Empire Minute 71: Yoda's Chance

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April 21st, 2014


Luke shakes his head.


Stuart Wellington



  • Starts on Dagobah with Yoda asking Luke <sic> "judge him by his size, does he?"; ends with Luke getting huffy because Yoda wants the impossible.
  • This is a big minute in the movie. It is a one-minute-long monologue by Yoda about The Force.


  • Listener project - Create a Yoda category for Jeopardy (given that he says everything as a question).
  • This would be a good spot for a song if this movie was a musical.
    • It would be a big ballad at the end of act one.
    • The song would be called "Yoda's Chance".
    • Yoda and Luke would sing the song as a duet.
    • A big production budget would be required for this stage show.
    • An X-wing would go over the crowd's head and drip swamp juice onto them.
  • Luke's look in response to Yoda's "judge me by my size" question says "kind of!".
    • Yoda challenges Luke and wants to fist fight him.
    • This is another iconic Yoda line.
  • The audience is watching a puppet (i.e. Yoda) give this monologue.
    • Yoda seems like a real living thing. There's something so real and lifelike about Yoda in this minute.
    • There is one puppet-like shot - when Yoda pinches Luke's skin.
    • The pinch is a weird moment. Yoda burns Luke and his body right after teaching him a range of physical skills.
    • This is a "Minch pinch".
    • Yoda has gross little claw fingers - like Mickey Rourke.
  • Yoda's speech about The Force compared to Ben's explanation.
    • Ben says The Force is an energy field created by all living things.
    • Yoda's explanation is more flowery with some specific vagaries.
    • Usually in Star Wars the explanation of things make them worse. That's not the case here - Yoda's choice of words makes The Force more interesting.
    • Yoda also points at a range of things and names them:
      • Rocks.
      • Trees.
      • You.
      • Me.
      • That mailbox.
      • Mrs. Johnson.
  • There is no mention of midi-chlorians.
    • "Life creates The Force" may be a midi-chlorian reference.
 Pete reveals that he is conflicted at this point:
  He has been talking about not liking The Force being wizardry and/or magic.
  In this minute, Yoda describes The Force as mystical but not magical.
  The problem with midi-chlorians is that they just reduce The Force to science / chemistry
  There is a mid-point for The Force between science and mysticism.
  Yoda's description is therefore correct. It is descriptive and poetic but not prescriptive.
  • Perhaps midi-chlorians have been discredited in the last 20 years in the Star Wars universe (note: see below).
    • They were debunked in "Popular Jedi" magazine.
    • Also, maybe the original scene for this minute was a very scientific explanation of The Force. This was totally boring so it was changed to the scene that we see.
  • Star Wars don't really do montages with Kenny Loggins songs in the background.
    • The Dagobah training scenes should be cut into a comical montage with a Van Halen song playing - maybe "Standing on Top of the World" but not "Hot For Teacher".
    • "Although "Hot For Teacher" may work for when Yoda is massaging Luke's back.
  • Will The Force ever be a real religion on Earth? In 50 or 1,000 years from now?
    • People in 1977 would be stunned that Star Wars is still popular in 2014 and talked about on a range of podcasts.
    • Their first question would be "What is a podcast future-man?".
    • Descriptions of The Force are vague enough that they could be applied to any religion.
    • The problem is that The Force isn't about finding inner peace - it's about affecting other people.
    • However converting people to Jedi is easy - they just use the mind trick.
    • There are registered Jedi.
    • They go door-to-door dressed as Jedi.
    • In censuses across the world, they recorded Jedi as their religion.
    • Alex thinks that these people should be instantly audited by the IRS.
    • More information on this aspect tomorrow.
  • This scene has very interesting lighting. It is like they are standing under halogen lamps.
    • It does not look like a murky swamp. There is a very bright light shining on them - this is what gives Yoda his "Yoda glow".
  • The "You want the impossible" line is Luke's lowest, and most Anakin, moment. Luke is very petulant.
    • This is another weird response given that Yoda is not asking him to do anything and just explaining stuff.
    • For the movie Luke has to be skeptical otherwise the movie would be very anti-climactic.
  • Stuart remembers wishing as a kid that Luke would just listen to the little green frog man and do what he says so that he can then go and fight something/someone.
    • Luke's frustration with Yoda is therefore mirrored by kids in the audience.
    • For Alex the Yoda's scene is snoozeville. Yoda is the least funny Muppet he'd ever seen.
    • Enough with all the teaching.
  • Yoda says that <sic> "life creates the Force".
    • Why didn't anyone just give Luke a blood test.
    • Perhaps they did when he signed up for the Rebellion or when he was unconscious from the Sand People (tested by Ben).
    • According to SWM, a lot happens when Luke is knocked unconscious by the Sand People:
      • A blood test.
      • He is given a strong sedative.
      • Ben kills the Lars family and the Jawas.
      • Ben returns to Luke four days later.
      • Given this, Luke should have woken up with a full beard.
  • Support the Show - Facebook; Twitter (now 1,000 followers).
  • Thanks to and from Stuart - will be back tomorrow.

Meta Minute

  • 16:20 podcast episode length.
  • Cold-open: Ad-read - Dollar Shave Club; starwarsminute.com/shave.
  • Stuart being on the show completes the SWM Flophouse trilogy.
  • During Phantom Menace Minute 52, a call to 8-DAY-GREEDO stated that Lucas himself proposed the very same idea that the Jedi were wrong about the Midi-chlorians.




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