Star Wars: John Williams Asked Lucasfilm if He Could Write an Obi-Wan Kenobi Theme for New Series

Over the course of nine films, composer John Williams was able to craft scores for a number of the series' most beloved characters, though one he never got the chance to write for was Obi-Wan Kenobi, which all changes with Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi. While Natalie Holt composed the music for a majority of the series, Holt recently detailed how Williams specifically asked if he could write a theme honoring Obi-Wan, as the character's death in Star Wars: A New Hope meant that he was never given the opportunity to write such a theme in the original trilogy.

"Obi-Wan is a legacy character that John hadn't written a theme for because he died quite early on in A New Hope," Holt recently detailed to Vanity Fair. "It's the only legacy character that he hadn't done. So he spoke to [Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy and said, 'I just want to write Benny a theme.' So who can deny him that? And he did, he wrote the Obi theme, and it just embodies the spirit of the show entirely."

Of the Obi-Wan theme, Holt explained, "It's reflective, and it's just entirely appropriate. And it distills what the show is about in just the perfect way that John Williams can. It's wistful, but there's an element of hope to it. It's doing something new and I think people are going to be really blown away by it."

For nearly 40 years, Williams' music defined the galaxy far, far away, though that all changed with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as the first live-action spinoff from the Skywalker Saga also saw the enlistment of a new composer with Michael Giacchino. When the series pivoted to the small screen, composers like Ludwig Göransson and Joseph Shirley were recruited to work on projects like The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett.

Williams' contributions to the franchise are as integral to the series as the characters themselves, with Holt explaining how she found a way to honor his work while also including her own sensibilities.

"For me, the tentpoles are set out by John Williams," the composer pointed out. "There are elements to the show that are new and fresh, and I've been able to have my own interpretation with elements -- that I can't reveal. So it's been glorious, working with my hero and also bringing my own voice to the show."

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on Disney+ on May 27th.


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