Jedi Minute 59: Hitting the Tree

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March 26th, 2015


Luke leaps from his bike to the back of the scout's, grabs the Imperial warrior around the neck, and flips him off the bike, into a thick tree trunk.


Chris Eliopoulos



  • Starts with the beginning of the great speeder bike chase.
    Ends with two other speeder bikes firing their lasers at Luke and Leia on their speeder bike.
    • The word speeder is said in the above sentence more than it's ever been said before.


  • Chris is a returning champion here for all-star cartoonist week.
  • This is potentially the worst 70s TV rear projection work ever seen in a movie. It looked alright to kids at the time though.
  • The visual effects seem to go backwards (i.e. get worse) in the Original Trilogy. Or the shots were more ambitious and therefore harder to achieve.
  • It's actually blue screen being used.
  • The speeder bikes even shake side-to-side when Luke jumps from one to another.
  • Luke is the worst back seat driver ever. Leia should have come back with some snappy answers.
  • Leia is diminished in this movie and has gone from taking charge to being Luke's chauffeur.
  • The character focus in this movie is very much on Luke and Vader; every other character is left undeveloped.
  • Luke could have trusted his sister and let her use the Force to take control. More evidence that Leia is not actually Luke's sister.
  • Who could be Luke's real sister.
  • Was Luke controlling, or trying to control, Leia via the Jedi mind-trick?
  • Why the Scout troopers don't use their comm links and why they are even running away in the first place.
  • How Luke knows about the comm links and comm link jammers on the speeder bikes.
  • Leia knows how to pilot / ride a speeder bike. Maybe they're very easy to ride and anyone can do it.
  • This scene re-imagined with everyone on actual bicycles.
  • Ben Burtt's sound design for this sequence is great and acts as a prequel for the sound design in the podrace.
  • Ring theory and links between the speeder bike chase and the podrace.
  • Hearing jungle sounds as the speeder bikes zip by is very cool.
  • The speeder bikes look like they're moving fast in the long shots but look like they're standing still in the close-ups.
  • Physical models and puppets are used for the long shots.
  • A shot of Luke on the speeder bike is used twice in this sequence - once in this minute with no dialog and then again in the next minute with dialog. Well spotted by Chris.
  • Bad ADR is often a part of Star Wars.
  • Is Luke using the Force to jump from one speeder bike to another, especially at that speed?
  • The forest background was originally filmed a 1 frame/s per second (fps) and then sped up to 24 fps to give the effect of speed. This equates to a ground speed of approximately 100 mph.
  • Speeder bike riders must get hit in the face by bugs, sticks and twigs all the time.
  • The original edit of this scene showed Luke breaking the Biker scout's neck; this was re-edited to be less violent.
  • Another squeaky sound effect from the Biker scout as they hit the tree.
  • More theories on what the squeaking noise is.
  • Effects of hitting the tree at that speed.
  • There are Biker scouts waiting for them in a "speed-trap". How many Biker scouts are there in the chase?
  • The Biker scouts don't take any evasive actions when they are being chased or under attack.
  • A "Star Wars Medieval Times" type restaurant, a "Star Wars on Ice" theater show and a speeder bike roller coaster ride.
  • The speeder bikes are Chris's favorite vehicles in the movie.
  • This is a fun sequence in the movie following all the meetings in the previous minutes.
  • It's cool to see terrain that we recognise and new stormtroopers in action.
  • Biker scouts have no peripheral vision thanks to their helmets.
 Chris's memories of Star Wars:
 He was 9 years old when he saw A New Hope.
 Chris was therefore a sophomore at High School when he saw Return of the Jedi.
 He probably saw it in a local theater.
 The father of his friend in college worked for a company that made bed sheets.
 The company had a Star Wars license and had items printed with Revenge of the Jedi. These were cool to see.
  • How much Revenge of the Jedi merchandise was destroyed.
 Chris's friend was as big a Star Wars fan as him.
 Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was released after The Empire Strikes Back shot straight to the top of his movie list.
 He did not love Return of the Jedi and was disappointed with Han Solo.
 Also he was 15 instead of 9 by then so his tastes had changed.
 Alex was 13 by the time Jedi was released and he was also more critical of the movie than he was of Empire.
 Chris couldn't really explain why he just didn't like Jedi as much as the other movies.
 Also, Empire was filmed / shot very well.
  • Chris's ranking of the movies - 4, 5, 6, 3, 2, 1. He thinks 1 (The Phantom Menace) is a waste of a movie containing lots of superfluous stuff.
  • TPM is Pete's favorite prequel and he hopes that he doesn't have to defend that for six months while doing TPM Minute (Editor's note - he does!).
  • Chris does the lettering for the new Star Wars comics.
  • Being critical of something but still loving it.
  • Chris has extra insider info for the hosts from the comics that he'll share "off the air".
  • At the time of the podcast Chris is also working on some Star Wars collectible items so he is having an "all Star Wars" week.
  • Thanks to and from Chris for the week.
  • Support the Show.

Meta Minute

  • 26:05 podcast episode length.
  • Cold-open: Ad-read -


  • Pete: ...that Leia is not in fact Luke's sister. Chris: Oh, it's Mon Mothma?
  • Pete: It's just like riding a speeder bike.


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