John Williams’s Score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Never have I been more excited to see a movie in a theater.

December 18th is coming up, and what with all the Star Wars marathons and environment everywhere you go, it’s nearly impossible for someone not to know about the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Well, somehow I managed not to write a post specifically on Star Wars during the last few months. Sometimes I just don’t understand myself.

So, without further ado, since this is the last Tuesday before the Big Day, I will wait no longer and share some Star Wars excitement here and talk a bit about what we know about John Williams and his score for the movie.

jwtfapremiere02
John Williams at the Premiere
  • If you saw the 60-second TV Spot, you will have seen the trailer but with a segment of music that Williams composed for the movie. Awesome, huh? Check it out here at the John Williams Fan Network.
  • Also, we got to see what the new soundtrack album releases look like. They’ll be available for purchase on December 18 on CD and Vinyl. You can pre-order them. Here’s a picture of the beautiful album covers.

Star Wars album cover

  • And here’s J. J. Abrams with some nice things to say about the legendary composer. I believe him.

“I didn’t need to obviously direct John Williams at all. He’s got his talent, his wisdom, his storytelling is so significant… The most incredible thing was when he went to conduct the end titles, which always has all the themes connected together. It was so profound to hear the end titles begin as it always does, and then sort of lead into some of these themes that we had been hearing for months, that he’s created. And it’s just an amazing thing to hear his work, and to hear how these new themes co-exist inevitably in a way with the original ones.”

Amen.

  • Also, what we know now is that there are five new themes for The Force Awakens and around 3 hours of recorded music! These are new themes for the characters Rey, Kylo Ren, Poe, Leader Snoke (the actor is best known as Gollum) and a “major march piece” for the Resistance. The song for Leader Snoke is a 24 men’s choral fanfare singing a Rudyard Kipling poem but translated into Sanskrit! Just another remarkable piece of Williams genius, folks. John Williams says that nearly the whole 2 hours of music is entirely new, which made me anxious as to whether or not we’ll be hearing some of the older traditional themes from the older movies. But of course they will.
  • This is the first Star Wars score that is recorded in L. A! Depending on where you live (and how big a fan you are), this could be majorly exciting; as for myself, I can hardly believe it’s happening only 2 hours away.
  • The orchestra John Williams uses has ninety pieces. Fascinating! Yes, you needed to know.
  • The End Credits song is 8 minutes long and includes 3 major themes, Rey’s Kylo’s and The Resistance. If you listen to any of the other Star Wars movie end credits, you’ll hear themes that were used throughout the movie, all in just one song. Say you want to buy two songs from Phantom Menace, and those two songs are Anakin’s Theme and Duel of the Fates. Might as well save your money and buy the End Credits; not only will you get those two songs you wanted to buy all in one, but there are other themes as well as the end fanfare!

Here’s J. J. Abrams on the subject:

“To be on the stage when John Williams conducted the Main Titles, which of course is familiar to everyone… that was incredible. But then, to watch him conduct and hear the orchestra play so beautifully the End Titles, the almost 8-minute long End Titles, was incredible. It starts the way it always starts, but then it goes into these themes, Rey’s Theme, the Resistance Theme, Kylo Ren’s Theme… these incredible tunes that we’d become accustomed to over the months of doing post-production… That was so beautiful, and soaring, and emotional, and powerful… and somehow perfectly integrated with the score and the music that we know: the Force Theme, Leia’s Theme… He just, like no one else, is able to take what we know and do something brand new, and somehow allow them to coexist. And I realized that’s what we’re trying to do all along.”

The original Star Wars: The Force Awakens soundtrack album is 77:08 minutes with 23 songs. The track list is below and was taken off Amazon. Thankfully, JWFan Network has preserved it for us. I hate spoilers, and I think it’s pretty spoiler proof, so you should be fine.

01. Main Title and the Attack on the Jakku Village
02. The Scavenger
03. I Can Fly Anything
04. Rey Meets BB-8
05. Follow Me
06. Rey’s Theme
07. The Falcon
08. That Girl with the Staff
09. The Rathtars!
10. Finn’s Confession
11. Maz’s Counsel
12. The Starkiller
13. Kylo Ren Arrives at The Battle
14. The Abduction
15. Han and Leia
16. March of the Resistance
17. Snoke
18. On the Inside
19. Torn Apart
20. The Ways of the Force
21. Scherzo for X-wings
22. Farewell and the Trip
23. The Jedi Steps and Finale

  • John Williams has composed the score for the movie but … not all of it. J. J. Abrams and Lin-Manuel Miranda have composed a song for a specific scene similar to the Mos Eisley Cantina of Star Wars. Is this another Cantina Band masterpiece? I guess we’ll know by the 18th.
  • Here is a clip from the movie, 15 seconds long of Rey, Fin, and BB-8 running from TIE fighters. Below that clip is only the music from that clip. We all love free samples! Here is the link on the JWFan Network for the video and a clip of just the music below.
  • I’ve saved the best for last: In these two videos you actually get to see John Williams composing the score for The Force Awakens, and the second is him composing the first few seconds of the actual movie. AAAAHHHH!!!! Enjoy.

J. J. Abrams says in the second video: “It’s almost cheating when you have John Williams because … he writes feelings. He knows how to make your heart soar like no one else.”

And that is why I wrote this post. Not just because I needed to write about the new Star Wars movie, but also because John Williams and the film score is one of the most important things in this new film.

So, I hope you’ve enjoyed these facts on John Williams and his score for The Force Awakens. Excitement, I sense in you. Battling frequent impulses to freak out the rest of this week until I see it, I will. The movie by J. J. Abrams, composed by John Williams, produced by Disney.

Produced by Disney.

I have a bad feeling about this.

What about you? What are your thoughts on Star Wars the Force Awakens and John Williams’s genius? Don’t forget to share and comment!

 

 

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4 thoughts on “John Williams’s Score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  1. Can’t wait! I caught the 60-Minutes spot with the Abrams interview but wished The Maestro could’ve said a few words. Thanks for the awesome recap and insights into Ep 7.

    Like

    • Cool, glad you liked it. I was slightly disappointed myself when no one interviewed Williams too! Hope to do another post again on what he has to say on scoring Episode VII. Thanks for commenting!

      Like

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