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Star Wars Music Minute

Mar 14, 2022

Guest: Alex Cunningham

In minutes 101-105 of A New hope, our rebel friends attend a briefing, rev up their engines backstage, and get ready for showtime on the Death Star. Today's guest is Alex Cunningham, who raises interesting questions about the diegesis of Obi-Wan's voice, the timing of the PA voices, and General Dodonna's accent. 

Discussion Guide:

  • 00:00 - Hello there!
  • 10:14 - Does Luke literally experience Obi-Wan's voice?
  • 18:57 - Subjectivity and objectivity in music/language.
  • 25:41 - Dodonna's microaggression toward Princess Leia?
  • 35:28 - Acting then (1977) versus now.
  • 46:15 - Sinking realization.
  • 50:12 - What do you think about Biggs?
  • 59:04 - A beautiful minute of engines roaring.
  • 1:06:51 - Are the PA voices too perfectly timed with the cuts?
  • 1:16:45 - "I'd never want to be an ill-behaved guest, but I was kind of curious..."
  • 1:27:53 - Gnarliest violin spot in the Star Wars score?
  • 1:33:19 - Examples from pop/rock music that remind Alex of these minutes.
  • 1:41:20 - SWMM Questionnaire

Things Mentioned:

Where Are We in the Soundtrack?

  • Very beginning of "The Battle Of Yavin (Launch From The Fourth Moon/X-Wings Draw Fire/Use The Force")


1. In exactly 3 words, what does Star Wars sound like?

  • John. Ben. James. (Shoutout to Nani from Triad of the Force for saying this answer first.)

2. What's something related to Star Wars music or sound that you want to learn more about?

  • Alex would love to ask Ben Burtt what other sound designers he admires.

3. What's a score or soundtrack you're fond of besides anything Star Wars?

  • Akira (composed by Geinoh Yamashirogumi)
  • Runner-up: The Harder They Come (primarily featuring Jimmy Cliff)

Alex Cunningham:


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