It’s hard to imagine but next year’s Star Wars film, Rogue One, will be the first live action Star Wars film not composed by John Williams. Of course classic Star Wars themes created by Williams will no doubt be used but any new music will be composed by French composer Alexandre Desplat. It was to be expected that John Williams would not compose these anthology films, released in the years between episodes of the new trilogy. It would just be too much work, it’s been 38 years since the first Star Wars film and in those 38 years only 6 films (not counting the animated Clone Wars movie) have been released; however in just the next six years that amount will double. Hopefully John Williams will still compose the scores of the upcoming trilogy, episodes VII, VIII and IX, but it’s time for some new talent to add to the music of the Star Wars saga. With Desplat already working on Rogue One let’s take a look at who would make a good fit for the other anthology films coming our way, from the Han Solo spin-off and beyond.
American composer Kevin Kiner would be my first pick for any upcoming Star Wars movie. Why? Because he’s already a composer for Star Wars. Kiner currently creates the music for the awesome animated show Star Wars: Rebels and, working with the same team from Lucasfilm, created the original music for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film and all 6 seasons of the television show. This guy knows Star Wars and the music from his Star Wars projects are great with a mix of original music from him, classic John Williams themes (not just from Star Wars but also a little bit of Indiana Jones) and remixes of the John Williams classics. All this shows that he’s ready to move on to one of the Star Wars anthology films and the fact that he’s already in bed with those at Lucasfilm and Disney means it could very much happen pretty soon. He’s also done some other sci-fi projects like working on the TV show Star Trek: Enterprise, but don’t worry he wasn’t the person who created that awful opening theme song to the show. On the issue on tackling Star Wars after John Williams has left such a huge imprint, Kiner said this: ” I don’t ever want to be, like, Mini-Me John Williams. I don’t think there’s any composer on earth who’s as good as him. I’m always looking at what he does and listening to what he does and finding little tricks, but I have to put my own voice on it”.
My next choice would probably be the second most famous film composer in the world (after Williams), Hans Zimmer. The composer, between collecting awards and opening his star on the Hollywood walk of fame (is opening the right term?) has created the score for over 150 films. Famous for his integration of electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements and his more recent collaboration with Christopher Nolan with which he has created some of his best work like the soundtracks for The Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar and Inception. Rogue One has been described as being like a war film and if the other anthology films follow suit than Zimmer would be a good fit having created a great soundtrack for war film The Thin Red Line. He’s no stranger to sci-fi either. His brand of epic orchestral pieces would suit Star Wars incredibly well and let’s hope it happens and that Nolan can join him as director.
Another composer I would love to see take on an upcoming Star Wars film would be Clint Mansell. Mansell started his musical career as the singer of the pop band ‘Pop Will Eat Itself’. As a composer he began working with Darren Aronofsky on his debut film ‘Pi’. The relationship continued with Aronofsky and Mansell continued to score his films including Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream including the piece of music ‘Lux Aeterna’ which you have probably heard about 20 times on every single episode of The X factor and Britain’s Got Talent. The main reason for why I would like to see him involved with Star Wars is his work on the Duncan Jones film ‘Moon’. The soundtrack to Moon, like the film itself, is phenomenal. It’s a pure science fiction score and while Star Wars is more fantasy than sci-fi I would love to see Mansell’s sense of genre translated to Star Wars. If Duncan Jones gets a Star Wars gig in the future, which I hope happens, maybe he will bring along Mansell as well.
Finally, who best to round off a list of composers than Howard Shore. While his work with David Cronenberg shouldn’t be overlooked it’s his music for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies which make him a stand out candidate for Star Wars. At least to me, Shore’s music is intrinsically linked to locations. Most of the music in The Lord of the Rings seems to stem from the fantastical locations of Middle Earth whether it’s the plains of Rohan, The Shire or Mordor. Just imagine the themes he could produce for all the planets in the Star Wars Universe.
So that’s my list of composers I would love to see take on Star Wars; who would you like to see get the job? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook/Twitter @kylebrrtt. Like, subscribe and have a look on site for the other great blogs and podcasts. Remember to come back next week for some more First Time Writing.