After Episode IX, the sound of Star Wars will change forever

Oscar-winning composer John Williams says nine films is quite enough. Plus: He has a theory about Rey's parents.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper

The sound of Star Wars will be different after Episode IX.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

The Star Wars galaxy is changing. Classic characters such as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa have given way to Rey, Finn, Poe and other newbies, and now the sound of the space saga is changing too.

Legendary Oscar-winning composer John Williams, 86, says that after Episode IX in the series comes out in 2019, he won't write any more music for Star Wars.

"We know (director) J.J. Abrams is preparing one (more Star Wars movie) now, that I will hopefully do next year for him," Williams told Los Angeles' KUSC radio. "And I look forward to it. It will round out a series of nine, that will be quite enough for me."

Williams also shared his hope that Rey's parents would turn out to be something more than the "filthy junk traders" Kylo Ren told her they were in "The Last Jedi." 

Turns out the composer is a big fan of Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey.

"Last year when Kathy Kennedy rang me up and said, 'Will you do the music for 'The Last Jedi'?' I said to her, 'Is Daisy in it?'" he related. "And she said yes, so I said yes."

Williams has been nominated for 51 Oscars, second only to Walt Disney. He's won five, including the 1977 original-score Oscar for "Star Wars."