When looking back at the history of Star Wars in cinema, and specifically, the elements that have helped to make it one of the most iconic film franchises in history, John Williams' original music and scores for all seven of the saga films to date is without a doubt, one of the most iconic aspects of the films. Whether it be his memorable themes, like the "Imperial March" or even "Rey's Theme" from The Force Awakens, there's no denying the evident impact that Williams' music has had in shaping Star Wars. So much so, that the absence of his music in Rogue One has emerged as one of fans' biggest complaints with the anthology film.
Williams' work on the franchise will continue next year as well after scoring director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII, a decision the iconic composer said had a lot to do with his love of Daisy Ridley's Rey character, and his desire to continue creating music for her. However, despite his beloved work on the franchise, Williams may not be as familiar with the Star Wars films as one may think.
While recently speaking with Mirror, Williams revealed that he's never actually seen a finished Star Wars film in his life, and doesn't feel much of a need to seek them out either. According to the composer, after working feverishly on each film, he's always ready to take a break from the film once he's completed the music for it:
“I let it go. I have not looked at the ‘Star Wars’ films, and that’s absolutely true. When I’m finished with a film, I’ve been living with it, we’ve been dubbing it, recording to it, and so on. You walk out of the studio and, ‘Ah, it’s finished.’ I’m not particularly proud of that, I have to say, but it’s also part of the fact that I finished ‘Star Wars’ now and I’m already working on Spielberg’s new film and I don’t want to listen to music or see films.”
Right now, Williams is expected to score both Episode VIII and director Colin Trevorrow's Episode IX, which is set to be released in 2019 and thus will see Williams solo composing the scores for three straight Star Wars trilogies in a row. As for the other standalone films Disney and Lucasfilm have planned, it seems safe to say that after bringing on composer Michael Giacchino for Rogue One, the studios may go with different composers for each non-saga film moving forwards, as a way to not only differentiate the standalone stories from the main saga titles, but also to prepare fans for the time when Williams decides to hang up his hat and stop composing new scores for the franchise.
That will, no doubt, be a decision that many fans will be heartbroken over, especially after Williams proved once again how adept he is at creating iconic, memorable new pieces of music for Star Wars with The Force Awakens last year. Until then, however, fans can have rest easy knowing that Williams shouldn't be leaving Star Wars any time for the next few years at least, even if he might not be as well-versed in the films themselves as fans likely thought up until this point.
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018