Legendary composer John Williams appears as exhausted by the amount of Star Wars movies coming out as you are. So much so that he’s bowing out of the franchise that led him to become one of the most well-known film score composers ever.
In a radio interview with California station KUSC, Williams said, “We know J.J. Abrams is preparing [Star Wars Episode IX] now, that I will hopefully do next year for him. I look forward to it. It will round out a series of nine — that will be quite enough for me.”
Extreme same, John.
Williams continued. “Disney Studios probably will take it further. As you know, Disney has acquired the rights for LucasFilm, and they will probably continue on through… decades, possibly, doing Star Wars-related attractions.”
While not a definitive confirmation that IX will be Williams’ last Star Wars score, it’s certainly daunting to imagine the franchise without him.
The blaring horns at the beginning of the films’ iconic opening scroll sequence is now seared into the collective cultural consciousness forever. Williams has scored every single title from the main film canon, having only forgone Rogue One, which Michael Giacchino scored. He’s also doing the theme for Solo, out in May.
But when you’re the man who’s created the most recognizable and celebrated scores of your time — from Jurassic Park to E.T. to Harry Potter — you probably have bigger fish to fry.
There does seem to be a general exhaustion among the top creative talent toward the upcoming, untitled Star Wars movie. Writer-director J.J. Abrams is returning after starting the new trilogy with Force Awakens — but we can’t help but remember what he told Howard Stern in 2015 about why he refused to come back for the sequel:
“I said ‘No’. I didn’t want to do a sequel. I’d done a Mission: Impossible movie; I’d done Star Trek. I didn’t wanna do another sequel — I’m sick of movies with numbers.
Ironically, Star Wars Episode IX is a movie with nothing but a number (for now, at least).
Regardless, John Williams owes several of his 51 Oscar nominations (yes, you read that number correctly) to Star Wars, and he will be vying for the award tonight, March 4, for his work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. One of the five Oscar wins he’s picked up over the course of his career is from the original Star Wars.
May the Force be with you at the Academy Awards, John — and on your journey to a galaxy far, far away from the Star Wars Disney franchise machine.