This Rendition Of The Cantina Song From Star Wars Uses A Pencil And A Math Equation


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer

The Cantina Theme.

You know the one we mean – Star Wars: A New Hope, the jazz band playing in the corner of the best bar in the most wretched hive of scum and villainy in the galaxy? Yes, that one. It’s marvelous, everyone loves it, and we bet you have the song playing in your head right now, don’t you?


Just in case you don’t, here’s a reminder.

It’s incredibly catchy; a veritable earworm of a song that burrows deep into your brain and refuses to let go. It clearly proved too much for one Dani Ochoa, who – as reported by several outlets already – has managed to find a way to play the famous Mos Eisley track using nothing but a pencil and a rather odd looking equation.

This may sound odd, but if you haven't already, we’d advise that you just watch the featured video and see for yourself.

See? How mind-blowingly cool is that? Too much time on her hands or no, this is ludicrously creative. Posting her video on Reddit’s r/StarWars/ forum, she explains – under the pseudonym smallgoblin – that she serendipitously found that her pencil was making music during a bit of math homework.


Mashable also noted that the equation appears to be related to a real world phenomenon. Indeed, under Ochoa’s original Reddit post, several appear to be extrapolating or interpreting the hell out of the sonically pleasing equation.

After a lengthy post taking apart the various symbols contained within the line of numbers and letters, one user by the name of TCJulian has concluded that you can – with a liberal application of various physics theories – use the equation to calculate the speed of light.

In a follow-up post, this second wizard of the Web, in response to the question “Is the formula actually mathematically correct?”, answers: “Yes and no, but mostly no haha.”

“While the variables substitutions are real life variables, none of their units work together in any correct way."


Either way, our hats are tipped to both Ochoa and TCJulian for this strange modern tale of mathematics, music, and Star Wars.

BUT WAIT. There’s more. Clicking on Ochoa’s YouTube channel, it also became clear that there’s a math pencil rendition of The Imperial March too.


Consider our brains tingled.


  • tag
  • mathematics,

  • Star Wars,

  • pencil,

  • explanation,

  • equation,

  • Cantina song,

  • theme,

  • scum and villainy,

  • Imperial March