Monday Apr 17, 2023

ESB 23: First Force Foray (Minutes 111-115 with Camila Quiñones)

If you play The Empire Strikes Back backwards, will you hear the wind whispering "Luke?" Are the gentle climaxes on Cloud City byproducts of calculated sensory deprivation? How does John Williams convey Luke's emotional state and connect Leia to the Force? Today's guest is Camila Quiñones -- writer, host of Beings of the Galaxy podcast, and one of my favorite people to talk Star Wars with. This is ESB minutes 110-115, in which Vader delivers the father reveal and Leia senses Luke through the Force.

Video version of this episode: 


  • 0:00 - Hello there!
  • 2:26 - Empire Strikes Back table read.
  • 11:34 - Playful, inquisitive trickle of music between Vader's dialogue.
  • 17:23 - Simmering pot.
  • 21:45 - Intensity of the wind.
  • 26:35 - Creative confidence.
  • 34:21 - What would you do if you were in Luke's position? Save your friends or continue training?
  • 40:21 - The Force in The High Republic.
  • 43:40 - Hungarian minor violin vamp (Luke is screwed!)
  • 46:25 - The music clearly marks Luke's choice.
  • 53:22 - Anakin, Luke, oppression, rebellion.
  • 58:21 - Is the wind whispering "Luke?"
  • 1:01:05 - Falling, tumbling music stretched out over an impressively long time.
  • 1:07:39 - Spurious physics claims.
  • 1:13:11 - Chordal knots. A Train Is Coming.
  • 1:19:10 - Music amplifying Luke's persistence. Last ditch effort.
  • 1:23:14 - "Ben. Ben. Ben." Then "Leia" lands on an unexpected note.
  • 1:25:55 - Is this the first time we hear the Force theme in direct connection to Leia?
  • 1:32:04 - Sadness in this Force theme. Dirge-like quality.
  • 1:34:08 - Question for people who watched ESB in theaters in 1980. (Are we being naive?)
  • 1:40:52 - Vader's dialogue changed in Special Edition.
  • 1:43:22 - Pseudo Bald Mountain strings.
  • 1:48:24 - Final thoughts about these minutes.
  • 1:52:21 - Question for Camila as a screenwriter: What do you think of the way that Leia is written?
  • 1:59:36 - Princess and the Scoundrel (novel by Beth Revis).
  • 2:04:47 - SWMM Questionnaire

Things to Check Out:


  • 12M1 "Losing A Hand"
  • 12M2 "To Hyper-Space" ??

Musical Themes:

  • Imperial March (Theme)
  • Boba Fett Derived Motif 2 (Trouble in Bespin)
  • Force
  • Dark Side (Ostinato)
  • Dark Side (Melody)
  • Pseudo-Bald Mountain

Where are we in the soundtrack?:

  • "Rescue from Cloud City/Hyperspace"



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

  • Tragedy. Adventure. Wisdom. (Previously: Majesty. Hope. Tragedy.)

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

  • How do the sound design and score elements come together? (Previously: The difference between sound editing and sound mixing.)

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

  • Succession, composed by Nicholas Britell. (Previously: The Batman, composed by Michael Giacchino)


Camila Quiñones


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