Huge Star Wars news has just broken from the Celebration Europe event currently being held in Essen, Germany: John Williams will be returning to the saga to score Episodes VI, VIII and IX.
The news was confirmed by Episode VII producer, Kathleen Kennedy, who appeared at Celebration Europe this morning. During an hour-long Q&A, moderated by Warwick Davis, Kennedy made vague references to what we can expect from Episode VII (or, as she calls it, Ep VII).
She started off by confirming that the new movies would use real locations. "Like many of you, looking at all the Star Wars movies and getting a feeling for what even the early films did in combination of real locations and special effects, that’s something we’re looking very seriously at," she said.
"We’re going to find some very cool locations we’re going to use in support of Ep VII. I think we’re going to probably end up using every tool in the toolbox to create the look of these movies. that’s what we’re excited about."
But then, as things were wrapping up, Davis asked her for one tidbit that would leave the thousands of Star Wars fans in attendance in a state of enchantment. And she delivered.
"I had breakfast with someone very important to the Star Wars family on Friday," she teased, "and he has committed to being involved in the next three films, and that is Mr John Williams."
The news of Williams' involvement, although seemingly a foregone conclusion, is huge. With JJ Abrams on board as director, the smart money had perhaps been on his long-time composer Michael Giacchino coming aboard (despite Giacchino himself demurring and emphasising that the saga is very much Williams' baby). But Williams' themes are so indelible to the saga, whether it's Duel Of The Fates, The Imperial March or Yoda's Theme, so it's a joy to see that the legendary composer will be returning to Star Wars.
"I look forward to returning to a galaxy far, far away," said Williams in a video played at Celebration Europe. "I actually feel like I never left it. I hope I can contribute something in the new films that will be worthy of your continued attention."
After the video played, Kennedy explained, simply, why Williams' involvement with the new movies was a must. "Every time I hear John’s music, it just gives me the chills. It’s so important to the saga. We’re all really excited that he’s a part of this."
For more on Celebration Europe, stay tuned to our Twitter feed - @empiremagazine - over the weekend.
And if you would like a little more on Williams, check out the 80 Reasons Why John Williams Is The Man.