John Williams Plans To Retire From The Star Wars Franchise After Episode IX; Believes There’s More To Rey’s Heritage

In a recent interview with KUSC, John Williams has indicated that he thinks that scoring nine Star Wars movies (and composing a theme for the Solo spin-off) will be enough for him. He also personally believes that there’s more to the story of Rey’s background than to say that she’s the child of two impoverished junkers.


Williams explained that, regardless of whether or not Episode X happens, he’s satisfied with composing four decades’ worth of themes for the Galaxy Far, Far Away and that he’s content with ending his work with the last chapter in a trilogy of trilogies:

“J. J. Abrams is preparing [Episode IX] that I will hopefully do next year for him. It will round up the series of nine that will be quite enough for me. Disney will take it further and they will probably continue on to do Star Wars for decades. So I think it’s all good. “


It’s a little sad to hear that Williams will basically part ways with the movie franchise whose score made him an icon for so many people, but at the same time, it’s perfectly alright if he’s ready to move on – the franchise needs to put a spotlight on other great composers to expand beyond its comfort zone. Besides, he’ll still be with Lucasfilm to handle future Indiana Jones movies.



In addition, Williams is of the opinion that there might be more to the story of Rey’s parents than what Kylo Ren told the poor girl at the top of the Supremacy:

Williams: It’s (Star Wars) developed in the most amazing way – for the families. Rey’s parents might be identified to us in the next film.

KUSC: I hope so!

Williams: I hope so, too.

KUSC: I assume they are pretty extraordinary. Not just anonymous people that died in the desert. I really don’t believe that.

Williams: I don’t believe it either. Rey, of course, is played by Daisy Ridley, who I so loved in The Force Awakens. And last year, when Kathy Kennedy rang me up and said, ‘Would you do the last music for The Last Jedi?’ I said to her, ‘Is Daisy in it?’ and she said yes, so I said yes.”


While Williams is likely blindly speculating here (it wouldn’t be the first time, since he totally thought that Luke was Rey’s dad), and as much as I’d argue that Rey’s parents being super-special defeats the purpose of the sequel trilogy’s theme of heroes coming from anywhere (as they established in the closing scene with Temiri “Broom Boy” Blagg), it certainly wouldn’t be unprecedented.


Return of the Jedi had to address the elephant in the room with The Empire Strikes Back‘s big familial reveal, since it was originally intended for Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker to be two separate people. Episode IX might find a way to do something similar by revealing that in spite of Rey’s parents being unremarkable on the surface, there’s a hidden legacy that they carried with them. But I personally think it’s more likely that Rey’s story will involve building her ties to her new family – Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, Finn, Poe Dameron, and (probably) Rose Tico, along with forging a path forward for the Jedi with Luke’s assistance from beyond (hopefully, with a few of his friends).


Who do you think should take the reins of the Star Wars franchise after Williams completes the saga? Let us know in the comments section and in The Cantina.



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Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.

Grant Davis (Pomojema)

Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.

52 thoughts on “John Williams Plans To Retire From The Star Wars Franchise After Episode IX; Believes There’s More To Rey’s Heritage

  • March 2, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Even though Williams retires from Star Wars, his music should not. The non character compositions should transfer from the Skywalker saga to Rian Johnson’s, and to the future series. Even, if it just ends up being the main and closing themes.

  • March 2, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    If this does end up being the last saga film for at least the near future than I’m glad Williams will get to close it out. At this point in his career he doesn’t have anything more to prove.

  • March 2, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    This man has positively impacted our culture more than very few others have. Perhaps even more than the films themselves, Williams’ work in them has collectively taken us to the uttermost heights and depths of the human condition. He may be hanging up the baton with Star Wars movies after IX, but he has left an indelible mark upon the saga… and our hearts.

  • March 2, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Et tu, Brute?

    (Rey’s parentage)

  • March 2, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    We knew it was coming but …. sniff 🙁

    • March 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      Honestly, at this point seeing what the Star Wars fandom has become, I’m happy for him to call it a day. Nobody wants to be part of this toxic environment… #sad

  • March 2, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Quite honestly, GREAT NEWS. Here’s why: It would be painful for everyone of us that something happens to him in the middle of working on a new score, and that, if his collaboration with SW lasted forever, would be the case someday.

    I love the idea that he retires at the right moment, that he leaves the franchise having completed his job. I like the idea that what we could call now The Original Saga is the greatest because it has JW in it. I’m happy they did the sequels but I’m ok that IX is the last episode. I don’t want this story to enlarge as an endless chewing gum.

  • March 2, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    That would be great that he can close off his Star Wars work with Ep. IX. What a fantastic set of music he leaves us with! I have to say though, he’s another one heading for a big disappointment if he’s still clinging onto Rey’s parentage being anyone except the nobodies that RJ turned them into. I love his optimism, but I’ve given up bothering to speculate on anything after being stung by TLJ.

  • March 2, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Maybe they will now go the route of Guardians of the Galaxy. Earth tunes!

    • March 5, 2018 at 4:36 pm

      please, no ! or were ypu sarcastic ?

  • March 2, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    A legendary composer!!!

  • March 2, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    I never want John Williams to stop making new music! I hope he does more work with Steven Spielberg after stepping away from Star Wars including the next Indiana Jones.

    Williams themes for Rey are some of my favorite John Williams music ever. I love the score for The Last Jedi and am still discovering new things.

    • March 2, 2018 at 11:04 pm

      Reys theme is my alarm in the morning and I’m whistling it half a dozen times a day!

  • March 2, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    I’m happy to hear this news. A sad as it seems that he will discontinue his Star Wars work, it is definitely the best time for him to do so. 1-9 gets to be there to the end of “The skywalker story” and there is no longer a chance of having a trilogy “unfinished” if Mr. Williams couldn’t make it all the way through.
    I give thank God for the awe and wonder John Williams has given us through his perfect music.

  • March 2, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    Just imagine how many times the poor guy had to sit through TLJ.

    • March 3, 2018 at 1:07 am

      He’s a real trooper for sure!

  • March 2, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    His contribution has been invaluable. But I’m glad he’s getting out. These new films don’t deserve him.

  • March 2, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    and rightly deserved. Though if the Obi Wan film goes ahead I’d like him to do his theme like he is for Han.

  • March 3, 2018 at 1:49 am

    In ALL the happiest movie moments of my life, John Willians was the score

  • March 3, 2018 at 2:12 am

    I’m sure now there is more in Rey’s origin. Listen to me guys. Her parents were nobody and they are dead in the desert on Jakku.They sold her for drinking money.How could they afford that ship from her vision? I have one explanation.Yes they sold her,but when and to whom? I think somobody bought her as little child but then he realizes she is strong with the force. He brings her home to hide her but her parents are dead by then so he leaves her with Unkar and that’s what we see in the vision.

    • March 3, 2018 at 2:47 am

      Looking for inconsistencies between Episodes VII and VIII is pointless now that we know that RJ didn’t feel obligated to keep any continuity between the two episodes and simply ignored JJ’s drafts for Episodes VIII and IX.

      • March 3, 2018 at 10:54 am

        It’s not that he didn’t feel obligated. He HAD no obligations. But I agree that, even if I loved TLJ, a real plan for a trilogy would have been preferable.

      • March 5, 2018 at 4:32 pm

        That’s the main issue in the first place. How even it comes something like this can happens at this level of competences ?!

    • March 6, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      If there is more to Rey’s origins, my personal idea would go as follows:
      Yes he parents were worthless drunks who sold her for drinking money….from a certain point of view. As far as she knows, that is the truth.
      But, those were the people who raised her (not for long), not her real parents.
      I would imagine that she was the daughter of a couple of rebels (or something like that…but no need for them to be Jedi or anything like that) that left her (as a baby) in the care of those people (before they became drunks) so she would be safe until they came back (from a mission or I don’t know).
      Thing is…they never did. Maybe got themselves captured or killed and she was left to grow up with those people and think they were her parents.

      Again, just my own vision of what her past could hide (without actually going against what information was given to us in TFA and TLJ)

  • March 3, 2018 at 2:42 am

    I am convinced that, as far as RJ is concerned,Rey is the daughter of two impoverished junkers. That obviously doesn’t mean that JJ and Chris Terrio cannot reboot her origin story in Episode IX, which they might end up doing to appease part of the fan community.

  • March 3, 2018 at 7:25 am

    John Williams is truly a legend; I wish him in good health once he composes the music for episode IX as his swan song for the Star Wars franchise. ^_^

  • March 3, 2018 at 8:20 am

    the point is, first he should survive until scoring IX. what he does after that, it’s all right to me.

  • March 3, 2018 at 8:28 am

    I still think she needs to be a Skywalker but then again GL doesn’t work on these movies so its fan fiction to me anyway, just like the EU.

    • March 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      If the Prequels were “real” Star Wars then I hope they stick with fan fiction.

      • March 3, 2018 at 4:47 pm

        You are not alone with your position. But I look for deeper meanings in the films despite some bad moments in the prequels. With GL the original creator gone, those new Star Wars films lack his vision for that deeper meaning. That’s not to say you cannot look for deeper meanings in newer Star Wars films or any film for that matter. Its just not going to impact me the same way since it doesn’t come directly from GL.

        • March 3, 2018 at 4:53 pm

          Or put another way to consider my stance… what if someone made Romeo and Juliet 2 today? Even if it was a great story it would never hold a candle to the original the one from Shakespeare and it would feel unnecessary. That’s how I feel about the Sequel Trilogy. Though I suspect some feel the same way about the prequels.

          • March 4, 2018 at 4:54 pm

            I’d love a sequel to Romeo and Juliet – where surviving friends and family gather together to ponder what was wrong with these kids? They knew each other less than 24 hours before they got married. And then 48 hours after they met, Juliet kills herself. Less than 72 hours after they met, Romeo kills himself. Could be a fascinating piece on poor parenting and the ignorance of youth.

          • March 4, 2018 at 5:37 pm

            I was thinking what would be most logical was: Romeo & Juliet 2: Escape from Hell. Could have some bad ass scenes with Romeo riding the devil’s Harley whipping demons with chains. I think Shakespeare would approve.

    • March 3, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      I agree. I think rey should definitely have some ties to Skywalker or keno I family bloodline. It just feels right.

  • March 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Just to be clear, TLJ did not say that Rey was a nobody. Only that her parents were nobodies. Anakin’s were too. His mother a poor slave woman. So what? He was conceived by the Force itself. Perhaps Rey was too.

    • March 4, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      Also doesn’t say that her grandparents were nobodies. I’m holding out for a Clone Wars-era Jedi having a kid that turns out to be a piece of garbage, who then has Rey. But I’m also fine with the story as it is now, too.

    • March 5, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      I believe @WackyBantha knows more about Rey’s parents than he will admit…

  • March 3, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Better for Master Williams to wrap things up nicely than doing to Star Wars what they did to the Harry Potter franchise. Those William-less scores were little more than dribble! BTW I feel the same about R1s soundtrack.

    • March 4, 2018 at 4:48 pm

      Don’t forget that Rogue One was an extreme rush job. I like it fine enough, but know that Giacchino is capable of better, too.

      • March 4, 2018 at 5:35 pm

        I agree about Giacchino. His Rogue One themes have really grown on me and some of that music is in my “favorite SW themes” list. (and it was a rush job too)

      • March 5, 2018 at 4:24 pm

        Right you are! Giacchino is a top notch composer, which makes that score the more frustrating!

    • March 6, 2018 at 7:08 am

      I actually really liked RO soundtrack….. Imperial Suite was epic…..

  • March 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    That’s good. He has done more than enough for Star Wars to leave a epic legacy. Now he can retire and pass the torch. About rey and her past present and future I think it would be awesome to end the trilogy with Luke leia and Han all standing together as force ghost looking at rey the way ROTJ ended with Luke and his mentors watching over him.

    • March 5, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      wrll ROTJ did that. and han solo can’t come back as force ghost

      • March 7, 2018 at 4:56 pm

        If Luke taught him and leia it would be cool

  • March 3, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    NO IT DOES NOT defeat the heroes coming from nowhere theme of the st. The entire sky walker family is a bunch of no ones coming from no where. Even the princess is a orphan child from a father who was once a slave. Only her mother having any galactic significance.

    Kenobi, etc. on is a bunch of no ones who became someones. Rey needs to be something special to explain the fact she’s a merry sue.

  • March 4, 2018 at 6:07 am

    OMG! Kylo Ren said Rey is the daughter of junk traders? Who sold her off for drinking money? And they’re dead now? Holy Flying Yoda! What a reliable source of information! I mean we’re talking Dark Side Fair and Balanced here, folks!

    • March 4, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      I don’t know if I’m misremembering here but didn’t Kylo get that information from Snoke?

      • March 5, 2018 at 4:23 pm

        I think it was Kylo, but then again I drank heavily after TLJ…

        • March 8, 2018 at 6:29 pm

          Lol, in celebration no doubt.

          • March 9, 2018 at 7:42 am

            Not really… I just like drinking.

      • March 6, 2018 at 6:59 am

        I think Snoke told him that, or ‘lead’ him to that ‘conclusion’. It could be possible. OR….. it could be the truth. I think Rian just upped everything on it’s head, and it’s up to J.J. if he wants to undo any of it

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