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.
StarWars.com 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 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.