Legendary Star Wars composer John Williams will write a theme for Solo: A Star Wars Story. How to Train Your Dragon composer John Powell, whose involvement was announced last July, will compose the remainder of the film’s score. The hotly anticipated Star Wars standalone stars Alden Ehrenreich as a younger version of Harrison Ford’s roguish smuggler.
John Williams’ association with Star Wars began in 1977 when he wrote the memorable score for A New Hope. That score, with its iconic main theme, went on to win Williams his second career Oscar. Overall, Williams has written the complete score for all eight of the main Star Wars films, garnering an Oscar nomination for The Force Awakens. The only Star Wars franchise film without a Williams musical contribution is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which was scored by Michael Giacchino.
Variety reports that John Williams will continue his association with Star Wars and compose a theme for Solo: A Star Wars Story. Speaking with Variety, Williams explained how he and John Powell will collaborate on the film’s music:
“[Powell’s] assignment is something I’m very happy about. What I will do is offer this to John, and to [director] Ron Howard, and if all parties are happy with it, then I will be happy. … John [Powell] will complete the score. He will write all the rest of the themes and all of the other material, which I’m going to be very anxious to hear.”
Though John Williams and Ron Howard have both been in Hollywood for ages, this marks the first time the two men have collaborated. Working with Howard on Solo: A Star Wars Story allows Williams to do something he never did in the original films: create a theme specifically for Han Solo. Williams has written themes for many other characters in the series, including Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Princess Leia, Anakin Skywalker and Rey.
Composer John Powell has the task of completing the remainder of the score for Solo. His past credits include the Jason Bourne films, X-Men: The Last Stand and the Ice Age, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon films. That versatile experience will come in handy as Powell crafts a score that captures the essence of Star Wars while adding new inflections specific to the new adventure. Last year’s announcement promised a Solo film “scored in the style of the original ‘Star Wars’ movies but retaining Powell’s distinctive voice.”
Powell has big shoes to fill, stepping in where John Williams has succeeded so magnificently. But we now know he has Williams himself contributing, and perhaps that will help guide him in the right direction. Meanwhile, fans still wait for the first Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer to drop. A recent leaked image at least teased the look of the characters, though Disney has since disavowed the sneak peek.
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