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Star Wars Music Minute

Nov 22, 2021

IF YOU'RE NEW HERE: You're in the right place! On this podcast, we nerd out on the music & sound of Star Wars 5 cinematic minutes at a time. This season, each episode hyper-focuses on a single 5-minute chunk of A New Hope. Doing so allows us to get really specific about the composition, orchestration, motifs, underscore, ambience, sound design, mixing, dialogue, and most importantly, explore how the sound works in symbiosis with the film as a whole.

You don't need to listen to these episodes in order, so feel free to jump around! This episode is also available on YouTube in video format. 

Discussion Guide:

  • 0:00:00 - Hello there.
  • 0:02:31 - Layers of sound in Luke's garage.
  • 0:06:59 - Luke's interactions with the droids and what that indicates about his character.
  • 0:12:20 - Threepio introduces himself to Luke. Does he make a dirty joke?
  • 0:17:06 - Threepio sounds so self-deprecating.
  • 0:18:00 - Zap! Bloop! Cello. "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi; you're my only hope."
  • 0:19:18 - Hologram message looping but artfully mixed in and out.
  • 0:20:30 - We discuss the "bigness"/drama of the cello entrance (sound clip example). This is "The Princess Appears" on the soundtrack.
  • 0:21:34 - Leia's theme (and the difficulty thereof).
  • 0:25:36 - Context matters when it comes to evaluating the impact/drama of musical cues.
  • 0:27:54 - Parallel to Luke in his hut on Ahch-To in The Last Jedi.
  • 0:29:00 - Cat bomb.
  • 0:29:46 - Orchestration of Leia's theme while the hologram plays. Lots of beautiful space for the dialogue to lay on top. Orchestration as "pre-mixing."
  • 0:35:26 - Recitative (the sung-style of dialogue in opera).
  • 0:38:29 - Artoo is the smartest in the room.
  • 0:39:09 - "Where'd she go? Bring her back! Play back the entire message!"
  • 0:40:41 - The quirkiness of old robots (like R2) running on the same hardware and software. Aiden has a robot.
  • 0:42:45 - Aiden talks about showing his robot Star Wars and how the robot tries to mimic Artoo and the soundtrack...
  • 0:47:57 - Moving on to the Lars kitchen, comparing the ambient hums in the kitchen and garage.
  • 0:55:00 - Our different relationships with scores/soundtracks, consumption habits, etc.
  • 1:01:11 - Threepio name drops Obi-Wan Kenobi and Captain Antilles. Worldbuilding.
  • 1:03:21 - Dialogue between Uncle Owen and Luke (while Aunt Beru watches and gives looks).
  • 1:06:55 - Luke's personality, adventure-seeking, quick buy-in to the Force. Do gullible people take to the Force the most?
  • 1:12:33 - Star Wars Minute podcast references.
  • 1:15:54 - Shazam test.
  • 1:17:18 - SWMM Questionnaire.
  • 1:23:15 - Cat bomb.

Musical Themes:

  • 4. Leia
  • Note: For consistency, I use the theme names and numbers established in Frank Lehman's Complete Catalogue of the Musical Themes of Star Wars. You can download it free at his website:

Where we are in the soundtrack album:

  • "The Princess Appears"
  • "Hologram/Binary Sunset"

Shazam test:

  • "Sector 12" by Marsfinder
  • "Who Am I" by Marsfinder
  • "Daft Fader (Original Mix)" by DJ Phully
  • "Alot More" by Jett I Masstyr
  • "Tron, Clu, & R2D2" by DJ Digital Josh
  • "Luke Skywalker" by MISTER



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

  • Expansive. Dramatic. Romantic.

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

  • R2-D2.

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

  • TRON (composed by Wendy Carlos)


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