Friday May 05, 2023

ESB 25: Empire Strikes Back Season Highlights (Minutes 121-125)

Chrysanthe covers minutes 121-125, answers listener questions, and shares their 30 takeaways, trends, surprises, and highlights from The Empire Strikes Back season of Star Wars Music Minute. This is part 1 of a 2-part season finale!

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⭐️ Patreon/Discord server: 



  • 0:00 - Hello there!
  • 1:51 - Minutes 121-125.
  • 23:47 - 30 takeaways, trends, surprises, & highlights from this season.
  • 1:55:06 - Listener questions.
    • 1:55:24 What new tools, techniques, approaches, or critical lenses did you encounter this season?
    • 1:59:46 Do you think the Death Star and/or Imperials motif should have returned for ESB?
    • 2:02:59 - The critical consensus remains that ESB is the best Star Wars film. Is it the best sounding Star Wars film too?
    • 2:03:39 - How did the (music) writing change from ANH to ESB, and what surprised you the most about it?
    • 2:07:30 - What kinds of guests and/or voices do you want on future seasons of the show?
    • 2:12:08 - How did you go about arranging the dense "Asteroid Field" cue?
  • 2:36:20 - In exactly 3 words, what does Star Wars sound like (according to all the guests this season)?
  • 2:39:15 - Acknowledgements

Things to Check Out:


  • 12M2 "To Hyper-Space"
  • 12M3 "Finale"

Musical Themes:

  • Force
  • Han & Leia (A)
  • Main Theme (A Section)
  • Rebel Fanfare
  • Descending Heroic Tetrachords
  • Yoda (A Section)
  • Yoda (B Section)
  • Imperial March (Theme)
  • Imperial March (Vamp)

Where are we in the soundtrack?:

  • "Yoda And The Force"
  • "The Rebel Fleet/End Title"



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

  • ESB answer: Filigree, fanfares, flow.
  • SOLO answer: Intricate orchestral storytelling.
  • ANH answer: The Cosmic Force.

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

  • ESB answer: Is there an internal "sonic style guide" at Lucasfilm or Skywalker Sound that's specific to Star Wars? I mean even things like relative loudness of music and dialogue, a specific protocol for mic'ing or looping in aliens, etc. Especially curious if there's anything in the Star Wars style guide that goes against current industry norms.
  • SOLO answer: The working relationship between the composer and music editor.
  • ANH answer: I'm curious about how other people experience and engage with the music of Star Wars, on both a macro and micro level. I want to know how other people are making sense of it or analyzing it with frameworks different than mine. Basically, I'm interested in doing what this podcast already gives me the excuse to do -- talk to people about Star Wars music.

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

  • ESB answer: E.T. (John Williams)
  • SOLO answer: Moonrise Kingdom
  • ANH answer: There Will Be Blood (Jonny Greenwood)








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