Star Wars Minute: LIVE! in L.A. Part 1

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Live in L.A. Part II→
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Date

August 13th, 2014

Summary

Discussion of the 'Mark Hamill and the stars of Star Wars' episode of The Muppet Show.

Guests

Matt Belknap, Joseph Scrimshaw, and Tony Thaxton.

Notes

  • Recorded live at the Nerdmelt Showroom at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles.
  • We're between movies so we're going to talk about the Star Wars episode of The Muppet Show.
  • Mark Hamill looks terrified at the start of the show.
  • The show originally aired January 16th 1980.
  • Tony is a fan of the Muppet's and has met Animal and Gonzo. They don't have any legs!
  • All of the hosts remember and enjoy the show to some degree.
  • The show provided a Star Wars fix for kids.
  • This is the debut of Luke Skywalker's "Bespin fatigues" outfit.
  • At the start of the show, Luke Skywalker, C-3PO and R2-D2 burst into the episode and become the hosts instead of a character called Angus McGonagle.
  • The heroes are there to rescue Chewbacca who has been kidnapped.
  • The continuity of this episode - both from a Star Wars and Muppet Show perspective - is problematic.
  • Chewbacca has written a massage to the heroes - what language is it written in.
  • A bunch of sheep sing "I Put The Bomp" and this is the reason that Pete likes the song as much as he does.
  • Guest stars on The Muppet Show usually appear as themselves not their characters - this episode is an unusual case reflecting how big Star Wars actually was at the time.
  • Luke Skywalker is Mark Hamill's cousin in the show.
  • A lot of action takes place backstage in the The Muppet Show. Tony's problem is that the audience reacts to the things that happen backstage - so is that the theater audience and, if so, how is that possible given that they can't see what is happening backstage?
    • Its a show within a show.
  • Kids didn't know that there was just an actor playing Luke Skywalker until they saw them together on this show.
  • The show happens before The Empire Strikes Back and yet Mark Hamill has his "Empire" (ie post accident) face.
  • On the show, Mark Hamill does impressions, dances and sings a duet with one of The Muppets.
  • This show is clearly an attempt to make the actor Mark Hamill step outside of the Star Wars movies and the Luke Skywalker role.
  • Luke Skywalker walks around backstage with his gun drawn. He doesn't have his lightsaber - probably due to special effects limitations on TV.
  • Luke says "Remember Alderaan" - this is a very political statement.
  • George Lucas's involvement in the script for the show.
  • Luke also draws his gun on Yoda the first time he meets him, so maybe he has a fear of Muppets.
  • On Scooter's wall there are two posters:
    • From Empire - Luke Skywalker with his gun drawn.
    • An upside down Star Destroyer.
    • Scooter must be from the future or got a screener before the movie was released.
  • There is a "Pigs in Space" skit.
    • Miss Piggy dresses and acts like Princess Leia in love with Luke.
    • Luke makes some jokes at Miss Piggy's expense although she turns them around on him at the end.
    • It is strange to think that Frank Oz plays both Miss Piggy and Yoda.
    • The show's makers clearly didn't know that Luke and Leia were siblings given the nature of this scene.
    • The "Pigs in Space" spaceship is based on Star Trek, not Star Wars.
  • Gonzo plays Dearth Nadir (based on Darth Vader) and he is the one that has kidnapped Chewbacca.
  • Chewbacca isn't wearing his bandolier.
  • The plot of the "Pigs in Space" skit is similar to The Empire Strikes Back. Maybe this is what Luke would have seen in the magic cave on Dagobah if he had a better attitude.
  • Once Gonzo is confronted by Luke, Chewbacca simply walks out and grabs him. Why didn't he just do that at the beginning? How is he being "held prisoner"?
  • Gonzo pits Angus McGonagle against Chewbacca and all seems lost for our heroes. The only way to solve it is a song and dance routine. Chewbacca is a terrible dancer.
  • Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) both played their characters in the show. Kenny Baker was not in R2-D2.
  • An R2-D2 line gets a laugh for some reason.
  • C-3PO, on the other hand, is a great dancer (thanks to Anthony Daniels). He is much more flexible than in the movies. Maybe "dance" is his one true language.
  • This is clearly a different, simpler, more comfortable C-3PO suit. Anthony Daniels probably would have loved to wear in it in the movies.
  • The song and dance number then, weirdly, turns in the song "When You Wish Upon A Star" with all the characters standing in front of a castle with fireworks going off.
  • Mark Hamill and Luke Skywalker are then shown at the same time via a split-screen effect.
  • Luke Skywalker having a cousin opens up another can of worms in Star Wars continuity.
  • Overall this show is a very confusing mash-up of too many things.

Meta Minute

  • 40:26 podcast episode length.

Link

http://www.starwarsminute.com/2014/08/13/star-wars-minute-live-in-l-a-part-1/


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