Following the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, fans didn't know they would be getting a sequel three years later, and neither did the film's cast and crew, leading composer John Williams to speculate that Luke and Leia would end up together after that adventure concluded. We can't blame him for making the assumption, as it wasn't until Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back that we saw the relationship between Leia and Han fully develop, with the reveal of Luke and Leia being siblings still a few more years away. Williams recently recalled how he originally envisioned our heroes' fates before he was tapped to score the sequel.
"The story I tell about Luke and Leia, I saw them as two young people in the first film that I would never see again," Williams recently shared with CBS Sunday Morning. "And they seemed to be compatible. They had fun together. They did the action scenes together. And I figured, 'Well, sooner or later, they will be lovers and they’ll have children,' and you know, so I wrote a love theme for Princess Leia, not knowing for, like, two or three years that they were brother and sister. I’m not even sure when George [Lucas] told us. That was the second film, or the third. So I had to go back and write different themes for the various relationships that came into focus over time."
To say that no one knew what the franchise would become would be a bit of an understatement, as it has gone on to be one of the most iconic series in history. While the original Star Wars opened with the reveal that it was "Episode IV," this served more as an homage to the concept of being dropped into the middle of a long-running serialized story rather than a hint that we would get to see all the episodes in the entire saga.
"The first film, George Lucas didn’t give us any indication there would be a second film," Williams noted. "And I don’t think he knew himself, ’cause he wrote the script on a yellow pencil pad, as he did with all the subsequent ones, and I know that he didn’t think the film was gonna be that successful, because he told his friend Steven Spielberg, 'Oh, no. This is not gonna work,' and so on."
He added, "Steven said, 'No, it’s great. It’ll be playing for months.' And it played for years after. Surprised everybody."
Williams has crafted the score for every entry in the Skywalker Saga, with the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker concluding his tenure in the galaxy far, far away. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.
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