Star Wars Minute 83: Crazy Chasm

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September 25th, 2013


Ben enters a humming service trench that powers the huge tractor beam.


Doug Benson



  • Starts off with R2-D2 managing to finally shut down all of the garbage mashers and ends with Ben Kenobi on the ledge at the tractor beam getting ready to shut it down.
  • Lots of shutting down in this minute.


  • Some maintenance guy will get in trouble for R2-D2 shutting down ALL the trash compactors.
  • Why such loud celebrating when they're still trying to escape? Perhaps the Stormtroopers just assumed that once the trash compactor started it was 'job done'.
  • C-3PO thinking that they are dying when they're actually celebrating is a funny, organic joke - unlike CG robots stepping in poop.
  • Pete raises his theory about Threepio being willing to let them get crushed and thinks that C-3PO may be 'protesting too much'. He seems genuinely upset, but Threepio seems genuinely upset at everything.
  • Referenced: Werner Herzog.
  • Can R2-D2 control everything in the Death Star from the sugar cube control panel? If so, the hosts imagine other attack scenarios that the rebels could have used:
    • Kamikaze mission in which R2 blows the Death Star up right there and then.
    • Send a bunch of droids in to sabotage it or inject a virus.
    • Lock all the doors, trapping people where they are.
  • Ben is walking around the Death Star with other people and no-one seems to react. Is he using The Force to disguise himself? Doug says that Ben is a magical character in the movie.
  • Alex raises deleted scenes in which Luke, Han and Leia are walking around the Death Star hiding their guns behind their backs. This will become relevant in a later minute.
  • Or maybe the Death Star is just a big city with lots of people walking around all the time. If so, many lives are lost when it blows up - so who are the good guys and the bad guys really?
  • Pete raises an earlier draft of the script in which:
    • Ben is actually sneaking around to find the Kyber Crystal (a crystal that is linked to The Force).
    • To get to where he is going, he needs to go through a conference room occupied by a group of Imperial Officers.
    • To get through the room, Obi-Wan chokes all of the Imperial Officers at once and then walks through the room.
    • This is a very different Obi-Wan and they obviously decided to take the character in a different direction (i.e. more peaceful using mind control).
  • Referenced: Indiana Jones and possible links with the Kyber Crystal.
  • Good guys only choke something once in the movies - Luke chokes a Gamorrean Guard at Jabba's palace in ROTJ (although Pete points out that it is not clear if Luke is a good or bad guy at this point in that movie). Good guys generally don't shoot lightning or choke things.
  • Great camera shot of Ben on the ledge over the crazy chasm. This goes back to the general lack of safety on the Death Star (no regulations, no hand rails, open pits everywhere, dangerous garbage mashers etc.).
  • The scale and layout of this scene and the whole Death Star (interior and exterior) seems a bit off and doesn't quite connect throughout the movie.
  • The whole chasm is one big, awesome matte painting. These 'low tech' paintings and other special effects create the whole futuristic aura around Star Wars and are very clever.

Meta Minute

  • 21:49 podcast episode length.
  • The potential / inevitable reboot of Star Wars is briefly discussed. (Note - However, there is a very noticeable edit during this discussion that cuts the discussion short.)
  • See the table below for a summary of a 10-minute conversation that the hosts had at the end of this podcast episode not directly related to the minute being analysed.


  • Alex: As C-3PO speaking like Werner Herzog "They have been crushed the same way that life crushes all of us in the end".
  • Doug: It's like "Watch your step old man; it's quite a drop there".


Here is a summary of a 10-minute conversation that the hosts had at the end of this podcast episode not directly related to the minute being analysed:
  • Doug makes the point that Lucas making Star Wars is a really good example of 'lightning in a bottle' from a movie-making perspective because his other movies aren't that great. Pete says this is down to unsung heroes Producer Gary Kurtz and George Lucas's then-wife Marcia Lucas each being able to say "no" to any bad ideas he came up with. After ESB, Lucas had a falling out with Kurtz and got divorced from his wife and it all went down hill from there.
  • Referenced: The Empire Strikes Back; Willow; Red Tails; American Graffiti; Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Doug also makes the point that Lucas is quite generous with letting fans 'use' Star Wars (e.g. for parodies, podcasts etc.). Pete points out that SWM is relying on that generosity to a degree.
  • Doug further suggests that Lucas appears to be quite relaxed about criticism of Star Wars; he seems to recognize that he has different ideas about the movies to everyone else.
  • At this point, Doug shares his early memories of Star Wars:
    • He thinks that the first and second Star Wars movies are great and are real touchstones in his childhood and life.
    • When he was a kid big movies like Star Wars opened at one theater in the centre of town (San Diego in his case) that could seat 500 to 600 patrons.
    • He would wait in gigantic lines to buy tickets to see the movies.
    • He saw Star Wars on the Friday after it opened on the Wednesday.
    • His parents saw it with him and they thought it was fine.
    • However he really remembers seeing a 'candle and cake' advertisement in the newspaper congratulating the movie for being in the theater for one year.
    • The movie played in the theater for another eight months after that.
    • He saw it again two or three times in the last month that it was in the theater.
    • He saw the movie repeatedly at the same theater.
    • There were no trailers played at the start of the movie, probably because they didn't know if they'd ever play a new movie again.

The hosts then discussed the following:

  • The type of theaters mentioned by Doug have now gone by the wayside.
  • Everything is going digital which probably makes Lucas happy.
  • Pete says that Episode 7 is being shot on film and distributed digitally. This is being done to replicate the originals as much as possible.
  • JJ Abrams is a good person to be in charge of TFA as Director. The worst-case is that it will be Star Wars-ish.
  • Josh Whedon, Edgar Wright, and Kevin Smith would also have been good choices for TFA Director.
  • A 'Kevin Smith Star Wars' would look something like "Star Wars, The Podcast".
  • Clerks was one of the first shows to talk about Star Wars (specifically the Death Star blowing up) in the Dark Ages.
  • Having to sit through TPM with a sense of anticipation that was never realised.
  • Doug says that the other prequels weren't as bad as TPM as at least you didn't have to endure a snotty kid.
  • Pete restates that TPM is his favorite prequel as it has a certain charming quality, plus there was a degree of denial about how bad it was given that he had waited for it for so long.
  • There seems to be general consensus among the hosts that 'Prequel 2' was the worst.
  • Louis CK saw ROTS and told Doug that is was really entertaining on all levels. Doug has never worked out if Louis was being serious or joking to set him up.
  • Yoda fighting in ROTS is both entertaining and completely ridiculous.
  • Doug felt especially burnt by how bad ROTS was for some reason.
  • Doug and Pete also saw the 3D conversion of TPM to try again, or perhaps because they wanted to be mad at everything to do with the Prequels.
  • Doug was looking forward to seeing all the Prequels in 3D to really reconsider and analyse them. However the project was cancelled by Disney following their purchase and TPM was the only prequel that was ever converted. The hosts agreed that we all got punk'd on that one.
  • Referenced during this discussion: Super 8; Star Trek; Clerks.

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