Monday Apr 10, 2023

ESB 22: An Editor’s Film (Minutes 106-110 with Dan Golding)

Dan Golding is here to discuss minutes 106-110 of The Empire Strikes Back! We talk about Ben Burtt's frustrations, intense pedal points, a nasal brass canon, free fanfares, Empire being an "editor's film," and how the music is "meanwhile" (sounds strange, but it'll make sense when you listen to the episode). 😅


  • 0:00 - Hello there!
  • 7:05 - Ben Burtt's frustrations, Irvin Kershner's on-set mic, David Prowse's fitness book, and other delights from Alan Arnold's Journal of the Making of Empire Strikes Back.
  • 17:51 - Cool tunnel. Gareth Edwards's "indie hour."
  • 22:42 - Misty, foggy, smoky.
  • 29:13 - Empire is an editor's film.
  • 30:39 - Meanwhile...
  • 43:14 - Dark Side motif and a high, strained tuba.
  • 50:04 - Force buzz.
  • 1:10:09 - Luke's little chaos clarinet.
  • 1:17:59 - Ben Burtt on creating the wind sounds.
  • 1:29:26 - Canon with nasal, muted brass, stressed, compressed Yoda's theme.
  • 1:38:39 - Lando, from cad to hero.
  • 1:50:29 - Harmonic fudge?
  • 2:00:32 - Han and Leia theme sounds different here, for many reasons.
  • 2:09:47 - Willrow Hood sighting.
  • 2:11:00 - A fanfare for free.
  • 2:21:39 - "Wonderful!" Rhythm restored. Earnest strings. G pedal point.
  • 2:30:45 - Use of Han and Leia's theme in The Force Awakens trailer.
  • 2:37:52 - Pseudo Dies Irae.
  • 2:40:00 - Return of the pedal. Jazzy voicings.
  • 2:49:18 - Shoutout to Dennis Hamm.
  • 3:00:39 - 15 Second Rule.
  • 3:07:26 - A surprise in the very final frame of these minutes.
  • 3:16:02 - SWMM Questionnaire

Things to Check Out:


  • 11M1 "Through The Window"

Musical Themes:

  • Imperial March (Theme)
  • Dark Side (Motif)
  • Chromatic Knell
  • Yoda (A Section)
  • Cloud City (Lando's Palace)
  • Han & Leia (A)

Where are we in the soundtrack?:

  • "The Clash of Lightsabers"



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

  • New answer: Elegant musical storytelling.
  • Previous answers: Nimble orchestral nostalgia. Mythic orchestral memory.

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

  • New answer: The unreleased music (and alternate cues, etc).
  • Previous answers: What will Natalie Holt's soundtrack for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series sound like? Given all the new directions that various Star Wars scores have gone since John Williams was at the helm (ex. Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, etc), will we ever return to the original sort of orchestral sound?

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

  • New answer: Fleishman Is in Trouble (composed by Caroline Shaw)
  • Previous answers: Watership Down (composed by Angela Morley) and Vertigo (composed by Bernard Herrmann).


Guest: Dan Golding


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