John Williams’ score for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be his final contribution to the franchise, which is certainly a shame. After all, it’s generally accepted as fact that his score for Star Wars: A New Hope went a long way towards making the film the success it was. Those who saw the 1977 original without his music thought it looked extremely silly, but add John Williams and everything suddenly becomes profound, epic and exciting. His relationship with the franchise has endured throughout the Skywalker Saga, with his themes as iconic as lightsabers, TIE Fighters and the hiss of Darth Vader’s breathing.
Now, in an interview with CBS, Williams revealed his surprise when he discovered George Lucas had written Luke and Leia to be brother and sister, having assumed that the pair would naturally fall for one another over the movies. It’s a mistake he could be forgiven for, too, as they kiss in both A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back and Leia is written as flirting with both Luke and Han.
Here’s Williams’ comments on it:
“I saw them as two young people in the first film that I would never see again. And they seemed to be compatible. They had fun together. They did the action scenes together. And I figured, “Well, sooner or later, they will be lovers and they’ll have children and you know, so I wrote a love theme for Princess Leia, not knowing for, like, two or three years that they were brother and sister. I’m not even sure when George (LAUGHS) told us. That was the second film, or the third [“Return of the Jedi”]. So I had to go back and write different themes for (LAUGHS) the various relationships that came into focus over time.”
To be fair to Williams, it seems that Lucas hadn’t decided that Luke and Leia would be siblings until sometime during Empire. In fact, if you look at Leigh Brackett’s fascinating early draft of the movie, Leia isn’t Luke’s sister.
More dramatically, Vader isn’t even Luke’s father. But given the obvious romantic chemistry between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher (and the fact that Luke is destined to become a kind of space kung-fu monk), it just makes sense for Han and Leia to pair up in Star Wars instead, right?