When Oscar nominations are announced on Monday, January 13, many are predicting the beloved composer John Williams to receive a 52nd Oscar nomination for his work in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Concluding the work he began way back in 1977 when he received an Oscar for the original Star Wars, Williams would break his own record set back in 2017 with his nomination for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Williams’s Skywalker score deftly weaves familiar and beloved music cues from the previous films to create a new sonic tapestry. Echoes of “Leia’s Theme,” “Yoda’s Theme,” “Luke’s Theme,” as well as the infamous “Imperial March” all appear in his new score. It provides the audience significant emotional callbacks as the 42-year Skywalker saga concludes. Despite including these previous themes, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s music branch included the Skywalker score on its nominations shortlist. Out of 170 score deemed eligible, 15 were selected.
John Williams has thus far received 5 Oscar wins out of his 51 nominations. His first Oscar came with 1971’s Fiddler on the Roof. Subsequent wins include Star Wars, Jaws, and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. His last Oscar win was for the Schindler’s List score. He received Oscar nominations for five of eight Star Wars films. His scores for the prequel trilogy did not receive recognition.
Williams is currently the record holder for the most Oscar nominations for a living person. In the entire Academy history, he stands behind Walt Disney who received 59 Oscar nominations.
The previous Star Wars entry, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, received four Oscar nominations, including Score, Visual Effects, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.