John Williams has been a Star Wars mainstay for years, having composed the iconic theme and the rest of the scores for every Star Wars movie, save for 2016’s series-adjacent Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While he won’t be responsible for the entire score, he’ll be back in the maestro’s seat once again for this summer’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, for which he will compose the main theme.
Williams himself announced the news to Variety: “The present plan is that I’m writing a theme for Han Solo, and John Powell is going to write the score, which he’ll do brilliantly,” Williams said. “His assignment is something I’m very happy about,” he added. “What I will do is offer this to John, and to [director] Ron Howard, and if all parties are happy with it, then I will be happy. … John [Powell] will complete the score. He will write all the rest of the themes and all of the other material, which I’m going to be very anxious to hear.” Powell has composed the scores for a number of films, most notably How to Train Your Dragon, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.
Williams’s themes are as much a part of Star Wars as Stormtroopers, droids, and Jedi. Not only is his main theme for the series instantly recognizable for even those who have never seen the movies, he also gave the series the dramatic “Duel of the Fates” in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones’s love theme “Across the Stars,” and the endlessly hum-able “Rey's Theme” from The Force Awakens. Not to mention “Binary Sunset” from A New Hope, known to many as “The Force Theme,” has popped up in multiple movies in the series, most recently reprising itself again in The Last Jedi.
Solo: A Star Wars Story won’t be the first Star Wars movie to have a score composed by someone other than Williams, though. Last year’s Rogue One, which related the untold story of how the Rebels got those Death Star blueprints in the first place, has a score by Michael Giacchino, mostly known for his Disney-Pixar compositions for the likes of Ratatouille and The Incredibles.
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