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Soundtrack review: Star Trek Beyond (Michael Giacchino – 2016)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Star Trek Beyond (Michael Giacchino – 2016)


“Star Trek Beyond” is a 2016 American science fiction action film directed by Justin Lin from a screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, based on the series Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry. It is the thirteenth film in the Star Trek film franchise and the third installment in the reboot series after Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles as Captain James T. Kirk and Commander Spock, with Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho and Anton Yelchin reprising their roles from the previous films, with Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella joining the cast. The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

Michael Giacchino returned for the score and this made “Beyond” one of my most anticipated scores of the year and the safest bet. I love the first two scores to death and his new Star Trek theme is still ringing in my years 7 years after i first heard it. I consider it the best movie theme of the past 10 years at least. So I am excited and ready to plunge in another musical adventure at least as exciting as the visual one. Hello, old friend!

I welcome the return of another old friend, the gorgeous piano theme that was “London falling” in “Into darkness”. Here it blends with the main theme and a flute motif for the beautiful “Thank your lucky star date” which I count as the first new theme of this score. And how about the goose bump worthy subtle choral work in the romance of “Night on the Yorktown”, a cue that makes me think of fairytales an shows me once again that Michael Giacchino will be regarded with the same reverence and appreciation as John Williams many years from now. I like how ever since the magnificent “Jupiter ascending” Giacchino has started using the choir a lot. I listen to a cue like “Hitting the saucer a little hard” and I feel the space opera, I feel “Star Trek”, I feel adventure.

I like the most listening to music written for franchises. I like to hear the evolution in sound, in themes and here, for the third movie, the music of “Star Trek” has matured. We are past that flaming excitement of the beginning and into the more relaxed and confident zone of settling in. I don’t feel the need to jump from my seat and applaud at every cue as I did for the first two scores but I am enjoying the comfort zone.

“Star Trek Beyond” offers fewer action moments than the previous installments but just as exciting. I like the frantic Giacchino action moments and I can’t wait to hear them in context. I consider this a very good entrance in the franchise and even if it doesn’t shine as brightly thematically as “Star Trek” or “Star Trek into darkness” I will listen to it just as often.

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 27 / 61

Album excellence: 45%


Logo And Prosper

Thank Your Lucky Star Date

Hitting The Saucer A Little Hard

MotorCycles Of Relief

Crash Decisions

Shutdown Happens

Cater-Krall In Zero G

Star Trek Main Theme



Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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  1. jackson elmore 26th July 2016

    Do a review on The Killing Joke soundtrack! I really like it, i’d like to hear what you think about the score if you have time!


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