John Williams has become an irreplaceable figure in American popular culture. He ranks as the best-known creator of movie music in Hollywood history, with themes and scores that are instantly recognizable to listeners around the world.Perhaps none of Williams’ music is more famous than that of Star Wars (1977),which won the composer his third Academy Award. Director George Lucas later recalled: “About 90 percent of the Star Wars films are music. It’s done in a very old-fashioned style, almost like silent films, so the music kind of tells the story.A lot of the emotional content is carried through the music as much as by the scenes themselves.”
The extract “Throne Room and Finale,” from the conclusion of the original film, accompanies a ceremony honoring the victorious Luke Skywalker,Han Solo, and Chewbacca, and the end-credits roll. As Williams said in 1977:“I used a theme I am very fond of over the presentation of the medals; it has a kind of Land of Hope and Glory feeling to it, almost like coronation music.” For the finale, he invokes Luke’s theme, the Rebel spaceship fanfare, Princess Leia’s theme, and others from that first in what would eventually become a six-film series spanning nearly three decades, all scored by Williams.