Star Wars Minute 37: That New Death Star Smell

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July 23rd, 2013.


The Death Star is introduced.


Damon Ciarelli



  • Luke admits to hating the Empire.
  • Ben calls on Luke's morality. "You must do what you think is right, of course".
  • The Death Star, Grand Moff Tarkin, Admiral Motti and General Tagge are introduced.
  • A meeting in a conference room on the Death Star.


  • Cold open: Damon mentioning the Death Star.
  • Luke's options to explain his day to Uncle Owen.
  • Would wiping R2-D2's memory also wipe the 'message tapes' from Princess Leia, or are these held separately? (Alex is very intrigued by how R2-D2's memory and the message tapes work; he has mentioned this in a number of episodes up until this point.)
  • C-3PO just sitting there and staring into the distance; is he closed down again or is this an editing error / change?
  • Ben suggesting to Luke that he should "use The Force". Is Ben actually using a Jedi mind-trick on Luke in this scene?
  • Do Jedi need to do the hand movement / wave when using The Force?
  • The discussion between Ben and Luke is unresolved when we cut-away to the Death Star.
  • More dangerous Lightsabre use by Luke in this scene.
  • We get a great sense of the massive scale of the Death Star by having a Star Destroyer moving next to it.
  • The Death Star establishing shot is very simple, humble and restrained.
  • Pete's love of the Imperial officers in general and in this scene in particular.
  • The 'Conference Room' toy set.
  • Marvel comic adaptation of this Death Star scene involving levitation.
  • Telekinetic powers.
  • Pete once again refers to his theory that The Force doesn't actually exist.
  • Admiral Motti, the actor that plays him (Richard LaParmentier), and the fact that the actor also auditioned for Han Solo (and what the movie would have been like if he had of got that role).
  • Admiral Motti's full name is Conan Antonio Motti (named after Conan O'Brien).
  • Admiral Motti ('navy') is arguing with General Casio Tagge ('army') and it appears that the General is in charge of the Star Fleet (i.e. the 'navy') which is very confusing. (Note - Pete is in his element now!) Apparently the whole structure of the Empire at this stage of the movie is a mess.
  • Grand Moffs.
  • Alex wonders what the Death Star smells like. The inside of an airplane, a hotel room, a new car, Darth Vader's curry breath?
  • A company that manufactures smells for clients upon request.
  • How long it took to build the first Death Star - 20 years or so - and the second Death Star - 5 years or so (because they know how to do it by then).

Meta Minute

  • 20:38 podcast episode length.
  • This episode was the first time Alex asked the question (now beloved by the fans) "What does it smell like?".


  • Pete: Open your eyes man!
  • Damon: During the sign-off - "Wars Minute."


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