Empire Minute 53: Asteroid Science

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Artist's concept of the Theia impact that might have created our moon.


March 26, 2014


Vader's Imperial Star Destroyer moves against the vast sea of stars away from the rest of the fleet.


Ryan Haupt



  • Starts with C-3PO putting a restraining bolt on the Han-Leia makeout session.
  • Ends with a very different sort of makeout session.
  • Unnamed Imperial Officer (asteroid victim).
  • Return of the mouse droid.


  • Pete teases us with his dislike of the Emperor.
  • How do shield generators work? I guess they don't block asteroids.
  • Callback to Captain Scrapey from minute 38.

Ryan drops some asteroid science on us:

  • The average meteoroid is tennis ball-sized
  • Our asteroid belt was a planet that was destabilized by Jupiter's gravity.
  • It was once 40 times as massive as the Moon, but has declined to only 4% of the Moon's mass.
  • Half of that mass is just 4 asteroids (at least 50 m/164 ft across).
  • Collisions in the asteroid belt occur roughly once every 10 million years.

The Hoth asteroid field is unrealistic because:

  • Although it was formed by the collision of two entire planets, it was so long ago it shouldn't be this active.
  • The odds of one of our probes being hit by a meteoroid has been calculated at 1:1,000,000,000 (extremely unlikely).
  • Referenced: Alex's Pet Peeve the Hoth asteroid field is always used by smugglers to evade capture.
  • Pan and scan is terrible.
  • Please call 8-DAY-GREEDO with the asteroid victim's name and backstory.
  • Is Vader Force-protecting the Star Destroyer from Asteroids? Teaser for a future minute in which we see non-Force protecting.
  • Does Vader think that the Falcon gang are still alive? Can he sense Leia? Or Threepio?
  • What is Vader's relationship status with the Emperor? Complicated.gif
    • Is he on board, or is he trying to usurp the Emperor?
  • Mentioned: Ozzel is a secret rebel agent

Meta Minute

  • 22:13 podcast episode length.
  • Ryan talked about the giant-impact hypothesis in one of his previous appearances.
  • This episode first aired on Boonta Eve.
  • In an interview with Jamie Stangroom from "These Are The Actors You're Looking For!" on YouTube, David Prowse (who knew by this point that his lines would be dubbed over) purposely messed up his dialog in this scene.


  • Alex: He [Vader] really is obsessed with finding young Skywalker. Pete: He is, I read that somewhere.
  • Pete: The "Mupiter zone."
  • Ryan: There are two main types of meteoroids in the space...area.
  • Pete: It's the Wednesday crowd. They're down.



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