Star Wars Minute 59: Denying the Science

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August 22nd, 2013.


Han expresses his opinions on The Force.


Ryan Haupt



  • The chess game concludes.
  • Han bad-mouths The Force.


  • More about the holographic chess game (called Dejarik).
  • Pete wonders if the chess sequence, which is very memorable but brief, is the Star Wars equivalent of the CG robots stepping in poop type scenes that we see in the Prequels (i.e. is it just a special effects scene for special effects sake?). Pete and Alex conclude that it isn't on the basis that it's a very brief sequence and is adding to the 'world' rather than just being a punchline.
  • The fantastic sound effects and design in this scene and the entire movie (e.g. all the little noises that the chess board creatures make, the Death Star laser warming up etc.).
  • Referenced: Battle Chess, Star Wars Chess.
  • Alex thinks that Battle Chess is the kind of game in which, after many games, you'd turn off the animations to get through the game quicker.
  • In the chess game, are the creatures actually fighting each other or are they just cut scenes of (e.g.) Knight to Pawn. What are the rules? A request to call 8-DAY-GREEDO to explain the rules.
  • Luke "practicing his lightsaber".
  • Did Ben bring the remote training device with him or was it already on the Falcon? If he did, when did he realize that he was going to need it? If he packed it before he left his house back on Tatooine, this may add some weight to the theory that he orchestrated the whole thing.
  • Ben and Luke don't have any luggage, just two droids. Given this, how do they carry stuff around? In their robes? In R2-D2's "lightsaber slot"?
  • How the remote works. Is Ben controlling it?
  • Han is no fan of the lightsaber and the Jedi religion. Or is Han commenting on all religions not just Jedi?
  • Luke getting huffy about Han's views on The Force even though he's only been a believer for about 15 minutes.
  • Ben simply laughs at both Luke and Han in this scene, however Han could have finished the whole thing right here by convincing Luke that The Force is nonsense.
  • The prequels reveal that R2-D2 and Chewbacca have actually known each other for a very long time. This may be their 200th chess game together, or maybe this single game has been going for 100 years.
  • Lightsabers are ancient weapons (as stated by Han) so does this mean that lightsaber tech has not advanced in thousands of years? This seems to be the case with all other tech in the Star Wars universe as well. Alex reminds us that Pete thinks this may be due to the Empire discouraging free thought and new ideas. Ryan doesn't buy this explanation.
  • Han's home planet - Corellia.
  • Alex asks Pete to edit that out for Ryan.
  • Han's sneering attitude in this scene is very appropriate.
  • A story that Alex remembers from childhood about Harrison Ford having issues with saying the "ancient religion" lines in this scene. A request to call 8-DAY-GREEDO with any information about this.
  • Han's views on the Jedi religion seem similar to Admiral Motti's. Perhaps Motti is also Corellian and there is a link between him and Han somehow.
  • An imagined scene whereby Han and Motti are secretly watching a Jedi ceremony and mocking it.

Meta Minute

  • 16:32 podcast episode length.
  • Alex alludes to the Kenobiist theory.
  • Ryan makes the point that, in the context of just this movie, Han has never actually seen The Force do anything so is therefore rightly skeptical. However, when you take into account the Prequels, which reveal that there is actually a scientific blood test that can be done to determine someone's "Force power", Han becomes a creationist by denying the science of The Force.
  • In making the above excellent point, Ryan mentions the midi-chlorians and how much he dislikes the concept of these.
    • Ryan is not the first to mention midi-chlorians on the show: they were mentioned at least as early as minute 31.


  • Alex: Oh no, I meant R2-D2 and Chewbacca, not you. You're totally forgiven.
  • Ryan: My Grandpa never threatened to pull my arms off if I beat him. Alex: Grandpas are known to do that!
  • Pete: Is that in quotes? Alex: What do you mean? Pete: "He's 'practicing his lightsaber' ".
  • Pete: If so, was that remote in his pocket then? Alex: Just happy to see him.
  • Ryan: So Pete, they made these prequels. Pete: I've heard about those. Ryan: Yeah, so they made like three whole other movies...
  • Ryan: A long time. Alex: I walked into that again.
  • Ryan: You almost said "in a long time" Alex!


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