John Williams to Exit Star Wars After Episode IX

John Williams Heads Off Into the Twin Sunset

John Williams is synonymous with movie music. The 86-year-old composer is the first name that pops into people’s heads when they think of someone creating music for a film. However, all good things must come to an end. In an interview with Classical KUSC, Williams stated that he will no longer score the Star Wars films following Episode IX. When asked about his involvement with the film, he said the following:

“We know J.J. Abrams is preparing one now that I will hopefully do next year for him. I look forward to it. It will round out a series of nine, that will be quite enough for me.”

John Williams AFI Life Achievement Award 2016
Williams receiving an AFI Life Achievement Award

The Disney iteration of Star Wars is a subject of contention among fans. A lot of folks are on board with the new direction of the movies. On the other hand, huge swaths of fans don’t agree with the direction of the story or the characters. Even George Lucas has been a little passive-aggressive about his opinion on the new trilogy. So, it’s easy to attribute Williams’ exit as a slight to the series. Certainly, that might play a part in his departure. However, he’s scored nine films in the series over the last 41 years. That’s an outrageous amount of work, and it’s easy to see that he feels creatively spent by the galaxy far, far away. Of those nine films, he has garnered five Academy Award nominations and one win. It’s safe to say he’s going out on top.

Furthermore, he’s getting older. Williams provided the soundtrack to three generations of film. It’s an incredible achievement, but he also has to put himself first. Besides, who knows what other projects this frees him up to do? Perhaps he can expand his annual live shows at the Hollywood Bowl to a season-long residency. Either way, John Williams is an all-time great film composer, and we are lucky to still be hearing his compositions.


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