Empire Minute 52: Scoundrels

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March 25, 2014


He kisses her now, with slow, hot lips. He takes his time, as though he had forever, bending her body backward. She has never been kissed like this before, and it almost makes her faint.


Ryan Haupt



  • This is the first time that Han uses Leia's name in the films, and the only time for this film.
  • This is the only mushy love scene in the Original Trilogy.
  • Mechanical piston action in the foreground (visible only in widescreen) is only there to increase the tension.


  • The way Han normally refers to Leia in the films, and the times that he uses her real name are discussed.
  • Mentioned: Spoilers, Han goes into, and then back out of carbonite.
  • The relationship between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. See note below.
  • Has Leia had any boyfriends in the past three years? Wedge? Dak or Janson?
  • Is Han using the Jedi mind trick on Leia ("I'm a nice man...")? Presumably she would resist such attempts.
  • The Mind Trick seems like more of a Dark Side power, so it's surprising we never see the Sith use it.
  • How twisted and dark would it be if part of Anakin's fall from grace included mind tricking Padmé into loving him? What if he didn't even know (at first) that he'd done it?
  • Spoilers: a few minutes later, a giant space worm pops out.
  • Han was a free-booting scoundrel, but now he is looking for love and acceptance.
  • Harrison Ford's charm helps this scene be less creepy. If it was Steve Buscemi, this would have been way worse.
    • The best response to "Let go of me" is never "Ssshh."
  • Referenced: Con Air, Air Force One.
  • Is Threepio intentionally getting in Han's way, romantically? Or did Leia program him to interrupt Han (specifically Han, since he didn't interrupt Luke in the hospital bed).
  • Who owns Threepio at this point? This question has come up before on the show.
  • Referenced: Science fiction writers Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick.

Meta Minute

  • 22:22 podcast episode length.
  • Ad-read: starwarsminute.com/fathead
  • On November 15th, 2016, Carrie Fisher revealed that she did in fact have the rumored affair with Harrison Ford during the filming of Star Wars in 19761.
  • Although there are numerous studies on the effect of attractive women on men's brains, one that Ryan might be referring to comes from Radboud University in The Netherlands and was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. This study was inspired by one occasion where one of the authors of the study was speaking with an attractive woman he had not met before. "When she asked him where he lived, he suddenly could not remember his street address. It seemed as if his impression management concerns had temporarily absorbed most of his cognitive resources"2.
  • In the SWM-Canon, Princess Leia used to date John "Hutch/Dutch" Vander (gold leader), right up until the start of the Battle of Yavin, when she left him for Han.
  • In the Knights of the Old Republic video game series, the "Jedi Mind Trick" actually is a Dark Side power, and evil Jedi can use it at a reduced Force Power cost.
  • Pete's "chastity droid" idea is used in Spaceballs with Dot Matrix's "virgin alarm".
  • While recording this episode, Ryan was doing field work in Panama. In addition to commenting on Star Wars, Ryan is a paleontologist who, among other things, specializes in ancient sloths.


  • Pete: My note is "Acting in this scene is good, duh."
  • Ryan: ...less well...poorly, more poorly— see I just saw Leia and I can't even talk.
  • Alex: Speaking of bad wingmen, C-3PO!
  • Ryan: Send your fan fiction to ryan@sciencesortof.com. I want to read it.
  • Pete: "Chastity droid".




1Leonard, Elizabeth. "Carrie Fisher Reveals She Had an Affair With Harrison Ford on Star Wars: 'It Was So Intense'" People. November 15, 2016. Accessed December 10, 2016. http://people.com/movies/carrie-fisher-reveals-affair-with-harrison-ford-star-wars/.

2Karremans, Johan C., Thijs Verwijmeren, Tila M. Pronk, and Meyke Reitsma. 2009. “Interacting with Women Can Impair Men’s Cognitive Functioning.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45 (4): 1041–44. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2009.05.004.

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