Empire Minute 37: Artooish

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March 4th, 2014


Luke, looking thoughtful, suddenly makes a decision. He flips several switches. The stars shift as he takes his fighter into a steep turn. The X-wing banks sharply and flies away in a new direction. The monitor screen on Luke's control panel prints out a question from the concerned Artoo.


Tim Kreider



  • Starts off with Luke and R2-D2 in the X-wing having escaped Hoth and setting off for the Dagobah system; ends with the Falcon being pursued by Star Destroyers and Han angrily yelling "shut him up", referring to C-3PO.


  • Starts with a nice shot of Luke blasting off from Hoth. Hoth is a pretty looking planet. There is a similar style of shot in ROTJ when Luke's X-wing and the Millennium Falcon take off from Tatooine.
  • This is not like the time in The Holiday Special when the Director took the shot of Yavin from Star Wars and turned it into Kashyyyk (pronounced Ka-zook).
  • Revisiting the question of why Vader didn't follow Luke or his X-wing. Tim imagines that the Empire does actually track Luke to Dagobah but Vader realizes that they are not able to go there due to Yoda's level of Force power. So, instead, they arrange the complicated trap for Luke as played out in the movie. In this scenario:
    • Vader knows that Yoda is in exile on Dagobah and as long as he stays there they'll leave him be - Yoda's Force power is that awesome.
    • Or Dagobah is obscured by Yoda's Force power and Vader can't see it.
  • R2-D2 makes the same noise in this scene as when he is shot by the Jawas. What do these two situations have in common from R2's perspective?
    • Trepidation.
    • General alarm.
    • Memory back-up; save.
  • The hosts point out that Chewbacca and R2 sounds are re-used by Ben Burtt from time-to-time across the movies.
  • Credit to Mark Hamill in this movie for acting with and reacting to inanimate objects for most of the time - with very little human contact.
  • Luke and R2 have a conversation in this scene. Rather, Luke has a one-sided Shelley Burman / Bob Newhart type conversation to provide all the exposition.
  • The ideograms appearing on the monitor are texts from R2 to Luke. Does Luke understand R2-D2's sounds? In part, but also R2 is outside the cockpit in this scene so Luke can't hear him anyway (See: SWM-Canon#Noise in space).
  • The hosts will track communication between Luke and R2 throughout the movie to determine if he does understand R2ish or if he is just reacting to common tones and sounds that R2 makes.
  • Additionally, it seems bad design to only have a text system for human-to-droid communication in an X-wing; shouldn't there at least be a microphone and speaker system? Perhaps there is and Luke's turned it off or down so that he can listen to the radio.
  • Luke is a good character because he is nice to droids, although this is only because back on Tatooine he was very unpopular.
  • There should have been a shot of R2 on the X-wing while they were in hyper-space; that is probably fun for R2.
  • Luke is playing the role of HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey in this scene. He declines R2's requests and instead flies them to Dagobah under his own control.
  • Luke is basically going AWOL in this scene:
    • He's not going to the rendezvous and is instead flying to Dagobah.
    • The rendezvous may be a loose, casual type of arrangement for the rebels.
    • It's unlikely that anyone looked too hard for Luke when he didn't arrive at the rendezvous.
    • The rebels, by their nature as a criminal terrorist organisation, can't be that strict with their internal rules.
    • Luke is special to the rebels and can do what he wants.
  • The hosts discuss whether they like Luke the character or not. Opinions are divided.
  • If Luke had of fallen asleep after setting a course for Dagobah would R2 have taken them to the rendezvous point regardless?
  • Nice wipe to the Falcon scene. Also, we move from a low key scene with Luke to a high action scene with the Falcon.
  • Did Luke escape via the "back" of the planet? He's avoided all of the Imperial ships that the Falcon ran into. We should have seen the Falcon battle from Luke's X-wing.
  • Iconic shot of the Falcon being chased by the Star Destroyer. Good use of green lasers.
  • Star Destroyer talk:
    • How many metres long is a Star Destroyer? (see below for full calculations and conversions.)
      • Tim says 3 Enterprises <from Star Trek> long (he says that the Enterprise is 1,000 feet long).
      • They are actually 1,600 metres or approximately 5,000 feet long.
      • In comparison, the Empire State Building is 381 metres tall, so a Star Destroyer is approximately four Empire State Buildings long.
    • Crew - 37,085 people. Can function with as little as 5,000 (the rest are rowing down the bottom plus a lot of the crew will probably be choked by Vader along the way).
    • Passengers - 9,700 (the Empire is boosting their income by running cruises).
    • Food - 6 years worth.
  • The Imperial March has replaced Darth Vader's Theme from Star Wars in this movie. More soundtrack talk in later podcast episodes.
  • Han begins to yell at C-3PO. More talk about Han's hate for C-3PO in the next podcast episode.

Meta Minute

 Conversions and comparisons (to two decimal places):
 1.00 metre = 3.28 feet; 1.00 foot = 0.30 metres
 Length of the original series Star Trek Enterprise - USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
  288.65 metres; 947.00 feet
 Height of the Empire State (Strikes) Building without the tower
  381.00 metres; 1,250.00 feet
 Length of a Star Destroyer
  1,600.00 metres
  5,200.00 feet
  5.51 (average) Enterprises
  4.18 (average) Empire State (Strikes) Buildings


  • Pete: (Does a Scooby-Doo impersonation) "Rogue Reader randing ry"
  • Tim: (As Vader) "This is our honeymoon suite."
  • Tim: <Hums Darth Vader's Theme.> Pete: <Hums the Emperor's Theme.>



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