There's a lot going on in the world of the Film Score, and there are quite a bit of updates on one of its greatest pioneers, John Williams, a few of which I think should be brought to attention at this special time in the golden age of Geekdom ...
Who's Composing for Rogue One?
The news has been out for a while now. John Williams is not composing for Star Wars: Rogue One. What do you think about the fact that there are people who are attempting to create a whole Star Wars feature film without John Williams's music? His legendary compositions have greatly impacted each and every Star Wars movie ever made, from A New Hope to Force Awakens. How are they ever going to dream of making it for Rogue One?
Flops! I love flops. 1-star reviews all around!
Okay, stop ranting, you haven't even seen the movie yet.
BUT HISTORY IS CHANGING, THIS IS STAR WARS, PEOPLE! JOHN WILLIAMS CAN'T JUST--
How about some news? First of all, it was a year ago when the media finally announced that John Williams would not be composing for the next major Star Wars film, Force Awakens. Now that right there already tells me a lot about Rogue One (besides the teaser trailer, but I'll get to that later). It looks like this wasn’t a huge surprise for most people; I admit now that I just took it for granted that Williams would forever be with Star Wars. But this particular movie is a spin-off, a new franchise, a different saga.
So who is the lucky guy, the one who is stealing John Williams's role? Alexandre Desplat. Though not a favorite artist of mine, Desplat is really very talented and has composed some hits with Godzilla and the last two Harry Potter films, and I actually thought his score for Imitation Game was unique and well done. But I'll tell you one thing: Though traditional, Desplat's style of film composition is very different from John Williams, and you can listen and compare any of these two composers's soundtracks to see what I mean.
There has been talk for a while about the standalone Star Wars movies, Rogue One being the first. John Williams is 83 years old, and is amazingly still composing. It has been decided that he will continue composing for the Star Wars Episode movies, but the standalone movies should share their newbie-ness with franchise newcomers, giving other composers a chance to dabble in the legendary task of creating music for a Star Wars film. I think this is actually a legit idea, if what they're trying to do is create a whole unique entity within the Star Wars universe. If they're trying to make Rogue One the first of these in trying to create it so it is new, unique, and different, then what better path to take than to change out the composers, along with the directors, actors, etc? And for a whole new feel with the music, Desplat, in his very different composition styles, should probably be the perfect pick. Though I personally prefer Michael Giacchino, because his styles vary crazily; he did Ratatoullie and Incredibles, both of which have perfectly different feels, and has worked with J. J. Abrams on the Star Wars "rival" films, the new Star Trek.
I think the Rogue One trailer showed this perfectly. I was left thinking, "Oh, I did not like that," but I could tell it was the beginning of something different. We had our traditional Star Wars in Force Awakens, it's time for a new change. Perhaps I'm judging too much for a teaser trailer, but the storyline seemed absent, there was a lot of vague Stormtrooper action, no hint of Darth Vader, and Felicity Jones's character reminded me too heavily of Hunger Games's Katniss, particularly in the last shot.
A New Fan Theory about John Williams
And this new fan theory about John Williams being a Jedi and his music being the Force? Ah yes. Better than the Jar Jar/Sith thing. It makes a lot of sense, but I'll tell you why it does while being realistic: John Williams is indeed a master storyteller, he tells stories with his music. So though I think this is a genius fan theory, it's actually because John Williams knows how to weave stories with his compositions so that the story and the music are married on the screen to make it seem like they are one … to make it seem like the Force moves through it all. That just confirms Williams is the Man. And that also goes to show there are other ways of telling stories besides variations of the alphabet. Music is one of them.
Who's Composing for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?
In my earlier Collective post on this, I wrote that we didn't know who would be composing for the upcoming Harry Potter hit Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the time. I had hoped it would be John Williams, since he scored the first three Harry Potter films, and a comeback seemed traditional and therefore slightly likely. But the new trailer has revealed that the composer is actually James Newton Howard, who composed for Treasure Planet, Hunger Games: Mockingjay, and several collaborations with Hans Zimmer for Batman Begins and A Dark Knight. I won't be picky. I like Howard, and Williams has long since moved away from Harry Potter, but it doesn't hurt to dream big.
Quick and Very Exciting Update on "Score: A Film Music Documentary"
So!! I have posted on what to expect with this upcoming film score documentary a while ago, you can read that by clicking this blue font. I wrote that I was surprised that I did not see John Williams's name listed along with all the other well-known film score composers who were going to be interviewed. BUT! *tries to calm down and is failing* JOHN WILLIAMS WILL BE INTERVIEWED!!!!!!
Guys, this huge. Film Score Documentary. Interview. John Williams. JOHN WILLIAMS!
Now you really want to the see trailer? Of course. I have it right here. Sure, anytime.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bre2ut0gv4I&w=1280&h=720]
John Williams, Among other Certain Witches and Wizards, Was Spotted at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on Opening Night
On the opening night, John Williams conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In the video provided below, you can watch as John Williams conducts a lengthy musical conglomeration of all the well-loved Harry Potter themes from his first three movies, and you can also see Luna Lovegood, and I've heard that Fred and George, Malfoy and Flitwick were also present! There were also fireworks. I think I missed something big, but I might have gotten trampled upon.
So that's about it on major news about Williams. Are you excited for Score: A Film Music Documentary? Do you plan on going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? What do you think of the new composer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the new fan theory for John Williams? What about the Rogue One trailer? I'm most interested to see what Desplat does with this Star Wars "spin-off." Will he go ahead and create something different for our second generation? Or will he "pay homage to Williams", maybe stay loyal to some of the traditional themes? I wonder what John Williams thinks of all this. Or George Lucas, for that matter, but I suppose we'll know in time. Frankly, I can't wait. Stow it, Palpatine; My anger has moved on. Williams will compose for the … real Star Wars movies, but this is the first time Star Wars will meet the screen without its original music.
It's the end of an era.
Thanks for everything, Mr. Williams.