Highlander, Frozen, Top Gun, Titanic, Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves, Back to the Future. All of these movies have one thing in common. Should Star Wars: Episode VII join them?
Picture this. You’re at the movie theater and Star Wars: Episode VII is about to end. The final scene transitions into the credits with John Williams’ iconic theme to wrap up the story. After the orchestral music dies down, a different melody begins to play as the credits continue to roll. It’s an original song. You may or may not be familiar with the artist, but the words capture the essence of the sequel film you just watched. This is something new for Star Wars–something that’s probably making your head shake from side to side as you say, “Nope. Do not want.” Consider the notion, though, and dip your feet into the pool of curiosity. What if the sequel film has an original song? What if that song gets nominated for an Academy Award? What if Star Wars wins said award?
Original songs are not a recent or new trend in the movie industry. The Academy Award for Best Original Song dates back to the early 1930s. The first to receive that award was Con Conrad and Herb Magidson’s “The Continental” from 1934’s The Gay Divorcee and the award is currently held by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for Frozen‘s “Let It Go.” Composing such a song is a time-honored practice and one that has been applied to a wide range of movie genres. I like to imagine Star Wars: Episode VII breaking tradition and joining a long history of films that have created memorable original songs.
Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug inspired this line of thinking. These songs are the products of creatively fusing film and music together, taking the spirit of the story and collaborating with artists through a different art form. I find that such songs evoke a response and allow me to connect more with the film on another level. John Williams will undoubtedly produce an impeccable soundtrack, mixing brand new themes with classic ones. I would, however, like to see John Williams and/or J.J. Abrams join forces with an artist to create that one song–that one original song about the galaxy far, far away.
Three of my favorite original songs: