While Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was mostly ignored in the top categories by the Academy this morning, that was not the case for tunesmith John Williams. He was nominated for Best Original Score for the movie. That makes the 52nd Oscar nomination of his storied career, bettering his tally for most noms for anyone still here on planet Earth. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker also got noms for Visual Effects and Sound Editing.
Williams has won the Oscar five times — the original Star Wars, Schindler’s List, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, Jaws and Fiddler On The Roof — and this becomes the sixth time he has won or been nominated for a Star Wars film in an unprecedented list of nominations that goes back to 1968’s Valley of the Dolls. Only the late Walt Disney had more nominations: he won 22 of the 59 Oscars he was nominated for. To put Williams’ record in perspective, the most acting nominations record belongs to Meryl Streep, with 21 noms and three wins.
Original Score is a stacked category this year, and Williams will have his work cut out for him. He is up against Hildur Guonadottir for her brooding Joker score, Alexandre Desplat for Little Women, Randy Newman for Marriage Story, and Thomas Newman for 1917. All of those competitors in the Best Original Score field are up for Best Picture, which could swing attention and momentum toward those films. Will The Force be with Williams again? Who is going to bet against him?