Empire Minute 89: Official Chewbacca Style

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Chewbacca Hamlet.jpg


May 15th, 2014


Chewbacca is in a Cloud City prison cell. The stark room is flooded with hot light. To add to Chewie's misery, a high-pitched whistle screeches loudly. Chewie is going mad.


Jeff Ayers



  • Starts with the door closing on the awkward dinner party with Darth Vader and Boba Fett.
  • Ends with Chewie attempting to fix C-3PO in the holding cell.
  • Includes a shot of Luke flying the X-wing.


  • The shot of Luke is to remind us that he is still in the movie.
  • More "hang on" from Luke - saying this phrase is his only leadership skill.
  • What question does R2-D2 ask to prompt Luke's response?
    • Luke only roughly understands what R2-D2 says throughout the movies.
  • Bespin looks shadowy in this long shot - different to what it looks like on Cloud City.
    • How did Luke know to go to Bespin. He searched Wikipedia or Google for a city in the clouds? A tourism ad for Bespin / Cloud City appeared.
    • He had already been to Cumulous Town and Mistville.
  • Chewbacca gives good yowls in the car alarm room.
    • Why are there alarms going off? He's already in the cell - did he just try to break out?
    • There must be a dog whistle involved as Chewbacca wrings his ears.
    • What do Wookiee ears look like? Just holes in his head?
    • There will be a shaved Wookiee / Chewbacca in Episode 7.
    • Or he'll have to walk through an x-ray machine and we'll see his outline.
  • There are lots of Wookiee grunts in this minute and very sorrowful music - which is a weird choice.
  • Chewbacca's Hamlet moment with C-3PO's head.
    • Chewie isn't moping - he gets busy fixing C-3PO.
    • But why fix him? Chewbacca can't stand C-3PO - or maybe he does like C-3PO because he understands Chewbacca.
  • If Chewbacca was in the cell with Leia it would have just been two awkward one-sided conversations.
    • How Han learned to speak Wookiee.
    • The A.C. Crispin Han Solo series of books were good.
    • They should do a Chewbacca movie that spans 200 years or more. It would be like Forrest Gump and the feather would be a clump of Wookiee hair.
  • C-3PO's head needs to be put back on to his body to work.
    • Chewbacca must have tools in the bag on his bandolier.
    • Maybe Chewie is "doing a MacGyver" and is rigging C-3PO to be a bomb.
 None of the hosts had the toy bandolier as a kid.
 They were tiny - definitely made for kids.
 They must make bandoliers for adults.
 Official Chewbacca-style messenger bags are definitely available.
 As are weathered Indiana Jones jackets.
 The clothes that Wookiees are given as kids are what they wear for life.

Jeff shares his memories of The Empire Strikes Back.

 These are the favorite memories of his life.
 He had a bootleg video tape that was taped from another tape.
 Everyone was very skinny on screen.
 He asked his Dad why and he told him "maybe from the trash compactor in Star Wars".
 (Pete had the same tape.)
 ESB was "tape 18" in Jeff's collection. "Tape 19" was Wrath of Khan and "Tape 20" was a movie with Eddie Murphy and Sigourney Weaver.
 Jeff was 3 or 4 years of age when he saw ESB.
 There was also a re-release of both movies that he saw.
 The special edition of ESB was ok - they didn't mess with the movie too much and it was nice to see it on a big screen again.
 Jeff would watch ESB as his comfort movie.
 It was his favorite movie as a kid but as he became older this became Blade Runner.
 Jeff would stand on his head / hands against the wall and watch the movie upside down - like in the Dagobah scenes.
 He loved the ESB toys. The movie also made him love the Star Wars toys he already had even more.
 ESB characters on were on the Star Wars cards well into Return of the Jedi.
 ESB was the peak of the toys - they were creative but not overboard. Especially the playsets and vehicles.
 Jeff and Alex did not have an AT-AT toy but Pete did. Pete also had the aircraft carrier from G.I. Joe.
 ESB was released at an important time in Jeff's life. He loved the movie so much.
 He got a Twin-Pod cloud car from his Dad and it was amazing.
 Not all the action figures fit in the Twin-Pod cloud car.
 He also had the "falling apart C-3PO" toy.
 When he got a rubella shot he was allowed to pick any Star Wars action figure.
 They went to the toy store and there was only one Star Wars action figure but hundreds of others from different franchises.
 It was Lobot. See ESB 81 for further discussion of this phenomenon.
 Jeff loved the Lobot toy but not the character so much.
 A themed Lobot hotel room would be great:
  The alarm clock would wrap around the back of your head, Lobot-style.
  And Lobot would be the in-room concierge. When you asked for something he would just look at you, look right and the thing would happen.
Jeff has heaps of memories from ESB.
  • The actor that played Lobot - John Hollis - was also in:
    • Superman as the 4th Elder of Krypton.
    • Flash Gordon as Klytus Observer No. 2. He wore goggles in the movie which were just his Lobot headpiece turned around.
    • He seemed to typecast as a "cybertronic" character.

Meta Minute

  • 20:39 podcast episode length.
  • Cold-open: Ad-read - Amazon; starwarsminute.com/amazon.


  • Alex: You don't realize how long the Dagobah scenes are until you watch them standing on your head.
  • Pete: Make you feel how does this?



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