Friday, June 10, 2016

Opinion: 'Star Wars' Without John Williams?


By Ciaran Duggan,

Yesterday, a number of mainstream media outlets reported that John Williams will score another Star Wars film. In an interview with Variety, John Williams essentially confirmed that he would score the next installment of the Sequel trilogy, Star Wars: Episode VIII.

The announcement of this news is welcome, and as a fan, I can't help but be excited about this. It is hugely difficult to envision a live-action Star Wars movie without the so-called 'oxygen' of Star Wars (i.e. John William's musical score). Audiences tout John Williams as one of the greatest movie composers of all time and some fans have levelled serious concern about the future of Star Wars in a post-William's era. However, this is something that Star Wars fans will have to get used to, starting with the new Rogue One anthology movie.

The anthology film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is set to hit theatres this year on December 16. The film will be scored by Oscar winner, Alexandre Desplat. Desplat's bio speaks for itself, having scored some titanic blockbuster hits, including The King's Speech (2010), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Argo (2012) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts One (2010) and Two (2011). Desplat is best known in the industry for his ability to compose a full film score in a short time span.

Personally, I am excited to hear how the oscar-winning composer puts his own 'spin' into the upcoming anthology film. How will it differ from John William's classic score? Of course, I would like Desplat to stay true to some of William's classic themes, including the Imperial March score and the Force theme. However, as fans, I also believe we have to be willing to accept change and expansion in the Star Wars Universe, not just in terms of visual effects and story, but also in relation to the music. Rogue One is a perfect test ground to see how Disney and Lucasfilm will cope with the inevitable future loss of John Williams (whether down to Willaim's personal decision or health reasons). As a result, I implore fans to remain unprejudiced in our judgement of Alexandre Desplat. We should not merely be critical of Desplat because he is a Star Wars film composer who doesn't live up to John Williams. 

As for Desplat himself, this movie could parachute him further into the media spotlight and perhaps make him a contender to be one of the best film composers of all time. IMDB have listed Despat as the tenth best film composer of all time, could he push into the Top five in the years to come? I don't mean to say that this one movie will make Desplat the 'best' current film composer of all time , but a successful musical composition of Rogue One could lay the ground work for Desplat's elevated status as a film composer and Desplat could become a candidate to be a long-term successor to John Williams, when he retires. At the age of 54, Desplat could become a Star Wars film composer for the next decade.

It remains to be seen what will happen, and no-one wants to get ahead of themselves because there are many factors at play (Desplat's musical composition may not be popular with the mainstream masses; Desplat may not want to score another Star Wars movie, or Disney may want to - as is their policy with the directors of Star Wars movies - appoint a different film composer for each Star Wars film).  A strong performance by Desplat would help to settle fan's concerns of imagining a future live-action Star Wars film without the touch of the movie musical talent that is John Williams.

Who do you think should be the long-term replacement to John Williams? Tell us in the comments below.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


Ricky Webre said...

Ricky Webre said...

Raptor Blue said...

Kern Lewis said...

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