The Skywalker family saga of the Star Wars film franchise has seen a wide collection of directors, actors, and crew members over its 40-year history, but there has been one constant through the eight episodes. We speak of the living legend John Williams, who has composed the musical scores for the series’ first seven installments and returns once again for December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Williams is frequently cited as one of the main reasons why Star Wars became the widespread phenomenon it is today, and there’s no denying his work is ingrained in the property’s DNA. That he’s still at it well into his 80s is remarkable and something many fans appreciate.
Thanks to tracks such as “Rey’s Theme” and “The Jedi Steps” on the Episode VII soundtrack, Williams demonstrated that he can still craft memorable themes for the galaxy far, far away, and many are eager to hear what he has in store for Star Wars 8. Writer/director Rian Johnson has been in post-production for a while now, and Williams was beginning the process of writing the new score back in December 2016, before the premiere of Rogue One. Now, an update on his progress indicates that he’s far along, staying in line with his intended schedule.
On Twitter, filmmaker Robert Meyer Burnett relayed the following information, revealing that Williams is conducting the score so far ahead of the Last Jedi debut (10 months before release) partially so Johnson can use the music while editing the final picture:
LAST JEDI scoring update. Last Thursday was John Williams' 85th Birthday. He's conducting. Rian Johnson wants to use the score for editing.— Robert Meyer Burnett (@BurnettRM) February 12, 2017
This is an interesting deviation from the typical Hollywood tentpole practices, which usually see the director use a temp score (music from other films) to assemble their first cut, and then the composer comes in and creates a new soundtrack. Some cinephiles feel the technique contributes to the recent wave of classical scores that do not leave a sizable impression (see: the Marvel Cinematic Universe), so Johnson deserves credit for thinking outside the box with a possible solution. Most times, the movie’s official score isn’t conducted until there’s a (mostly) finished product, allowing the composer to actually see the scenes he or she is writing for. That may give fans reason to feel wary, but the situation is similar to the Force Unleashed video game, which ultimately worked out in the end. And besides, Williams has too many accolades to list here, so he could easily come up with something based on the screenplay and whatever footage Johnson has already put together.
Williams had mentioned in the past, he expects to be working on the Last Jedi score until at some point in March or April, meaning there’s a very good chance we hear some of his new music soon. It’s widely expected the first Episode VIII teaser will premiere at Star Wars Celebration in the spring, and it would be a feast for the ears if some freshly-conducted cues from Williams were part of the previews. Usually, entire marketing campaigns are held before the film in question gets its actual music, but the case can be quite different here. By all accounts, The Last Jedi is coming together very, very smoothly – a pleasant change-of-pace from the franchise’s tumultuous history.
Source: Robert Meyer Brunett
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