“Aside from George Lucas, nobody deserves more credit for the success of Star Wars than John Williams.”
That’s a quote from Mark Hamill (AKA Luke Skywalker) describing John Williams and his immense, record-breaking contribution to the Star Wars franchise. It’s a legacy that was once again honored during yesterday’s Oscar nominations, when the Academy short-listed The Last Jedi for Original Score – along with Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects – making Williams the most-nominated living person in Oscar history with 51 nods. Fifty. One.
Out of that eye-watering total, the industry giant has collected five golden statuettes for Jaws, Fiddler on the Roof, E.T., Schindler’s List, and A New Hope back in ’77. Will The Last Jedi become the sixth?
It’s up against strong competition, given Academy voters also recognized the likes of Dunkirk, Phantom Thread, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro’s gothic fairytale that swept the board with a staggering 13 nominations – Best Picture and Best Director included.
But even if Williams and The Last Jedi come up short, writer-director Rian Johnson has served up the next best thing: an intimate behind-the-scenes video that shows the master at work. Posted via Vimeo (see above), the recording session sees Williams conduct a small section of the sequel’s opening theme.
It’s by no means his last hurrah, either, as John Williams has agreed to compose the theme for Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ron Howard’s forthcoming anthology flick that is expected to premiere its first-look teaser any day now – or, failing that, at next month’s Super Bowl event between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. Expect that one to grip the nation (and the rest of the world!) on February 4th.
Meanwhile, those crossing their fingers in the hope that the Academy will honor John Williams for his contribution to The Last Jedi can expect the 90th Oscars ceremony to take place on Sunday, March 4th.