I learned in my first film class during college that film is not 50/50 sound/picture, no sir. The actual ratio is closer to 70/30, as sound is, outside of smell, the most viscerally intense of the five senses. This fact alone, technically, makes John Williams the most important part of the Star Wars universe. His crescendos and arrangements have lent more emotion to several key scenes in our favorite galaxy far, far away than amazing cinematography or a perfectly yelped “No!” could ever bring to the table. That streak is set to continue, and end, in the finale of the Skywalker saga.
As far as the film itself is shaping up, the Indiana Jones composer is said to be happy with an early cut of J.J. Abrams’ course correction The Rise of Skywalker, being quoted as saying he’s “very happy” with what footage he has seen so far. Williams has also been hard at work over the last month, composing 25 minutes of new material. One wonders how much from the Original Trilogy, or perhaps even Prequel Trilogy, may appear here, with the movie acting as the biggest nine-film finale the world has ever seen.
At 87-years-old, saying that John is a trooper would be a bit of an understatement. Yet, he feels as though he hasn’t lost a step…for the most part. “I don’t write any better than I did thirty years ago,” the octogenarian says. “Maybe not as well. I probably know more than I did thirty years ago,” he continues, “but I have less physical energy.” Heck, just for writing Binary Sunset alone, I think he deserves a nice vacation under some dual suns before he, too, becomes one with the Force.
To be honest, I’m glad that he followed through and wrote the music for the entire main series, as his legacy is as inextricably tied to the films as George Lucas is. Although, it must also be said, that I believe his work with this space-faring picture show peaked in Empire Strikes Back, with some gems emerging from an otherwise underwhelming prequel set. And lordy, the stuff from this new series is all just so forgettable. Kylo’s evil theme is the closest thing to recognizable I can pull from the Sequel Trilogy. Oh well! Star Wars will wrap up this December, hopefully going out on a high note.