Star Wars Minute 109: Big Bad German Guy

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October 31st, 2013


Gold Leader explodes in a ball of flames, throwing debris in all directions.


Joe Dator



  • Starts with Hutch yelling at Pops and ends with Red Leader starting his trench run.


  • There is clearly tension between Hutch and Pops. Pops is the seasoned veteran pilot but not the model pilot - he just gets the job done well. Hutch is the young up and comer that is made the Gold Leader (possibly via some favoritism within the Rebellion) but it needles him that Pops keeps giving advice to the other pilots. Hutch starts to panic as the assault falls apart while Pops stays steady as a rock. Finally it all gets too much for poor Hutch and he tells Pops to loosen up - just moments before Hutch blows up.
  • Pops as a nickname; it isn't because he does pop several seconds later.
  • Pops isn't svelte either but he couldn't be the cute chubby mascot that Porkins was.
  • Gold and Red Leader and all, or most, of Gold and Red Squadron don't make it.
  • One Y-wing does survive which may or may not be from Gold Squadron.
  • How many squadrons took part in the assault and what were their color designations?
  • Other attack options are discussed (ie attacking from the other direction).
  • Darth Vader blows up every Y-wing that is destroyed in the movie (but, see below).
  • Grand Moff Tarkin appears in this scene. In the radio drama, Admiral Motti is encouraging Tarkin to rebel against the Emperor and when Tarkin wants to flee from the Death Star it is Motti that tells him not to - they'll win the battle, Darth Vader may be shot down, and then Tarkin will have the Death Star. This all happens just before Tarkin rebuffs the Imperial Officer in the movie for suggesting an evacuation.
  • The Emperor is not fully in control of the Empire at this stage. What do people know about the Emperor? Do they know he's an evil wizard? He does address the Senate at least once as 'The Emperor' so there is some a level of awareness of him - and his prune face.
  • Final appearance of DJ Death Squad Commander, although he may have escaped with Chief Bast as they snuck out of the control room together.
  • What is Tarkin watching / looking at from his favorite spot? A Farah Fawcett, Jimmy Hendrix or the original Star Wars poster?
  • Peter Cushing's physical and verbal performance is very impressive. Especially the way he trills his r's.
  • Tarkin's last line in the movie. The word "moff" is very roughly translated to Big Bad German Guy in Dutch.
  • Similarities between the Empire and other armies in history.
  • There are 3-minutes left until the Death Star clears Yavin so we are still close to real-time sync.
  • What happened to all the other TIE fighters? They seem to disappear once the trench runs start and Vader appears. Scared of the boss perhaps; or off chasing Brown and Yellow Squadrons.
  • Red Leader has a strong southern accent in this minute.
  • Referenced: Monty Python.
  • Pops' Y-wing explosion is a very impressive special effects shot. It flies towards the camera, there is an explosion, the Y-wing breaks into parts and then they fall to the surface of the Death Star.
  • Gravity on the Death Star and ejecting from the X-wings (fact or fiction?).
  • The Rebel Base gives a rare command to Red Leader regarding breaking the squadron into two teams. Red Leader appoints Luke as the leader of one of the groups - this must annoy Biggs. There is a lot of favoritism shown towards Luke.

Meta Minute

  • 21:33 podcast episode length.
  • Cold-open - 8-DAY-GREEDO call - Why do all the Rebel X-wing pilots have southern American accents? Where did they come from in the Star Wars universe if not from Tatooine? If anyone was going to have a southern accent surely it should have been Luke - the farm-boy from Tatooine.
  • According to Wookieepedia, the first Y-wing pilot to perish in the Battle of Yavin, Gold Seven, was killed by flak from the Death Star's anti-ship battery.
  • The actors that played Porkins and Pops were in a movie together in 1973 called 'Big Zapper'.
  • Support the Show on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Joe: And my name's Joe Dator and Happy Halloween. I'm, uh, preparing my costume - Admiral Snackbar - he's a fried calamari.
  • Alex: Lets try to make this episode as SPOOKY! as possible. Wooo-oooh....
  • Pete: know, May the Force Be With Us all.
  • Pete: They call him "Explodes".
  • Alex: They were going to call Porkins 'Pops' if he kept it up...(mocking laugh)...see, he's so fat.
  • Alex: Excellent Emperor impersonation.
  • Joe: <Luke> is Golden Boy... Alex: No, no. He's Red Squadron. Joe: Oh, sorry. He's Red Boy.


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