Disney rocked the entertainment world last fall with news that it had acquired Lucasfilm and planned to re-launch the Star Wars film franchise, starting with Episode 7 in 2015. Just as millions of fanboys voices cried out, they were suddenly silenced as the questions started to arise.
Now that we know J.J. Abrams is set to direct the film and that the original trio of lead actors is all but confirmed to return, one big remaining question is whether or not John Williams – who composed the music for all six episodes of the Star Wars saga (yes, even the much-debated prequels) will return. The composer himself has expressed interest in coming back, but since then, little has been said of his possible involvement.
Now, according to Trek Movie, Abrams recently said that he expects Williams to return for the film. The report comes from a press conference for Star Trek Into Darkness, which will be scored by longtime Abrams collaborator Michael Giacchino.
Even Giacchino – who would be the most likely replacement to score Episode 7 – expressed his hopes that Williams would return to compose the film's music.
Speaking to German website Owley.ch, here's what Giacchino had to say:
"All I can tell you is that the thing that excites me most about a new Star Wars film is the possibility of hearing new John Williams music. I would much rather hear John Williams’ Star Wars score than my music for Star Wars."
While Giacchino has proven himself a remarkable talent (just see the opening sequence from Pixar's Up, which earned him an Academy Award), the fact remains that Williams' music remains one of the most unforgettable and timeless aspects of the Star Wars saga, not to mention one of the least-debated among hardcore fans and casual moviegoers alike.
The entire goal with Episode VII, it seems, is to recapture the magic of the original trilogy, that indefinable quality that many fans felt the prequels were sorely lacking. This new trilogy has even recruited former Star Wars writer Lawrence Kasdan. If Abrams hopes to achieve that style in his film, he truly does need to bring Williams back to provide the music. Even Superman Returns – which director Bryan Singer intended as a spiritual sequel to the first two Christopher Reeve films – brought back Williams' main theme from the original 1978 big-screen effort.
However, this being Star Wars, there are bound to be some fans who would prefer that Abrams and his team reinvent the franchise, rather than hewing so closely to its history. To those moviegoers, bringing Williams back might seem like a step back. For the rest of us, this is nothing but good news.
In addition to news of Williams' likely return, The Wrap reports that Industrial Light & Magic – the company that will be leading the series' visual effects – is considering setting up a production office in London, in order to take advantage of foreign tax subsidies.
Dating all the way back to the 1977 original, the Star Wars franchise has frequently set up production facilities in the United Kingdom. So the concept of Episode 7 following suit isn't exactly the most revealing news. Still, it's a sign that, yes, the film is slowly coming closer to reality. Expect further updates (including Williams' potential return) sooner rather than later.
Do you think Abrams should bring Williams back for Star Wars: Episode 7 or give a new composer the chance to put their spin on the franchise? Let us know in the comments section below.
Star Wars: Episode 7 is currently targeting a 2015 release.