The STAR WARS saga has been around for over 40 years, but even as it has moved between directors and even studios, it has held on to John Williams. He has scored every STAR WARS movie except for STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (Kevin Kiner), ROGUE ONE (Michael Giacchino) and SOLO (John Powell is doing the main score, but Williams is providing the theme), so it’s fitting that he’ll get to close out of the Skywalker Saga. Variety reports via Film Music Reporter that Williams is set to score J.J. Abrams’ STAR WARS EPISODE IX. “I would very much like to complete that,” Williams says.
Williams is slowing down a bit. While this year he composed scores for THE POST and STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, in 2018 his focus will be on a fantasia instead of film with “Hollywood’s Ghost” for cellist Yo-Yo Ma and harpist Jessica Zhou as part of the Leonard Bernstein Centennial. Then in 2019 he’ll go back into the studio to record the music for EPISODE IX.
However, Williams, even at 85 years old, has no plans to retire. “I don’t think you can retire from writing,” he says. “I feel very lucky, and the work that I do doesn’t depend on much. If your vision’s still good, and your hands — I have no arthritis in my hands and I play the piano very easily — I don’t think there’s any reason to deprive oneself of the fun of working. Music is so rewarding.”
It’s impressive that Williams is still knocking it out of the park and has been doing so for so long. His THE LAST JEDI score is terrific, and I would love to see how he brings everything to a close with EPISODE IX. And with frequent collaborator Steven Spielberg working a ferocious pace, I’m interested to see if Williams gets to work on ThHE KIDNAPPING OF EDGARDO MORTARA and/or INDIANA JONES 5.
STAR WARS EPISODE IX is set to open December 20, 2019.