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Fun with Franchises: Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), Part V — “How Come They Didn’t Give It a Cold First?”

Today we begin another entry in our Fun with Franchises series, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Part V.

In case you don’t know how this works — a while back, I decided to rank my favorite Disney movies and rank my favorite James Bond movies. And the Disney ones were mostly straight synopses and not too much fun, but when I got to Bond, I enlisted the help of my friend Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!), who knows everything about the Bond franchise that I do not, for those articles, and along the way, learned how to have fun with it. And, by the end of the Bond articles, we were having so much fun that I said, “Man, we have to do this again with other stuff.” Because I spent about a straight month and a half putting together those articles. That’s how much time and effort actually goes into something like that. And not once did it feel like work. It was so much fun that I knew, as long as we were doing it for comedy purposes and able to riff off of each other — we could do pretty much any film and it would work.

And very quickly, the first ones you come up with are the major franchises, because those are not only the most fun, but also the most universally known. Everyone’s gonna understand all the jokes we make (well… most of them. Some of them might be limited to three people) about them. So that’s what we’re doing. And if you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them.

And that’s Fun with Franchises. Right now, we’re doing the Star Wars franchise, and today is the fifth and final part of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope:

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We begin Part V on Yavin…

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Yavin fun yet?

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And a random cut to dude practicing his aim.

I can’t tell… is he tracking it to see if it’s friendly? Does he think he has a shot at it? What’s up with this shot? It’s totally random.

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This looks like a bunch of tourists outside the pyramids.

Norm Macdonald:

Tourist retards.

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Colin:

And now there’s the X-Wing! Another badass craft, although not nearly as cool as the Falcon.

Also, why does this interior set seem like they borrowed it from Moonraker? I guess it’d have had to be the other way around, for that matter.

This is what space looked like in the 70s.

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“You must use the information in this R2 unit to plan the attack. It’s our only hope.”

You change hopes quickly, don’t you, Leia?

Colin:

If Leia was so sure they were being tracked, why not land somewhere else and then switch ships? Or call ahead and meet in a third location?

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Colin:

R2 swapping fluids with this computer. He’s been all over, baby; you’re gonna want a virus scan after this.

HPV2.

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Colin:

Oh jam, here comes the DEATH STAR BITCHES!

This is like the magnet in The Brave Little Toaster.

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That must be a fun job.

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They go over the plans and shit. It’s like science class.

Colin:

We get a nice 70s CAD model of the Death Star, representing the pinnacle of contemporary technology. The past makes me laugh a lot.

This is the distinction between Democrats and Republicans: Democrats laugh at the past and cling at the future, and Republicans laugh at the future and cling to the past.

(It’s not just comedy people. Sometimes I say some real gems here. It’s not just abortion humor and bad puns, as much as we’d all prefer that.)

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That guy is the generic looking German dude you see as a henchman in a lot of Bond or war movies.

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“Hi.”

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“I don’t fuck with hood rats. There’s a war on.”

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Is that Q back there?

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I won’t get into the obvious question here, that everyone would bring up. The real point to bring up is — doing this now… you negate the point of the last two movies. Which works for Empire, since they change the focus, but it turns Jedi into the giant mess that it is.

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I love how he explains about this tiny little area and they all know exactly where to go, even though the station is the size of a planet.

“The target area is only two meters wide.”

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“That’s impossible. Even for a computer.”

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“But it’s not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They’re not much bigger than two meters.”

Are womp rats this franchise’s version of hood rats?

Colin:

Luke’s kind of a douchebag to this guy, but that said…this guy fucking deserves it. Talk about a Debbie Downer. “Meh! That’s impossible!”

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“Man your ships. And may the Force be with you.”

Wait, what? Why is he saying that? Is the Force Christianity? Is it just the assumed religion around the world? Invoking it like people say ‘God bless you’? That’s fucked up.

Colin:

Remember how the Imperial brass had very little concept of what the Force was? And now this guy is saying, “May the force be with you” to everyone! Maybe the rebels are still familiar with it and respect it because of the few jedi that are still around? Not that any of these guys are likely to be Force-sensitive.

Every time I hear “Force-sensitive,” it makes me think of people who casually say homosexual slurs or something in casual conversation. It just sounds so gay.

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These shots looked better when the CGI wasn’t as good.

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They’re gonna be in range within 30 minutes. Time limit!

It also looks like someone’s passing a kidney stone on that monitor.

Or this.

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Flight time.

(P.S. I love this shot. They both have the same expression on their faces.)

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Han’s leaving. He tells Luke to come with him.

Colin:

Hey guys, remember that whole “character” thing we talked about earlier? Now, I know this is kind of a foreign concept to Lucas these days, but he used to know a thing or two about it. Han wants Luke to come along and join him, while Luke has come around on the matter of the Rebellion and thinks Han’s betraying them. Luke has gone from “that’s so far from here” to devoting himself fully to the plight of the rebels. Han isn’t quite there, and we’re being allowed to think he’ll remain the scumbag he’s been portrayed as. What with shooting Greedo first and such. Fuck you, Lucas.

You see character, I see plot development. It’s funny how what looks like character development, smells like character development — isn’t really character development. I think it’s because I don’t buy it. I don’t buy anything that happens to Luke until he gets his hand cut off. To me, everything that happens to Luke in this movie is plot-generated. He’s just brought from place to place. To me, he has about as much character development as Candide. It’s just because of where he goes and the people around him that you think he’s changed. But he’s just this blank slate shit is projected upon. Everything that’s happened to Luke is brought about by outside forces (and outside Forces), and not once do we actually get anything internal from him in this movie. That’s my problem with it. You’re calling it character, and I don’t even see it. I see the illusion of it.

This is the kind of stuff I was talking about with this movie. People see all this complexity — I see something that barely counts as what it’s being called.

I don’t see a character moment here. I see words. I see a story being written and played out. I don’t see real people engaging in a conversation.

(Am I Neo? Am I seeing The Matrix? Is that what’s going on? I don’t get it. What is it that I’m seeing that no one else sees?)

Colin:

Is ANYONE arguing complexity for the first trilogy? I’d say there’s substance. There’s plenty of complexity with the new ones, but not the good kind.

The thing is — I don’t know what people are arguing for. I just know what I don’t want people to argue for, and I feel like I have to argue against it rather than stay the status quo.

Plus, I’m kind of hoping I get a bunch of messages that say, “You’re wrong and you’re an idiot,” because those are so fucking funny to me. There’s nothing better than shitting all over something and having people get mad and try to defend themselves, because it’s the internet, and they look like idiots. That really might just be what the end game here is. There’s nothing more entertaining than angry people on the internet.

Except maybe videos of cute animals and goats yelling.

Colin:

I guess I’m seeing this as Luke having made a choice and Han having made his own. Which…it doesn’t get any more basically “character” than that. They have a disagreement about what obligations each of them have to the Rebellion; one of them has something else going on that means a lot to him, so he’s ready to take off in spite of their camaraderie — but he’ll be back. Everything I just said can be applied to Marius in Les Miserables. I’m not saying that this script is Victor Hugo, but I’m pretty sure the only difference between admitting this is ‘character’ and attacking it as being ‘plot-driven’ is that you want to find fault with this script any chance you get. I know how it goes. You remember the Roger Moore Bond films.

Oh, totally. I want to take a flamethrower to this script. That’s absolutely what it comes down to and that’s exactly what I’m attacking. The rest is just amusement.

Because, ultimately, the films I tend to have this specific kind of problem with — the ones where I start poking holes in it and then start attacking it loudly and in a big, broad way are ultimately the ones that I like, but am completely upset with because I know they could have been much better. I’m thinking of all the ways they could have been made better.

I remember we went to go see a movie… I think the spring of my sophomore year. And it was an enjoyable movie, but when we got out of it, all I was saying about how bad a job they did and how I could have done a much better one. And I think it was Siena — like a year later, she was talking about that movie and I mentioned that I liked it and she went, “I thought you hated that movie.” And I realized — it’s always those movies that make me sound like I hate them. And it’s only because I’m seeing the ways in which they could have been better because I feel like the opportunities that were there weren’t fully exploited.

Because, let’s face it — all three of these movies are on my respective top ten lists for each of their years. I’m not necessarily shitting on the movies as much as I’m shitting on people’s perceptions of these movies and the fact that they could have been so much better if they had a better writer behind them.

So basically George Lucas is my Roger Moore.

I can’t believe it took us five articles to get to this.

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“May the Force be with you.”

…And here’s where he starts becoming shitty.

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Is that a joke or not?

Is he begrudgingly becoming religious? Because if that’s what it is, I don’t know if I like that.

Colin:

Wait, see the thing that the pilots are riding to their ships? IS THAT NOT FROM MOONRAKER? And I’m pretty sure this is a moment of sensitivity. Scoundrels still have friends. He knows he’s letting Luke and the rest of them down, so he says this to show that he still wishes them well. I’m not Jewish, but I’ll still say “mazel tov” at a Jewish wedding because it means something to them. From Han, it’s almost like an apology. Is this not obvious? This little line felt like there was a lot of character in it…you don’t get any of that at all?

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Droid traffic controller.

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I feel like she has this facial expression in most shots.

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Seriously! He could be thinking about Play-Doh for all you know.

Colin:

And yet, they’re actually still discussing the Han thing. Still no character involved?

You just reminded me — I never brought up the other point I meant to bring up — a lot of my character issues have to do with two things — the writing, and the idea of the trilogy. A scene like this — the dialogue is so generic I really just started to tune it out, because whenever I hear dialogue this generic, I automatically think, “It’s only there to move the plot along.” Because how could you not take more time to make it better if that’s the focus of the scene? And the other thing is what I said before — I see a moment of characterization like this and go, “All right, that’s one,” and then I try to think more broadly and come right back to, “And yet this is all completely gone by the end of the next movie and this characterization doesn’t hold us up over three movies. Motherfucker!”

So once again — fucking Lucas…

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Aww… a bro and sis moment.

“She’s my sister AND my girlfriend!”

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Isn’t it funny that these hangars are more filled up now than they are when computers could actually add more shit to them for the prequels?

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It’s Biggs.

And some guy attached to that moustache.

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“Are you sure you can handle this?”

Asks Bill Clinton.

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“Sir, Luke is the best bush pilot in the Outer Rim territories.”

“Well all right.”

Really? That’s all it takes?

Colin:

I love bullshit authority figures like this. “Are you sure you can handle this?” And then after being given a vague reassurance by one of his inferiors, “Yeah, you’ll be great! I’m gonna go beat off before we push!”

Can someone make me a medal that says, “Best Bush Pilot”? I don’t even need the “Outer Rim Territories” part. That’s just a bonus.

That would be a great thing to list as a career. “Bush pilot.”

(Dick Cheney used to have that job.)

(I like changing lanes, mid-metaphor, in case you guys didn’t know.)

(I also like Changing Lanes the movie, with Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Affleck.)

(I also think we should make t-shirts that say, “I’m gonna go beat off before we push.”)

Colin:

It’s done.

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“It’ll be like old times, Luke. They’ll never stop us.”

Dead.

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I like this moment. They ask if Luke wants a new R2 unit since this one’s beat up, and Luke’s like, “Not on your life.” But what’s really funny about it is that he asks if R2 is all right, and R2 beeps and shit, and Luke goes, “Good.”

So, does he speak R2 now, or is he just assuming R2 is okay? What if R2 was saying, “I’m gonna cut off your dick if we make it out of this alive”?

“Can you hear me now?”

“Beep boop beep boop.”

“Good.”

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Colin:

It’s weird to me that they carry droids to do shit on the ship. Cause we find out later that ships have their own abilities and personalities. Why not just program the ship to be able to talk to you? Or if you have to carry a droid to talk to it, wouldn’t it be better to have it shielded from laser blasts?

When later? I don’t remember anything like this. Granted, I don’t pay much attention to the dialogue because it’s awful, so if it’s original trilogy, that makes sense. I pretty much ignored most of the dialogue for these three movies.

Colin:

And there you go. You may have missed a few redeeming lines. Yes, most of the writing is shitty, but I’m drawing from all of it. 

And we hear about 3PO talking to the Millennium Falcon and how she turns out to be rather sultry and vulgar. Which I like.

Maybe it’s like this — Luke is the jockey, the plane is the horse, and R2 is the whip.

Also, answer me this question honestly — is R2 the Short Round of this movie?

(And does that make 3PO Kate Capshaw?)

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“Luke – the Force will be with you.”

So that’s what Obi-Wan does now? Just sort of exists in the universe and talks to people? What if Luke’s at the club? Does Obi-Wan just go, “Go grind up on that chick”? That’s fucked up that he can just talk to Luke at random points without Luke being able to do anything.

What if Luke’s sitting alone, minding his business, and Obi-Wan just goes, “Luke, turn on channel 6, you gotta see this shit!” That’s some scary shit. Ever be walking to the store on a Sunday morning or something, and the neighborhood is quiet, and you’re just kind of in your zone, and then a car horn goes off out of nowhere and scares the shit out of you? That’s what that’s like. Just walking along… “Luke!” and you start spazzing out because this fucking voice just comes into your head out of nowhere.

Why would you want that shit in your ear all the time without being able to turn it off? Luke will be at the casino, and Obi-Wan will be like, “Put it all on red.” And then Luke will do it and he’ll lose and Obi-Wan will be like, “Damn. Worth a shot.” He’s not telling him anything important, he’s just talking to him. And he can do it whenever the fuck he wants.

There has to be an instance of a Jedi killing himself because his former master won’t stop talking to him from the Force. There has to be.

And then he ends up in the Force with him and beats the shit out of him.

Imagine Faust but with Jedi.

Colin:

I was just along for the ride for this whole stream of consciousness. Did you guys enjoy it as much as I did? 

Yeah, it’s moments like this that I’m at my best.

There was actually an exchange in that Facebook message thread with Shiho and Jake that I really liked that I went and found, because it had a similar idea in it.

Shiho had mentioned something about Anakin, and I thought he was talking about the only Anakin I know. And he corrected me, saying it was Anakin SOLO, Han and Leia’s kid. And I wrote:

Why would Han and Leia name the kid Anakin? I love how, just like Harry Potter, all the kids names are basically from the father and the surrogate father.

Why would Leia name a kid after her father, who she didn’t know and who was going to have her killed? I get Luke doing something like that, but for Leia it’s just weird.

And he wrote:

Only she could be so bold. that was addressed before she even named him. She refused to just forgive Vader like Luke for years after the events of RotJ, but Anakin force ghosted to her, getting on her nerves until she learned to forgive him and she named her son that as a sign that she finally forgave him, plus Anakin Solo was so badass that he was whooping Palpatine’s ass FROM HER WOMB, Anakin is really the only name that fit.

To which I could only respond:

That’s hilarious. I can imagine her cooking breakfast at like 7:30 on a Sunday, with Han up in bed, and Anakin showing up as a ghost like, “Come on… I didn’t mean it! Forgive me!” And she’s like, “Goddamnit, Dad, we have rules in this house.” And him just showing up in a montage. “Come on… forgive me!” and Han just rolling his eyes during the whole thing. And then at one point, Anakin makes a point and Han agrees with him and the two do a fist bump.

This movie’s practically writing itself.

If only this movie interested me to the point where I could start thinking like that.

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That’s kind of close. Maybe don’t build a watchtower so close to where the fucking planes take off. The amount of wind and heat coming out of that plane engine should send him flying out of that thing right now.

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Of course there’s a command room.

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This looks like Atari.

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♫ “The Jets are coming out on top, TONIGHT!” 

(It’ll never get old.)

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“Red Ten standing by.”

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“Red Three standing by.”

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“Red Six standing by.”

Colin:

I’m not sure you CAN stand.

It must have sucked to be doing a mission with him, having to hear him mouth-breathing into the comm link the whole time.

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“Red Two standing by.”

Colin:

Let me say, for people who don’t know extended universe at all – Red Two is Wedge Antilles, who later becomes a general and is pretty much the most legendary pilot in the history of ever. It can be disputed, but he’s pretty much a god. So if he’s flying with you, and especially if he’s your wingman, you’re cool.

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“Red Five standing by.”

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And we overhear ten, eleven and seven. What happened to Reds four, eight and nine is beyond me.

Colin:

These guys aren’t reporting their status in order. It doesn’t bug me, it’s just…how the fuck do they do it so quickly without stepping on each other?

“Red fi–” “Red tw–” “No, go ah–” “No you–” “Red fi–” “Red tw–” And then the awkward silence in between as they try to wait. It’s like when someone tries to unlock a car door right as you try to open it. Or when you’re walking toward someone on the street and you both try to move out of each other’s way at the same time.

Colin:

Ah! That car door thing is the worst! But little moments like this always get me. There’s no way shit would go that smoothly unless you were in some sort of order.

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Colin:

So…we’re about to begin the Battle of Yavin, which – in case you guys didn’t know, this becomes the frame of reference for every other event in the Star Wars universe. Years are noted as BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) or ABY (After the Battle of Yavin, if you couldn’t put that together), which makes it a pretty important event. So here we are, at 0 BBY.

That seriously makes Luke Jesus, doesn’t it?

Ugh.

Colin:

Well, no. But for our purposes…sure.

Pretty much everything that’s said is these articles is for our purpose only.

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Colin:

Lock S-foils in attack position. Never got the “s-foil” line, but at least I knew what they were talking about. I love that these ships have variable geometry wings. It’s like a swing-wing aircraft, which were popular at the time Star Wars was made. Think the General Dynamics F-111, or the Grumman F-14 of Top Gun fame.

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How come they didn’t give it a cold first?

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Sext: “Tonight, I’m Biggs and you’re Wedge.”

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Get it? Like penis and vagina.

Biggs and Wedge…

Yeah, you get it.

Good looking out.

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You see this shot a lot on pirate ships too.

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YES! Big guns!

That’s pretty great.

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I also want to know what the manpower of a station like that is. It must be a shit ton of people. Theoretically you could have thousands of those gun turrets all over that thing.

Which I guess makes the Stormtroopers’ ineptitude make sense, since this is like the Roman Empire of Empires. They have control over a shit ton of people, and they’re making these people work for them. So most of them aren’t particularly skilled in any way – they’re just bodies. So that does explain, to a point, why the Stormtroopers can’t do shit correctly.

That said – still curious how many people they have operating this thing.

Colin:

Some book suggested like 30 million people or so, but it’s complete bullshit. Really any number you throw out is going to be ridiculous. Cause remember how this thing is like 100 miles across? Then there’s the interior. Even with a “big” number like that, there would have to be hallways and stuff that were empty for MILES. It’s hardly worth even imagining the manpower factor.

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This looks like a Lego base plate.

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I’ve always wondered how they were able to track everyone’s positions on those grids. You see that a lot in old movies. Caesar standing over a giant table with all the troops on it (Who’s the guy that gets to make that thing? I want that job. Official Diorama Maker of the Empire), pushing them with one of those dice sticks — there, it makes sense. Here, this shit is real time, and it’s ships. How the fuck can you honestly keep track of, “Now they’re in the crater, now they’re not in the crater”? Are they doing it strictly from audio? Is there a ship that only exists to do play by play? I never understood how that worked.

But really, what I think we all got out of this — who made those battle models for the Romans?

Colin:

Hasbrutus?

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I love that his name is Porkins.

Colin:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HIS NAME IS PORKINS I CAN’T I JUST CAN’T

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Extra crispy.

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Peter Cushing’s job here is to just be intense all the time. That’s it.

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Colin:

Say hi to Porkins for me!

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Colin:

Why do TIE fighters coming from the Death Star appear from the middle of space?

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Explosions still look nice.

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That still looks like Q. And that moustache is incredible on that other guy. And then there’s of course the John Huston/Gregory Peck hybrid over there. And that Steve Carell looking motherfucker on the left.

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I always really liked this sequence. Since there’s no visual geography given at all. We have no idea where anyone is in relation to anything, yet it totally works.

Doesn’t help at all for these articles, but meh. Are people honestly reading these anyway?

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I love that the exits to this ship have giant fluorescent lights all around them. That fucking thing must be the size of a football field. Imagine the heat coming off of that light. Their electric bills must be incredible. This is what your taxes pay for, people.

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Aww shit. There he is.

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Nice coloring. It looks like the fucking China Syndrome.

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This might be the one crisp image in this entire sequence.

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Lucas is doing a good job of keeping you aware of the time limit. So that’s good too.

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Seriously, why is everything in symbols? Do rebel pilots have to take a course in Wingdings before they can fly one of these things?

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Colin:

This trench scene is so iconic. The targeting computer sounds and the terrain flying by. And yeah, when the guns stop, that’s probably not as good a thing as you think.

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That ship looks like it has a station wagon attached, human centipede style, to the head.

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Vader is a G.

Thank god for all that podracing, huh?

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Two down.

Colin:

I also enjoy how even after Mr. Legendary Pilot Skywalker (Sr.) uses his bullshit targeting computer to get a lock on the ship RIGHT in front of him, his lasers still go fucking everywhere before actually hitting. So much for precision. It’s like someone with palsy trying to shoot something with a blunderbuss. And this is the guy who was the first ever human to win a pod race. Excellent shooting, asshole.

But screw these guys, cause fuck Y-wings.

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“Well, shit.”

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Colin:

Notice how they’re like right over the target, and yet every time someone goes into the trench, they’re like 30000 meters (or whatever this measurement is) away from it. Why not just circle down immediately after and give it another shot?

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Didn’t go in.

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Of course it’s your turn, motherfucker. You gotta prove yourself as not useless (finally).

Colin:

All this talk of pulling out…I think Beggar’s Canyon is my new nickname for shame vagina.

Luke speaks truth, though. Wedge is the wingman, which means he has to watch for fighters. But Wedge is your best bet for a wingman, in the sky or in the club.

Wedge: When you want to get it in.

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Colin:

So now Mr. Legendary Pilot Skywalker (Jr.) can’t shake some douchebag TIE fighter? Yeah, right.

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Vader’s got a body count of at least five now. This is awesome.

Colin:

I love how this guy cashes in his chips. “Ahhhhhhhhh!” That’s how I wanna go.

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Why does this screen have a VHS timecode on the bottom?

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Aw shit, here they go. All in, motherfucker.

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He totally reuses the same shot here of them going into the crater or whatever it is.

Not that I care. He just does.

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Wedge gets hit and has to pull out.

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Biggs is toast.

Colin:

Nothing like the death of a mustachioed childhood friend to put things in perspective.

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“Use the Force, Luke. Trust your feelings.”

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Colin:

When voices tell me to trust my feelings, I tap my head too, cause get the fuck out of there, voices!

And wouldn’t you know, Luke’s “feelings” were to maybe shoot at the big fucking Death Star, which is the only reason they’re here. Thanks for that tip, Obi-Wan. I guess his feelings told him WHERE to shoot or something.

He knew that too. Obi-Wan is basically useless again here. He’s basically like, “Nah, don’t use science, use your feelings. Who needs math when you can just guesstimate?”

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“The Force is strong with this one.”

(This reminds me of that stupid shit in Avatar with the fucking Eywa bugs that swarm around a person. No matter which way you cut it, the Force comes off as stupid in these movies.)

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Did we ever ask why they’d bother having bug eyes for windshields? Why wouldn’t you just have clear glass? Why limit your visibility even a little bit? If they shoot through that thing, you’re fucked anyway, so why not make it easier to see?

Granted, I love these windshields, but still. From a tactical standpoint, they don’t make much sense.

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Of course. That button!

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It turns his targeting computer off.

Colin:

They don’t tell him to turn the computer back on. They’re clearly concerned when he turns it off, but when he says he’s okay, nobody’s like, “Well….then turn the motherfucker back on, cause they’re about to shoot us all with a big laser and while I’m pretty sure you’ve guzzled the KoolAid on this Jedi bullshit, we sure as hell haven’t.”

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R2 just got shot in the head. (Just like Hagrid.)

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“This is fucked up. Isn’t this fucked up?”

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“No? All right.”

(That guy back there looks like if Sean Connery were playing the Iron Sheik.)

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Colin:

This is the moment where, if you’re in the control room, you stop watching the little map icons and start looking for a quickie. If shit works out, cool. If not…

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(They used this exact shot at the beginning of The Fifth Element.)

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Why does the guy on the right look like he’s about to start singing “I Will Always Love You” or something? Why are all the lights turned down except that one spot?

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“I have you now.”

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“What?!”

He says that like Robert De Niro. That was awesome.

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When the fuck did you get patched into their comm link?

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Colin:

I love how it appears with some sunburst behind it for added effect. Cause that looks baller.

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Naturally he can’t die, so you do it this way.

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“You’re all clear, kid, now let’s blow this thing and go home.”

Colin:

And as many a girl has told herself, “Let’s blow this thing and go home.”

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Colin:

Luke Skywalker: Getting it in since 0 BBY.

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Daft Punk?

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So… Luke just killed thousands of people. Not even like, a couple of thousand. I’m talking like, at least five to six thousand people, right? And most of them were just regular dudes, probably trying to feed their families. That’s fucked up.

Colin:

So there’s a nice space explosion. It’s nice to see 19 years of solid work down the drain instantly. All the construction workers and Wookiees that were enslaved to make it. Oh yeah, they actually used POW labor to build the Death Star. Ready for this? How amazing would it be if they did a Bridge on the River Kwai movie for the Death Star? Like, about the POWs who built it and how one of them gets away and he’s where they got the plans to store in R2 in the first place? And then they go back to destroy it and the Alec Guinness (shit, he’s already in this movie) is like, NO WE BUILT THIS, YOU CAN’T! Which makes the Empire less like space Nazis and more like space Japanese. I’m excited about this idea.

What’s funny to me is that there’s really no way all those ships wouldn’t immediately be killed in the ensuing explosion. X-Wings don’t have hyperdrive. There is no way that explosion isn’t outrunning you. I’m surprised that Yavin doesn’t get fucked up, too.

Colin:

Also, there were MILLIONS of guys on that space station. So there’s that. And the X-Wing had a class 1.0 hyperdrive, which is actually super fast. However, that wouldn’t matter here cause they’re not jumping to hyperspace. This explosion would have wrecked them.

I also like how the Death Star explosion went vertical while the Alderaan explosion went horizontal. That had to be a conscious choice.

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“Great shot, kid, that was one in a million!”

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“Remember, the Force will be with you, always.”

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“Also, Luke – I just fucked a ghost Wookiee. It was awesome.”

What the fuck is this? Seriously.

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I’ve always loved the shot of the bad guy getting away to fight another day. It’s always great knowing that someone is still “out there” to come back in the future.

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So that’s how it is in their family…

(Look at Arlo Guthrie back there.)

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(Also, Luke is Ron. Luke is totally Ron right now.)

Colin:

Han’s finally come around. See? And they waited til you were invested in the whole battle thing, wondering how Luke was gonna pull this off, and they brought him back at the crucial moment. This is how you do a character arc at the most basic level. I’m not going to claim that these movies are the most sophisticated in terms of ANYTHING (except maybe contemporary visual effects), but they had the basics and knew how to develop a character basically. So even when you have shitty acting (Luking your way, Hamill) it still sort of works out macro-wise. And as far as I’m concerned, Ford acted well in this AND had a good arc, which is why I’ll always like him more than most other Star Wars characters.

Yeah, I don’t agree with either. I think he barely acted (does he ever act?) and had little to no character arc. But in context, it’s light speed ahead of everyone else.

I’m still pretty amazed at how much I thought Han had a character arc in these movies and how he clearly doesn’t. How do you have a one-movie character arc that stretches over three movies? That’s incredible that Han doesn’t grow at all. Luke is really the only person with an arc that works over three movies. And then, in his own way, Vader. In the prequels. Though we all know how that turned out.

I don’t see an arc for Han at all. “I’m a pilot, you pay me. That’s it. I don’t stick my neck out for nobody.” Then he’s like, “Oh, well, you guys have a reason to be fighting, I’ll come back and help.” I don’t really see any reason why Han would come back to help. I haven’t seen any scene that makes me think, “Oh, they’re laying the groundwork for him to come back and help.” To me it just seems like the natural progression of the arc as we know it on paper. Visually, I don’t see any of that. Which brings it back to my argument that people are projecting that extra dimension onto these movies that’s just not there when you watch them.

Colin:

It’s a combination of having the hots for Leia (which is set up) and having some sympathy for Luke after seeing his buddy get chopped by a lightsaber.

Goddamnit, George, couldn’t you be just a little better writer? I want to like this!

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3PO is such an obvious gay character. He just offered up his circuits to save R2.

Colin:

It’s touching that C3PO offers up his own circuits to save R2, as if any single part of either of them couldn’t be replaced out of a fucking Sears catalog in this universe. I think it’ll be okay, buddy.

They won’t go to Sears, though. They’ll try one of the smaller dealers.

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I feel like an 80s TV show theme should be playing over this.

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I’ll get it out of the way by saying this part made no fucking sense to me. Just — what? This is the ending to the movie?

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I don’t want to step on the man’s joke, but one of my film professors, during his intro film class, would always talk about Triumph of the Will and show screenshots from it and then work in this shot into his powerpoint. Since it’s obvious that’s where Lucas is taking the shot from.

It works funnier the other way, when you’re just showing shots of Nazis and then this one pops up.

But I’m pretty much incapable of making any other joke during this scene because of that.

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Colin:

This always felt badass to me, cause the three of them are totally not members of this group, really. They’re just walking up the middle of everyone knowing that the whole audience wishes it was them. Plus the song is a baller arrangement. There’s also something amusing about how they’re clearly cleaned up a bit, but Han’s still got the same basic outfit and his blaster on his hip. It’s like a hillbilly turning up for a wedding with a full-on tux, but the shirt is plaid.

I still don’t understand what the point of this is. They’re a rebellion, not a city. Why are they all gathered together to give out medals? They’re still on Yavin. All Vader would need to do is send out a Force message to Palpatine and say, “They’re there,” and then Palpatine could send a couple of Star Destroyers and kill every single one of these people.

Why the fuck are you stopping to have a medal ceremony? BREAK THE FUCK OUT! You just blew up a GIANT Empire ship! They’re coming after you! How about you run?! What the fuck is a medal gonna do?! Han still has a fucking price on his head!

This entire scene makes no sense to me except visually. It looks good, and John Williams makes it sounds good. Otherwise, it’s fucking pointless and makes no sense.

Colin:

Yup.

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“How you doin’?”

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All that for a fucking medal?

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Well, all right – some pussy too.

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The two of them get medals, but fuck Chewie cause he’s just the brown one that was making sure the radio station situation was copacetic while Han was doing the important stuff.

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Colin:

And then R2 comes out all not dead, and squeaks, which means laughter apparently.

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Is he actually gonna suck it?

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Colin:

The best part is how when they turn around, Chewie yells, and it feels like that’s why everyone’s clapping. Like they’re afraid of what he’ll do if they don’t.

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Colin:

YOU, SIR! In the back left! You win for having that moustache.

That’s Sean Connery Iron Sheik again!

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Amazing how good visuals distract you from a shit story.

Colin:

I’d like to point out how much the fanfare over the credits sounds like something out of a western. Lucas apparently took a lot of influences from western, and particularly from samurai films. It’s often assumed that the term “jedi” was derived from the Japanese word “jidaigeki,” meaning ‘period drama’ and often used to refer to samurai films.

Also, now that we’ve finished, I feel obligated as a Star Wars fan living in Japan to post this and make you all aware of it. As like…a recap.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow, we go over our favorite images from the film, then it’s our final thoughts on Sunday, and on Monday — Empire.

(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)

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