Empire Minute 117: Party Line

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June 24th, 2014


Luke realizes that Vader's ship is very near. He feels resigned to his fate. He senses that he is beaten, more emotionally than physically.


Ian Doescher



  • Starts with R2 letting C-3PO know that the central computer told him the hyperdrive was deactivated; ends with Luke looking up at the Star Destroyer, having sensed Vader.
  • Wipes back and forth as they cut between Luke and Vader.
  • Vader double take.
  • First time two living beings communicate via the Force.
  • We see the "stump cap" for the first time.
  • You can see somebody reflected in Vader's helmet. Blooper?


  • Luke has finished searching his feelings and has accepted that Vader is his father.
  • The father-son relationship.
    • Vader went from calling him "Skywalker" to "Luke" to simply "Son".
  • Foreshadowing Vader's redemption?
  • Callback to Willrow Hood.
  • Droid prejudice against computers (similar to the way that humans look down on droids).
  • R2 fixing C-3PO.
    • Now and in the Prequels.
  • Chewie's electric wrench work causes sparks in the cockpit.
    • Just like in most flying vehicles.
  • Vader-Luke-Ben communication chain (like the telephone game).
    • How does this Force call work? Is it always echoey, or is it just when the reception is bad?
    • Yoda is listening in.
    • People have forgotten what it was like to be on a party line or even to have a landline phone in the house.
    • Is Ben blocking Luke's Force call? Or is he simply not picking up and hoping Luke will stop eventually?
  • Why did Ben lie about Luke's father in the first place?
    • In "William Shakespeare's Star Wars", Ian goes into this in greater detail.
      • He actually says the phrase "a certain point of view."
  • Many toys were probably lost in the snow.
    • Alex tells the story of how he buried a Micronaut toy and never found it again.
      • Referenced: Toy Story.

Meta Minute

  • 18:35 podcast episode length.
  • Plug from former (and future!) guest of the show Kristen Siebecker for her podcast I Feel Vine.
  • Ian would go on to adapt all three of the Prequel films into Shakespearean English as well, which forms nice symmetry with Alex and Pete's decision to complete their coverage of the Prequel trilogy as well.
  • The Micronauts toy that Alex is thinking of is probably "Pharoid". A "mummy case" is usually referred to as a sarcophagus.


  • Alex: (As a whiny Luke) Dad! I'm trying to talk to Ben!
  • Ian: (as Ben, to Luke) Oh by the way your father turned into the worst Sith ever... Alex: And by "worst" you mean "least effective."
  • Pete: What's wrong with you? You're from the seventies.



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