John Williams hints at retirement from Star Wars after scoring Episode IX

Contributed by
Mar 2, 2018

John Williams is synonymous with Star Wars. The legendary composer has been writing music for the saga for more than 40 years across nine films (along with the main theme for the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story), and while he's had a diverse and vibrant career in film scoring, he'll always be synonymous with a galaxy far, far away. This year Williams, 86 and busy as ever, received his 51st Oscar nomination for his work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and next year he'll be reteaming with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams to score the still-untitled Episode IX. After that, though, the icon and his unforgettable themes might be done with Star Wars.

In a recent interview with KUSC discussing The Last Jedi and his most recent collaboration with Steven Spieberg on The Post, Williams reflected on the massive amount of music he's composed for the Star Wars saga over the years. When Episode IX came up, he remarked that rounding out his time on the franchise with nine scores seemed like a good idea.

“We know J.J. Abrams is preparing [Star Wars: Episode IX] now, that I will hopefully do next year for him. I look forward to it. It will round out a series of nine [films]. That will be quite enough for me," Wiliams said. "Disney Studios probably will take it further, you know. As your listeners will know, Disney has acquired the rights for Lucasfilm, and they will probably continue on through… decades, possibly, doing Star Wars-related attractions."

Now, that is definitely not a full confirmation that Williams will be retiring from Star Wars after Episode IX. Lucasfilm hasn't even announced what it plans to do with the main saga, or if it will even continue after that film, so it's unclear at the moment what kinds of projects they might offer Williams in the future whether he wants them or not.

Then, of course, there's Rian Johnson's upcoming new trilogy of films, the new series being developed by Game of Thrones' David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and much more. Williams is well aware that there's seemingly endless Star Wars coming at us, and in the face of that, he might simply feel like the time is right to let other composers step in and riff on his timeless themes.

That said, it's possible he could still be coaxed back, as evidenced by a story he told about the day Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy called him to ask if he'd score The Last Jedi. According to Williams, he was so impressed with star Daisy Ridley's work in The Force Awakens that his first question for Kennedy about The Last Jedi was "Is Daisy in it?"

So, should Disney be in dire need of someone to coax Williams back for Star Wars: Episode X, they might just have to put Ridley on the phone.