Star Wars Minute 105: Thirty Rebel Ships
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October 25th, 2013.
The Death Star superstructure races past Luke as he maneuvers his craft through a wall of laser fire and peels away from the surface towards the heavens.
- Starts in the attack on the Death Star with Darth Vader being informed that there are thirty ships attacking and ends with the rebel pilots being told that enemy ships have been detected on the radar and are coming there way.
- The guy stepping out of the shadows telling everyone that the enemy ships are on their way is a great shot and should have been a celebrity cameo (e.g. Roy Scheider). Alex hopes that episode 7 is full of celebrity cameos - like The Muppet Show was (see Meta Minute).
- Referenced: Roy Scheider; Christian Slater in Star Trek VI; The Muppet Show.
- The character that steps out of the shadows is Del Goren and he is a 'communications expert', because everyone's personality is totally dictated by what they're seen doing in Star Wars (Alex's pet peeve). Perhaps he comes from a planet of communications experts that specialize in detecting enemy ships approaching battles.
- Lieutenant Tanbris is the character at the beginning of the minute that tells everyone that there are thirty rebel ships attacking. Tanbris was an expert TIE fighter pilot that was injured and therefore grounded. He now has a desk job and appears to be part of Vader's personal guard group, given that he was informing Vader of the count directly. Or he's an independent contractor to Vader, hired specifically to inform Vader of how many ships are in attack groups (another reference to Alex's pet peeve). Or he's like Rain Main or the Count in Sesame Street - his job is just to count everything.
- Tanbris has a rare British accent in the movie and was played by a stuntman, which seems excessive given that he is very inactive. Alex says that he is probably an injured stuntman and this is how the Tanbris back story was created; the same actor was probably also the guy in the bucket back at the rebel base in SWM 103. Maybe he fell out of the bucket and got a line in the movie for not suing.
- Referenced - Rain Man; The Count in Sesame Street.
- There is a brief glimpse of the 'Pol Treidum Memorial Control Room' in the background of this minute.
- Luke wipes his nose with his glove; a true hill-billy!
- Why the Death Star doesn't just blow-up the giant gas planet Yavin, instead of its moon Yavin, thereby destroying the moon anyway. Destroying Yavin 4 is a more direct course of action; the exact effects of blowing up a giant gas planet need to be discussed with SWM's science expert Ryan Haupt. Or perhaps the Emperor had some kind of need for Yavin but not Yavin 4. The Emperor clearly doesn't want to preserve the Massassay way of life. Of course, the real answer is that they need a tension building plot point in the movie.
- There is a passive-aggressive exchange in this scene between Biggs and Jek 'Piggy' Porkins. This is also the scene where we learn of Porkins' name. Biggs uses Porkins' name but Porkins only calls Biggs 'Red Three' in return. Is this a communication / protocol break-down, or is there something else going on between them?
- We hear Porkins' name for the first time and then 15 seconds later he's dead. Poor Jek Porkins; he's the first pilot that we see getting killed. How many ships and pilots survive the assault? Only three? This means that 27 other pilots and ships are lost.
- Porkins' terrible R5 unit is clearly to blame for his death. Also, the other pilots are yelling for him to eject - but how does that work? Each X-wing ejector seat has a tiny (3 to 4 feet) force field that will surround the pilot when they eject and allow them to survive for a short period of time (say 30 minutes or so). Or this is just a story that they tell the pilots to make them feel better. Alex points out that an ejection scene would have provided an opportunity for even more fat jokes. Tony imagines a "Jek Porkins back story" movie from Disney - a slap-stick comedy acted by fat Jonah Hill (not thin Jonah Hill).
- Ben Kenobi chimes in with more fortune cookie advice for Luke in this scene. Luke taps his helmet as if there's a technical problem that is causing his dead friend's voice to come in over the radio. This is actually Luke's shtick - he does the same thing when not talking to Pol Treidum on the Death Star. Maybe it's Luke's nervous tic.
- Tarkin is staring at a monitor with the graphic of the Death Star's progress on it, and in the background Chief Bast is leaning over and talking to DJ Death Squad Commander. What are they talking about? Changes to the light show, amending the display on the monitor, piloting the Death Star, talking about evacuating the Death Star (before Bast speaks to Tarkin)? Or maybe he just wants to bring down the mood a bit and is asking the DJ for some slow jams, or "Crocodile Rock".
- 17:07 podcast episode length.
- Episode VII did end up having more than a few celebrity cameos.
- Darth Vader's red, transparent eye lenses are discussed. This is just in Star Wars; the lenses are opaque and black in the other movies. Are the red eye lenses, and being able to see Darth Vader's (David Prowse's) eyes, more cool than the black lenses? Or do they make him more scary or less scary? It definitely makes him creepier. This leads to a discussion about what we know about Darth Vader at this point - do we know that he is just a guy in an outfit / suit based on Ben Kenobi's comments in earlier minutes? However Pete and Alex point out that he can't be a robot because a) a robot can't learn The Force and b) The Force comes from midi-chlorians anyway - although it is acknowledged that all of this information doesn't come to light until the later movies.
- Thanks to, and from, Tony for the week.
- Also, thanks from Alex to Pete for being on the show. Pete says no worries and he hopes to be back next week, here on "The Star Wars Minute".
- Alex: Greetings nerd, you're listening to the STAR WARS MINUTE.
- Alex: Things are about to get CCRRAZY!
- Alex: In relation to potential cameos in Episode 7 "...where every single small part is like "Oh look, that's - ah - J-Wow" and "look, here's that girl that sings that Call Me Maybe song" and whatever trendy people are around nowadays. (Note - Carly Rae Jepsen; you're welcome.>
- Alex: As DJ Death Squad Commander during the attack "Don't stop rockin'".