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5 awesome scores that prove John Powell is the perfect Han Solo composer

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It's been announced that John Powell will be writing the score for Ron Howard's Han Solo movie. He will become only the second person to score a Star Wars theatrical release outside of John Williams (Michael Giacchino scored Rogue One).

The latest Star Wars anthology spin-off features Alden Ehrenreich as the young Solo and was recently embroiled in controversy when original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were let go by LucasFilm.

Nevertheless Howard looks to have swiftly got things back on track. Here are five Powell scores that prove why he's an excellent choice to join the Star Wars universe...

The Bourne trilogy (2002 – 2007)

So we've cheated a little bit here by rolling three scores into one. Even so, there's no denying the instantly influential tone of Powell's espionage soundtracks, pulsating with dynamic strings, carefully deployed electronics and a whole host of thunderous percussion.

Powell arguably re-wrote the sound of the 21st century action movie, hardwiring us into the fraught, adrenaline-fuelled nature of Jason Bourne's adventures. Given the explosive level of energy these scores demonstrate, the broad space opera canvas of Star Wars should really allow Powell to open the taps.

How to Train Your Dragon 1 & 2 (2010, 2014)

Star Wars of course needs musical energy. It also needs wide-eyed wonderment and awe. Powell's magnificent animated duo has spectacle and emotion in droves, a whimsical, full-blooded Celtic extravaganza that utilises thunderous orchestra, sweeping string arrangements and large scale choir to pull us into the world of humans and dragons.

The first Dragon soundtrack saw Powell rewarded with his first Oscar nomination, although the second was shamefully ignored. Truthfully, these scores contain all the heart and joy we want to hear in Powell's Star Wars soundtrack.


X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

No, it's not the best X-Men movie but it has possibly the best score in the series outside of Michael Kamen's original. Powell's characteristic, energetic orchestrations are very much in evidence as he unleashes apocalyptic choral forces to depict the pivotal battle between two groups of mutants. He even introduces a whole host of new themes including a memorably powerful one for Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix (Famke Janssen).


Endurance (1999)

One of Powell's earliest scores is one of his most emotional and beautiful. Endurance is the sensitively told story of Ethiopian Olympic medal winner Haile Gebrselassie, and with its dazzling around of musical textures Powell brilliantly pulls us into the dedicated character's mindset. It proves that Powell can populate his scores will all manner of memorable flourishes, which should bode well for the various planets and creatures featuring in the Han Solo movie.


Happy Feet (2006)

The Han Solo movie is poised to throw us a few curveballs, not least because it introduces us to the early years of cinema's most famous space cowboy. We can expect a whole host of new environments and characters to be introduced, so we'd expect the score to likewise showcase a sense of humour and quirkiness. With his orchestral/samba/pop-infused powerhouse soundtrack for animated hit Happy Feet, Powell again cements his position as the perfect choice to tackle the Star Wars universe.

Got a favourite John Powell soundtrack of your own? Let us know @Cineworld.