John Williams Begins Star Wars: Episode VIII Score This Month

by Lucas Siegel

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story marks several firsts for the franchise - the first standalone film, the first film not starring a Skywalker, and the first Star Wars movie with a score by someone other than the living legend John Williams. Michael Giacchino, instead, was tasked with making the music of the next Star Wars movie, blending some of John Williams' famous themes with his history with war films and video games.

However, Williams will return for Star Wars: Episode VIII, keeping his incredible streak alive with another score helping bring the Saga films to life. In fact, despite the movie being a year and two weeks (who's counting?) out, the composer will be getting back to the staves later this month. That news comes buried in a report by Variety about the music of recent films.

"Williams concedes that he had hoped for greater commercial success for The BFG, which was deemed a box-office disappointment after its July 1 release. His next film, however, won’t be: He begins recording Star Wars Episode VIII in December and expects to record off and on through March or April 2017."

That four-five month time frame is a major luxury for Williams; in contrast, Giacchino had about four weeks to score Rogue One. Interestingly, Williams wouldn't be able to begin work without some kind of working cut of Episode VIII, so this also gives us an idea of how far along writer/director Rian Johnson is in the process of editing the film. If Williams scores it across the next four months, that gives ILM and other effects houses about eight and a half months to process all the effects, another luxury.

Of course, while Williams didn't score Rogue One, some of his thematic legacy, no doubt including the Imperial March forever linked to the might of Darth Vader and most likely the "Force theme" at some point in the film, will be present. Exactly how much remains to be seen, or rather heard - in about two weeks.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is written and directed by Rian Johnson, continuing the saga films. Star Wars expands their universe with Rogue One, the first of their new standalone movies that take place without a focus on anyone named Skywalker.

h/t MakingStarWars

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