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Wednesday, 14 July, 1999, 10:42 GMT 11:42 UK
Scoring a Star Wars success
The Phantom Menace score is Williams' latest composition
The Phantom Menace score is Williams' latest composition
As the UK prepares for the long-awaited release of the latest Star Wars film, the BBC's Charles Rhodes speaks to composer John Williams - one of Hollywood's legendary figures.

Star Wars
The Force has certainly been with John Williams in a career spanning five decades and five Oscars.

He has written the soundtracks to many of the most successful movies of all time, and now his latest score is for The Phantom Menace.

Prolific: Williams has composed music for more than 80 films
Prolific: Williams has composed music for more than 80 films
The chances are that you can hum at least one of his tunes. After all, he has written the music for more than 80 films.

He has been providing Hollywood soundracks for more than 20 years, from Fiddler on the Roof - for which he he won his first Oscar - through to Jaws, Close Encounters and the latest Star Wars epic.

Williams, whose other film scores include Schindler's List, Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan, says he has particularly enjoyed working on the Star Wars films.

"I've always felt that writing themes for these little characters is great fun. The melodic identification of each one of the participants can be a great challenge for the composer," he says.

Darth Vader: Williams' favourite Star Wars character
Darth Vader: Williams' favourite Star Wars character
He says there is a "veritable zoo of creatures" in The Phantom Menace, giving him great opportunities.

As for Williams' favourite character in the Star Wars films, he adds: "I always think of Darth Vader, the arch villian and supreme baddie of the universe."

The Phantom Menace is released in the UK at 0001 BST on 15 July with many cinemas hoping to screen it in the early hours on Friday morning to satisfy the fans.

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The BBC's Charles Rhodes: "Fans will soon be humming the latest version of the Star Wars theme"
See also:

22 Jun 99 | Entertainment
UK set for all-night Star Wars
12 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Star Wars hailed best film
14 Jul 99 | Americas
Church blasts 'new age' Star Wars
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