There are few pieces of movie music as immediately identifiable as John Williams‘ “Star Wars (Main Theme).” Used throughout the series to date, it would be easy to forgot the composer has also written key themes for the major characters and moments in the six movies so far as well. Some you might not know as well, but they are all part of the texture of the “Star Wars” universe and you’ll likely be hearing them again.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Williams discusses his work on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and reveals that previous motifs will be referenced again, which perhaps isn’t surprising given that Han, Luke, and Leia are all back in action. “There are some scenes where we do make reference to earlier thematic pieces. We haven’t done it yet, but we’re planning to do it,” he said. “It’s something that I think will seem very natural and right in the moments for which we’ve chosen to do these kinds of quotes. There aren’t many of them, but there are a few that I think are important and will seem very much a part of the fabric of the piece in a positive and constructive way.”
His comments seem to suggest he doesn’t want this to be too much of a nostalgia ride. And indeed, it is a fine balance between nodding to the past while pushing the franchise into the future. And while we have no way of knowing yet which additional pieces of music might be used (besides, obviously, the ‘Main Theme’) here are some themes from the previous movies that I think might sneak in.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” arrives on December 18th.