Empire Minute 76: The Edge of the Matte
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April 28th, 2014
Hidden among the refuse, the Falcon tumbles away. In the next moment, the Avenger roars off into hyperspace. The Falcon’s engines are ignited, and it races off into the distance. Amidst the slowly drifting junk, Boba Fett’s ship appears and moves after the Falcon.
- Minute 76 - bicentennial Star Wars Minute.
- Starts with Han deciding that they should go to Bespin (after looking it up on Wookiepeedia); ends with Boba Fett hiding in the trash and then revealing himself to the audience.
- The minute starts in an old Batman episode from 1966 as the heroes, or the camera, is on a Dutch angle.
- The Falcon gets rocked from side to side. The Falcon is in two gravity fields (as discussed in ESB 75) - which is like being stuck between two magnets - but why does it and the Star Destroyer lurch?
- All of the characters should be bunched up on one side of cockpit and/or walking on the walls of the Falcon.
- The Riddler from Batman may appear at any moment. Would this have made the movie better or worse?
- There are major tibanna gas mines on Bespin. Tibanna gas is a by-product of vapors consumed by beldons (i.e. Beldon farts).
- The Falcon should float and rotate more than it does when released from the Star Destroyer so that the POV camera shot from the cockpit is even better. In this shot we see space - then the Star Destoyer - then the garbage.
- There is a mistake in the right hand side of the frame of the POV camera shot from the cockpit.
- The special effects stop and there is just a black strip of material.
- This mistake was fixed in the Special Edition of the movie.
- Joe will be bringing up a number of special edition improvements to the movie this week. It's a good thing that he's sitting on the opposite side of the table to Pete, given Pete's well-known and wide-ranging hatred for anything other than the original Star Wars movie.
- However Pete reveals that the black panel that we see from the cockpit is actually an astronomical anomaly known in the Star Wars universe as the Edge of the Matte.
- Or it's the black monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey floating with the garbage. We do see a space pod from 2001 in the background of Star Wars (and The Phantom Menace) as well.
- What's the deal with Star Destroyer garbage? Why is it all so big?
- It looks like old machinery that is no longer required.
- Where are the enormous cardboard boxes?
- There should also be food scraps, poop and dianogas in the trash.
- Was Boba Fett and his spaceship ejected from the Star Destroyer with the garbage? It certainly seems like that. Boba just put a sticky note on his spaceship that said "trash" - so the Stormtroopers threw it out.
- At the time of this movie, and before the prequels, Boba Fett is a mysterious figure.
- His name is never said in ESB - although everyone knew his name from the action figure toy which included the "rocket not firing" backpack.
- His name was also used in the novelization of the movie which was a irrestible book to kids.
Joe always liked the Star Wars books better than the movies. Pete says that the novelization of The Black Hole is also better than the movie as it explains the "2001-type" ending. Alex says that the novelization of E.T. clarifies the weird ending of that movie as well. Have the hosts ever read the novelization of a movie that was based on a book? They can't think of any examples but have read comic book adaptations of movies based on books. Up until this podcast episode Joe thought that the Star Wars movies were adaptations of books.
- If you were watching the Star Wars movies in episode number order you would probably say that this guy (Boba) looks like Jango Fett.
- Pete points out that he would have watched The Star Wars Holiday Special if he was watching them in order and would therefore know who Boba Fett was.
- Boba Fett is also in the Clone Wars cartoons.
- Joe says that Boba Fett is a stupid sounding name.
- When Han Solo / Harrison Ford says it for the first time it sounds like he also realizes that is stupid.
- Back in the cockpit the interplay between Han and Leia is well done, genuine and feels like a real couple.
- This is down to good acting, writing and directing. The characters seem human, which cannot be taken for granted in Star Wars movies.
- Leia gives Han a loving kiss on the cheek. When did their relationship advance to this stage?
- They did a lot of love-making while in the slug belly - they were in there for months.
- Their relationship seemed to jump a few levels in less than 10 minutes of screen time.
- And not much real time has elapsed either. They may be lots of travel time but that doesn't really make sense either.
- It must have been the three months in the slug's belly? This is the equivalent of going on five dates.
- The action on the Star Destroyer doesn't take long so how can all of this be explained?
- Pete says that it's due to "the edge of the matte" astronomical anomaly which makes time move at different speeds in different locations in the movie.
- Luke was actually only on Dagobah for one day.
- The Star Destroyer takes off in seconds and the Falcon is right behind the engines.
- There are no noticeable effects from being behind the engines - they should have been incinerated.
- Perhaps the energy source used by the Empire doesn't convert into heat.
- Joe rejects this theory and says that the effects would be catastrophic - which would be an ironic end for the Falcon and its crew.
- Just a Leia says to Han "you certainly have your moments" they are instantly incinerated.
- Also, Boba Fett would be upset given that Vader specifically said "no disintegration".
- The Slave I spaceship:
- Lots of kids didn't realize that it was the Slave I spaceship being shown in the movie; they thought that is was Boba Fett with a backpack or something.
- Joe points out that in the special edition an extra shot of Slave I was added to make this more clear. He says that this is an example of "it was broke, so DO fix it". (Pete notes this tersely but makes no other comment).
- How did Boba track the Falcon without being seen?
- He literally stays 30 yards behind them for the whole trip.
- Or he plots their course and gets there first. Boba probably knows Lando too - given that they are all scoundrels.
- Plus there's only five planets on which anything happens in the Star Wars universe. It is a huge universe where most things only happen on Tatooine, Coruscant and three other places.
- Pete did not get Boba Fett's "garbage hiding" trick when he was a kid. In fact, he didn't understand most of the causality in the movie. It was just a bunch of things that happen.
- However he did know that Vader wasn't with the Rebels; Joe wasn't sure when he was 10 years old.
- 20:05 podcast episode length.
- "Bicentennial" minute refers to the year 1976, 200 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the "birthday" of the United States).
- Thanks to Joe for coming back; Joe is a three-peater.
- Joe will be back tomorrow.
- Joe: <As The Riddler from the 1966 Batman TV series> When is a cave not a cave? He he he. Alex: When it's a slug belly!
- Pete: <Tourism t-shirt logo> "Cloud City - I'll be there with beld on" (bells on).
- Joe: <As Han Solo in ROTJ> Boba Fett? What a dumb name!
- Alex: Oh - use The Force!