Star Wars composer John Williams originally thought that Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa would eventually become lovers. The legendary composer was more than likely not alone in those thoughts back in 1977. Williams is preparing his final score with the Star Wars franchise for the upcoming Rise of Skywalker. The Skywalker saga is coming to a close and the composer felt like it was a good time to retire from the series.
Back in 1977, George Lucas was preparing for the release of A New Hope. There were a ton of obstacles in his way and there was a big delay, but he was ultimately able to pull everything together at the final second. John Williams came on to do the iconic score, but he was in the dark as far as the future was concerned involving Luke and Leia. He explains.
“I saw them as two young people in the first film that I would never see again. And they seemed to be compatible. They had fun together. They did the action scenes together. And I figured, ‘Well, sooner or later, they will be lovers and they’ll have children and you know,’ so I wrote a love theme for Princess Leia, not knowing for, like, two or three years that they were brother and sister. I’m not even sure when George (laughs) told us. That was the second film, or the third (Return of the Jedi). So I had to go back and write different themes for (laughs) the various relationships that came into focus over time.”
George Lucas didn’t even know there was going to be an Empire Strikes Back when he made A New Hope, so there was a lot that was up in the air at the time. When looking back at the original trilogy, the waters get a little murky when Leia gives her brother a kiss in order to make Han Solo jealous. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best idea, but the characters didn’t yet know they were brother and sister yet. This also cements the thoughts of John Williams originally thinking they were lovers. George Lucas was initially thinking on bringing in another character to be Luke Skywalker’s sister. Thankfully, he didn’t do so, but it shows how some of these decisions were made as they were going along and done through necessity.
John Williams also talked about his decision to leave the Star Wars franchise after The Rise of Skywalker. The 87-year old composer has quite the back catalog, but he doesn’t listen to it and he doesn’t watch the movies after they’re done either. Once he’s done, he done and on to the next project. He had this to say about stopping his Star Wars work.
“Well, certainly, I think it’s the end of the Skywalker story, as far as I understand it. Disney, which is the company that owns Lucasfilm, may want to go on and produce more Lucas-inspired films. But this will put the bow on the package for me. And it’ll probably be the end of a sort of thematic flow, which started on the first movie and ended now. What’s wild for me as a composer of Star Wars is this has never happened – it’s my good fortune, the good fortune in the sense that I did the music for the first film. It was this, that, and the other theme. In the second film, I had this, that, and the other theme and two more themes. And so the glossary of things has expanded over all these years. We couldn’t play it all in one night. There’s too much of it.”
John Williams is a massive piece to the Star Wars puzzle. He has created some of the most iconic themes ever composed in the world of movies and every movie or TV show following will be partly inspired by his work. But, for the time being, Williams is all done and now seems like the most logical time to bow out. The interview with John Williams was originally conducted by CBS News.