Watch John Williams Score This Iconic 'Empire Strikes Back' Scene

LucasfilmCredit: Lucasfilm
Watching how this classic Star Wars scene was edited and scored is the stuff of Hollywood legend.

The Empire Strikes Back turns 40 next year, and it continues to hold up better than most sequels thanks to the work of screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, composer John Williams, and director Irvin Kershner. The best of the Star Wars movies, Empire features some of the series most unforgettable scenes, and we have a look back at how one of them was made: Han and Leia's final moments before Solo is frozen in carbonite. 

Thanks to the always-awesome Eyes on Cinema, Film Twitter is feeling all the nostalgia recently with this rare, behind-the-scenes look at Williams, uncredited writer Gary Kurtz, Kershner reviewing the emotional moment in an edit bay prior to Williams adding his iconic music to the heartfelt sequence. If anything, this flashback clip further proves that filmmaking is a collaboration -- a complicated alchemy of different people and visions working together to service one thing: The story. Without Williams' contribution, the scene would not resonate as deeply as it does. As perfect Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are with their choices in this scene, Williams' score enhances their performances and the overall emotional payload of the movie. 

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Watching all the creative stakeholders here engage with the material in its raw form, as one would shooting the sh** around the watercooler or while leaning over a colleague's shoulder at work to watch a YouTube video, is a sight. They seem to have no idea how iconic this beat would become for legions of fans for the better part of half a century; it's just "another day at the office" for them it seems. 

We can't be more grateful for their work. 

How do you like to use score and music in your films? What is your process like with your composer and other collaborators? Tell us in the comments below!     

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1 Comment

It certainly gives goosebumps watching masters at work.
I am a filmmaker myself and when I went to the Film industry, I was shocked to see everything in the film industry being replaced with iMacs and PCs.
No one uses real composers anymore rather create music on the Logic pro.
The excitement to sit and listen to creative people play instruments are long gone.
I love how the team of Sherlock also created music for their show using a live orchestra.
The richness of Live play and the intelligence of a composer to understand the mood of the scene and compose music accordingly can never be replaced by technology.
EyesOnCinema is doing great work.

August 9, 2019 at 8:44AM

Shitiz Srivastava
Film Director/ Screenplay Writer