George Lucas' original plans for the Star Wars soundtrack involved classical music, not John Williams

(Image credit: Fox/Disney)

Star Wars isn’t Star Wars without John Williams. 

The legendary composer changed the pop culture landscape with everything from the iconic "Imperial March" to the blast of the trumpets heard during the main theme at the beginning of every instalment in a galaxy far, far away. Creator George Lucas, though, originally had another idea according to a recent interview with Williams.

“One day, Steven [Spielberg] called me and said, ‘Do you know George Lucas?’” Williams told The New Yorker (opens in new tab). “I said, ‘No, I have no idea who he is.’ ‘Well, he’s got this thing called Star Wars” and he wants to have… a classical score, and I’ve convinced George he should meet you.”

As it turns out, Lucas’ first vision for the music would involve “entertaining the idea of using pre-existing classical works on the Star Wars soundtrack,” in a fashion, once pointed out in a report by The Telegraph (opens in new tab), not too dissimilar to Stanley Kubrick’s use of classical music such as “Also Sprach Zarathustra” in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

While Lucas is at odds with Williams’ recollection and “through a representative, says that he never intended to use extant music in the film,” the end result is (thankfully) the same: John Williams eventually got the gig and cinema was changed forever.

But what could have been. No "Duel of the Fates", for starters, and most certainly a less memorable soundtrack in 1977’s Star Wars. But, whether it was the original plan or not, Lucas and Williams were eventually singing from the same sheet.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.