38 years ago, Star Wars was released for the first time, and so began a long and enduring fandom that has stretched across decades. Through these 38 years, John Williams, who wrote the score for the first Star Wars film, has built upon his original themes and created an unprecedented musical legacy, consisting of a collection of film scoring for one single movie franchise, spanning a composer’s entire career. True Star Wars fans, eagerly awaiting the release of The Force Awakens this week, will tell you that their excitement for the music is second only to their excitement for the film itself.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Earlier this week, fans got a preview of some of the music from The Force Awakens score during a 60 Minutes interview with director J.J. Abrams. This brief taste of The Force Awakens music shows that John Williams has kept the feel of previous Star Wars scores, replete with lots of horns, a full orchestra, and lush strings. Beyond that, however, the score will be as much a surprise as the new film itself. Indeed, it will not be released until this Friday, along with the movie.

/Film was also able to get a hold of some tidbits about the score, most notably that it will be almost entirely new. Somehow, over all of these years, John Williams can still come up with new Star Wars music and can still be excited for the movie. That must be part of what makes him an icon of our time. Over a decades-long career, he has given us songs that we can call to mind at any time, with no prompting, and at eighty-three years old, he’s not done yet, which is incredible.

So, if you’ve finished re-watching all of the films, you’ve worked out your costume, and you’ve bought your tickets, start getting excited about the music.

  • To read Michael Giacchino’s ode to John Williams, click here.
  • To listen to Tavis Smiley’s interview with John Williams, click here.
  • To listen to the music of the original trilogy, click here.