“There’s so much that George Lucas got right when he created the first films,” said J.J. Abrams at the global press conference for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
A part from the creation of Jar-Jar Binks and having trade negotiations be a central plot point, Abrams is absolutely right. One of those things that Lucas got right was picking his film’s composer.
John Williams is a household name in the movie music community. If you’ve watched a Steve Spielberg or other Lucasfilm blockbuster, you probably have seen his name in the credits. What’s more is that you probably left that movie screening humming his tunes.
Williams’ tunes are more than just tunes, though. They accentuate everything that’s happening on the Big Screen. As most composers known, minors represent sadness and majors represent happiness. Williams took that a step further and created themes for characters and worlds, allowing the storytelling to extend beyond visual pixel. That feeling when both are harmoniously put together is difficult to put into words.
But fortunately for you and I, that will happen once again with the score of the upcoming Star Wars film. Abrams asked Williams to be the film’s composer and Williams gladly obliged. Taking the original themes he wrote over 30 years ago as well as his musical genius, Williams sat down at the piano and churned out what is likely to be another Oscar-winning score.
“My task and my challenge was to make it feel friendly and interrelated to the other scores, so that it feels comfortably ‘Star Wars’-ian, if you can use that word,” Williams said in an interview with the LA Times. “And at the same time be new and original to this particular piece.”
Williams and Abrams were still in the large Hollywood, California scoring stage just weeks ago putting the finishing touches on the score. The orchestra was comprised of some of the best session musicians in the world. In addition to Williams, famed conductor and Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel was secretly invited by Williams himself to conduct the orchestra recording for the opening and closing credits.
The product of their labor is now a finished, full orchestral, 23-track soundtrack. Star Wars fans who haven’t seen the film yet should be cautioned though as the track names do giveaway minor details on what happens in the film!
After listening to just even a few tracks, I’m even more excited to just hear it and not watch the film. Should the film not rest well with audiences, you can be assured that Williams’ work not be to blame. It’ll once again be the one thing that Lucas and Star Wars fans will continue to mark as something that was always done right.
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