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Star Wars Music Minute

Jun 3, 2022

Composer Christina Ward joins Xanthe for a detailed listen and analysis of minutes 71-75 of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which starts with the crew landing on Kessel and ends with L3 liberating a droid.


  • 00:00 - Hello there!
  • 05:39 - All roads lead back to the Empire.
  • 11:15 - Where the music abruptly changes, Baroque vibes, Enigma Variations, Britten, large interval leaps, unified instrument sections
  • 22:02 - Qi'ra and the gang walk out to greet the Pykes. Music leaves space for dialogue.
  • 24:53 - Jaws-esque half steps.
  • 27:49 - Sparkly Main Theme for chance cubes shot.
  • 29:30 - Rooting (but not rooting) for Han and Qi'ra.
  • 33:48 - Buildup before they break their disguises. Contrary motion.
  • 42:38 - The droid that steals the show!
  • 47:35 - Composers conveying instructions to performers. How would we notate this droid sound?
  • 55:02 - Humor, Qi'ra, "murder complete."
  • 1:00:35 - The beginning of "Mine Mission" is curious, hopeful.
  • 1:07:48 - Listeners with good droid ears, what do you think the droid is saying?
  • 1:08:40 - Liberation, liberation, liberation, liberation!
  • 1:10:45 - Final thoughts about minutes 71-75 of Solo.
  • 1:14:49 - SWMM Questionnaire

Things to Check Out:

Musical Themes:

  • 5. The Gang
  • 9. Fakery
  • 1a. Main Theme (A Section)
  • 1. Young Han Solo (Heroic, comp. JW)
  • 8. L3-37

Where are we in the soundtrack?:

  • "Oksana Floren, yadda yadda yadda (4M30A)" - pretty much the whole track
  • "Mine Mission" - first 40 seconds
  • "Extra Deluxe Mine Mission (4M30B-5M30C-31)"



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

  • Heartfelt. Direct. Dramatic.

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

  • What are the thematic relationships that tie the dark side with Imperialism, musically speaking? Similarly, what musical relationships tie the light side with rebellion and goodness?

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

  • Dune (music composed by Hans Zimmer, sound team led by Mark Mangini and Theo Green)


Guest: Christina Ward


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