Last October’s announcement that Disney and Lucasfilm are working on new Star Wars movies has kept fans buzzing for months now, awaiting each and every new update no matter how trivial. Following J.J. Abrams agreeing to direct Episode VII, the discussion has shifted its focus to the people returning for another trip to a galaxy far, far away.
Ongoing rumors suggest that original trilogy vets Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are returning for Episode VII (with the latest reports pointing to Ford striking an official deal soon); meanwhile, people like Yoda puppeteer and voice actor Frank Oz admit they’re also willing to come back. We can now add series composer John Williams to that growing roster.
Williams made the (casual) announcement at a concert earlier this month, where he led the Young Musician’s Foundation Debut Orchestra through a collection of themes that included his iconic Star Wars melody. Here’s what he said, according to the John Williams Fan Network:
“… Neither I, nor George [Lucas], nor anyone else involved thought ['Star Wars'] would go far or in a few years there would be a sequel and I’d have to revisit the themes…and years later another trilogy. Now we’re hearing of a new set of movies coming in 2015, 2016…so I need to make sure I’m still ready to go in a few years for what I hope would be continued work with George…[more cheers].”
We’ve known for a while now that Lucas’ role hereon forward is that of “creative consultant,” which by the filmmaker’s own admission doesn’t require him to do much (besides serve as a human encyclopedia), so it doesn’t sound as though Williams is actively involved in the creative process on Episode VII or any of the gestating characters spinoffs currently in development – for now anyway.
The only significant obstacle to Williams coming aboard to score Episode VII is that Abrams prefers to work with Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino. Indeed, the pair have been collaborating since working on the TV series Alias on through to every film that Abrams has directed so far, including Mission: Impossible III and Star Trek (in addition to this summer’s followup, Star Trek Into Darkness).
Giacchino is a fitting choice to replicate Williams’ musical style, going by his Super 8 score – which (not so subtly) paid its respects to E.T. – and exhilarating work on films such as John Carter. He even drew from Williams’ themes for The Lost World: Jurassic Park on the video game version, back during the early days of his career. Of course, it stands to reason that Williams has dibs, all the more so because he’s continued doing great work in recent years (his War Horse soundtrack is one of my personal favorites).
Do you want John Williams to score as many future Star Wars movies as possible? Or would you prefer to see him pass the torch onto another composer, beginning with Episode VII? Let us know in the comments section.
Star Wars: Episode VII is tentatively scheduled to reach theaters by 2015.