ANH 16: Orchestration Wars (Minutes 76-80)


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A discussion about the music and sound in minutes 76-80 of #StarWars Episode IV: A New Hope, which starts with the rescue of Princess Leia and ends with jumping into the garbage chute. Today's guest is composer & music technologist Jeremy Sawruk. We discuss #JohnWilliams' detailed underscore, which features chromatic mediants, motion in thirds, harmonic tension building, and interesting orchestration choices.

Things Mentioned:


  • 4) Martial Rhythm
  • 2. Rebel Fanfare
  • 4. Leia
  • 1a. Main Theme (A Section)
  • 6a. Imperials (Motif)


  • "Wookiee Prisoner/Detention Block Ambush"
  • "Shootout in the Cell Bay/Dianoga"
  • "The Princess Appears"


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

  • Opera without words

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

  • Musical / orchestrational “filler”
  • Sound effects and foley

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

  • Older score: North by Northwest by Bernard Herrmann
  • Newer score: Loki by Natalie Holt
  • Other John Williams score: Catch Me If You Can

Jeremy Sawruk:

Star Wars Music Minute:


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