John Williams in Disneyland: The Story Behind His ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’ Theme

Variety | 5/20/2019 | Jon Burlingame
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For only the second time in more than four decades of “Star Wars” music, legendary composer John Williams has written a new theme for a “Star Wars” project that is distinct from his film scores for those galaxies far, far away.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the much-anticipated attraction that will open at Disneyland on May 31, inspired the five-time Oscar winner to pen a five-minute “symphonic suite” that musically encapsulates the remote outpost on planet Batuu along with the various outlaws and rebels that parkgoers will encounter there.

Interviews - Project - Williams - Participation - Time

Interviews with those closely associated with the project say that Williams’ participation was a long time in the planning stages. Matt Walker, executive in charge of music for Walt Disney Imagineering, tells Variety that since the outpost didn’t exist in the films, it would need “its own score, one that belonged to it, but of course lived within the universe of John’s writings for the films.”

Like many previous Williams compositions for the series, it suggests heroism, danger, excitement — everything Galaxy’s Edge visitors would hope for. But unlike all previous “Star Wars” themes, there are no images or characters specifically associated with it, so its true inspiration is shrouded in mystery.

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Williams has only once before written a signature tune unrelated to one of his own movie scores: a theme for the young Han Solo in last year’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The composer, now in the midst of writing the music for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” episode IX of the 42-year franchise (due in December), was unavailable to comment for this story.

Composer-arranger William Ross has been adapting Williams’ music from the “Star Wars” films for Disneyland’s Star Tours for the past decade and was enlisted for Galaxy’s Edge. “This was a new world, with its own identity away from the movies,”...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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