When the Oscar nominations were announced last month, Star Wars: The Force Awakens composer John Williams received his 50th nomination in his illustrious career. While we'll have to wait until Sunday to see if he gets his sixth win for Best Original Score, the Star Wars YouTube page has released a new featurette where John Williams himself takes us through his process of creating new themes for the characters we first meet in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, along with crafting connections to the original trilogy characters. As we reported last week, the musician's work also had an impact on the movie's actual ending.
Yesterday, we reported that Star Wars: The Force Awakens almost ended with a close-up shot of Rey (Daisy Ridley), instead of the final aerial shot, looking down on Rey and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), which was shot from a helicopter. Producer Ben Rosenblatt revealed that director J.J. Abrams was conflicted about using that shot or ending the movie with a close-up of Rey. Ultimately, the decision was driven by John Williams' score. It's believed that the director wanted to originally end the movie with a Rey close-up because the force was "awakening" inside of her.
This new video actually features another Rey connection, showcasing actress Daisy Ridley meeting the composer during a recording session. John Williams also explains how he wanted Rey's theme to be "heroic" but in an unconventional way, while his theme for Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) was an "extension" of Darth Vader, although he didn't want to get too close to the iconic Vader theme. This video also shows the composer and his orchestra recording the iconic Star Wars opening theme, with J.J. Abrams, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley on hand for the recording.
Last month, we reported that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD April 5, but that date has still not been confirmed by LucasFilm. The studio hasn't announced any bonus features yet, but it's possible that this video could be part of a larger portion of the special features that delves into John Williams' process of crafting the score. Hopefully LucasFilm will announce more details about the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray and DVD release soon.
LucasFilm announced last week that production is under way on Star Wars: Episode VIII, sharing a new video from the set that featured Luke Skywalker. It isn't known if John Williams will also compose the scores for Star Wars: Episode VIII or Star Wars: Episode IX, but the spinoff Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One has already confirmed Alexandre Desplat to compose the score. Take a look at the video below that takes you behind-the-scenes of composing the score with John Williams.