Is there any assemblage of notes more ingrained into the pop culture psyche than the oft-heralded Star Wars theme? For John Williams, it’s become the iconic cornerstone of a career that’s churned one iconic score after another. His is a body of work that takes credit for not only the Wars but Superman, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Harry Potter, Jaws, Indiana Jones (takes break for sip of water), E.T. The Extraterrestrial, and Sunday Night Football - and he just so happens to be nominated this coming Sunday for Lincoln. composer’s demonstrated a supreme knack for getting into your head and staying there.
In the on-going assault of Episode VII rumor and speculation, Williams’ involvement seems like a slam dunk and indeed it probably is. According to the actually-something-that-exists JWFAN (John Williams Fan Network), the composer took a moment during a February 9th performance to tell the audience the following:
“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…[more cheers].”
Unless he’s referring to maverick key grip George “The Hands” Smithson, Williams sounds like he’s not entirely hip with what’s happening with the project. George Lucas’ limited involvement has been, almost comically, used as one of the great selling points of a continued Star Wars franchise.
I do think Williams will have a role to play in the future of Star Wars - in both the series proper and the many spin-offs being planned. But part of me wonders where Michael Giacchino fits into all of this. Giacchino, a composer who’s long been JJ Abrams go-to guy scoring his projects, is no slouch in his own right – having scored one of the finer, more memorable pieces of the last decade in 2009’s Star Trek. If we were putting money on it, I’d bet on Episode VII’s score being a collaborative effort between both Williams and Giacchino.
In truth a collaboration like the one above would be a best case scenario, at least in my mind. Williams, already preoccupied with a number of projects, can retain an overall classic feel while Giacchino (clearly heavily influenced by Williams) can play around and bring something new to the proceedings. Here’s hoping, as the theme probably wouldn’t suffer from a fresh approach.