Star Wars Celebration Europe News: Episode VII Update from Kathleen Kennedy: John Williams to Score Episode VII

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This year's Star Wars Celebration marks the debut of new Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy at the company's official fan convention.  

Kennedy was joined on stage by Celebration host Warwick Davis and while we didn't get a ton of news out of the panel we did get an update on the process and production plans for Episode VII and an announcement about a composer to work on the film.

John Williams is returning to a galaxy far, far away and has agreed to score Episode VII.  I am really happy about this because music is very important to the Star Wars films and having an auditory continuity through the three trilogies will help to link them in spite of the visual differences. The language of Kennedy's announcement is important however, it doesn't specify that Williams is under contract (which is likely a mere formality at this point) or more importantly that he is committed to any other Star Wars films beyond Episode VII.

Image Source: Star Tribune

From the Official Star Wars Blog Coverage:

11:19: Is there something you can tell us about Episode VII, Davis asks… “I had breakfast with someone very important to the Star Wars family last Friday, and he has committed to working on [Episode VII]. And that is Mr. John Williams.” HUGE ovation!
11:21: Video interview with John Williams now playing. He says Kennedy and Abrams are “perfect” choices to carry on Star Wars. “You couldn’t find better candidates.”

We also learned that they are very much conscious of the need to mix CG with real sets and practical effects to give the films a feel more like the Original Trilogy.  If there is one major knock on the Prequel Trilogy for me it was an over reliance on CG and green screens.

10:55: “Much like many of you, looking at all the Star Wars movies and getting a feeling in what the early films did in combination with real locations and special effects — that’s something we’re looking very seriously at. We’re going to find some really cool locations for Ep VII. We’re going to use ever tool in the toolbox for this movie.”
10:56: “It’s using artwork that you can touch and feel in combination with CG effects.”

Kennedy also describes what her typical day is like, which makes it sound like they are very much still refining the script for Episode VII as they begin casting and looking for shooting locations.

11:10: Typical day? Kennedy spends part of her time at Lucasfilm, then the rest of the week with Abrams and the writing team at Bad Robot. They do a lot of Skyping and sit in long, lengthy story meetings. “Great stuff is coming out of those discussions.” At the Presidio office of Lucasfilm, she is in Lucas’ old office. Lucas is still at Skywalker Ranch.

Stay tuned for more Episode VII news out of Celebration Europe, the Hamill and Fisher panels still remain and we may get some news out of those or at the closing ceremonies.

SOURCE: Star Wars Blog