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Star Wars Music Minute

Apr 8, 2022

Let's get into that "Train Heist" cue with Dr. Frank Lehman! In this episode, we discuss the sheer density of the Solo score, modulation as an effective tool to generate intensity (Frank counted 21 key changes in 5 minutes), Powell's dramatic usage of driving percussion, and the orchestration details that feel like "Williams's unique fingerprints but with a Powell filter." Then, we dig into what is arguably the most surprising part of this entire score: the music for Enfys Nest, which features Bulgarian singing. Needless to say, there are tons of musical happenings in minutes 31-35 of Solo: A Star Story!

Discussion Guide:

  • 00:00 - Hello there!
  • 01:21 - What stands out to you, on a big picture level, in these minutes?
  • 03:22 - 21 key changes
  • 07:34 - Listening to the beginning of the train heist scene
  • 14:58 - Is "Train Heist" a set piece theme?
  • 19:00 - Talking "Corellia Chase", Zimmerisms, percussion obbligato, piano arrangement, etc
  • 29:19 - Lush, planing, chromatic string part foreshadowing Chicken in the Pot?
  • 39:16 - Beckett's Gang theme in diminution.
  • 44:26 - Imperials motif in parallel 6ths with dissonant bass chords
  • 51:26 - Symbolism, meaning, controversy of certain themes (Imperials, Main Theme) showing up in later movies
  • 1:02:21 - Making sense of the Enfys Nest themes.
  • 1:12:40 - Bulgarian folk music deep dive, where it fits into a Western entertainment context
  • 1:52:13 - Did any Solo themes show up in The Book of Boba Fett? (Crimson Dawn, etc), theme speculation, etc
  • 2:01:04 - SWMM Questionnaire

Things to Check Out:

Musical Themes:

  • The Gang
  • Young Han (Heroic)
  • Imperials (motif)
  • Enfys Nest 1
  • Enfys Nest 2
  • possibly the Droids motif from ESB

Where Are We in the Soundtrack?

  • "Train Heist"
  • "Marauders Arrive"
  • "Deluxe Train Heist (2M15-16A-B-C)"



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

  • Previous answers:
    • Dissonant pedal notes.
    • Minor planing triads.
  • New answer: vaguely remembered music

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

  • Previous answers:
    • What we're musically in store for as Star Wars moves onto the next chapters of its development.
    • Also: What was the actual score to Episode IX supposed to be (before changes)?
  • New answer: Who will be main composer for the Kenobi series?

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

  • Previous answer: Star Trek: The Motion Picture  (1979) (composed by Jerry Goldsmith)
  • New answer: Severance (series) (composed by Theodore Shapiro)

Guest: Frank Lehman


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