Mark Hamill Says John Williams Deserves Almost As Much Credit As George Lucas For Star Wars


There’s a famous story about the production of Star Wars: A New Hope that the first cut of the film was an unmitigated disaster. Leaving aside that some of the special effects weren’t complete, many of the scenes seemed cringeworthy and insanely camp. Then they added John Williams’ score and suddenly the film just worked. It added an epic, timeless quality to the pic, not to mention gently guiding the audience’s emotions through the plot.

When you think that the studio was pressuring George Lucas to add a disco-influenced score, you realize that without John Williams, Star Wars might have emerged into cinemas stillborn. That’s a sentiment echoed by Mark Hamill, too, as he tweeted the following today:

“I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: After George Lucas, no one is more responsible for the success of #StarWars than John Williams. #GenialGenius”

There are various videos showing how strange Star Wars is without its iconic score, with my favorite being this one in which the music is stripped out of the throne room scene at the end of the film. As you can see, it suddenly feels insanely creepy – a series of extended glances, awkward coughs and you wondering how you never noticed that nobody actually says anything in the scene.

John Williams is set to score next year’s Star Wars: Episode IX, which will most likely be his final work on the franchise. After all, the guy’s 86 and has been incredibly busy for most of his working life. I’m glad he’s taking the reins one last time though, meaning his music will have soundtracked the entire nine film Skywalker saga, all the way from The Phantom Menace to whatever next year’s finale is called.

But fear not, for future Star Wars movies seem to be in pretty capable hands. Michael Giacchino’s score for Rogue One was brilliant, and I liked John Powell’s work on Solo. With any luck, upcoming projects like Jon Favreau’s TV show The Mandalorian and Rian Johnson’s new trilogy will find a composer that can turn out tunes as iconic and memorable as what Williams gave us.

About the author

David James

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.