John Williams Returning to Score ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′

Published 2 years ago by

The initial report that Disney had acquired Lucasfilm and were going to launch a new Star Wars trilogy shocked the world, as did the report that J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) would be directing the film. News on Star Wars: Episode VII has been relatively quiet as of late, with the big exception being the rumors (extreme emphasis on the “rumor” part) that Zac Efron and Ryan Gosling have auditioned.

Now we have the announcement from Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy that legendary composer John Williams will be providing the score for Episode VII, just as he has for the six previous Star Wars films. The news arrived today from Star Wars Celebration Europe, the huge fan convention currently underway in Germany. has also released a new interview with Williams, in which he discusses his enthusiasm for returning to this universe… and whether or not he has read the new story (spoiler alert: he hasn’t).

It’s a brief but enjoyable look at Williams, who is a warm and personable man, and the insight into his process as a composer (he prefers to experience the film as an audience would, rather than read the script ahead of time, for instance) is fascinating. You can watch the interview above.

John Williams Returning to Star Wars 7 John Williams Returning to Score Star Wars: Episode 7

John Williams is, of course, one of the most famous and honored composers working today. He has won five Academy Awards, has scored countless classics (Jaws, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, and The Raiders of the Lost Ark, to name a few) and his style has come to define what we expect to hear in Hollywood epics. His landmark score for the original Star Wars trilogy is one of the greatest things about them, so while the news that he’s returning for Episode VII may not come as a huge surprise, it’s certain to please fans.

Abrams might have been expected to bring on his Star Trek Into Darkness composer Michael Giacchino, who also worked on Lost and Fringe, in order to put his own stamp on the franchise while most likely retaining the main themes from John Williams’ original scores. With Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher all reprising their roles from the original trilogy, it’s clear that Disney and Lucasfilm know perfectly well that pleasing their core fan base – of which there are still legions – is essential to launching the franchise once more.

While the actual storyline for Episode VII is still a complete mystery, the new installment in the series is already expected to make $1.2 billion worldwide. Given the widespread excitement over a continuing series of Star Wars films, it’s probably an accurate prediction.


Star Wars Episode VII is expected to arrive from a galaxy far, far away in 2015.


Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. john williams starts. michael giacchino finishes. (if anything happens)

    • I hope not. I want Williams to do all 3. Mind you that conversation was going on back in 2002 when people were asking who would score it “if Williams dies”. Hope he will live for a long, long time to come.

      • What happens when John Williams dies? He is mortal, just like everyone else on this planet. The time will come sooner or later.

        Who carries on after him?

        Star Wars will live on for generations. I’m pretty certain there will be a Star Wars episode 1,000 at some point in the distant future. Who will write the score?

    • I hope you are wrong—giacchino is a fine composer-but he does not have the melodic and contrapuntal gifts that Williams has. To say that is just the way it goes is not good enough. Star Wars requires deeper skill than any Hollywood compose can muster. I think the classical music world must be approached. And here, Peter Boyer is the obvious choice. He has never done anything to the scale of star wars, but his melodic gifts are immense and he has a gift for counterpoint to rival Mr. Williams. I have no idea if Mr. Boyer would be interested in the gig…but he has a great affection for movie scores and composes as if inspired by them.

  2. A great composer, enjoy his music.

    • I agree with you dude I find Williams absolutely brilliant

  3. We knew this already.

  4. I found it interesting that John referred to Kathleen,
    who is 60, as young and J.J. who is 47 as very young.
    This is the perspective of someone like Williams who is 83.

    Be that as the side note it is, John is obviously the perfect choice.
    I am not entirely sanguine on the film’s quality but it will sound good.

  5. I feel like this was already known like six months ago? I guess not officially, or maybe I’m crazy..

    • Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that news was that JJ wanted Williams

    • This IS old news. JJ Abrams declared, back in April, that John Williams was set to score Episode 7.

  6. I also enjoy his music. I thought Disney would go for a fresher formula but I guess they don’t want to screw it up. I’m OK with it provided he doesn’t make the mistakes he did in episodes I, II and III where the only saving grace was Duel of the Fates and maybe Battle of the Heroes.

    Talking about mistakes, to Disney executives; for your sake and fans sake don’t hire “Actor” Zach Efron.

    If you do, next thing we know is that the new Jar Jar Binks will be John Travolta playing the part of Edna Turnblad.

    • Couldn’t be any worse than Hayden Christianson.

      • Jar Jar Binks? hehe

        • Do you mean the single greatest character ever created? He’s like the Star Wars version of Howard the Duck.

          • I personally think Jar Jar should be the next Sith lord’s secret apprentice. THAT would be a twist.

      • If names like Ryan Gosling and Zak Efron are being thrown around then yes, yes it could.

  7. Thank God John is doing the next chapter of star wars, I owe him a deep thanks for his powerful inspiration on my life from a very very early age. When i was young when everybody else was listening to pop music and what have you it was Johns music that just marveled my mind. I remember when my mother buying the tape of his music and arriving home one day from school to hear Johns music blasting out of the stero system. Every note just blew me away and thrilled me for ever and it was great to have his music. It had wrapt me, bound me,and become part of every part of me that i think it is embedded in my dna well thats going a bit to far but i just eternally love the music of this man.

    Without a doubt he inspired us all in so many ways to become musicians and all things artistic, Im really excited to see what john comes up. I love that he has this excitement and joy about composing, how blessed are we to live in a time of such a composer still here to give us dynamic and spell binding music.

    I can imagine God has an ipod up there and with johns music playing ….

    • I hope he reads this. Cheers, mate.

  8. I dont think i knew that he would come back, i just really hoped that he would be back.

  9. Although i kind of knew this already it is great to hear any kind of official confirmations on the new Star Wars movie and it is certainly great to hear this confirmation. Willaims’s music was one of the best thing about all the star wars movies I can’t imagine it being done without him, I really liked the interview i don’t usually watch a lot of interviews with composers so its really cool. Looking forward to this.

  10. Best news since J.J.

    • Well, practically the only news, right?

  11. I’ve got to say, that the ONLY thing I really enjoyed about the Prequels was the music. “Duel of the Fates” was particularly inspired.

    “Battle of the Heroes” was darkly epic. Yeah, so glad to have him on board. Even if I don’t like the sequel, I’ll know I’ll like the soundtrack.

    • Couldn’t have said it better.

    • I’m not fully in the same boat as you man there were a few things that i liked about the prequels but overall they weren’t all that great, i do agree with you that the music in the prequels was by far the best part of the films. Williams is awesome and its great they got him back.

  12. Atleast we know the music will be great

  13. Shame they didnt have the forsight to use him on Man of Steel:)

    • Different Superman, different composer. Episode VII is a direct sequel to RotJ so it makes sense to bring back as many people that worked on the originals as possible. In the case of Man of Steel it just wouldn’t have worked.

      • Plus Zimmer’s score was beautiful haha

      • I disagree, I think Williams would’ve been perfect for Man Of steel. Superman is not Batman and that’s the way they treated him. Shame.

    • Well, practically the only news, right?

      • Grrr, wrong comment, sorry.

        What I meant to say is that I’m glad Man of Steel had a different composer. It was important to make it something new, and not remain in overt homage-mode to Richard Donner’s films. Also, I liked Zimmer’s score from what I can recall.

  14. This is more good news about the future of Star Wars,please keep it coming,as I love ALL 6 of the Star Wars movies and all of the soundtracks that go with each episode,Thank you George Lucas for creating it and thank you John Williams for giving it a voice.

  15. To be honest this was a bit of a no brainer. Williams’ music is synonymous with Star Wars and a different composer would’ve been criminal.

  16. Pease bring back Jar Jar Binks

  17. This makes the most sense. Who knows for how much longer Williams will be able to continue taking on these projects, but at least this new trilogy will start out with him.

  18. Yeah, this may not be surprising and a no brainer but it’s still a big deal.
    I still get goose bumps when I think about seeing The Empire Strikes Back at the Drive-In as a kid especially the moment when we see the LucasFilm logo and Williams score kicks in. The same thing happened with Episode 1. As soon as you hear that music you’re transported to that galaxy far far away.

  19. JW doing the score cool,them negating the expanded universe and what fans consider cannon not cool.

    Thus i will not be seeing this SW trilogy,hey lucas did not move the franchise forward so authors picked up the slack and fans have become familiar with these addons, now disney comes forwars and says “says sorry fans that was just not cannon”

    that ok it’s your ip, but it’s people’s money and some won’t watch this with the expanded universe being shelved

    • Honestly – it is the right move. The expanded universe is now a complex entity on its own that basically centered around Luke, Leia, and Han and their children. You really don’t want to lock the movies into thst structure. It would be just to much to explain and work around.

      The truth of the matter is that even among the fandom the expanded universe is a small thing. Sure it kept the franchise alive but most don’t know much about it. It sucks that it will be coming to an end, but it is the right move.

  20. They have a huge hole to dig themselves out of. Episodes 1-3 did major to the Star Wars brand. I know 7 won’t be as good as any of the Episodes 4-6, but hopefully it can be better than 1-3.

    • Yeah I think your right but with Abrams Kennedy and Ardnt on board all working together I think it can be better and maybe even as good :)

  21. John Williams is a bona fide genius and legend.
    acks like JJ and his composer michael giacchino…who? cannot possibly be mentioned in the same breath.

    The inexcusably bad Star Trek: Into Darkness – reversing key lines from the vastly superior Wrath of Khan is just insanely stupid just 2 movies into a rebooted franchise.

  22. Thats great. He is my favorite composer. I wonder will he go with the same old Star wars theme or will reinvent it?

  23. Still bummed that JJ wont be doing the 8th and 9th film. John Williams even said you couldn’t have found a better candidate. Sure looper was a good movie, but come on Disney. Don’t oust JJ!!!

    At least this will free him up to possible direct a movie like Half-Life.

  24. Truly hope that he uses the same scores that he did for the original (1977) trilogy. Perhaps an enhancement would be ok, but you don’t try and fix what ain’t broke. The music from the original trilogy was one of the films defining characteristics.