When George Lucas started developing Star Wars, the studio pressured him to use a prevalent, disco-based score, which according to them was more appealing. Defying that, Lucas asked for the movie to have a timeless feel and hired John Williams to make the movie’s soundtrack. The decision turned out to be the right one, as Williams created a memorable soundtrack which is as iconic as any other aspect of the saga, and Mark Hamill believes that Williams is the second most praiseworthy Star Wars personality after George Lucas.
“Aside from George Lucas, nobody deserves more credit for the success of Star Wars than John Williams,” Hamill told Variety.
During his long career, Williams has created the score for every Star Wars movie barring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which had a soundtrack by Michael Giacchino. Before he created the Star Wars soundtrack, Williams was already well on his way to enjoy an incredible career, with the score to Jaws under his belt.
“Jaws was the only film of John Williams I knew before he did Star Wars,” Hamill says. “Obviously, as ‘Johnny’ Williams, he paid his dues in television, but I didn’t come to know that until much later.”
Hamill mentioned that when he heard Williams score for the space drama while traveling in his car, he was mightily impacted.
“It was a two-seater sports car with a good sound system,” Hamill recalled. “[Producer Gary Kurtz] put this tape in, and I was absolutely blown away. By the time we reached our destination, I was levitating. I couldn’t believe it. There were tears streaming down my face. I was so overwhelmed, so moved, so delighted. His music was epic. For a movie as modest as ours, his music elevated it to the status of Lawrence of Arabia.”
Mark Hamill such a big fan of Williams that he felt envious upon hearing the score that Williams had created for Superman.
After he heard it, Hamill couldn’t stop wondering “why couldn’t he have saved that for The Empire Strikes Back, the next film in the series? I somehow thought of him as ours.”
The admiration continued right up to The Force Awakens, as Hamill highlighted how Williams’ score connected the past with the present.
“When we found out that John was going to be the connective tissue,” Hamill revealed, “the Force was with us on that one. Nobody could step into his shoes.”
Mark Hamill was also witness to a The Last Jedi recording session, which left him in absolute awe.
“It’s indescribable, how he elevates every scene. He’s got to understand the emotion of the scene, the dynamics of whatever conflict we’re trying to portray, as deeply as an actor does,” Hamill admitted. “In a way, that’s even more complex. As an actor, you’re only one person, one instrument in the orchestra. He’s the entire cast.”
Williams recently expressed his desire to make the score for Episode IX which will be the culmination of this new trilogy of movies.
You can enjoy Williams’ The Last Jedi score in theaters now.