In Solo, there is a moment when Han sees an imperial recruiting station,

which he joins later,

where the imperial march is played on speakers outside the station. While a fun Easter egg out-of-universe, the presence of this music in-universe implies that more of the music may exist in-universe.

Is this the case, and if so, what other examples are there?


2 Answers 2


There are a few examples of in-universe music in the films and the Rebels tv show (unsure if there are examples in Clone Wars but I would suspect there are)

Cantina Band

The band in the Mos Eisley cantina plays at least two songs that are heard on screen:

- Cantina Band (in-universe title "Mad About Me")

- Cantina Band #2 (out of universe title)

In Return of the Jedi, from a purely current - Disney canon perspective, there are a few in-universe bits of music played:

Jabba's Baroque Recital

Listed as "source music" (i.e. in-universe) on the 1997 remastered soundtrack. Heard playing upon Jabba the Hutt's introduction. Intended as 'courtly' music for his palace

Jedi Rocks

Performed by the Max Rebo band

Ewok Celebration We see the Ewoks playing various instruments and celebrating. One can thus assume that the music heard is largely in-universe

Star Wars Rebels (TV Series)

In the episode: The Mystery of Chopper Base, Zeb and Ezra are seen listening to what we would call a stereo and listening to music


(track titled "Zeb Rock" by Kevin Kiner)

Squid Lake *

Mon Calamari ballet seen in Episode III being performed at the Galaxies Opera House, attended by Anakin and Palpatine. Uncertain if the music in the scene is diegetic or non-diegetic, but, given that the performance is in an opera house and is a pun on "Swan Lake", it may be a given that there is indeed music in the production:


Dex's Diner

Seen in Episode II, there appears to be background source music playing in Dex's Diner that, to my ear, sounds similar to, yet distinct, from the Cantina Band music. This music has of yet remained officially unreleased and unnamed

(fan extracted from film)

Jabba Flow

Heard in Maz Kanata's on Takodana in Episode VII, this piece is source music written by Lin-Manuel Miranda of "Hamilton" fame in collaboration w/ JJ Abrams.

(LMM performing w/ JJ Abrahms)

(the original Return of the Jedi had two different pieces of music instead of the modern Jedi Rocks and Ewok Celebration, called "Lapti Nek" and "Yub Nub" respectively)

Lapti Nek

Sung by Sny Snootles

Yub Nub

Ewoks are shown playing drums and a makeshift xylophone of stormtropper helmets

*hat tip to @PlutoThePlanet for the prequels reminder

  • 5
    re: the Imperial March as in-universe Imperial theme, it is possible that the music "Glory of the Empire" is intended as the in-universe version of the theme. I don't have any ready examples available other than this wookieepedia article: starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Glory_of_the_Empire \ youtube.com/watch?v=TouCl6yp13A - composed / arranged by the Clone Wars and Rebels composer Kevin Kiner - scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/107647/…
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 16:14
  • 7
    I hate to be the guy who mentions the existence of the prequels, but is there music in the floating-ballet thing that Senator Palpatine watches in Revenge of the Sith? Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 16:17
  • 2
    Ah yes! Good catch that @PlutoThePlanet - possible that the end celebration of E1 could be cited, as well as the bar / diner scenes in E2. But you are absolutely correct about E3. I can add that to my own or feel free to provide your own entirely correct answer. If an answer from you doesn't pop in an hour or so, I'll add it w/ credit to you
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 16:21
  • 2
    There is no Star Wars Holiday Special @GGMG - this is an imagined production along the lines of the Mandela effect. Forget what you know about it, it never happened. ;D
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 22:10
  • 2
    I use the Cantina song as my ringtone. It separates the washed from the unwashed. Those who laugh recognize the tune. Others are not worth my attention.
    – IconDaemon
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 1:36

The Star Wars Holiday Special, for all of its faults, has a ton of in-universe music. In fact, almost as much as the entire rest of the canon combined:

You have an acrobatic hologram scene with accompanying music:

Green "hologram" dancer jumping in the air beside a rainbow-colour arch.

You have Trader Saun Dann introducing a groomer that can, among other things, syncopate rhythms. You don't get to hear it, and it's a little nebulous whether that's explicitly music, but if it can do all of that stuff anyway it might as well do music too:

Evidently, you haven't read the instructions, the warranty, and the guarantee. ... besides shaving and hair trimming. It's guaranteed to lift stains off clothing, faces, and hands. Cleans teeth, fingers, and toenails. Washes eyes, pierces ears, calculates, modulates, and syncopates like rhythms and can repeat the entire Imperial Code, all 17 volumes, in half the time of the old XP-21. Just the thing to keep you squeaky clean.

Then there's the Mermeia Holographic, which has accompanying trance music:

A woman wearing a purple wig sings against a dark background

The holographic band played by Jefferson Starship:

A man's face, starkly lit from the left with a blurry microphone in the foreground.  The scene has a pinkish cast.

An in-universe cartoon with a full soundtrack:

A Mandalorian (not Boba Fett) is wielding what appears to be a staff with a horseshoe-shaped magnet at the end.  The magnet is projecting some kind of rays.
There are clouds and a crescent moon behind in a greenish sky.

Life On Tatooine, with a full sing-a-long at the end of it, featuring the cantina band from Episode IV!

The cantina band from "A New Hope" performs on a stage, a small table with a lamp is in the foreground, and various spectators are on the edges of the scene.

And, of course, the Life Day Anthem, delivered by Princess Leah herself.

Princess Leia, in her white dress and danishes hairdo from "A New Hope," sings

  • 6
    Fun fact: that feeling of eternal suffering and time dilation that comes with watching the holiday special isn't just from watching it normally. Just listening to it can cause it. Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 22:29
  • 3
    I want to down vote you so bad, but that's not your fault. It's George's. +1 for reminding everyone of this masterpiece.
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 23:49
  • 1
    Wow this special has everything!! Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 13:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.