Empire Minute 27: Go, Dak. Go!

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Date

February 18th, 2014

Summary

The fleet of snowspeeders races above the ice field at full throttle. They accelerate away from the base and head toward the distant walkers.

Guests

Adam Santiago

Notes

Film

  • Starts with ice falling on R2-D2's head as he lets out a whistle; ends with the AT-ATs - aka the walkers - commencing their attack.
  • The first appearance of AT-ATs.

Podcast

  • The design and practicality of the walkers. Also, how likely was it that they would come up against opponents with harpoons on tow-cables (i.e. the snowspeeders)?
  • Are the Rebels whaling on Hoth?
  • How do you get in and out of an AT-AT? Via a platform (as per ROTJ); rappel out on ropes; the AT-AT crouches down or its like an elephant at the circus; via a hole where the 'poop-hole' should be.
  • A side-impact may be enough to tip an AT-AT over.
  • It seems a stretch that the Rebels could feel the AT-AT's footsteps from well over a mile away.
  • Is the ice that falls on R2-D2 from the walkers walking, or a nearby explosion?
  • Luke is a terrible commander. He's a good pilot and Jedi, but is a terrible military officer based on this sequence. He ignores Dak not being ready; doesn't wait for answers from his team etc.
  • Who is most responsible for the failed attack? Luke, for not giving Dak enough time - or Dak, for taking so long to get ready? (Alex re: Dak - "He had one job to do!").
  • Luke's and Dak's call sign is "Rogue Leader".
  • Luke is always rushing into things without thinking.
  • The attack is a funny sequence:
    • Luke tells Dak to get ready.
    • Dak says that he's not ready / set.
    • Luke ignores him, keeps flying and then tells Dak to go / fire.
    • Nothing happens (because Dak's not ready) and neither of them say anything as they fly off.
  • Adam's notes for this minute were "R2 goes bonk, Snow forward, and go Dak go!"
  • "Sorry Pete" - In the prequels, Imperial attacks involve hundreds of troops, droids and vehicles while this attack seems to involve just six (or even less) walkers. Not a very serious attack.
    • Alex equates this with the lightsaber battle between Vader and Obi-Wan in Star Wars compared to the lightsaber battles in the prequels.
    • Pete thinks that the Walkers are literally packed with Snowtroopers waiting to pour out - like a pinata when its hit with a stick.
  • How does Vader get down to the Rebel base from the Imperial Star Destroyer? To be discussed in a later minute.
  • Adam points out that the prequels were a big time of expansion for the Republic (later Imperial) army while this movie covers a time of decline for the Imperial army.
  • The walkers main mission here is not to conquer the base. They are just there to knock out the power generator. Once that's done then the real attack begins.
  • How do Star Destroyers land? On a platform or do they just always stay in space?
    • "Sorry Pete" - In the prequels the proto-Star Destroyers are on platforms. (Note - as at November 2016 - the trailer for the Star Wars anthology movie "Rogue One" shows a Star Destroyer hovering stationary above a town, so this must also be possible.)
  • How long is a Star Destroyer? Longer than the Empire State Building is tall? The <made-up> order is - Troop Transport, Empire State Building, Titanic, Star Destroyer, Super Star Destroyer. Exact dimensions to be provided in later minutes.
  • Luke's snowspeeder takes off vertically and then flys forward whereas all of the other snowspeeders only take off by moving forward. What's that about? Luke being a better pilot than the others, or maybe moving forward is the correct way to take off once your gunner is ready.
  • Which would you rather be in the Rebellion in this battle - snowspeeder pilot or ground trooper? (Pete says a gunner in a snowspeeder.)
    • Snowspeeder pilots take the brunt of the attack while ground troopers can hang back.
    • However if they miss the transports a ground trooper is left outside on Hoth while a snowspeeder pilot can stay in the relative warmth of the speeder.
  • A number of Rebels would have been captured in this battle.
  • The Rebels ground troop response to the walkers seems totally ineffective. In fact, the Rebels entire response to the walkers - including the snowspeeders - seems to be ineffective and nonsensical. To be discussed more in later minutes.

Meta Minute

  • 21:51 podcast episode length.
  • Cold-open: Ad-read starwarsminute.com/shirts.
  • Adam promotes a t-shirt that he has on sale via graphiclabtees.com - Star Wars / Good Times mash-up - JJ Walker in carbonite.
  • Adam points out that the lightsaber battle in Star Wars that Alex references are the minutes that Adam covered of that movie in the podcast - i.e. SWM 86 to SWM 90.
  • The Imperial walkers are filmed using the Go motion technique. Go motion is discussed in some detail and all relevant information is available on the linked Wikipedia article.
  • Alex tried to build his own AT-AT, out of a shoe box and pieces of wood, as a kid. AT-ATs should have been Tinker Toys or giant pink ponies in the movie.
  • Adam mentions the amazing Star Wars mash-up art of James Hance.
  • The walkers are introduced into the movie with no fanfare; they just appear. This makes them even cooler.

Quotes

  • Adam: ...slash the A T A T <pause> the A-Team A-Team; oohh!
  • Pete: Are the Rebels whaling on Hoth? Alex: They're going to be wailing when the Empire's finished with them.
  • Pete: Now, Luke here... Alex: Now look here!
  • Pete: Dak to the Future; Dak to School. Alex: I think Dak needs to go Back to School.
  • Adam: Dak forever; Dak Dak. Alex: <quietly> Dak Attack. Pete: Dak Officer. Alex: Wait, did you say Dak Officer?
  • Adam: That's not what I call "bumping the puppet".
  • Adam: In relation to building an AT-AT toy at home "You could build one out of Tinker Toys, right?" Alex: "Yeah, I guess so - but Tinker Toys are for babies!"

Link

http://www.starwarsminute.com/2014/02/18/empire-minute-27-go-dak-go/


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