Was there ever any doubt? Sure, John Williams skipped out on ROGUE ONE to allow Alexandre Desplat to play in his sandbox, but STAR WARS just doesn’t feel like STAR WARS without the triumphant sound of John Williams. Since Disney is determined to deliver an infinite supply of galaxies far, far away, it’s a safe bet that Williams will not be able to score the entire onslaught. However, if you’re JJ Abrams or Rian Johnson (and probably Colin Trevorrow), you wouldn’t want to disturb the Empire George Lucas built without that familiar blare.
Next February, John Williams will be 85 years old. He’s scored a countless number of obvious classics (JAWS, SUPERMAN, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK) and the not-so-obvious (EARTHQUAKE, THE FURY, SPACE CAMP). Ask the average moviegoer to hum a theme from Cliff Martinez and they’ll simply stare at you quizzically. Mention John Williams, and they’ll launch into a JURASSIC PARK whistle. The man is as iconic as the films he scores.
At a concert in Boston, Williams casually announced that he is about to start composing for Episode VIII (via MassLive). Slow news day? Ha! No detail is too small when discussing the fervor surrounding the new STAR WARS order. Whether if you loved THE FORCE AWAKENS or were lukewarm on it, there’s no denying the relief of fanboy anxiety that accompanied its release. Our childhood obsession is in good hands, and will be crafted by fellow fanatics eager to contribute to the saga that shaped the modern movie going experience.
I am extremely excited to hear what Desplat brings to ROGUE ONE, and I’m curious to see a guy like Michael Giacchino take that Pixar jingle to Mos Eisley. But John Williams is synonymous with the Skywalker story. There are few tracks on THE FORCE AWAKENS as memorable as “The Imperial March” or “Duel of the Fates,” but I’ll argue that “Rey’s Theme” is as beautiful apiece as Williams has ever crafted. And for now, that’s simply what STAR WARS should sound like.