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How Iconic Themes for ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Rocky’ and ‘Charlie Brown’ Get Reboots

7 January 2016 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

John Williams’ themes from “Star Wars” and “Jurassic Park.” Bill Conti’s “Rocky” fanfare. Vince Guaraldi’s music for TV’s “Charlie Brown” cartoons. The John Barry arrangement of Monty Norman’s “James Bond Theme.” Lalo Schifrin’s “Mission: Impossible.”

These are iconic film and TV themes, and viewers of today’s sequels, spinoffs and franchises might well feel cheated if they didn’t hear the music that is so indelibly associated with these franchises. But where to use them? And how to adapt them into a larger, original score?

That was the challenge faced by several composers this past year, only one of whom was actually working with his own themes: the venerable John Williams, who has been composing for more than half a century and whose original “Star Wars” music was written 38 years ago.

Williams returned to George Lucas’ sci-fi mythology for a seventh time in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens, »

- Jon Burlingame

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