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John Williams will compose the theme for Solo: A Star Wars Story

John Williams will compose the theme for Solo: A Star Wars Story


John Powell is still slated to compose the rest of the score

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American Film Institute’s 44th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to John Williams - Show
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Turner

A veteran of the Star Wars universe is returning to the franchise for next year’s entry, Solo: A Star Wars Story. Variety says that composer John Williams will write the theme for the upcoming standalone film.

The move is unusual: Bourne Identity and How to Train Your Dragon composer John Powell will still score the film, but Williams will be responsible for composing the film’s theme. Williams tells Variety that he’ll write the theme for the film, which he will “offer [...] to John [Powell], and to [director] Ron Howard.” If they’re happy with it, Powell will use it as the basis for his score. Williams recently composed the score for December’s The Last Jedi.

It looks as though Disney is looking to use some original work from Williams as a baseline for the film, from which Powell will work from. It makes sense, because Williams’ music is an integral part of the franchise, and his absence is noticeable. Last year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the first live action Star Wars film without the composer behind the music, and it experienced a bumpy path with its own score. Lucasfilm initially hired Alexandre Desplat to score the film, but he was replaced by Star Trek and The Incredibles composer Michael Giacchino, because of the film’s extensive reshoots. While Giacchino’s score for the film was fine, many pointed out that it lacked the flair that Williams brought to the franchise, with one fan edit going as far to re-edit the film with Williams’ scores from other films.

Lucasfilm and Disney aren’t the only studios to have issues getting the right feel for rebooted classics: Arrival composer Jóhann Jóhannsson joined Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 last year, only to be replaced by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch for the final cut.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is scheduled to hit theaters on May 25th, 2018.