Star Wars Minute 107: You Get Called a Bob
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October 29th, 2013
Luke's ship soars closer to the surface of the Death Star, an Imperial TIE fighter closing in on him in hot pursuit.
- The minute starts with Luke's shot X-wing and ends with Gold Leader telling everyone to switch to their front...deflector screens; their front...deflector screens.
- Pete lost the bet - Luke survives being shot in the engine. This is surprising as Luke is such a minor character in the movie. Luke blows up; Gold Squadron or Red Leader come in and save the day. A very different movie.
- The Y-wings shine in this minute. They make the first trench run and get the ball rolling. Pete thinks that Hutch and the rest of Gold Squadron are the rebellions top pilots and the assumption was that they would get the job done. Red Squadron was made up of the hot-rodding, loud-mouthed show-offs. Plus the Y-wings are harder to fly and control.
- Joe thinks the Y-wings are a relatively simple design but that's exactly why they're cool.
- The Y-wings would be held in higher regard if:
- We got to see the guns and gunners in the movie, or at least the gunners pointing their fingers and making gun / shooting noises.
- Luke Skywalker flew in them.
- They had moving parts (i.e. if the pontoons had to be extended).
- A Y-wing is shown in The Holiday Special. It becomes stuck in something and so the front central part launches off and becomes its own spaceship - almost like a landspeeder. There is also a cool POV shot in The Holiday Special from one of the Y-wing's engines.
- Pete states that Gold Squadron and The Holiday Special (i.e. two things that normal people have no idea about) combine to drive how much he likes Y-wings.
- Wedge does a very cool flight maneuver in this scene. He remains as the true Hero of the Rebellion.
- The TIE fighters get very close to the rear of the X-wings.
- If Wedge had of missed the TIE fighter with his shot then he would have just slammed straight in to it anyway. Alex suggests that this is why he's called Wedge - because he wedges and plows through the debris, which may also be the reason that X-wings have such a pointy nose.
- The location of the trench is discussed again. It may not be the equatorial trench as it doesn't look wide enough to be seen from a distance. This remains an open question.
- What is the point of these trenches? To provide a nice neat corridor for pilots to use to find the thermal exhaust port? Also, it is heavily defended so they knew there was a potential design issue / risk.
- Joe points out that in the special editions there are concession food stands on either side of the thermal exhaust port where you can stop and buy things to eat (e.g. a cheesy steak burger). This instantly leads to a discussion about Porkins and his untimely demise in an earlier minute.
- There is a call to Red 6 (Porkins) over the radio in this minute, followed by awkward radio silence.
- The name Porkins was the first warning sign of Lucas's writing abilities / tendencies. Porkins was known as Jek 'Piggy' Porkins in the movie and Jek 'Tono' Porkins in the comic.
- Back at the rebel base, side-burns guy has been given two different names over time. In the card game he was known as Bob Hudsol and in The Holiday Special he is known as General Ristt. Other possible names are Whiskers McMuttonchops and Sideburns McGee.
- 'Bob' in The Star Wars universe isn't short for Robert; it's short for Greebob, Boba, Boab - or is a title for guys in the background of things.
- 'Ristt' is definitely a Star Wars name.
- At the beginning of the minute, there is a guy in the background of the rebel base that is doing the same thing with a map / graphic that a droid is doing with a map in ESB. He must have been downsized; was terrible at his job; it's the same actor just wearing a costume; easily replaceable; injured at work and his brain was transplanted into a droid. The last one makes the most sense as he was the only guy that could slide his hand up and down the chart like that. Pete would like to hear a slide whistle sound effect over this guy as he slides his hand up and down the chart.
- Gold Squadron to be discussed in more detail in the next minute.
- 21:06 podcast episode length.
- There was no Y-wing toy in the original run of Star Wars toys. However, there was a blatant rip-off toy called the Starbird - it was good enough.
- Drum-roll: Alex announces the live event to be held in New York City in which they are going to discuss The Holiday Special. See Part 1 of A Very Special Star Wars Minute Star Wars Holiday Special Special: Live! for a summary of this event. Details to be posted to Twitter and Facebook as they come to hand. It will be held as close to life day as possible (although this is when the last episode of SWM will air as well).
- Joe points out that he is a huge fan of The Holiday Special as he loves a) Star Wars and b) comedy, and things being terrible are very comedic for him. The Holiday Special meets and combines these requirements.
- The Holiday Special confused kids in the 70s, bit that didn't matter because there were shots from the movie ON TV!
- Referenced: Time Magazine with a picture of Darth Vader on the cover.
- Joe remembers how disappointing the explosion of an X-wing looked in the 'making of special' shown on TV. It was like a small fire cracker going off with some bits of paper flying out. Pete would love that to be how all of the ships explode for real on screen.
- The ILM guys must have been VERY happy with how the special effects in the movie came together. Some of the original shots were not cleaned-up or fixed in the special editions at all.
- An example of the type of scenes that audiences had never seen before were the side-on shots in which the X-wings and TIE fighters were moving fast, the camera was also moving fast, and the backdrop (i.e. the Death Star surface) was moving in the other direction. Up until that point spaceships in movies were lumbering giants that hardly moved at all against a static background (e.g. 2001: A Space Odyssey). Amazing work by ILM.
- Pete loves the making of scenes showing the crew driving past the Death Star surface prop with a camera on the back of a pick-up truck in broad daylight.
- Also, the Death Star became as massive as it was because the special effects crew wanted flat surfaces for filming. Therefore, to negate the obvious curvature of a sphere they made the Death Star as big as a planet or moon.
- Joe: And my name is Joe Dator and I named my dog Grand Moff Barkin.
- Alex: Porkins went to that great concession stand in the sky a couple of minutes ago.
- Pete: (in Pig Latin) Ix-nay on the Orkins-Pay.
- Joe: During the sign-out "...Star Wars - Monkey".