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Star Wars Music Minute

Jul 15, 2022

The "Secrets" theme can be easy to miss, but not in minutes 101-105 of Solo: A Star Wars Story! The veil of secrecy is lifted as the "Secrets" motif cycles through a progression of revelatory chords leading to Crimson Dawn. This is one of Xanthe's favorite musical moments in the film. Alex Cunningham returns to the show to nerd out about it!

Discussion Guide:

  • 00:00 - Hello there!
  • 03:14 - Visual preview of these minutes.
  • 11:33 - What makes the buildup to the Crimson Dawn reveal so interesting?
  • 14:56 - Same pitch collection as Enfys Nest theme.
  • 17:29 - Is the instrumentation gendered?
  • 20:57 - How the harmony contributes to the buildup and reveal (plus some sweet, sweet Major 7th action).
  • 30:12 - Timbral interaction between bass singers and bass flute.
  • 32:06 - Addressing the whole Augie's Municipal Band and Emperor's Theme thingy.
  • 36:26 - Does Frank Lehman have a list of how many variants of a theme are present in each movie?
  • 45:32 - The chords matter in the "Secrets" theme. Otherwise, it's just 3 notes that arguably sound like Jurassic Park.
  • 51:09 - Brief "March of the Resistance" cameo.
  • 54:45 - Enfys Nest's accent, British accents in Star Wars for women, especially women of color.
  • 1:02:01 - Alden Ehrenreich's performance.
  • 1:07:02 - "Secrets" theme 7x: Cycling through the chord progression. (C Major, A half diminished 7, E minor, C minor, A7, Eb Major, C Major)
  • 1:17:00 - Kurosawa-esque sound design on Savareen.
  • 1:27:03 - Qi'ra's intuition about Han + the classic moviemaking time trick.
  • 1:30:24 - Different interpretations of the harp during Beckett's goodbye.
  • 1:33:56 - A critique about the Millennium Falcon takeoff sound.
  • 1:43:05 - SWMM Questionnaire

Things to Check Out:

Musical Themes:

  • 2. Rebel Fanfare
  • 7a. Enfys Nest 1
  • 48a. March of the Resistance (A Section)
  • 3. Secrets
  • 1. Young Han Solo (Heroic, comp. JW)
  • 5. The Gang

Where are we in the soundtrack(s)?:

  • "Savareen Stand-Off" & "Enfys' Stand-Off (6M35)"
  • "Qi'Ra Knows a Bit More Than Han (6M36-37-38)"



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

  • Previous answer: John. Ben. James.
  • New answer: John. Ben. James.

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

  • Previous answer: What other sound designers does Ben Burtt admire?
  • New answer: Who is on the foley team, and how do they think and talk about foley? Do they see themselves as sound designers, how do they approach their creative work?

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

  • Previous answer: Akira (composed by Geinoh Yamashirogumi), The Harder They Come (primarily featuring Jimmy Cliff)
  • New answer: Station Eleven (composed by Dan Romer)


Guest: Alex Cunningham


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