Mention the name John Williams to even the casual movie fan and chances are they’ll know exactly who he is. For over four decades, the legendary composer’s name has been as synonymous with Star Wars as that of George Lucas. From the opening fanfare, to the Imperial March to the haunting Duel of the Fates, William’s musical genius has touched all aspects of Star Wars. That talent has now earned him a 25th Grammy award… but not for what you might think.
When Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrived December 20, 2019, it did so with yet another John Williams score. That effort did result in Williams’ 52nd Grammy nomination…. But it wasn’t for The Rise of Skywalker that the composer earned his latest Grammy. Rather, he won it for the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite. The award marks a couple of historic firsts.
John Williams wins Grammy for amusement park theme
First and foremost, and surprisingly, the piece is the very first Star Wars arrangement in forty-three years that John Williams has written that is not related to the symphonic scores for the feature films. It also seems that the piece may have made Grammy history as well. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite appears to be the first piece of amusement park music to have ever won a Grammy.
Williams composed the piece with the assistance of William Ross. Ross, for his part, is no stranger to Williams’ work. He has been adapting the music of Star Wars for Disney’s Star Tours ride for some time now. When discussing the piece Williams wrote for the Galaxy’s Edge theme park, Ross had this to say:
This was a new world, with its own identity away from the movies. We wanted to enhance the immersive-theater quality of the land with a new composition, and that seemed to intrigue him. He signed on for it… and it’s been a fantastic adventure.”
You can hear the Grammy award-wining theme when you visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Congratulations, John, and thank you for over forty years of Star Wars.