Composer Nicholas Britell Talks About Breaking All The ‘Star Wars’ Musical Rules, His Favorite Themes & More [The Rogue Ones Podcast]

Jan 28, 2023

‘The Rogue Ones: A Star Wars Andor Podcast’ returns with hosts Mike DeAngelo and The Playlist’s Editor-In-Chief, Rodrigo Perez. As with the previous episodes, each week, our hosts will recap and review the latest “Andor” episode and welcome cast members and creatives from the show to discuss all things “Andor” and all the intrigue and machination of the “Star Wars” galaxy.
READ MORE: ‘Andor’ Review: Tony Gilroy Doubles Down On ‘Rogue One & ‘Star Wars’ For Adults In Engaging Thriller About Tyranny
In the fifth episode of The Rogue Ones, our hosts break down their thoughts on the “cagey” episode seven, entitled “Announcement,” which dropped on Disney+ this week. After the discussion, composer Nicholas Britell (“Moonlight,” “Succession,” “Cruella”) joins the podcast to talk about joining the “Star Wars” universe for the first time and breaking the rules of the franchise instantly.
For the uninitiated, “Andor” serves as a prequel to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which itself was set just before the events of “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.” The Lucasfilm series follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) five years before meeting Jyn Erso and the gang in ‘Rogue One,’ as he finds himself thrust into the middle of a budding rebel cell with plans to put a stick in the Empire’s eye. It’s a first for the Star Wars universe, as it acts as a political spy thriller that really considers the age of oppression, life during wartime, and what it’s like to be on the ground as a member of the rebel alliance and as a member of the Imperial Army. Going even deeper, “Andor” really examines what it’s like for everyday people struggling under an oppressive regime. The show also stars Stellan Skarsgard, Genevieve O’Reilly, Adria Arjona, Kyle Soller, Fiona Shaw, and more.
During the interview, Britell discussed the interesting challenges that “Andor” presented, which required him to start working on the project nearly two years before it aired.
“I think the unique thing with “Andor” was the amount of on-camera music actually necessitated this early process,” Britell said. “It’s one thing to say, ‘Here’s my script; let’s talk about it and imagine some ideas.’ It’s another thing to say, ‘We’re going to be shooting in a few months, but we need to write all sorts of stuff right now,’ and there’s choreography we have to figure out. The Aldhani Eye Festival, the whole signaling sequence – the alarm signaling in episode 3 on Ferrix. That’s a very complex percussion piece that I wrote – each rhythm has a meaning. We had to figure out how they were going to do that on set.”
READ MORE: Tony Gilroy Says The Final 3 Episodes Of ‘Andor’ Season 2 Take Place 5 Days Before ‘Rogue One’ Starts
There were also new challenges that popped up due to how much the show builds and evolves, both in theme and character, which demanded that the music do the same.
“The wonderful thing that I felt personally was that the show evolves,” Britell said. “Each episode builds and changes as we go. We’re learning things, the characters are learning things, and so the music is changing. So, there are things, for example, in the grammar of the music in episode one that are very different from the grammar in episode six already, and that will continue happening over the course of season one.”
The first volume of Nicholas Britell’s work on “Andor” is being released on all digital and streaming platforms this Friday, October 21, and will feature music from episodes one-four. Britell told us two more volumes are coming later this fall. He also gave a tease for season two and how the music in that scene may start connecting to the Michael Giacchino score of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
Here’s our complete podcast breakdown of “Andor,” episode seven, plus our entire conversation with Nicholas Britell.

The Rogue Ones is part of The Playlist Podcast Network—which includes The Playlist Podcast, Be Reel, Deep Focus, The Fourth Wall, The Discourse, Bingeworthy, and more—and can be heard on Apple Podcasts, AnchorFM, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and now on Spotify. Be sure to subscribe and drop us a comment or a rating, as we appreciate it. Thank you for listening.

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