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‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: John Williams Wrote ‘Perfect’ Theme for Disney+ Show in Two Weeks

The legendary composer's contribution to the series was a last minute addition, but the team is thrilled with how it turned out.

Composer John Williams arrives at the 2016 AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Williams at the Dolby Theatre on Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

John Williams

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The world of “Star Wars” returns in a big way this month with “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” a Disney+ series that sees Ewan McGregor reprising his role from George Lucas’ prequel trilogy. But for many, it just wouldn’t be “Star Wars” without John Williams.

The Oscar winner’s iconic music still defines the massive science fiction franchise, and even as he steps back and lets younger composers work on “Star Wars” projects, his presence continues to be felt.

Williams is hard at work on “Indiana Jones 5” and “The Fabelmans,” so he was unavailable to score the show. Composing duties fell to “Loki” and “Paddington” composer Natalie Holt, who recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the process of working on the series. It turns out that Williams couldn’t completely stay away from “Star Wars,” and still found time to contribute some music to the upcoming series.

“We didn’t collaborate, but I did get to use his theme,” Holt said when asked about working with Williams. “He didn’t have very long and it was quite last minute whether he’d have time or not. But he really wanted to write that theme because he was the one character that he didn’t write the theme for in the original movie. So I think he had this feeling that he wanted to complete the challenge.”

Due to scheduling conflicts, Williams only had a short period of time to write Obi-Wan’s theme, but the 90-year-old composer delivered under pressure.

“I think he had two weeks and he came on board and wrote the Obi theme and a suite, which is the main title, and then a few variations of how the Obi theme can work,” she said. “That was what he had time to give the project, and it was just a gift. It’s so perfect and in a way, once I had that Obi theme, it set the tentpoles up for the project.”

Since Disney began to devote the bulk of its “Star Wars” efforts to television projects, certain stars have complained that the TV shows are less important than the films. While some feel that the franchise needs the gravitas of the big screen, Holt believes that Williams’ involvement with “Obi-Wan Kenobi” lends credibility both to the show and to the medium of television.

“People used to look down, I think, on TV,” she said. “John Williams is now providing the theme for a TV show. I think we’re all in good company.”

“Obi-Wan Kenobi” premieres on Disney+ on May 27. 

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