Star Wars Minute 113: Let Go, Luke

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November 6th, 2013


A grim determination sweeps across Luke’s face as he closes his eyes and starts to mumble Ben’s training to himself.


Tim Kreider



  • Starts with Luke in the trench demanding that R2-D2 increases the power and ends with Luke - switching off his targeting computer - that can't be right?


  • Luke demands that R2 "tries" to increase the power. How and to what? Shouldn't they already be at full power / throttle? Perhaps it means turning everything off – life support, the 8-track, iPod charging, air-conditioner etc.
  • Biggs unfortunately dies in this minute. He goes out in a panic telling Luke to hurry up (how?) and then wait. Very few pilots keep their cool under fire – especially from Darth Vader.
  • Biggs definitely spoils his flight suit in this scene.
  • We don't know who Biggs is, although he is referred to in a garbled way at the beginning of the movie (in a discussion between Luke and Uncle Owen).
  • Especially somber music when Biggs dies – but this can be rationalized not as it being Luke's friend that dies, more that Luke is now the last pilot left and is all alone in the battle.
  • There were originally going to be three scenes between Luke and Biggs in this movie; this would have been more of an arc for Biggs.
  • Ben Kenobi pipes up again here. Unusual in that Ben interacts with Luke – "Luke, trust me!" when Luke hesitates (significantly). Obi-Wan actually has to do a lot of convincing.
  • Luke doesn't mention to anyone that he is hearing Ben's voice, which is odd. A Jedi secret, or perhaps he doesn't want anyone to think that he's nuts.
  • Ben doesn't speak to Luke again for three years - i.e. until ESB.
  • Obi-Wan using The Force to control Luke directly - that is, physically controlling Luke's body. This has become SWM-Canon.
  • Biggs is killed by Luke's father, another Tatooine native.
  • Great 70s plastic buttons on Luke's dashboard. They look very sad and not advanced in any way.

Meta Minute

  • 19:10 podcast episode length.
  • Cold-open - 8-DAY-GREEDO call - Tom from Chicago - 6 years old calling from 1977 - Who the hell is Biggs?
  • There is a difference between X-wing and TIE fighter explosions in this movie. The pyrotechnic chemical composition is different plus the nature of the explosions are different.
  • The X-wing explosions are fiery and they burst apart into pieces, with accompanying sparks. We also see the pilots in each one.
  • The TIE fighter explosions are more abstract and the ships simply disappear in a gaseous, glowing cloud - like fireworks. TIE fighter models are blown up for these scenes but we don't actually see that; they are simply replaced with a chemical burst in post-production.
  • Joe Viskocil was the pyrotechnician on Star Wars - he also worked on Independence Day among other credits.
 Host discussion:
  Star Wars is an odd action / adventure movie in that the main good guy and the main bad guy don't actually meet each other.
  (The first time that Luke and Vader do meet is in the carbon freezing chamber in ESB.)
  They have seen each other on the Death Star, but do they know who each other is.
  Is Darth Vader famous? Like Dick Cheney but in the Star Wars universe?
  (Pete points out that the "is he famous" question has come up before, and Dick Cheney was the example used then as well.)
  Also, they don't even know that they're in each spaceship. Do they ever find out?
  The Emperor and Darth Vader talk about Luke in later movies, but do they know that he was the destroyer of the Death Star?
  This is addressed in a comic book, and the crawl of ESB says that Vader is obsessed with finding Luke, so
  the assumption is that they, or at least Vader, do work it out.
  Darth Vader as a trivia quizmaster.
  Alex says that a scene showing Darth Vader finding out who blew up the Death Star would have been included if
  the movies had been written 'end-to-end'.
  There is actually a lot of major things that happen off-screen or between the movies.
Trivia answers
1. Luke Skywalker blew up the Death Star (unless you believe it was Ben Kenobi).
2. The second pilot killed at the Battle of Yavin was John D. Brannon (Red 4). The first pilot killed was of course Jek Porkins.
3. Although there has been some debate as to the canonical number, Yoda has 4 toes on each foot in the majority of his on-screen appearances, for a total of 8. See Wookieepedia for more on this.
4. If you are Bilbo Baggins, you probably have the One Ring in your pocket.
  • The shot of the TIE fighters zooming across the screen from right to left is the clip they showed in the opening credits of the 70s TV show 'That's Hollywood' - an anthology show of clips from movies. Alex would watch the show's opening credits every single time to see this, and another, 1-second scene. Tim says that kids back then were like junkies looking for any little hit of Star Wars.
  • Darth Vader's TIE fighter flies right toward the camera and then we cut directly into the cockpit. Lucas uses this shot in other movies too - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (German pilot that is strafing them); ROTS (where they crash on the surface of Coruscant). This may have been taken from the World War II dogfight scenes.
  • Reminder of the live event about The Holiday Special.


  • Tim: As Darth Vader "Star Wars Minute!" Alex: "Oooh." Pete: "Great" Tim: "Thanks."


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