John Williams Hoping to Score New STAR WARS Films

by     Posted 1 year, 248 days ago

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With the new Star Wars trilogy that Disney and Lucasfilm are developing, there appears to be a serious changing of the guard taking place behind the scenes.  Series creator/shepherd George Lucas vacated his spot at the top of Lucasfilm and is now acting in a consulting capacity on the new films, and prequel trilogy producer Rick McCallum has also retired from the company, leaving Kathleen Kennedy in charge as the new Lucasfilm president and producer of the new Star Wars trilogy.

With J.J. Abrams set to direct at least the first film, Star Wars: Episode VII, wheels are in motion to bring brand new Star Wars stories to a whole new generation of fans, but it appears that at least one creative stalwart from the previous films might have a more heavy hand in the new trilogy: composer John Williams.  Hit the jump to see what Williams had to say about possibly scoring the new Star Wars films.

star-wars-john-williams-george-lucasWhen J.J. Abrams was first announced as the director of Episode VII, I was immediately giddy about the prospect of Abrams’ longtime composer Michael Giacchino crafting a new score for this revitalized Star Wars universe.  His past work on films and TV shows like Lost, Up, and Star Trek is phenomenal, and the idea that he might get to play off of Williams’ themes from Star Wars for a new score sounded most excellent.

Well it appears that Giacchino’s involvement with the new Star Wars trilogy might not be a foregone conclusion after all, as Williams recently made some comments that suggest he might be returning to compose music for the new films—or at least he thinks as much.  Here’s what he had to say at the recent YMF event courtesy of the John Williams Fan Network (via First Showing):

“We’re about to play Star Wars and each time we play it, I’m reminded of the first time we played it decades ago. Neither I, nor George, nor anyone else involved thought this would go far or in a few years there would be a sequel and I’d have to revisit the themes…and years later another trilogy. Now we’re hearing of a new set of movies coming in 2015, 2016…so I need to make sure I’m still ready to go in a few years for what I hope would be continued work with George.”

This is in no way a confirmation that Williams is absolutely coming back to score the new Star Wars films, and it’s such early days on Episode VII that I’m sure a decision as to the film’s composer hasn’t been solidified just yet, but it definitely sounds like Williams is operating under the assumption that he’ll be asked back.  Personally, I’m of the opinion that new Star Wars would benefit from a new score, but I’m sure there are plenty who would think it blasphemous for a Star Wars movie not to have a John Williams score.

What do you think, dear readers?  Is John Williams’ return an absolute necessity for Episode VII or would you rather hear what Michael Giacchino comes up with?

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  • Patrick

    It ain’t Star Wars without John Williams.

    • james m

      It ain’t star wars anyway, not with the hack jj directing it!

  • fixinpost

    Didn’t Giacchino arrange the Star Tours reboot at Disney parks using past themes? He was excited to do it. Possibly Williams do them considering he’s alive (god forbid the legend pass) with Giacchino on everyone’s mind as the relief pitcher when needed. Possible collaboration (brain exploded)?

  • Iwon2blue3cheese

    As long as John Williams is alive and willing, he should be willing to do any movie he wants. Williams knows how to update scores and keep them fresh. Literally the only positive about the prequels was Wlilliams. It would like a Award show that wanted to play “Hotel California” at the show, but instead of asking the Eagles, they ask Mumford ans Sons. The younger band is great, but they could never touch the Eagles on their own song.

    • fixinpost

      Well said.

  • Yavin

    Maybe Williams & Giacchino could collaborate on Episode VII as a way for Williams to hand Giacchino the baton for future episodes.

    • tarek

      same here. Or maybe another talented, yet not well known guy: Joel McNeely who did the amazing score of Shadows of the empire.

  • Robby

    Aren’t things like this just a given?

    • Filmmusicfan

      I know! It’s ridiculous that we are even debating this. Giacchino is no Williams. Williams IS Williams. And regardless of what some people have said on here, the music for the prequels was fantastic and JW still cranks out at least one brilliant score a year.

  • Stu

    I know I’m in the minority here but I think changing the composer would be great. John Williams has a very distinct style to his compositions. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s very good but he’s also not going to bring anything drastically new to the table. If they do bring him back I think they should hire two composers (like Batman Returns and DK) — keep the iconic themes but add something new.

    • DREDD

      Err no! Keep the experimenting for other film franchises, dont mess with the most beloved one just to try and be edgy. It rarely works, unless the whole thing is a reboot such as the Bat films. Star Wars should never be rebooted, merely revived.

      Williams always comes up with something new when asked, even all 3 prequels had a new original Williams score and love or hate the films, each theme was stunning! And yet, they blended perfectly with his old scores too.

      Williams is the Master of them all!

      • Steve

        Fresh musical talent is fine for the spin off movies, but

      • Steve

        Well that was weird. As I was saying…. new musical talent is fine for the spinoff movies. But this is a sequel to the original trilogy. No one is going to mess with what makes those movies so iconic, and John Williams’ score is sacred. It would be a travesty not to ask him as long as he’s alive.

  • LA

    Think about getting both for composing the scores! Remember what James Howard Newton and Hans Zimmer did on The Dark Knight. WOW! Fantastic. What tehy could do know with all Instruments and Software. I would like to hear that. Don’t you?

    • Filmmusicfan

      They are too different in their composing styles to collaborate. It would just sound like watered down star wars. Pointless. Williams is interested and available so it should be Williams. Williams is just too far beyond Giacchino musically to make a collaboration valuable. Also, I’m pretty sure the JNH and Zimmer collaboration wasn’t much of a collaboration or they would have worked together again on the final film. Probably just done for political reasons. I would guess there was little to no actual work together, but maybe I’m wrong?

  • LA

    Think about getting both for composing the scores! Remember what James Howard Newton and Hans Zimmer did on The Dark Knight. WOW! Fantastic. What tehy could do know with all Instruments and Software. I would like to hear that. Don\’t you?

    • DB

      Did you seriously compare TDK soundtrack to the Star Wars score?

  • LA

    Think about getting both for composing the scores! Remember what James Howard Newton and Hans Zimmer did on The Dark Knight. WOW! Fantastic. What tehy could do know with all Instruments and Software. I would like to hear that. Don\\\’t you?

  • tarek

    A star wars with John williams and without Lucas… the best of the both worlds.

  • Andrew

    Wow Stu and LA, what an insult to John Williams. Why would he return under the condition that someone else is brought in to improve or add to what he could do alone?

  • mrperfect

    I don’t remember any really outstanding themes from the awful prequels. I say, new generation new composer. Bring in some fresh blood to the sonic world.

    • DREDD

      Simply a bad case of memory loss!
      Duel of the fates! Order 66 theme! Anakin vs Obi wan theme! Hell even the theme from attack of the clones was a beautiful love theme, just because the quality of the movie did not live up to it. the music was flawless!

      • Steve

        Nothing memorable? So we’re just going to throw out the baby with bathwater now? The music was the least of those movies’ problems.

    • james m

      Dual Of The Fates, Across The Stars, Battle Of The Heroes, from Episode 1, 2 and 3??????? Those are memorable, you clearly have not seen the movies or listened to the awesome music.

  • Daanon

    I’m in the Williams or nothing camp. I might even consider boycotting the new films if they don’t use Williams. It’s one thing when it’s a reboot, like with Nolan’s Batman films or JJ’s Star Trek, but they’re not remaking the originals or prequels, these are sequels and it would be a crime to change composers. Somebody mentioned that Williams probably wouldn’t have anything new to add, but I think the Imperial March from Empire Strikes Back and Duel of the Fates from Phantom Menace prove that he’s not one to just riff off the original theme.

  • DREDD

    Accept no substitutes!!!

    Williams should even do a whole bunch of tunes for other possible movies/spin-offs and put them in a music bank for after he’s retired.

  • Idea!

    Maybe Collider could run a contest where we guess which Classical or Romance age composer John Williams rips off for the new themes. Something to consider.

  • TheHOYT

    Williams seems tired to me. His newer stuff is okay, but it just seems like filler to me and lacks the imagination manifest earlier in his career. I say, a new Star Wars for a new generation needs a new composer. I’m all for Michael Giacchino!

  • Judd

    Forgive me, but Williams is waaaayyyyy past his prime. Sad to say he didn’t come up with anything beyond mediocre for any of the three prequels, and besides a few solid pieces in Tintin, I can’t remember the last actual playable, catchy or memorable score since probably Catch Me if You Can. His scores for War Horse and Lincoln were cheesy and generic (of course so were both of those films themselves). I am and have always been a huge fan of Giacchino since the first time I heard the score for the original Medal of Honor. He was an apprentice to George Lucas back in the day, that’s how he got to do scores for those early Dreamworks video games from my understanding. Who better to take the reins? Sorry, but Williams has already created his masterpieces, I think he’s got no new clever catchy Star Wars material left in him.

    • Um, Sure

      He’s talented but to even suggest Giacchino is in the same league as John Williams is laughable.

      • TheHOYT

        Likewise, to even suggest that Williams is on the same level creatively that he was when he first composed the music for the original Star Wars trilogy is laughable. Giacchino’s career is still in it’s infancy compared to Williams, and already he has some stellar work under his belt. He’s young and hungry, something that Williams hasn’t been for a looooong time.

    • Great white hype

      The greatest movie composer of all time is past his prime and has nothing of value left to offer? Jaws, Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, Schindlers List, Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter. Or the guy who scored such memorable movies as Sky High, Speed Racer, John Carter, or a couple of the Mission Impossible sequels. Remember the amazing score of those movies? I don’t either. Star Trek might be his best work. Sorry but Michael Giacchino hasn’t come up with a single score that even nears John Williams best. I forgive you but there really is no other choice. The genius that is John Williams frightens me.

      • Drake

        I’ll have you know that John Carter had a fantastic score ;). And Williams has had his unmemorable scores too. But I still agree with you that Williams is the obviously choice here.

      • Aaron

        Williams, all the way. However, I DO remember Speed Racer’s score and listen to it often, Mission Impossible’s score was a big bold presence in Ghost Protocol. John Carter’s score I found forgettable though I enjoyed the movie very much, but you left off the incredibly touching and memorable score to Up, the amazing score to The Incredibles and the perfect Ratatouille score, all done by Giacchino. (also one of my favorites is the credit sequence in Cloverfield)

        I’d love to see them collaborate a bit, but if Williams wants to go for it, I’m all for it. Let Williams stamp some new original themes on a new Star Wars movie that’s less bitter to fans’ tongues. Let the music swell and overtake the soundtrack, too. Modern movies have been too afraid of this and the prequels were guilty at times (though who would notice such a small fault in the face of others, right?)

      • ScaredForMovies

        Giacchino is a talented composer. The Incredibles, Up, and Ratatouille, all have a good scores but not once have I found myself humming the themes from those movies. Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter on the other hand. Right now I would defer to the master. But the apprentice’s time will come soon enough.

      • aaron

        I challenge anyone to sit silently and test yourself on the themes. Think of a John Williams score and humm/whistle/sing as many themes as you can from that film. Now do that with a Giacchino score. My guess is that you will be lucky to recall one Giacchino theme from any film and probably not in its entirity. I bet you can recall dozens of john williams themes from various movies and sing/whistle them all the way through and into their variations. Giacchino has written nice supportive underscore for some of his films, but he does not have the thematic chops for Star Wars.

      • Alex Q.

        John Williams is the one composer in our lifetime that so many people can identify, anyone of numerous themes is recognizable. Five time Oscar winner, plus 79 other awards and 149 nominations during his career. What other current composer can even come close to his accomplishment.

    • Drake

      Umm, Tintin in 2011 was an extremely catchy and memorable score. Now I love Giacchino as much as anybody who knows anything about him, but Williams is the easy choice. He has written some of the most memorable film music ever, and I really haven’t seen a decline in quality in his scores.

  • Judd

    Oops! Meant he wan apprentice to Williams, not Lucas.

  • Steve

    I love Williams’ Star Wars music, but I don’t think moving on to another composer would be a bad idea as long as it’s done well. Start fresh, with homage to the original, just like Giacchino’s Star Trek, which was excellent.

  • Sean

    If Williams can still bring his A game, I’m all for him returning. But he’s over 80. Not many people bring their A game into their 80′s. Then again, no one has a career like Williams.

  • Alek

    “Dollars” Trylogy = Ennio Morriccone, Star Wars = John Williams! Colaboration – intrestyng idea.

  • Spence

    I was actually quite excited for the prospect of Giacchino coming in, but I can’t argue with Williams’ return. What if Giacchino co-scored it with him? That would be the best of both worlds. The master and the apprentice.

  • John

    God the fanboys here sicken me.

    Anyway yes if Williams is around, bring him back. The only thing I worry about is his age. He’s in his 80s so there’s always the possibility that his health can head south. I’m not concerned about how much of a quality score he can do as he’s still solid (although I find his Lincoln score borrows heavily from his SPR score) at his age.

  • Michael christensen

    John Williams music, makes Star Wars. It brings it all together. This shouldn’t even be a discussion.

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  • JCRZ209

    Giacchino is a long time fan of Williams, and his music has some very similar qualities to Williams’ scores, John Carter and Super 8 stand out for me. J.J. Abrams and Giacchino are also both huge Williams/Lucas/Spielberg fans.

    Honestly I feel like J.J. Abrams would jump at the opportunity to make a Star Wars Movie with John Williams, but I would not be upset at all if Michael Giacchino did the score. Also lets be honest will John Williams be alive through a whole new trilogy? If anything Williams will score 7 and Giacchino will score the rest.

  • InOnePiece

    Imagine-
    You’r in theatre for Star Wars.
    Movie Starts-
    20th Century Fox Fanfare
    Followed by
    STAR WARS – on screen, accompanied by Non-John Williams scrore.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like Giacchino, but Star Wars without John Williams is not star wars but some other space saga. But, I’m not averse to the idea of collaboration, so that the Score continues after Mr. Williams departure.

  • Filmmusicfan

    They are too different in their composing styles to collaborate. It would just sound like watered down star wars. Pointless. Williams is interested and available so it should be Williams. Williams is just too far beyond Giacchino musically to make a collaboration valuable. Also, I\’m pretty sure the JNH and Zimmer collaboration wasn\’t much of a collaboration or they would have worked together again on the final film. Probably just done for political reasons. I would guess there was little to no actual work together, but maybe I\’m wrong?

  • Filmmusicfan

    They are too different in their composing styles to collaborate. It would just sound like watered down star wars. Pointless. Williams is interested and available so it should be Williams. Williams is just too far beyond Giacchino musically to make a collaboration valuable. Also, I\\\’m pretty sure the JNH and Zimmer collaboration wasn\\\’t much of a collaboration or they would have worked together again on the final film. Probably just done for political reasons. I would guess there was little to no actual work together, but maybe I\\\’m wrong?

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