…Williams, responsible for many of the most famous scores of all time for films such as Star Wars, ET, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Superman and Harry Potter, was in playful form accepting the honor at Thursday night’s gala, held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.
…Over the course of his 60-year career in film, John Williams has racked up 50 Oscar nominations (the most of any living person) and five wins. Yet upon first learning that the American Film Institute wanted to bestow its 2016 life achievement award upon him, the 84-year-old composer thought: “I’m really too young for something like this.”
…To huge laughs from the audience, he revealed that for the first Star Wars, he had initially written a “quite heated love theme” with “a torrid climax” for Luke and Leia, only to later find out that they were siblings. He also recalled an instance during which he pleaded with Steven Spielberg to find “a better composer than I” for Schindler’s List, to which the film-maker replied: “I know, but they’re all dead.” Williams would go on to win his fifth Oscar for that score.
…“Certainly Beethoven would have shunned [Hollywood],” Williams also joked, “but Wagner would have had his own studio out there in Burbank with a water tower with a big W on it.”