Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker is supposedly John Williams’ final Star Wars score, and the director seems to be going on a greatest hits farewell tour with the score for the film according to his brother, Don Williams, who works closely with the legendary composer.
While hosting a “score study” of John Williams’ Jurassic Park score, Don Williams let drop a few details on Rise of the Skywalker‘s music, which is currently being recorded with an eye on completion in September. Evidently, John Williams has 135 minutes’ worth of music for the film (giving a hint at the movie’s runtime), which features a plethora of references to past Star Wars themes.
“It is top-to-bottom music,” Don Williams said. “We’ve done four days and we just scratched the surface. I think we’ve got something like 34 minutes in the can at this point, but I can tell you that every theme that you ever heard is gonna be compiled into this last effort.”
Williams confirmed that themes for Leia and Yoda would be present in Rise of the Skywalker and also mentioned “the Phantom” and “Darth.” It’s unclear which specific music he was referring to when mentioning The Phantom Menace, but the most well-known theme from that film (and the entire sequel trilogy) was “Duel of the Fates.” That music functioned as the unofficial theme of the prequels. Darth is a bit easier to figure out and most likely refers to “The Imperial March.” These themes won’t just be obviously jumping out in the film for you to hear but instead weaved into the score.
“It’s going to be in there and in [John’s] usual style, he hides them,” Williams noted. “You gotta go look for them. … 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.”
This isn’t something new for Williams to do as his Star Wars scores have routinely pulled from his previous work in a self-referential way that only John Williams’ legendary career could allow. As such, it’s hard to get any new information on who or what will be present in the film based on this fact, but it is cool that Williams is making a sort-of farewell score for a series of movies that has helped define his career.
Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker will release on Dec. 20, 2019.