchise (both of which I recommend), starting out with the main theme, only this time adding hints of the Alexander Courage fanfare. From there, the score runs the full gambit: from fast and action-packed to quiet and contemplative to tight and suspenseful. Giacchino, when he needs to, pulls out percussion and horns that harken back to the works of Jerry Goldsmith on earlier Trek films. Combined with uneasy-sounding orchestrations it makes the score sound more suspenseful than anything we heard in the other two.

Loud and power are not the only things the score succeeds in, as the quieter moments offer just as much depth. Into Darkness had its piano solo and Beyond follows with its own signature quiet moments. As with the previous scores, Giacchino mixes fast and slow tempo spectacularly, knowing when to back off and not being afraid to go against the composing norm.

Giacchino has become one of the more sought-after composers in recent years, and this brilliant score shows why. He fills Star Trek: Beyond with a score worthy of what has come before and reminds us all what a blockbuster score should sound like.




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