Here’s some news worthy of fanfare: John Williams will return to compose the music for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced today.

The news came out of Star Wars Celebration Europe II, a fan gathering in Messe Essen, Germany. The video above played for the crowd immediately after she revealed his participation in the intensely anticipated followup to Return of the Jedi.

Williams says he hasn’t learned any story details for the film, which is the way he prefers to work. “I’m waiting anxiously like the audience around the world to find out what the surprises are, and discover what my continued role is going to be,” Williams says.

The 81-year-old said the 47-year-old Abrams seems “for me, very young,” but praised his expertise. “He’s also very experienced. He’s had some great success with large-scale projects which are very difficult logistically and mechanically and photographically,” Williams said.

As a veteran of many Spielberg films, Williams has a long history with Kennedy, and said he’s grateful they are taking over for George Lucas on the Star Wars legacy.

“You couldn’t find better candidates for this opportunity,” he added.

Many fans were hoping the five-time Oscar-winner might return, after scoring all of the previous Star Wars films (and winning one of those Academy Awards for his music from the first one.) But it wasn’t certain. Abrams has his own favorite Oscar-winning composer, Michael Giacchino, who has worked on everything from the Star Trek reboots to Super 8 and Abrams’ Lost and Alias TV shows.

Perhaps someday the torch will be passed, but for now Williams is still carrying it forward into that galaxy far away.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)Carrie Fisher as Leia
Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens
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