John Williams Hasn't Watched Star Wars

While we cinephiles love sitting down in a dark theater to watch a new movie with a score from John Williams, the composer himself doesn’t feel the same way.

In a new interview about his work in the composition of scores for major motion pictures, the man responsible for the iconic scores from movies like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jaws, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and countless more, revealed that once he’s done with a score, he’s done with the movie, and that means not even sitting to watch the final cut. We’re not sure if that’s the case with every single movie Williams has composed the score for, but when it comes to Star Wars, he hasn’t watched a single one of those movies.

Yes, it may be shocking to hear, but John Williams hasn’t watched Star Wars, not a single one. Here’s what Williams told The Mirror about almost never looking back at his work, specifically Star Wars:

“I have not looked at the ‘Star Wars’ films and that’s absolutely true. When I’m finished with a film, I’ve been living with it, we’ve been dubbing it, recording to it, and so on. You walk out of the studio and, ‘Ah, it’s finished.’ Now I don’t have an impulse to go to the theater and look at it. Maybe some people find that weird, or listen to recordings of my music very, very rarely.”

However, it’s important to keep in mind that when it comes to a film composer, they’ve already seen the movie in question countless times. Obviously Williams has to see the movie in order to compose music for it (though some of his work begins before he sees a first cut of the movie), and he has to watch clips over and over again while composing music for them. In addition, the movie plays while the orchestra plays the score for recording.

But that means that John Williams has never seen an entire Star Wars movie with his score firmly in place, which is an experience everyone should have. At the same time, I know that when I’ve been working on something for awhile, it’s the last thing that I want to think about when all is said and done. So it’s easy to see where John Williams is coming from.

Since the composer is getting up there in the years, maybe he should have a retrospective night where he just takes in all the movies he hasn’t seen for which he’s composed the score. Then again, he’s rather critical of his own work on Star Wars, so maybe he just wouldn’t like the experience.

The good news is we’ll all get to experience another John Williams score next winter when Star Wars: Episode VIII arrives on December 15, 2017.

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