ANH 22: Bad Guy Elevator Music (Minutes 106-110)


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We're getting into the Battle of Yavin today with Alex and Mollie Damon (Star Wars Explained)! We talk John Williams's frenetic score, wet and squishy X-wing sounds, comms chatter, and other soundscape details from Star Wars minutes 106-110. Don't worry -- Biggs is still alive in at this time.

Note: My mic has an intermittent crackly sound for the first 10 minutes. Sorry about that! Skip to about 10:50 if you want to avoid the robot voice.

Discussion Guide:

  • 00:00 - Disclaimer
  • 00:20 - Hello there!
  • 09:30 - Can Alex name all of the Red Squadron?
  • 10:50 - Skip to here if you don't want to hear my robot crackle voice.
  • 23:40 - Force theme, fanfare-style
  • 27:20 - Descending Heroic Tetrachords
  • 39:00 - The little Imperial motif in ANH that got overshadowed by the Imperial March in ESB
  • 41:00 - Wet X-wing blasters
  • 1:10:40 - SWMM Questionnaire


  • 5. Death Star
  • 3. Force
  • 18) Descending Heroic Tetrachords
  • 17) Heroic Determination
  • Note: I use the theme names and numbers established in Frank Lehman's Complete Catalogue of the Musical Themes of Star Wars. You can download it free at his website:

Soundtrack: "The Battle Of Yavin (Launch From The Fourth Moon/X-Wings Draw Fire/Use The Force")


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

  • Mollie: Hope, bravery, curiosity.
  • Alex: bwaaap tscheww pew!

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

  • Mollie: The psychology behind how different chords of music make someone feel. How does sound evoke different emotions?
  • Alex: How Ben Burtt made the X-wing sounds.

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

  • Mollie: Lord of the Rings. (composed by Howard Shore). Also: Tarantino soundtracks, Moulin Rouge, and the new West Side Story.
  • Alex: Lord of the Rings (composed by Howard Shore)

Star Wars Explained:

Star Wars Music Minute:


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