‘Star Wars’ Composer John Williams Just Won His 25th Grammy for This Surprising Project
Movies without music are a mess. Can you imagine Jaws without that haunting musical accompaniment? What about Superman: The Movie without that triumphant main theme? Or Harry Potter without that iconic melody? Film scores set the tone for the emotions of the actions on-screen. And over the years, few composers have made a greater impact than John Williams. Don’t believe us? He’s the man behind all three of the above films and countless more.
Williams’ body of work is so epic that the 2020 Grammys even marked a big milestone for him. The 87-year-old composer won his 25th Grammy that night. While his name appears in the credits of many of your favorite movies, the project for which he won this latest honor will probably surprise you.
John Williams is one of cinema’s greatest film composers
As we mentioned, Williams composed the main themes for the Harry Potter series, Superman: The Movie, and Jaws. But that last one is especially noteworthy because it’s part of a decades-long partnership with director Steven Spielberg. In fact, only three films from Spielberg’s extensive filmography do not feature Williams’ music.
All four Indiana Jones movies, Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park, and the rest? All Williams. But the film for which Williams won his first Grammy remains his signature work. We’re talking, of course, about Williams’ iconic music for 1977’s Star Wars.
That fateful Grammy night, Williams won multiple awards for his work on George Lucas’ space opera. He went on to take home Grammy Awards for such films as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List, and Memoirs of a Geisha. In addition, Williams has earned five Oscars amid more than 50 nominations.
The Grammys have just recognized his work again
Just as Williams’ impressive Grammy run began with Star Wars, his most recent win springs from that saga as well. However, he did not claim the award for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Rather, Williams’ 25th Grammy win honored his work for Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park rides.
In the category of Best Instrumental Composition, the Grammy went to “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite.” The category focuses on original instrumental works that are released only as a single or track. Such was the case with this piece, as Williams created the music specifically for the Disney attractions.
‘Star Wars’ music will never be the same
From the original Star Wars film going forward, Williams has returned for every main entry in the Skywalker saga — all the “episodes” — since then. And just as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker signals the end of the Skywalker saga, the film will also be the final installment in the franchise for Williams.
That being said, his Grammy win for “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite” could be the beginning of a farewell of sorts for the composer. He even earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score for The Rise of Skywalker. So awards bodies might be looking to honor Williams one last time before he exits the franchise that has defined his career.
According to his IMDB page, Williams’ only planned feature work is — appropriately enough — a pair of Spielberg films. The director will take on The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, a historical drama set in 19th-century Italy. Then Williams and Spielberg are set to reteam for Indiana Jones 5. Beyond that, we don’t know what Williams will be up to, but it certainly won’t be Star Wars-related.