Music to Our Ears: John Williams to Compose his Seventh Star Wars Score

Call it musical continuity, but what started in 1977 continues right through 2015

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John Williams attends the Benefit Concert of the Atlanta Symphony at the Atlanta Symphony Hall on Oct. 24, 2012 in Atlanta

Pick your career-defining tune for John Williams. Whether the upbeat and inspiring “Main Title” theme for the original Star Wars or the second movie’s ominous “Imperial March,” Williams has crafted every musical moment for all six Stars Films.

And he’ll do it again for Episode VII.

Call it musical continuity, but what started in 1977 continues right through 2015. And potentially beyond.

“I’m just happy to be part of the fun of doing it,” he says in a video promoting the project. “I’m waiting anxiously like the audience around the world to discover what the surprises are.”


Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy announced Saturday in Europe that Williams signed on for all three new movies, but official releases refer to just one movie for the 81-year-old composer. With the Episode IX scheduled for 2019, the Stars Wars crew doesn’t want to get too far ahead of things by locking Williams into a long-term situation.

(MORE: 30 Years Later Return of the Jedi Deserves Another Look)

But Episode VII will certainly feature textbook Williams, who has five Academy Awards and has completed the scores for movies ranging from Jaws to Lincoln and so much in between, such as the entire Indiana Jones series.

Williams says working on a series—especially one with such history—gives him the ability to expand on continuing themes.

“That is part of the fun,” he says. “We can use earlier material and develop new material to coexist with it.”

When it comes to crafting the soundtrack for a major feature film, Williams let too much information sway him before he sees the film. He likes the shock of twists and turns and he wants to experience them the same way audiences do.

“I prefer not to read scripts and wait for the moment of discovery,” he says, “so I know where to put the surprise button.” That surprise button may garner us another premonitory march. One with 1977-era history attached.