If there is any single composer more famous than John Williams, I don’t know who he is. If you doubt the validity of that statement, consider this: Williams has composed the most recognizable scores for the largest films of the last four decades. If you are wondering what those are, here they are are in no real order: Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Wars (Episodes I — VI), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and of course Superman. He is, without question, one of Hollywood’s most successful and commercially viable composers. He is also the most nominated composer/conductor in Oscar history with an astounding 46 nominations, and five wins.
It is no real surprise that J.J. Abrams and the folks at Disney have recruited Williams to score the new Star Wars: Episode VII. That being said, it is worth noting that something truly iconic is about to occur. No single composer has lived to compose an entire film saga that will span nine films by the time it is all said and done. As a composer, he has over 140 titles to his name! hat’s more than the number of Best Picture nominees for the last decade!
Williams is the obvious choice with the music for Star Wars, of course. He created it after all. George Lucas once said that John Williams understood his vision for Star Wars immediately. That’s pretty rare, considering the source of the compliment. So, I am certain that if nothing else works out for Episode VII, at least Abrams has gotten the score right.
John Williams was the first composer I ever came to know. The Empire Strikes Back soundtrack (on vinyl) was one of the most common albums in the homes of my friends through the ‘80s. I also started to pay attention and fall in love with movie scores thanks to Williams. Before ever I started a movie collection in 1984, I had already begun collecting movie soundtracks. By the time I was celebrating Y2K in Disney World, Williams was in a category all to himself. I must thank Williams for composing one of my favorite pieces of music ever: Reflections of Earth: Prologue from Disney’s Millennium Celebration.
He has composed so many memorable themes that I cannot wait to hear what he has in store for us in this new era of Star Wars. Honestly, that is pure movie magic right there. Big sweeping scores played by a full orchestra playing along with some eye-popping visual effects is a MAJOR element of many blockbuster movies, not just Star Wars. I think it works particularly well for space operas, mind you.
Here’s to hoping the master knocks another one right out of the movie theaters… and onto my movie soundtrack collection!