"More than any other score of the Silver Age of cinema, Star Wars revived the epic style of the Golden Age with large orchestras, grand themes and sweeping imagination. John Williams – who had worked through the '60s under the name of Johnny, penning pop and jazz-influenced scores in the Mancini vein – began to dabble in epic scoring with Irwin Allen's disaster flicks, and he really came on strong with Jaws. In the 18-month period spanning 1977 and 1978, however, Williams made his mark with Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Wars and Superman. The Star Wars score (like the movie itself) is a throwback to a more innocent age of sci-fi cinema –to space operas of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. The Star Wars score sounds as if the paranoia of alien abduction horrors ('50s/'60s) and post-apocalyptic dystopian nightmares ('60s/'70s) never even happened."
– from Chapter 5: Sci-Fidelity and the Superhero Spectrum of Kristopher Spencer’s Film and Television Scores, 1950-1979