Star Wars Minute 102: Blue Squadron
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October 22nd, 2013.
The hangar is buzzing with the last minute activity as the pilots and crewmen alike make their final adjustments.
- Starts with R2-D2 being loaded into an X-wing; concludes with said X-wing taking off with all the other X-wings as they get ready to fight the big Death Star.
- This minute is about building the tension as we get ready for the fight.
- There is a lot of putting on of helmets. The helmets may be handed to the pilots by the 'helmet guy' - the equivalent of the 'water boy' in sports. He's probably got the helmets in a rack on a big cart.
- Where the coloured stripes actually appear on the spaceships and the fact that the number of stripes on each ship corresponds to their number (i.e. Red 5 has 5 stripes).
- Conjecture about the number of spaceships in each squadron. It's very difficult to add 12 or 15 stripes to your spaceship.
- How is Luke Red 5? Is it a skill ranking or were other pilots bumped to accommodate him?
- How do the spaceships actually leave / get out of the temple? it's not clear. This should have been addressed in the special edition. Do they fly indoors at any point? Pete points out that a shot was added in the special edition showing the ships coming out of the trees but that doesn't really help with the question at hand - so they <the special edition movie-makers> failed. (At this point Pete says that they should have taken shots out - he wants the movie to be 40 minutes long and all told by exposition.)
- A poop-hose is removed from one of the spaceships before it takes off. What it could be if it isn't a poop-hose.
- Luke interprets R2-D2's beep as meaning "yes, all good". What if it doesn't mean that?
- C-3PO gives R2-D2 a tearful farewell and, once again, is only interested in himself - "I wouldn't want my life to get boring". Isn't a boring life exactly what C-3PO wants given everything that he has said up until this point? This actually means that C-3PO and R2-D2 are a good couple.
- At every other ship there is a translator droid bidding farewell to an astromech droid (e.g. CZ-3 is talking to R5-D4).
- Again, there is no music in this scene - the increasing jet engine noise is used to build the tension. Also, the jet engine noise places the audience in the same place / mood as the pilots. Nervous, alone with our thoughts, getting ready for the battle.
- Where do all the moustached rebel tech mechanics come from? Former Imperials that have defected; sympathisers; college students interning; former pilots that have been bumped by Luke? Again, they are the 'water boys' of the Alliance - they want to be involved and contribute. Or perhaps they are the stand-by pilots.
- 16:24 podcast episode length.
- Cold-open - 8-DAY-GREEDO caller (Lumberjack Nick). Why Blue Squadron became Red Squadron - the spaceships were filmed on blue screen and so having the colored areas on the ship as blue would not have worked. They therefore used red instead. Also, he thought that the Y-wings were always Gold Squadron.
- How many helmets did the movie makers have on set for the filming of the flight / battle sequences?
- None of the pilots getting ready in this sequence are shown in the actual fight scenes; these are just pick-up shots. Alex wonders if these pilots have ever been identified and given back stories. Pete does have a listing of the character names of the pilots in Red Squadron - 1 to 12.
- Red Squadron was actually Blue Squadron in the original script and this was changed (as explained by the 8-DAY-GREEDO caller - see below). Alex says that, given this explanation, you can cut this bit out.
- Due to the same blue screen issue R2-D2's colored sections are colored black in these sequences. In the Prequels ("Sorry Pete") they purposely made R2-D2's blue extra light to show that this is now possible. Was this also changed on R2-D2 in the special edition of Star Wars?
- Changes to this scene in drafts of the script:
- Second draft: Luke gets into the spaceship with Bail Antilles as his co-pilot and C-3PO manning the gun turret. A very different movie - imagine C-3PO with a gun.
- Third draft: Luke and R2 as we know it now, however Ben (who is still alive) gives Luke the Kyber Crystal to take with him. Luke is therefore carrying the Kyber Crystal in the cockpit and this 'powers' The Force that Luke uses when he fires his shot at the Death Star. This is like a video game trope - extra bonus shots.
- Pete: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hutch is Gold Squadron; we'll get to that.
- Pete: As CZ-3 talking to R5-D4 (in a silly voice) "Ah, you fly that ship good." Alex declares Pete as one of the best four CZ-3 impersonators in the country at this time. Pete says that he needs to work on it to get into the 'CZ-3 three'.