“End Titles” from STAR TREK (2009) by Michael Giacchino
I didn’t want to like STAR TREK (2009). I really didn’t.
These…interlopers…think they are going to make a Star Trek movie, and they are going to start out by recasting all of the TOS characters and set things before anyone has met anyone1Shades of Harve Bennett’s cancelled Starfleet Academy movie? Please.
Then I watched the movie.
God damn did I love it.
I loved the new cast2Karl Urban somehow was possessed by the ghost of the late DeForest Kelly. He was that good.. I loved the way Leonard Nimoy’s Spock was there and how this wasn’t a reboot, it was wholly connected to what we already knew about Star Trek canon. And I loved the music.
I’d been a fan of Michael Giacchino for years. I would say THE INCREDIBLES was probably the first thing I remembered of his. I also really liked his score to MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III and how it payed homage to Lalo Schifrin’s music from the original series, so I knew he would treat the material with respect while bringing something new and interesting to the table.
One of the most interesting things to me about his score for the film is that, aside from one or two small references, there’s no Star Trek music through the course of the movie. By which I mean anything that we, the fans, would recognize as being Star Trek music. There’s a lot of really good Michael Giacchino music that NOW we identify with Trek, but it’s all new to us in this film3David Arnold did the same thing with CASINO ROYALE (2006). There’s very few references to the famous James Bond theme up until the climax of the movie.
And then, once the crew is together at the end of the film, and we hear Leonard Nimoy’s voice-over reciting the famous “Space, the final frontier…” lines, Giacchino takes the wraps off of Alexander Courage’s famous theme. First with the fanfare, and then as we slam to the closing credits, we are given an absolutely glorious arrangement of Courage’s TOS theme.
Not only is Giacchino’s take on the theme wonderful, his own themes act as a perfect counterpoint throughout the opening sequence of the credits. Of course, he’s not done there. We also get that beautiful Spock theme on erhu along with all of the other secondary themes Giacchino wrote for the movie. All in all, its a nine-minute cue that perfectly encapsulates all of the music we have heard throughout the film, kicked off with the franchise staples that, through the course of the movie, we have “earned.” Bravo.