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Star Wars news round-up: John Williams to score Episode IX and more


The Force is strong with your latest Star Wars news roundup. Here's what's been making the headlines across the galaxy.


John Williams to score Episode IX

It simply isn't Star Wars without the veteran composer, whose association with the franchise stretches back to its origins with 1977's A New Hope. Having delivered again with his rousing score for The Last Jedi, Williams has confirmed in a Variety interview that he wants to return for Episode IX, stating, "I would very much like to complete that".

It would see a reunion between Williams and The Force Awakens filmmaker JJ Abrams, who is returning to the director's chair for the final movie in the trilogy. The as-yet-untitled film is due for release in 2019. In the meantime Bourne and How to Train Your Dragon composer John Powell is scoring this year's Solo: A Star Wars Story, with Williams providing the title character's main theme. Solo is released on 25th May.

Discover John Williams' 7 greatest tracks from The Last Jedi.

Ewan McGregor talks The Last Jedi and Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off movie

In the run-up to Solo: A Star Wars Story, one question is on our minds – are we going to get a standalone movie focusing on Luke Skywalker's mentor? 

Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas' prequel trilogy, recently expressed his interest after picking up a Golden Globe for his dual role in TV series Fargo.

"It’s just that. There’s a lot of talk," he said. "I'd be happy to play him again. I don’t know any more about it than you do".

With Disney's Star Wars universe set to expand, both in terms of director Rian Johnson's new trilogy (starting in 2020) and the ongoing anthology spin-offs, we imagine there's scope for this legendary Star Wars figure to get his share of the limelight.

When asked for his thoughts on The Last Jedi, McGregor responded enthusiastically, revealing he "saw the new one over Christmas" and "thought it was really, really beautiful. I loved it".

Want more Star Wars in your life? Check out our list of the Star Wars characters who deserve their own spin-offs.

Rian Johnson discusses Luke Skywalker's fate and legacy in The Last Jedi

Whatever your thoughts on the most recent Star Wars movie, there's no denying it left all of us with a lot to talk about. One of the film's most hotly contested aspects is its treatment of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), discovered by Rey (Daisy Ridley) to be a reclusive Ahch-To-dwelling hermit haunted by his past.

The arc of the movie traces this far more tormented Luke from reluctant mentor to someone finally willing to let the past go. It ultimately leads to that stirring final scene on the planet of Crait where he Force-projects himself in front of his former pupil turned nemesis Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). His presence acts as a distraction, allowing the resistance rebels to escape whilst also finally attaining a measure of inner peace as he passes into the Force.

Writer-director Rian Johnson has been discussing Luke's arc with The Huffington Post: "I don’t want to get too explicit, because I like people being able to have their own interpretations... but I think definitely the act of what he does at the end literally just takes everything out of him. That’s a huge thing. Also … he’s having his final act be something of myth-making in a way."

Johnson continues: "It does go back a little bit to what he said at the beginning [of The Last Jedi]. 'What do you think one guy walking out there with a lightsaber [can do]?' … The answer is: Create a legend that will spread hope. And once he’s done that, combined with the physical toll it’s taken on him, you can make the case that then there’s nothing more powerful that he could accomplish."

In Johnson's hands, it's nothing less than the culmination of a mythical saga that began way back in 1977, allowing us to say goodbye to a key Star Wars figurehead whilst also gifting us with a moving farewell scene between Luke and his sister Leia (the late Carrie Fisher). Johnson says it all goes back to his initial awestruck meeting with Hamill, whose gravitas and nobility he says acts as the moral backbone of the entire saga. 

"The galaxy needs legends," Johnson explains. "I think about the look in Rey’s eyes in The Force Awakens, when she says, 'Luke Skywalker, I thought he was a myth,' and that gleam in her eyes. And I think about how I felt when I showed up to work the first day to meet with Mark Hamill, and I sat down and started talking to him, and I could only see Luke Skywalker. He made it very hard to talk, and [it’s] the idea that there’s value in that, in terms of inspiring us to fight the good fight and to be our best."

But is Luke really gone? Johnson says we shouldn't rule out a possible return: "The idea of Luke having passed into another realm... the potential could be there for his involvement. That seems like it just gives you a whole other realm to get into if [JJ Abrams and Chris Terrio] chose to in the next film."

Given how much Johnson has tinkered with our understanding of the Force (everything from Leia's controversial 'Mary Poppins in space' moment to Yoda's ghost bringing down lightning on Ahch-To), maybe there is scope for Luke to return in future. Let's not forget his final line to Kylo Ren, an echo of Obi-Wan's stark reminder to Darth Vader: "Strike me down in anger and I'll always be with you".

Whilst we speculate on that, find out why Rian Johnson is the perfect choice to build a new Star Wars empire.