The musical legacy of John Williams


Episode IX will be John Williams’ final time conducting the score for a Star Wars film and the sheer impact of his sound cannot be understated.

Can you imagine Star Wars without the musical contributions of John Williams?

Three years ago, a video was done by the Auralnauts that illustrated just how different a scene could be without the music of John Williams. Sure, there was a comedic dub over Chewbacca’s trademark roar, but the sentiment remained the same. The ending to A New Hope loses nearly all of its pomp and circumstance without that epic score being played.

For as often as Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Yoda are cited as people’s favorite characters from Star Wars, one could argue (very much so) their favorite character from the films could very well be the music itself!

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Now, indulge me here for a moment, that isn’t as crazy of a proposition as it sounds. There are several moments throughout Hollywood’s history where the music can not only help propel a film’s box office performance but also elevate its general reputation. A relatively recent example of this came in 2014.

That year, the first Guardians of the Galaxy film was released and for as much praise that was given to the onscreen performance of the actors, just as much praise was given to that film’s soundtrack as well. So much praise was given, in fact, that it topped Billboard’s Top Soundtracks list for 16 total weeks en route to becoming certified platinum.

That brings us back to John Williams and Star Wars. George Lucas’ films are arguably the greatest film franchise in cinema history and his movies are held in such high esteem in large part due to how effectively John Williams captured our ears.

His music not only elevates the films but becomes as essential to the movies as the characters whose stories are being told.

I’m sorry but even with the impressively booming voice of James Earl Jones as Darth Vader, without the chords of the Imperial March playing along with his introduction, our favorite Dark Lord of the Sith loses a significant chunk of his (awesomeness) intimidation factor!

Without their theme, Han and Leia’s whirlwind romance wouldn’t be quite as compelling, Yoda’s hallowed wisdom wouldn’t be as revered without his musical score and somehow, the Ewoks are (slightly) less annoying when accompanied by their own strand of music!

An exercise in futility would be trying to think of Star Wars without the music. Flat out, the movies just are not the same without their musical score.

The Prequel Trilogy, Original Trilogy, and Sequel Trilogy are all enhanced by their musical sound.

In addition to our favorite galaxy far, far away, John Williams also scored the soundtracks to many more iconic films such as Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones films, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jurassic Park, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Home Alone, Harry Potter, and Schindler’s List!

Next. Star Wars: Episode IX will see the last of John Williams and that’s okay. dark

His efforts toward enhancing many of our culture’s best-known films with his unique quality of sound will always be remembered.

John Williams is a national treasure and as Episode IX has already begun production, we should all be looking forward to what this master maestro has in store for us with his final foray into the music of the Star Wars universe.