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Star Wars Music Minute

May 1, 2021

How can music and sound assist the transitions in a film? In this episode, we take 10 cuts/transitions from The Last Jedi and examine what's happening musically. Spoiler: There are lots of timpani rolls!

Main Points:

  • Terms Explained: mix, transition, crescendo, riser, volume axis vs. pitch axis, timpani, sustained, music bed, single note vs. chord
  • 10 Transitions:
    1. 1:00:40 - Luke and Rey in Cave --> Flashback dark ext. shot of temple
    2. 1:00:48 - Dark ext shot --> Luke standing over Ben
    3. 1:00:53 - Temple crumbling --> blackout --> Luke kneeling with temple in flames
    4. 1:01:20 - Luke kneeling by R2, lip quivering "But it was me. I failed..." --> Back to POV Rey and Luke in the temple
    5. 1:02:02 - Cave Rey says "You didn't fail Kylo. He failed you. I won't." --> ext. shot of space battle stuff
    6. 1:02:18 - Ext. space battle stuff --> interior of the Supremacy
    7. 1:02:32 - int. Supremacy --> various space battle stuff
    8. 1:02:42 - Pilot looking at hologram Holdo --> Holdo looking at hologram pilot
    9. 1:03:05 - Cut to exterior of Canto Bight prison
    10. 1:03:10 - Exterior to interior of the jail.
    11. 1:04:50 - Bonus! The moment Rose and Finn decide to chase after DJ.
  • 3 Transition Techniques:
    • Swell
    • Timpani in / timpani out
    • Single sustained notes

Themes Referenced (in order of appearance): Luke and Leia, Han and Leia, Imperial March (tease), Rey's theme, a Rebel fanfare?

Where we are in the soundtrack: "Who Are You?"

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