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ON JOHN WILLIAMS & JURASSIC WORLD

Though the ship has likely sailed, it would be truly special if one J.W. could make some small contribution to the other.

TO SAY GOODBYE

To say that I wanted John Williams to return for Jurassic World is to make one of the most extreme understatements of all time. I was gutted when it was announced that he wouldn’t be coming back — gutted, but not entirely devastated. Michael Giacchino, I was convinced, would be a worthy successor, and while I’m definitely not fond of everything he brought to the table, Giacchino proved, in general, to be just that.

Battered and bruised though it was, however, my hope was never quite extinguished, and while the realist in me believes that the ship likely sailed for John Williams with Jurassic World, it was to he that my thoughts inevitably turned when it was confirmed that there would be a sequel. All too soon, however, said hope was dealt a second — this time fatal — blow, as, in December 2016, Jurassic World 2 was listed among Giacchino’s upcoming projects.

Though I took the news with a grain of salt at the time, Giacchino’s involvement has since been definitively confirmed. Realistically, it was to be expected, and, as I said, he did prove himself a worthy, if flawed, successor with Jurassic World. Unable to help feeling just as gutted as I did last time, I accepted it, and — with the hope that he might allude to Williams’s work a little more this time around — began to look forward to what Giacchino will deliver.

I’m still looking forward to it, but, recently, there came some news that — though nowhere near enough to resurrect it — summoned the ghost of my shattered hope.

Speaking to Variety, Williams announced that he’ll write the theme for the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story, with John Powell composing the rest of the score. You can probably guess where my mind went when I read that…

Now, here’s the thing: there’s a very obvious rebuttal to this. Williams has already provided an iconic, overarching, and completely wonderful theme for Jurassic, and it’s likely said theme will be referenced, in some form, in Fallen Kingdom. Anticipation of this very argument, in fact, is why I wrote ‘something similar’ in my Tweet. Similar, but not identical.

Though he could just as easily compose a kick-ass theme for that ‘secret’ dinosaur everyone’s so interested in, my ideal scenario would be for Williams to provide a reworking of his original theme, something sombre, melancholy, speaking to the end of Isla Nublar and its wonders.

In spectacular, breathtaking fashion, Williams helped introduce us to Nublar — to me, it seems fitting that he should be given the opportunity to help us say goodbye (if, of course, he wishes to.)

As with so many things, I have my fingers firmly crossed.

A WORTHY SUCCESSOR

Given that this article deals with the music of Jurassic, I thought I’d include something, here at the end, about which I was going to write a separate piece a few months ago, but never quite got around to. Back in October, Michael Giacchino celebrated his fiftieth birthday. To mark the occasion, a special concert was held at London’s Royal Albert Hall (venue of the phenomenal Jurassic Park in Concert). Said concert featured live performances of various examples of Giacchino’s work, and, pleasantly, Jurassic World was included.

More than anything so-far, this performance reinforced my faith that Giacchino has the potential to do right by Jurassic.

One of my foremost criticisms of Jurassic World’s soundtrack is that, often, the best parts are lost beneath what I personally consider to be needless accoutrements. In the above video, you can really hear the individual parts that make up the whole, and they are, without exaggeration, excellent — to say nothing of the massive impact of the more prevalent choral sections. Just listen to that ending!

Now more than ever, I can’t wait for June.


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