Star Wars Minute 36: The MacGuffin

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July 22nd, 2013.


Minute 36: Luke and Ben watch Leia's message.


Damon Ciarelli



  • More complaining from Luke about not being involved in the struggle against the Empire.
  • After Leia's message finishes playing, Ben sits back and twists his beard hair while Luke appears to have no idea what is going on (as per usual in this movie).
  • Ben drops knowledge about The Force on Luke, and Luke starts to leave Ben's house as a result.
  • It is revealed that the plans for the Death Star are actually in R2-D2. R2-D2 therefore has the McGuffin in this movie.


  • The moment of awkward silence (10 seconds) after Leia's message finishes playing.
  • The comfort that is derived from the line "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope". Damon compares this to the satisfaction of a well composed symphony repeating itself (a fantastic point by Damon).
  • Why R2-D2 played that final part of the message to C-3PO and Luke earlier in the movie.
  • How C-3PO translates R2-D2's beeps, and what these beeps mean (like sign language, morse code, binary, modem sounds etc.). (The team is on point in this podcast episode! Damon has brought a very intellectual tone to the podcast.)
  • Modem sounds.
  • The inevitability of Luke travelling with Ben to Alderaan. Ben moving their relationship along very quickly.
  • The contrast between Anakin leaving Tatooine in the Prequels and Luke leaving Tatooine in this movie. Anakin is excited to leave whereas Luke is dragging his heels (despite being eager to leave earlier).
  • Is Luke's change of heart about leaving Tatooine a botched script re-write, or just false bravado on Luke's part?
  • Does Luke really want to leave Tatooine?
  • Luke is starting to freak out in this scene; there is too much information for him to handle.
  • Luke as the most charismatic Skywalker.
  • Reference in this podcast episode - Space Jimmy Smits; the mysterious panel on the wall in Ben's house.
  • The excellent close-up one shot <camera> of R2-D2.
  • Why Ben can't remember R2-D2 from the Prequels.
  • Ben being skittish about having people (and droids) in his house after being alone for so long.
  • The level of detail at the end of the Leia's message where she looks to the side for people coming and then leans over and touches R2-D2.
  • At the end of the message, is Leia saving the message, placing something physically into R2-D2, or doing something else (i.e. turning off the webcam)? Much debate ensues.
  • Leia doing multiple takes of the message to get it just right.
  • Holograms and how the way they look depends on where you're viewing it from (a great discussion).
  • R2-D2 being the perfect size / height for capturing holographic video.
  • Damon's first viewing of Star Wars (around the age of 6). He saw ESB first - in a theater (around the age of 4) - and then saw Star Wars later on video tape (along with Raiders etc.). Until he saw the Star Wars movie he didn't realise that there was more Star Wars than just ESB. Despite this, he didn't really internalise or understand Vader being Luke's father until he saw ROTJ.
  • Another mis-timed Star Wars Minute sign-out.

Meta Minute

  • 16:59 podcast episode length.


  • Pete: The answer to everything is The Force.
  • Pete: Re: Luke being faced with the reality of leaving Tatooine "Ahh, I, I, yeah I can't, um, I have to farm...moisture."
  • Alex: R2-D2 is just kind of like a giant flash drive.
  • Pete: In regards to Leia touching R2-D2 at the end of the message "Right, and like putting it in him." Alex: Laughing "Putting it in him." Pete: Laughing "You know what I mean..."
  • Damon: On seeing Star Wars on video some time after seeing ESB in the theater "...and I was just like, no way, this is the same guys from Empire Strikes Back! Why didn't anyone tell me about this?"
  • Damon: "...and it was just awesomeness on a video tape."


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