Anakin Skywalker once wondered how one could be on the Jedi Council and not be a master, but there’s an even weirder disparity for the man who composed the music for Anakin. John Williams has been nominated for a lot of Oscars, but he hasn’t actually won in a while. In fact, the last time Williams won an academy award for his iconic musical compositions was in 1993 for Schindler’s List. Can his 2018 Oscar nomination for The Last Jedi bring home the gold for the galactic maestro?
On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominations for the 2018 Oscars. And, as Vanity Fair pointed out, composer John Williams broke his own record with 51 Oscar nominations in total. Prior to the 2018 nomination for The Last Jedi, Williams was nominated in 2015 for The Force Awakens. And no, he wasn’t nominated for the best original score for any of the three Star Wars prequels from 1999-2005, despite the fact that his score may be the best thing about any of those films. (“Duel of the Fates” springs to mind.)
So, is the music for The Last Jedi Williams’s best work since, say the original Star Wars? Yes and no. You could argue that his music for The Force Awakens was the most daring because he had to introduce entirely new themes for all the new characters. In other words, The Last Jedi score would be nothing without “Rey’s Theme,” which he composed for The Force Awakens. Of all the new Star Wars music, “Rey’s Theme,” has probably quickly become the most recognizable as being part of the sound of the new Star Wars films. The Star Wars Show on YouTube even uses a remix of the theme in their opening, not the classic and famous Star Wars main title theme.
Without “Rey’s Theme,” it feels like the score for The Last Jedi probably wouldn’t be as good as it is. Meaning, if Williams wins an Oscar for The Last Jedi, he’s pretty much winning one for The Force Awakens, too.
The 90th Academy Awards will take place on March 4.