Empire Minute 85: Duke Starkiller

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May 9th, 2014


Luke's tiny X-wing rockets away from the green planet of Dagobah and off into space.


Joseph Scrimshaw



  • Starts on Dagobah with Luke still getting ready to leave and R2 still firing up the converters as Luke gets ready to take-off; ends a minute later on Cloud City with Han Solo walking into Leia's suite saying that the spaceship repairs are almost finished and they can leave shortly.
  • And they all live happily ever after - THE END.


  • Yoda has a crazed expression at the end of the Dagobah sequence. And he says the nicest thing that he's said to Luke the whole time - "mind what you have learned".
  • Do any of the things that Luke has learned actually save him? Yes - Force jumping out of the carbonite pit, telepathically contacting Leia, reaching out to The Force, not rushing things and being patient, not giving in to hate.
  • Use of the word "hate" in Star Wars.
  • Luke says he'll return as a Jedi - so close to saying "it will be the return of the Jedi".
  • Luke also says that he'll come back to complete his training. He does come back in Return of the Jedi but cannot complete his training as Yoda dies—Spoilers.
  • The movie makers turn a weakness into a strength. We don't see the X-wing take-off and it is implied with very clever lighting. They definitely go the extra mile to make this scene effective and emotional.
  • Yoda says "I told you so" to Ben and then the can of worms is opened when Yoda says <sic> "there is another". Alex points out that:
    • This isn't even a thing if you watch the movies in episode number order.
    • When the movie was first released this generated all sorts of debate about who "the other" actually was. Boba Fett, Lando, Chewbacca, BoShek, Hammerhead, General Rieekan, Greedo?
    • The hosts agree that Chewbacca as "the other" would have been awesome.
    • It could have been someone that we don't even meet in the movies. That is, there is a parallel plan underway so that when Luke does finally show up they can just say "Oh, somebody already killed the Emperor".
    • There must be all sorts of schemes and plots to kill the Emperor underway across the galaxy.
    • Joseph shares a story as a kid:
 He and his brother would play Star Wars but would have a problem when they both got the same action figures.
 This was because they would create quite complex narrative stories relying on individual characters.
 They both had Luke Skywalker action figures.
 Joseph's brother was older so his action figure was the real Luke Skywalker.
 His brother convinced Joseph that his Luke action figure was a cousin of Luke's called Duke Starkiller.
 In his mind, Joseph started to wonder / hope that Duke Starkiller was a real character.
 (The hosts like the name Duke Starkiller, especially given that is linked to names used in draft Star Wars scripts.)
 Joseph is of the view that his brother came up with the name all by himself so that Joseph didn't feel to bad about not having Luke.
 Alex points out that his brother could have been much meaner by coming up with a name like "Puke Sludgeclimber".
 Duke Starkiller is a cool and macho name.
 Joseph remembers seeing The Empire Strikes Back for the first time.
 He was very young but loved the movie and especially loved Yoda.
 Yoda started out being funny and zany but then ended up being wise.
 This was how he felt as a kid -
 Everyone looks at you like you're a harmless weirdo but you know that you secretly have the knowledge and power.
  • The hosts playing Star Wars as though they were the characters (i.e. not by using the action figures):
    • Pete - Han Solo. Pete once got into trouble on the School Bus for pretending to be Han Solo and acting out a scene from the opening credits of the Holiday Special.
    • Joseph - Luke Skywalker. This was ruined by Return of the Jedi because Luke became so powerful with The Force and would always win.
    • Alex - C-3PO. This says a lot about Alex as a kid. Alex also had a lot of opinions about protocol as a kid and could program a binary load-lifter really well. Alex as A-3PO.
  • Smash cut to Bespin and Cloud City.
    • The establishing shot of Cloud City is much longer in the special edition and includes a Twin-Pod cloud car and Leia pacing in the window.
    • Leia is the first character we see after the "there is another" line, so we should have figured that out.
    • Pete points out that, in the special edition, the first characters we see after the line are the Twin-Pod cloud car pilots so "the other" could have been one of them.
  • The Twin-Pod cloud car toy:
    • Pete has this as a kid but Joseph did not.
    • Joseph did have a Twin-Pod cloud car pilot action figure but not a Lobot action figure.
    • Pete tells of the Kenner Twin-Pod cloud car commercial and the fact that it totally reflects how kids would play with these specific toys by making up a story involving only them. That is, the pilots report seeing the Millennium Falcon and Lobot tells them to keep patrolling.
 Joseph invented a whole new character for his cloud car pilot action figure.
 He can't remember the character's name but he was trying to start a relationship with Princess Leia.
 Han was having none of it.
 Joseph's mum was watching soap operas at the time so this probably influenced his story "writing". 
 (Joseph had the Hoth AND Bespin Leia action figures - he preferred Hoth.)
  • Leia changes clothes again later in the movie. Pete has some information about this to share in later podcast episodes.

Meta Minute

  • 19:03 podcast episode length.
  • Thanks to, and from, Joseph for the week.
  • Joseph will be back for Return of the Jedi minutes - from a certain point of view. Joseph wants to come back for Obi-Wan's lies on Dagobah. More Dagobah for Joseph. Joseph points out that Obi-Wan is so burdened by his lies that even his ghost has to sit down to share them.


  • Joseph: And I am a man that believes that Luke Skywalker blew up the Death Star all by himself without any help from Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Pete: ...but Yoda dies. Oh, sorry - spoilers. Damn! Alex: Well, he becomes one with The Force. Pete: Right, he moves to a different <pause> area.
  • Pete: We don't have the budget to show a spaceship taking off so we're going to do it with three lights and a puppet.



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