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John Williams Suggests He's Done With Star Wars After Episode IX

The Force may be with you, always, but John Williams won't. 

John Williams, the prolific film composer behind all eight mainline Star Wars films whose music has carved out an immortal place in pop culture, may finally be preparing to hang up his baton and leave the Star Wars franchise for good.

The news comes from Williams' own mouth, speaking during an interview with the California-based classical music radio station KUSC. During the chat, Williams alluded to his future plans by saying that the upcoming Episode IX will be "quite enough" for him.

"We know J.J. Abrams is preparing one now that I will hopefully do next year for him," Williams said. "I look forward to it. It will round out a series of nine — that will be quite enough for me."

The comment came during a retrospective chat running back through Williams' whole career with Star Wars, a franchise which he has been associated with since the first film's debut in 1977.

"I didn't really set out on purpose to create a glossary of themes that we have now," Williams said, discussing his wide body of Star Wars-related work. "To say again, I had no idea that there would be a second film, and there would be a Darth Vader, and there would be this one and that one coming along the way, and requiring themes. And that I would be challenged to try and organize a stylistic unity if I could from film to film, over decades. And that in itself is probably a unique opportunity, to be able to be working on a subject, and a theme, and a group of themes over 40 years. That's probably a unique experience, certainly in film."

While Williams has long been associated with Star Wars, he hasn't scored every movie in the expanding series, with the groundwork already having been laid for his future departure. Michael Giacchino provided the score for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story is set to be composed by the Academy Award-nominated John Powell. While Powell will be handling the bulk of that film's score, Williams did compose the main theme.

If Williams truly does walk away from Star Wars after the release of Episode IX in 2019, it doesn't necessarily mean the 86-year-old will be retiring from music in general. With six decades' worth of compositions to his name, including iconic scores for Superman, Jaws, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter, it's a fair bet that the man who's graced so many movies with his special touch will keep on working to delight film audiences worldwide right up to the point of his final breath.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is set for release on May 25, with Star Wars: Episode IX to follow on December 20, 2019.