John Williams: Star Wars

It’s easy to forget - in these days of seemingly ubiquitous Star Wars clones and all of the merchandise associated with a big movie release - that, back in the silver Jubilee year of 1977, Star Wars was simply a brilliant movie and not a franchise.

By that time, John Williams had already composed several successful film scores, including The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno and Jaws. But he had yet to sample the superstardom that the six-part Star Wars series would afford him.

The new Stars Wars soundtracks: everything we know so far

Harking back in scale and grandeur to the swashbuckling scores of Korngold and Steiner, Williams’s music touched a nerve with modern cinema audiences. When matched with George Lucas’s sci-fi modernism, his sweeping neo-Romantic manuscripts resulted in movie superstardom.

Video: Star Wars played by one-man band goes viral 
Infographic: John Williams's life in movies

They came complete with leitmotifs (musical identifiers) for many of the principal characters, just as Wagner had used before him. When the franchise extended to cover two sequels and three prequels, Williams was always there, providing the perfect accompaniment.

From Britain’s point of view, it was the start of an association with the London Symphony Orchestra that would last through all six films. There are numerous sets of the Star Wars soundtracks. We’ve opted for the version of Star Wars that was remastered in 2004. The original and best.

Recommended Recording:
New London Children’s Choir; 
London Voices; London Symphony Orchestra; John Williams (conductor).
Sony: SK89932.