As the release date for Obi-Wan Kenobi–the stand-alone Disney+ show starring Ewan McGregor — gets closer and closer, more details about the production are being revealed. One of those is the identity of the composer for the series, Natalie Holt.
Holt, who is making history as the first woman to compose for Star Wars, spoke to Vanity Fair about the working process and what it was like to collaborate with John Williams. The music in the short Obi-Wan Kenobi preview is from 1999’s The Phantom Menace — a theme composed by Williams — and so far, we haven’t heard what Holt’s got in store for the Star Wars series. But much like the composer Ludwig Göransson helped bring about a new sound for The Mandalorian, Holt is excited to bring her own unique flair to Star Wars.
This is far from her first spin at genre theme music; Holt was the composer behind Loki’s ticking-clocks and timeline-breaking spacial sirens. She brought her training as a classical violinist to the epic Star Wars score, eager to compose on an orchestral scale. She confirms in the Vanity Fair interview that she’s playing on the score herself, adding in some violin and viola tracks, as well as singing.
When asked about working with WIlliams, Holt is incredibly flattering; she’s obviously excited and thrilled to be collaborating with a legend. She mentions that Williams was actually the one to write Obi-Wan’s theme song, as “John hadn’t written a theme for because [the character] died quite early on in A New Hope. It’s the only legacy character that he hadn’t done.” Williams apparently went to visit Kathleen Kennedy, the current Lucasfilm president, and said to her, “I just want to write Benny a theme.”
Holt said that theme provided the background for her own work, which also includes almost 250 horns and flutes, including a hunting horn that became emblematic of the music that follows the Inquisitors. “We’re also blending the orchestra with some more modern synths sounds as well,” Holt told the magazine. “It’s definitely what we’re used to and a few new elements.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi arrives on Disney+ May 27.
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Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.