No, John Powell (How to Drain Your Dragon) isn’t being pulled from the latest Star Wars standalone film. He’s still composing the score, but he isn’t flying solo anymore. Legendary music veteran and backbone of the Star Wars franchise John Williams confirmed in a recent interview with Variety that he’ll return to compose the theme for the latest standalone Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story. The latest film in the franchise is slated for release this May and will be Williams’ ninth Star Wars film.
Williams had the following to say on his involvement with the project:
“The present plan is that I’m writing a theme for Han Solo, and John Powell is going to write the score, which he’ll do brilliantly. His assignment is something I’m very happy about. What I will do is offer this to John, and to [director] Ron Howard, and if all parties are happy with it, then I will be happy. John [Powell] will complete the score. He will write all the rest of the themes and all of the other material, which I’m going to be very anxious to hear.”
This is an interesting move for Disney as the score for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was completed by composer Michael Giacchino entirely, though he did utilize some cues from Williams’ previous Star Wars scores. It’s hard to say if this is a move designed to draw in fans skeptical about the film or an attempt to bring a standard to the franchise’s films under Disney. Whatever the reason, I’m happy to see Williams join the project and I can’t imagine anyone is complaining about his inclusion (except for maybe Powell).
It was announced in July via starwars.com that John Powell would be composing the score for the project. As previously noted, Powell composed the score for How to Train Your Dragon. He’s also worked on the popular Bourne series of films, United 93 and several animated films such as Rio and Happy Feet.
Solo: A Star Wars Story will be directed by Ron Howard and star Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo. Joonas Suotamo joins the cast as Han Solo’s copilot and best friend, with fan favorite Donald Glover playing the smooth talking card shark, con man and all around trouble maker Land Calrissian.
The film will hit theaters on May 25, 2018.