Star Wars Composer John Williams Hasn’t Seen Any Star Wars Movies

Star Wars Composer John Williams Has Never Seen the Movie
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Star Wars Composer John Williams Has Never Seen the Movie
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Image by Jonathan Lin (CC by 2.0)

Why hasn’t John Williams, creator of classic and memorable Star Wars soundtracks, seen the movies yet? Humility?

American composer and conductor John Williams has penned several popular compositions for Hollywood movies. Harry Potter, 1978’s Superman, Indiana Jones, Saving Private Ryan, and Fiddler on the Roof, among countless others. When fans think of Star Wars, the movie’s iconic composition immediately comes to mind. Yet, in an interview with The Mirror, John Williams revealed that he has never watched a single franchise movie.

I let it go. I have not looked at the Star Wars films and that’s absolutely true.”

John Williams continued,

I have not looked at the Star Wars films and that’s absolutely true. When I’m finished with a film, I’ve been living with it, we’ve been dubbing it, recording to it, and so on. You walk out of the studio and, ‘Ah, it’s finished.

Now I don’t have an impulse to go to the theater and look at it. Maybe some people find that weird, or listen to recordings of my music very, very rarely.

While fans around the world revere his Star Wars compositions, Williams doesn’t consider them classics.

“I don’t know. A lot of them ​are ​not very memorable and so on​. It’s probably the most popular music that I’ve done.

“​People will ask me what’s your favorite score and this and that. I’ve done concertos and symphonies and other things that are some good, some not so good. Some are played and many are rightfully forgotten.

“But I think we’re all the same in this sense that you look at your work or listen to your work and it’s children.”

Williams doesn’t consider himself to be among the greatest composers. He shared with The Mirror the responsibility and burden he feels as a composer.

So I’m a composer of music and I look at Mozart and I look at Beethoven and Bach, the greatest organizers of sound that we’ve ever had, and you need to be humble when the shoulders that we stand on are so great.​

“​I’m not so brilliant that I can sit down and write a melody or a theme or a whole scene or a whole work as Mozart might have done.”

Unlike more-modern composers, Williams still prefers to work with a pen and paper.

I​t’s hard work, it’s lonely work, it’s labor-intensive. I still use a pencil and paper. I don’t have a computer.”

Williams will score Star Wars 8, out next year.

5 Responses

  1. Rick Shaw

    He watches it in pieces when he writes for it. That’s it. This isn’t new news.

  2. mrbellamy

    This is actually from an interview that Tavis Smiley did with Williams for Force Awakens a year ago, not with the Mirror. They took their quotes with sourcing and mischaracterized some of Mr. Williams’s thoughts.

    As Rick said, it’s misleading headline. Obviously Williams would have had to watch every scene of the Star Wars movies ad nauseum while composing. Also that line about considering his Star Wars music being “not very memorable” was actually an aside about many of the 100 or so films/scores out of his entire filmography, not Star Wars. The actual quote was: “Well, the Star Wars films I’ve done, seven of them — I don’t know how many films I’ve done, Tavis, maybe 100, I don’t know, a lot of them not very memorable and so on as we all have done — it is probably the most popular music that I’ve done.”

    The full video interview with Smiley, by the way, is still on PBS’s site and worth watching!

  3. Anon

    I’ve adored some of his work, but he’s just being honest when he says some of it just isn’t very memorable. Then again, you could say the same about Mozart or Bach.

  4. whoa yeah

    I think the main point is that after you have worked it and reworked it and watched those scenes over and over and over….and it is a children’s movie after all, to boot…you must just have to say ‘yeah I’m done with this piece now, I’ve had enough of it’….next.

  5. Anonymous Poster

    Um…you have to be kidding me. Are you guys daft? He’s seen the movie because he put the music to the movie.

    I marvel at the depths of your stupidity. It’s like a car wreck that I regret not having averted my eyes from. And then I look again.