‘Kenobi’ Director “Didn’t Want” ‘Star Wars’ John Williams, Fans Furious

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George Lucas (left), John Williams (middle), and Kathleen Kennedy (right)

Credit: Lucasfilm

The Star Wars universe exploded with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, but the hit series barely featured any iconic John Williams scores. Now, Kenobi composer Natalie Holt finally touches on the controversial subject.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Obi-Wan Kenobi is here, but every Star Wars fan was surprised to hear the lack of famous John Williams scores, such as the “Force Theme” and “The Imperial March,” especially with the prominence of Darth Vader and his brooding spirit.

While many enjoyed the limited series, Kenobi was embroiled in constant backlash, including the controversial official score.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan defending himself from incoming fire with his lightsaber.
Credit: Lucasfilm

Now, Obi-Wan Kenobi series composer Natalie Holt has addressed the brief appearance of “The Imperial March” at the end of the series:

#ObiWanKenobi composer Natalie Holt has opened up about the series’ lack of “The Imperial March” theme:

“[Director Deborah Chow] didn’t want that theme playing every time you see Darth Vader, she wanted to explore his journey to get there…”

While talking with Screen Rant, Holt shares that series director Deborah Chow advocated for the absence of iconic John Williams scores, waiting until the last shot of Sith Lord Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) on Mustafar to showcase any recognizable theme:

When I started up on this project, we weren’t sure that we were going to be allowed to use the John Williams themes. Deborah [Chow] was saying to me, “I think we need to score the show as if we’re not going to be able to use them.” She was like, “I don’t want to find out that we can’t, so let’s make it work without. Let’s do our own thing.” And she was saying, “Actually, if we were going to use the Vader theme, I don’t think we should use it until episode six, because he’s still half Anakin, half Vader at this point. When his mask cracks open at the end, and he says ‘You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did,’ you realize now he’s Vader, now he’s earned his ‘Imperial March’.” Now when you hear it, it’s so powerful. Deborah didn’t want that theme playing every time you see Darth Vader, she wanted to explore his journey to get there.

obi-wan kenobi and darth vader rematch of the century lightsaber battle
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Star Wars fans were quick to weigh in on Holt’s comments, sharing their confusion and frustration:

Except that journey was already complete by the end of the prequels, which played that song countless times.

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Another fan writes:

Alright but why no Duel of fates or Battle of heroes ?!

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One fan points out:

I disagree with this. John Williams still used elements of imperial March in the prequels before he is Vader. This is Vader in his prime. I think Deborah Chow did a great job but for a project as important as this, I think someone like Dave Filoni would have been a better fit.

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Another fan shares:

John Williams already did that in the prequels, pre Vader he was playing versions of the Imperial March that were leading up to him being Vader and it wasn’t until he became Vader in ROTS that he started playing the Imperial March more prominently.

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With rumors that John Williams is retiring from film scoring after Indiana Jones 5 (2023) featuring Harrison Ford (rumored to be his last major Hollywood role before retiring as well), it’s clear that the maestro genius of Williams will live on in cinema history forever.

Scoring the iconic tracks of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), Jaws (1975), Schindler’s List (1993), Superman (1978), Home Alone (1990), and every Skywalker saga Star Wars movie, John Williams is one of the most significant composers in history.

John Williams (left) and George Lucas (right)
Credit: Lucasfilm

Fans are hungry for more classic Star Wars, hoping that the iconic days of George Lucas can return to the galaxy far, far away.

With Andor, Ahsoka, and The Mandalorian season three just around the corner, every fan is more than ready to be re-immersed in the Skywalker saga, but the lack of John Williams music in Obi-Wan Kenobi marks a vast creative shift.

More about Obi-Wan Kenobi

The story begins ten years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his most significant defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

darth vader rogue on a star wars story
Credit: Lucasfilm

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“The rematch of the century” teased by Kathleen Kennedy, director Deborah Chow, and Lucasfilm will be supported by Moses Ingram (Inquisitor Reva), Joel Edgerton (Uncle Owen), Bonnie Piesse (Beru Lars), Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie.

Ewan McGregotr as Obi-Wan Kenobi (left) and Hayden Christensen as a young Anakin Skywalker (right)
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The world of George Lucas is expanding beyond Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Darth Vader (James Earl Jones), Jedi Master Yoda (Frank Oz), Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), Darth Maul (Ray Parker), Anakin Skywalker (Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch/Temura Morrison), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), Grogu (AKA “Baby Yoda”), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), Moff Gideon(Giancarlo Esposito), the Millennium Falcon, the Death Star, and The Clone Wars.

Within the Star Wars franchise, Lucasfilm is moving past Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) or the controversial Rian Johnson Star Wars film The Last Jedi (2018) as we dive into the Old Republic or explore new realities of the Star Wars universe with each new TV show or the upcoming Star Wars game like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 or Star Wars Eclipse.

Do you think John Williams should have a bigger role in new Star Wars projects? Comment below!

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