On Tuesday, legendary film composer John Williams stated that Star Wars: Episode IX will be his last entry in the much-beloved Star Wars series, as reported by Gamespot.
Williams has scored every single Star Wars film since Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope in 1977, for which he won an Oscar for Best Original Score in 1978. In a recent interview with radio station KUSC, he explained his reasoning for the ninth film being his last by stating, “We know JJ Abrams is preparing one now that I will hopefully do next year for him. I look forward it. It will round out a series of nine, that will be quite enough for me.”
But while the announcement comes as a surprise to many, recent Star Wars spinoffs like Rogue One and Solo: A Star Wars Story have been scored by new composers like Alexandre Desplat and John Powell. Williams will still compose the main theme for both films, of course. And with the Star Wars universe continuing to expand at an increasingly rapid rate—both Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have trilogies of their own in the works—Williams can hardly be expected to keep up.
Williams’s legendary career has spanned over six decades and 51 (!) Oscar noms, scoring and writing music for film and television starting by accompanying composing legend Henry Mancini for films like Days of Wine and Roses and Charade, and television series like Gilligan’s Island and Lost in Space. His breakthrough moment came courtesy of the camp cult classic Valley of the Dolls, which scored him his first Oscar nomination. During his prolific career, Williams has worked with everyone from Alfred Hitchcock to Richard Donner, with his collaborations with Irwin Allen, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas bringing him great prominence.
Even though the announcement is shocking, Williams seems to be satisfied with Episode IX being his last Star Wars film to complete not only the last trilogy, but also a fruitful partnership that has spanned nearly half a century.
You can listen to Williams’ interview with KUSC here.