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Natalie Holt is the first female composer for the Star Wars franchise

In its 45 years of history, this is the first time Star Wars has a female composer for a live-action project with Natalie Holt working for “Obi-Wan Kenobi”.

I think it’s impossible to be a Star Wars fan and not be hyped for ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’, while not all of us are fans of the prequels, it’s fair to say that one of the best parts of that trilogy is how Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) interacted with each other.

While this series marks the return for both actors to the series, it also has a historical landmark for the series with Natalie Holt being the first female composer for a live-action project in the Star Wars franchise.

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Who is Natalie Holt?

Natalie Holt is a British composer and violinist most known for her work in Paddington (2014) and Loki (2021), the latter being described in the Washington Post as delivering “a suspenseful and mysterious vibe while providing Marvel’s horned menace with a theme song that might just be the MCU’s best”.

She worked with Martin Phipps in 2012 on Great Expectations, which was nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Score. Holt went on to co-compose with Phipps for the BBC drama The Honourable Woman, for which they jointly won the 2015 Ivor Novello Award for Best Television Soundtrack and were nominated again for a BAFTA. They collaborated again in 2017 for Victoria, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the category of “Outstanding Music Composition for a Series”.

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Holt can also be heard in HBO Max’s Batgirl, Fox’s The Princess, and Elizabeth Bank’s film Cocaine Bear for Universal.

Did Natalie Holt and John Williams work together?

They didn’t.

Nevertheless, Williams hadn’t written a theme for Obi-Wan, making him the only legacy character he hadn’t written a theme for. According to Holt, he spoke to Lucasfilm’s president Kathleen Kennedy and said he wanted to write a theme for him, so he did.

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There’s also a lot of inspiration from William’s work in the Star Wars franchise, with “elements to the show that are new and fresh” said Holt in an interview with Vanity Fair, “and I’ve been able to have my own interpretation with elements—that I can’t reveal. So it’s been glorious, working with my hero and also bringing my own voice to the show.”

Holt has explained that the score is emotional, and it has its roots in Star Wars (a little more than The Mandalorian does). Done with a collection of 250 horns and flutes, but also blending the orchestra (the same orchestra that John Williams uses), with more modern synths sounds as well. It’s a mix of what we’re used to hearing, with a few new elements.

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Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to have its two-episode premiere on May 27th, 2022, and I cannot wait!

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