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Star Wars Music Minute

Apr 4, 2022

Justin Scheid and James Waterman join Xanthe (Band Batch reunion!) in a discussion about A NEW HOPE minutes 116-120, during which Luke Skywalker blows up the Death Star, the Rebels have an awkwardly formal medal ceremony, and Artoo recovers from being zapped.

Discussion Guide:

  • 00:00 - Hello there!
  • 07:19 - Listening to the start of these minutes.
  • 09:52 - Four drum timpani part.
  • 13:24 - Crash course in crash cymbals.
  • 24:00 - Minor Main Theme.
  • 29:45 - Analysis of the musical shift during the "Use the force, Luke" part.
  • 38:02 - What is this bassline?
  • 46:30 - Heroic descending tetrachords + us trying to figure out the beats.
  • 51:00 - Main Theme variations and the (Not) Death of Artoo.
  • 1:02:20 - Hard mallets vs. soft mallets on timpani.
  • 1:05:25 - The visual interface of the war room screen.
  • 1:10:25 - Main Theme where "all the harmonies are wrong"
  • 1:17:10 - Death Star go boom! End of the Disney ride. Happy glockenspiel.
  • 1:19:03 - Difference between glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone, marimba.
  • 1:29:27 - Feeling stressed about Artoo getting zapped in the Battle of Yavin.
  • 1:35:25 - The Throne Room AKA Star Wars Pomp and Circumstance.
  • 1:43:09 - Why is the medal ceremony so formal?
  • 1:51:15 - Is the music during the medal ceremony diegetic? A debate.
  • 2:00:09 - B section of the Main Theme that barely gets any love.
  • 2:05:40 - SWMM Questionnaire

Things Mentioned:


  • 18) Descending Heroic Tetrachords
  • 17) Heroic Determination
  • 3) Martial Chords
  • 3. Force
  • 1b. Main Theme (B Section)
  • 9. Throne Room
  • Note: 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 are we in the soundtrack?

  • "The Battle Of Yavin (Launch From The Fourth Moon/X-Wings Draw Fire/Use The Force")
  • "The Throne Room/End Title"


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

  • Justin: pew pew pew
  • James: The Band Batch

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

  • James: The idea that John Williams composes with pencil and paper. What is his writing process like? James wants to know all the little factoids.
  • Justin: How all the sound effects were made. Justin would love to be a fly on the wall while the sound designers and foley artists are doing their thing.

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

  • Justin: The village (composed by James Newton Howard)
  • James: Hereditary (composed by Colin Stetson)


THE BAND BATCH = Xanthe, James, and Justin. Join us for music commentary livestreams on YouTube whenever new Star Wars shows come out!

James Waterman

Justin Scheid


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