We’ve known for a while that legendary composer John Williams plans to retire from a galaxy far, far away after completing the score for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but his brother recently hinted that the 87-year-old plans to go out with a bang. Musician Don Williams recently dropped a few details about the musical journey we’ll go on in the final installment of the Skywalker saga.
Speaking at an Academy of Scoring Arts score study for his brother’s work on Jurassic Park earlier this month, percussionist Don said John recently started work on The Rise of Skywalker’s music and that he has “135 minutes worth of music to write” — giving us a sense of how long the movie is.
“We’ve done four days and we just scratched the surface,” he said.” I think we’ve got something like 34 minutes in the can at this point, but I can tell you that every theme you ever heard is gonna be compiled into this last effort.”
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Williams mentioned themes for Leia, Yoda, “the Phantom” and “Darth,” which likely refer to Duel of the Fates (from The Phantom Menace) and The Imperial March respectively, but noted that his brother “hides them,” so we’ll have to listen closely.
“You’ll be sitting there watching the film go by and ‘Oh, there it is!’ There’s two bars of it and it grabs you and takes you away,” Williams said, before admitting that he’s regularly distracted when he hears a familiar theme while working on the score.
Previous examples of hidden themes include The Imperial March in Anakin’s Theme from The Phantom Menace, to foreshadow Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader, and the Emperor’s Theme in Augie’s Great Municipal Band in the same movie, hinting at the success of Palpatine’s plan.
Conveniently, Spotify recently created a bunch of listening hubs for Star Wars soundtracks and other Disney properties.
First published at 6:44 a.m. PT.
Updated at 8:10 a.m. PT: Notes Spotify hubs.