Fun with Franchises: Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Part I — “I’m Glad My Food Doesn’t Cut Off My Arm When I’m Ready to Eat It”

Today we begin another entry in our Fun with Franchises series, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

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 first part of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back:

The Empire Strikes Back - Title Card

Time for another round of, “Let’s Analyze the Title Scroll.”

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“It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy.”

I like that it sets the tone with the word “dark” from the get-go.

Colin:

It’s a dark time for the Rebellion. Oh no, could it be?

Kinda weird that the Empire is still functioning despite the Death Star, and presumably millions of people, being destroyed. I don’t see how you can still be operating under full power with that happening. At that point, there’s no way people don’t start to break off or lose faith and the shit starts to crumble. You have to have mostly nonbelievers at that point who are working for the paycheck or out of fear or conscription.

Colin:

They aren’t worried. Keep in mind, their force is measured in the trillions. Coruscant had a population of a quadrillion by itself; the entire Empire was responsible for over 100 quadrillion sentient beings. We’re talking about a huge galaxy with a huge military running it. A few million guys to them is like the US Army losing two guys. What they are upset over is the Death Star, but there’s reason to believe that its destruction wouldn’t have caused too many ripples. Remember that regular people like Luke, or even Han (who got around) hadn’t even heard about it, let alone seen it. It wasn’t very public, and at that point it was still kind of under wraps. You’d expect they’d just keep it that way.

But anyway, they’re now pursuing the Rebels across the galaxy and tracking them down wherever they go. Which… pretty sure they were already doing that last movie. The only difference is now the Death Star is destroyed and the Empire is just more pissed at them.

Colin:

So remember when the first title crawl said that the Death Star plans would allow them to destroy it and save the galaxy from tyranny? That’s clearly how that shit went down. So yeah, not placing a lot of faith in this title crawl for accuracy either.

That’s what I’m saying… why is the Empire still functioning? It should have saved the galaxy, and the rest of this franchise should have been Luke and Vader, Luke becoming a Jedi and dealing with Vader, and then Palpatine trying to maintain the last fragments of this Empire and rounding up the last of his forces for one last battle. Instead we get Death Star 2 and teddy bears. We’re all much more interested in the Luke and Vader stuff anyway. Who gives a fuck about the Ewok stuff? It’s filler.

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“Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighters led by Luke Skywalker has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth.”

I don’t like that they have a Starfleet.

I also don’t like the term “freedom fighters.”

Or the fact that they insist on calling all Rebel bases “secret.” They even used it up there. “The Rebels were driven from their hidden base.” Motherfucker, it wasn’t hidden anymore. They were driven from their base. It ceased to be hidden the minute they flew back to it after leaving the Death Star. Same here — it’s just a new base. Don’t call it secret if we’re going to see it. Say it’s a new base, and the Empire is looking for it.

Like the “remote ice world” bit, though. Gets me very interested. I like ice.

Colin:

Already, they’re saying that a group of freedom fighters led by Luke Skywalker has set up the Rebel base on Hoth? So just because he showed up and blew up the Death Star, he runs the whole show now? Like he demonstrated his ability in one majestic feat of skill, and now this 19 year old gets to lead the whole group of freedom fighters? I thought this was the Rebellion representing an entire galaxy, not a khalasar. Also, I’m pretty sure that we find out soon enough during the film itself that Luke is just one of the guys at this base and is in no way leading the group. But please, title crawl, continue to make statements that will be refuted within minutes.

It’s just like with Harry.

I guess Luke is the figurehead now. After all, he is Jesus, and has now centered the entire dating system around himself, so it makes sense that he “leads” them, even though he’s just one of the guys.

I will say, though — I like that he’s not leading anything. I’m glad Lucas didn’t go that route. That’s the last thing we needed.

Again, though, I also don’t have a problem with this, because it gets you into the movie the way the back of a book is supposed to.

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“The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of space…”

This is a bad place to end a title scroll. He sends probes into space…. and? That’s not getting me excited. You should have ended with the “remote ice world” part. Who gives a fuck about space probes? End with a bang. Remember last movie? It ended with, “They can restore balance to the galaxy if they do this.” This is just, “He sends probes into space.”

I will say, though, the ellipsis at the end is appropriate.

Colin:

It’s a small point, but what the hell is a “remote probe?” Unless that’s a proper noun, you can’t call the probe remote unless it’s already way the fuck out in space. You send a probe out from a central location TO a remote location. Note that they’ve used this word twice in as many paragraphs, too. It feels like someone writing the script was really trying to get that across and didn’t give any thought to how it might sound because that’s what they wanted it to be. It’s fine when writers take a little license with their content, but when you can feel them stretching like this, it’s no good. You’ve used the word “remote” twice and then follow up with the term “far reaches” – I think we get the fucking picture. (So, they’re just up the street, right?)

Just how thorough can a few probes be in searching the galaxy? There are millions of systems and as we see, a single base takes up only a tiny space on ONE corner of ONE planet of ONE system. These probes would have to be seriously anal to be able to pick up on such a tiny presence. Not to mention the rectification needed to keep track of a constantly moving galaxy.

My favorite is later when one of the remote probes doesn’t come back, and they’re immediately like, “That’s it, that’s the place.” Because if you sent out a bunch of probes into essentially uncharted systems, all of them would come back unharmed.

Again, this comes back to — don’t end with the probes. Bury the probes in the middle. And that way, you don’t think about them as much and they’re just something that’s there and you don’t really question them the way you do when it’s the closer.

Strange move.

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Opening Titles were released into the wild. Bye, Opening Titles!

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Did that ship just take a shit?

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Oh, those are the probes he sent out into space.

Colin:

Where are those other probes going? Maybe one broke up in the atmosphere over Russia. You never know.

In Soviet Russia, the Force feels you!

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This is also what it looks like right before a film strip starts to burn.

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Colin:

Hey, wait a second. Doesn’t that look like….?

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The ice planet… Hoth.

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YES! Stop motion!

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Of course they had to have this shot.

Colin:

Luke’s on patrol, looking for White Walkers life forms in this frozen wasteland.

I just love that, in basically sub-zero temperatures, he had to stop and life up his face mask, just so we could be sure it was Luke.

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I also love that he just happens to be there when two of these things land. An entire planet, and they land right around where their base is.

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Is this what it’s like to be 3PO?

“Echo Three to Echo Seven…”

From Red to Echo: A Jedi’s Tale by Luke Skywalker

Colin:

Here’s something that takes me out of sci-fi movies. Have you ever noticed how sci-fi writers and filmmakers feel somehow compelled to show off the immense scope of their universe by adding numerical classifications to everything? Everything in Star Wars has an arbitrary number attached to it (I can think of dozens of examples off the top of my head, from detention cell blocks to docking bays) to make us aware that there that there are tens, thousands, millions more like it. They think if they drop the number 47284 next to something we’re supposed to find significant, we’ll get that shock of, “No, even though you think this is a big deal, it’s just one of a drillion others like it.” This gets tedious REALLY quickly; you can tell that they probably had a random number generator there for every time something new has to be identified.

The best example (also brought up in the Plinkett review for Revenge of the Sith) was the “Order 66” thing. Why are orders NUMBERED? I can only stress that sci-fi writers and filmmakers seem to love a numerical uniformity in their work, and it bothers me after a short period of time.

Oh, but the reason I brought this up is because Luke hops on the radio and calls Han using a numerical callsign, immediately followed by, “Han ole buddy, do you read me?” It turns out that whatever radio they’re using can’t reach the base from where they are, and it’s just them. If you’re just going to say, “Han, it’s Luke, wassup!” then why not just drop the “Echo 3 to Echo 7” shtick. This ain’t Reservoir Dogs, the codenames aren’t needed, and in literally six seconds you’ll have forgotten they were even part of the dialogue anyway.

George Lucas was nominated for an Academy Award for screenwriting.

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Luke’s tauntaun is freaking the fuck out. (Filthy creatures.)

Colin:

I imagine this is what Robin Williams is going to look like in about five more years. Perfectly white and furry.

Oh, you meant…

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OH SHIT IT’S AN ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN CALL YUKON CORNELIUS.

(“Hey, Yukon? It’s your cousin Marvin…”)

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What did the five fingers say to the Sith?

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MAUL!

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Blood. Wow. Well that’s a… marked difference.

Colin:

Will someone explain to me why we need to be investigating a meteorite? Apparently there are a lot more nearby and they probably hit regularly all over the planet…what’s the point of checking this one out? Maybe the Force told him to check it out and then forgot to tell him about the abominable snowman right fucking in front of him.

Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn’t.

The Force can see into the future, but not ten feet in front of its fucking face.

That’s kind of what the Jedi are, actually. That basically explains their actions for the entire prequel trilogy.

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He just snapped that tauntaun’s neck.

(Just like Lana Turner.)

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I always like a good “dragging the body” shot.

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Wow, who’s gonna find your hidden base when there are fucking gun turrets sitting outside it? Maybe hide them in a pillbox that looks like snow.

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I’ve always loved this Hoth base. That’s one of my favorite things about this franchise.

(I also like that you know they have all this dangerous electrical wiring set up and these lights flicker and shit all the time. I’m a well-established fan of flickering lights.)

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Hello, Solo.

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Also, what I like about this is the fact that they don’t bother starting over again. They just sort of continue the story. Most times a sequel feels like a semi-reset in that they have to reintroduce characters and stuff. Even The Dark Knight does it. Batman gets his whole action entrance, and it’s like when Kramer enters the apartment – after a couple seasons, people just started cheering it. Here it feels more like a continuation of the previous story as opposed to them doing a full SNL opening.

Colin:

I see we’re reusing droids from A New Hope. That’s fine; nobody noticed the same garbage can droid or the sex torture droid, both from the same Jawa sandcrawler R2 and C3PO were on. Except me, and a zillion other nerds, I’m sure.

Mostly I’m looking at the dude still wearing his X-wing jumpsuit and wondering how often, if ever, they get to wash those things.

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“Chewie!”

(Man, they must have cleaned out those Jawas. They’re all here. But at least that one makes some sense now as to why it exists and what it does.)

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“Motherfucker, don’t you interrupt my welding!”

(I love how he just always wears a bandolier. It’s never explained. He just always has it on.)

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Colin:

Chewie likes it in the butt joint. ZING! WELDING JOKE!

I guess you can say that makes Chewie a Rebel… solder.

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She want the dick.

Colin:

Oh baby, I like yo turtleneck.

Weird that they had North Face jackets long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

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Is that the polar bear version of a droid?

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Han’s gotta go. If he don’t pay off Jabba, he’s a dead man.

“A death mark’s not an easy thing to live with. You’re a good fighter, Solo. I hate to lose you.”

Colin:

No, General, a death mark isn’t an easy thing to “live with”…which is why they call it a “death mark.”

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Uh huh.

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This is the look when your girl is suddenly mad at you and you have no idea what you said.

(The kicker — they don’t even know what you said.)

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She pissed.

(It looks like someone was up against that wall fucking earlier.)

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Love this shot.

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“Han, we need you.”

“Well what about you?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You probably do.”

(Really? That quickly they push this relationship forward? That exchange is so clunky to me. Right to, “What about you?” He’s basically asking her if she has feelings for him. And knowing Han Solo’s alleged “character,” that’s not really something he says unless they both know what the deal is. So I don’t get why this is even happening right now except for the audience’s sake. Word it differently, is all I’m saying. It comes off awkward and is bad writing.)

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“Come on, you want me to stay because of the way you feel about me.”

This is Sorkin.

But also… could have been written better.

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“Bitch, you want the dick. I know it, you know it, and the dick knows it.”

Colin:

I was wrong when I said during A New Hope that Han’s coolness peaked in the cantina scene. This is better. He’s so sure of himself that he’s telling a princess, “Don’t even try to lie to me like you don’t want this dick. I KNOW you want this dick!” The best part is him stopping in the corridor and pointing at her face while going, “Ahhhhh???”

“I’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.”

“I can arrange that.”

Colin:

She could use a good kiss. Right on the lips. The joke there being that in 1980, oral sex was a lot like kissing a Wookiee.

I like this exchange, but I don’t like how quickly he rushed into it. I think my one knock on Lucas is how quick he is to rush into and rush out of interesting exchanges. He’ll bore you to death with exposition and random space jargon, but when there’s an actual interesting exchange, with emotion and feeling, he drops it in there like an anvil and then quickly rushes to move on. It’s like he knows he can’t write it, so he doesn’t try.

Do you know how great this scene could have been if he let them talk a little more and actually do some acting? Do you know how much better this franchise could have been if he actually spent time developing characters and relationships?

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Hello, friends.

Colin:

R2, you can’t be turning on the heat in an ice residence. Halle Berry was almost drowned by a white North Korean that way once.

(That we know about.)

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Chewie looks like he went to the Cowardly Lion’s stylists before this movie.

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It looks like 3PO is wearing one of those belly shirts gay men love to wear.

Colin:

Han knows exactly how to handle C3PO. In fact, most people in this franchise do. He’s constantly being shut up by everyone around him, unlike Jar Jar, who never figured out how to take a fucking hint until the white girl’s funeral.

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Luke hasn’t come back.

(What’s with that fucking scarf?)

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I love these sets so much.

More things need to be set on ice.

(I also like the beer cooler in the corner. Keeping that Hoth .45 on tap.)

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“Your tauntaun will freeze before you reach the first marker.”

“Then I’ll see you in hell.”

At least they’re keeping some of the western themes.

My question is… marker? This goes back to Colin’s argument about the useless specifications. At least give it some sort of distance. A name, or a distance. “You’ll freeze before ten miles.” “You’ll freeze before you get to Jefferson Falls!” What the fuck does “the first marker” mean?

Presumably this is a “remote ice planet.” I’d think you’d need a shitload of markers to get around. The first one should be right outside the fucking base. Are you telling him he’s gonna die immediately once he steps outside? That doesn’t make much sense. Is the marker twelve miles out? That doesn’t make any sense either, because how do you know where the fuck you going in all ice? It’s bad writing.

(Also, that tauntaun looks straight out of Planet of the Apes.)

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Colin:

Snow basilisk skeleton.

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We’ve all been there.

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And there.

Colin:

That pose. I know that pose. Crinkle crinkle. I’m just waiting for that franchise so one of us can recount that story.

I’m gonna call him David Hasselhoth.

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“Are we awake?”

“We’re not sure. Are we… black?”

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How does a yeti get you stuck up there like that? Seems like a lot of planning.

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Did he put him there and pee on it to make it freeze over? How does that work? Either way, it’s kind of impressive.

Colin:

I never got how he ended up hanging from the ceiling. Did the monster spit on his feet while holding him in place and that enormous amount of saliva froze instantly? Anyway, good work.

Take a drink. Or a shot.

Just fucking drink.

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It’s been my experience that tauntaun’s are very gamey.

Colin:

Just like Lana Turner.

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Almost there. You got it.

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How about trying to swing a little bit?

(Also, is that an upside down cat face back there?)

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Wouldn’t it be funny if that was a grenade?

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Dude, you’re not Superman. That shit don’t work.

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Admit it, though – we’ve all tried this at least a dozen times. With our phone, the remote, a bag of chips. That and Accio.

And one of these days, it will work.

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Driver’s license photo.

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Seriously, though – grenade.

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What if he cut his legs off? That would be fucked up.

(Like father, like son, I guess.)

Colin:

So I guess this is his first time using the force to really move something like that. The question is, once he has the lightsaber, how does he free himself with one swing without slicing toes or something?

(Wait for it…)

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How does he not kill himself right now? He’s falling, the light saber is in his hand, and he has no control over how it’s gonna bounce off the ground. That shit should, in all logic, bounce up and take his fucking face off.

(You motherfuckers are gonna get wasted with these ones.)

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He didn’t even have the decency to ask him which hand he jerked off with.

Colin:

Poor guy. I’m so glad my food doesn’t cut off my arm when I’m ready to eat it. That was his beat off hand, too.

Subtitle: “I’m Glad My Food Doesn’t Cut Off My Arm When I’m Ready to Eat It.”

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That’s right, you run!

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When did your light saber go into its holster?

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I love the way tauntauns run. I’m gonna start running like a tauntaun just to fuck with people.

Colin:

These tauntauns’ voices are clearly based on Helen Keller. Seriously, listen to that noise and picture her walking around touching stuff and tell me that isn’t dead on.

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Stop motion is awesome.

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I love how people always have to take of their masks to look around. Even in below freezing temperatures.

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Colin:

R2 using one of his many dicks to scan for life.

He’s trying to pick up the new episode of The Hughleys.

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“Come on, man. You ain’t gonna get it. Just skip it. Watch it when it’s in reruns.”

“Nah, man, it’s the one where Darryl has a feud with his Korean neighbor.”

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“Well fine. You stay out here and freeze your balls off. I’m gonna go watch The Nanny.”

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“I do love that Mr. Sheffield.”

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“Motherfucker don’t like no Hughleys. What the fuck is wrong with him? Bitch ass droid…”

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You ever get your dick sucked by a tauntaun?

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“That’s a tauntaun?”

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“Ah, fuck it. Let him finish.”

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This is so much like Rudolph.

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Colin:

This is such common imagery – the guy stumbling through the barren waste, dying. “I pray that I may never see the desert again. Hear me, God.”

It’s also, “We were sailing along… on moonlight bay!”

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I can’t feel my legs!

I’d also like to point out that this is the first movie where Lucas starts using wipes almost exclusively for all his cuts. I didn’t take screenshots of them, but basically every cut in this movie is a wipe of some sort. I started pointing it out in the prequels, because that’s when I personally noticed it. Mostly because I was watching really critically for those, and with these, I went, “Wow, is this really all these movies are?” But Colin noticed. He had a lot of comments about the wipes in his notes that I had to cut out because I didn’t bother taking screenshots of them.

Colin:

There are a lot of wipes, now that I’m paying attention. I’m almost wiped out.

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Where’d he get that 80s cell phone from?

And what the fuck is that gonna pick up? There’s no way that doesn’t freeze before Luke does.

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I was gonna make a joke — he hasn’t called and she’s worried because she never got the chance to tell him she’s pregnant, but then I realized, “Oh wait… I can’t even joke about cliched scenes like that in this franchise. They happen.”

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“Mistress Leia, R2 says he wasn’t able to find that copy of The Hughleys. He wonders if The Steve Harvey Show will suffice?”

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What actually just happened is they said they’re gonna have to close the doors, which means Luke and Han are stuck out there for the night.

(Because god forbid they open them back up again. No, that would be chaos.)

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She’s still thinking about missing The Hughleys.

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Chewie’s sad.

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When is he gonna get to see the sailboat?

They should have ended with this shot. It would have made a nice… wook-end, to the scene.

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The chances of survival are 725 to 1.

I love that he just blurts that out. I’m trying to decide if that’s a dick thing to do, or an awesomely dick thing to do. I guess it really all depends on how much he hopes people realize, “You know I was able to do that math all off the top of my head, right?”

So yeah… probably just a dick move.

Colin:

I liked this part because you see how Leia is really conflicted with the decision. What’s more, you have a shitty droid recognizing how painful it is for her and realizing that giving her the awful odds of survival for Han and Luke isn’t helping. My question is, though – once the door is closed, does that stop radio traffic? Or isn’t there a doorbell or something? I assume they could open the doors any time to let them back in, which makes this sequence merely symbolic.

Or just more bad writing.

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That looks like Bulk and Skull back there.

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Jesus, the cocaine is almost falling from her nose.

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Wilma!

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They’re gonna have a gay old time.

Or maybe they’re just taking an R2… detour.

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“Motherfucker, what are you doing?”

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I’ve been this drunk.

(Dead in a ditch.)

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“Oh, you didn’t think I had ghost powers, did you?”

(What I love is that he manages to wake up from his stupor at the exact right moment. What if he didn’t? And Obi-Wan was just waiting around for like, twenty minutes, trying to make noises and shit to wake him up?)

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“You will go to the Dagobah system.”

(Is Dagobah the Star Wars version of “kumbaya?”)

(It is now.)

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“There you will learn from Yoda, the Jedi master who instructed me.”

(Didn’t Qui-Gon train him? I mean, I get the statement, and how it’s not completely false, but… come on.)

Also, it seems like whenever he shows up he always… Obi-wants something.

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Are you trying to Force summon a ghost?

(Shit, man, if you’re hallucinating, hallucinate something with a pair of titties.)

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All he says here is, “Ben!” over and over. How about, “Go tell them I’m fucking out here!”?

Colin:

Alec Guinness, I always admire your work. Mark Hamill, your delivery felt a bit…forced.

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Holy shit, that’s some fucking frostbite right there.

That’s legitimate blackface.

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Unfortunate angle.

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They must have tauntaun race tracks, right? Like, this galaxy’s version of dog tracks. That would be awesome. Betting on tauntauns.

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Wow, you picked a convenient time to die.

I guess you can say that this was a good day… to die hard.

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Colin:

So much for indigenous species. This tauntaun has dishonored itself and will be required to open its stomach. A second will be appointed to carry out the task if it is unable.

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Ben… Ben…

Of course that’s what you say when you get put into a tauntaun’s intestines.

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Ah, Tuesday.

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These are a delicacy in mainland China.

Colin:

I like how even to someone with no background in East Asian Studies, there’s a very important distinction between mainland China and other places like Hong Kong or Macau. That shows progress. That you see tauntaun innards, and rather than thinking “CHINA!” you think, “Oh, that’s some mainland shit right there.”

Filthy creatures.

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“I thought they smelled bad on the outside.”

I just have a quick question about this line… if something smells bad on the outside, would conventional wisdom suggest that it’s any better on the inside?

Colin:

Oh man, I have stories. You don’t want details, but as it turns out that a lot of other things work like tauntaun flesh.

Our buddy Max might have some details about that.

(Some of you remember what I’m talking about.)

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Misty Mountains.

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The backs of those things look like the Jack Nicholson air conditioner in The Brave Little Toaster.

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And those controls look like a Nintendo keypad.

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start.

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I love how simple it all was. “Well, let’s put him in the tauntaun.” Next day — plane overhead, boom, we found him. Everything’s good.

This is my problem with Lucas. He doesn’t think past A to B to C. Maybe a little scene in the middle where they struggle to stay warm overnight and almost die. Or something. This is way too easy. They get out of this like it’s nothing. 725 to 1. All that shit took was a tauntaun and two wipes.

Colin:

Well that was an easy rescue mission. Followed by a diagonal wipe.

I guess we’re just gonna put all the tension on this movie… on ice.

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What the fuck is that thing?

“No one cared what I was programmed for until I put on the mask.”

Actually, it looks like a microphone.

“L-L-L-L-L-L-L-Let’s get ready to rumble!!!!!!!”

(Is his name Mike?)

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Right, though?

Colin:

I just can’t look at you while you’re wearing dem…underwears. And a wipe.

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This is like the end of Return of the King.

Colin:

Han tells Luke that he looks “strong enough to pull the ears off a gundark.” At this point, we have no idea what he’s talking about, but in Attack of the Clones, we hear Obi Wan recounting some story about him and Anakin falling into a “nest of gundarks,” which gives us a little bit of context, at least. They’re nasty creatures; a gundark would be the fourth Destructive Beast in the game Primal Rage. You know you played that game back in the day.

I was more of a Rampage guy.

Also, that Anakin story gives us no context except, “Lucas wants to tie father and son together even more.”

I like this franchise better when they tell us names and things without context.

I’m so glad we don’t actually see the spice mines of Kessel or the Kessel Run in the new movies.

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And back to the flirting.

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“Laugh it up, fuzzball.”

Which has to be this franchise’s version of, “What do you know about it, Skeet face?”

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“This bitch loves me. She gave me a Han job in the bathroom before I left.”

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Facial expressions.

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“I can’t believe you told them that.”

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“Why you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder!”

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“Who’s scruffy-looking?”

Colin:

Ah, nerf herder. The Star Wars universe’s n-word. And he gives her the, “What’d this cracker just say?” face, but it turns out to be about the scruffy thing. Which, again – 1980, they’re supposed to be scruffy.

But how funny is it when females think they can get away with racism? She be from the hood, yo.

There was a moment in college where someone went an hour out of his way to buy $80 worth of Nerf guns.

I think that technically makes him a Nerf-herder.

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Uh oh. The eye closed a bit. Get out of there, Han. Get out while you still can. She’s gonna cut you.

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“Well I guess you don’t know everything about women, yet.”

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Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no.

Only a real asshole could drive someone to incest to prove a point.

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Look at 3PO, coming over to check it out.

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That’s gonna be awkward later. Luke and Leia – looking for love in… Alderaan places.

Colin:

Luke looks like such an idiot after getting kissed (by his sister, no less), but Han has a great delivery here. It’s totally a “carry on.”

(More like “Carrie on.”)

(Right?)

(Right?)

(I’ll probably use that one about six or seven hundred more times before we’re done.)

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3PO’s like, “I ain’t never seen a man and a woman do that before.”

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Oh, you’re gonna regret the shit out of that pose later.

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They picked up a signal. Not one of theirs.

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Here’s a good thing to bring up – is she only the third woman we’ve seen so far? I’m pretty sure I’ve only seen two women in these movies til now.

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“Get off of my lawn!”

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Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

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Ice roofs. That’s awesome.

Especially ice sun roofs.

Colin:

This scene here is a string of rapidly drawn conclusions. What was it? A droid. Might have self destructed. Must have been Imperial. Time to get the fuck out of Dodge. Or, it was something random, you shot a laser at the gas tank and it exploded. But what the hell, let’s abandon our whole base.

I guess this base just lost the… remote.

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That’s strange that there are so few women in the Rebellion.

The situation for the two women in this place must be horrible. Doubly so for the other chick. Leia’s a princess, so if anyone tries some shit with her, they’re fucked. But the other chick – she must have to go through some horrible shit.

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And this is the first time we hear the Imperial March.

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Colin:

Every time an Imperial cruiser of any kind is shown at a low angle like this – yes.

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Wow, this is a great shot. They introduce the giant ship like they did in the first one, having it roll through the frame, giving you an idea of its size, and then they show it go completely into shadow next to this other one.

That’s terrific spatial relations.

Colin:

Yeah, the Executor! This is where we get to see the Super Star Destroyer for the first time and it’s AWESOME. The thing is 19 kilometers long. Technically, it’s a class of ship, meaning there were others. I find it just as absurd as the Death Star, really. A ship that’s 19 kilometers long is pretty ridiculous if you stop to think about it for even a second. So don’t, and just focus on how cool it looks.

Are we sure Lucas came up with that?

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Love that random TIE fighter rolling through the foreground.

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♫ “Somewhere, out there…” 

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INCREDIBLE shot.

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And a terrific set.

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I’m really curious to find out how this Empire is structured. We already know Palpatine is the emperor (well… we don’t know in the film, but we know), and we know Vader is basically the guy who runs shit out in the field – he’s Patton. (If he wasn’t last film, he is now.) So how do the rest of these guys earn positions? Were there just mass promotions after the Death Star blew up? How do these guys delegate authority? What are the ranks like? What are the responsibilities for each level? Because we’re only seeing the “let’s crush the Tebellion” end. What about the “keeping the Empire in order” end? They have to have people there to keep planets and systems in check, and make sure things are running smoothly. There’s a massive amount of organization that goes into this, and they just had thousands of people killed. So I’m curious how they’re handling all this while also going on a military offensive.

Does this make the rebels the Huns?

(Also, I’d love to see the post-Jedi reconstruction efforts that happen in the galaxy.)

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They found something on Hoth.

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“That’s it. They’re there.”

Colin:

How does Vader know? I don’t get how the presence sensing thing works. If he looks at the image of the building, he can tell Luke is there?

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“Are you sure?”

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“Motherfucker…”

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“You better get this guy out my face before I Force fuck his skull.”

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“What the fuck are you doing, Griggs?”

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YES! I love this! Vader blames his superior, the superior blames him, and he blames the lower guy, who did NOTHING in this scene! Incredible.

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James Woods?

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Is he wearing bunny ears?

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Jesus. They even have to show his face when he’s WELDING! In a long shot!

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I see he got his prison jumpsuit clean.

How come motherfuckers don’t wear purple in space?

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Why does he have Bicentennial Man as his room droid?

Also, when was it decided that orange was the official Rebellion color?

Colin:

With The Dukes of Hazzard and the General Lee.

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Anyway an assault is coming.

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Isn’t that condescending? To pet him like that?

Colin:

Luke scratches Chewie on the neck like he’s a fucking dog. Chewbacca is a huge badass who’s already 200 years old at this point. He’s seen some shit. You don’t scratch him on the neck.

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That’s what I’d do too. Though I’d do it extra hard and let him know if he tries that shit one more time, I’m snapping his c4.

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I see this and think, “Man, it sucks that Lucas fucked up this character.”

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There’s that wiring I was talking about earlier.

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Anyway, you know the scene. “Come and fight.” “Nah, I got other shit to do.”

It’s pretty funny how quickly things have switched. Apparently Lucas can’t have two non-useless people in the same movie together.

I think my problem with this is that Han is hanging around saying how he’s gonna leave. He should just leave. We should see him leave. He spends the first half hour of this movie saying, “I’m gone… I’m totally gone,” and then because the Empire shows up, has to be like, “Well… fuck,” and take Leia with him. I feel like he should have actually left, then saw the Empire on his way and realized, “Fuck… this is a trap, and they’re all gonna be killed,” and then he can go back because of Luke and because of his feelings for Leia.

Colin:

That works. That’s better. Although I will say — the one aspect of this that makes more sense to me is that it leaves them without a choice. If he leaves and comes back like that, it’s all pretty fast (and also counts as repetition from the last film) and it acts as a confession. In this scenario, though, the roof caves and he HAS to take her. It’s one of those, “Oh, I clearly like you, but now I get to act like it’s a hassle to have to save your life and snuggle up inside my ship.” It all begins out of necessity because there’s no other way for her to escape. And that then leads to them being together. If he came back, it’s too obvious that he cares and then that dynamic gets ruined. So if you could do that but make it about something else (maybe someone in the base owes him money?) that could work out well enough. 

You do have a point there. I just wish they did something. Even if he said someone owed him money, and she called him out on it like, “No they didn’t,” and then he can turn the microscope back at her, saying how she likes him, and then they gloss over it because she’s still awkward about it. Just something to mix it up.

Too much of Han is repetition and variation. “I’m not doing this, I’m not doing this, I’m not doing this,” and then he does it.

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Can I have one of those? That would be an awesome thing to just have. You can chill anywhere and have your own personal space. Imagine having one of those, with computers and shit. I’d live in a pod. That would be awesome. I feel like I’d be more productive if my walls weren’t rectangular and were more rounded.

(P.S. I have these thoughts.)

Colin:

I think this is like, the top prize you get in those competitions in elementary and middle school for selling caramel popcorn and wrapping paper and bullshit. You could get a hackey sack, a lava lamp, a CD player, inflatable furniture, and this pod would be the top prize.

(P.S. His thoughts give me these thoughts.)

Maybe this is what happens when you complete the Family Double Dare obstacle course. After you get your sketchers and Sega Game Gear and roller blades and the trip to Universal Studios in Orland Florida (where they were fucking taping the show anyway), you get a giant space pod.

Or maybe you get it at a fair or something. I bet that would make it more… carni-valuable.

Though I still might prefer a piece of the Aggro Crag to it all.

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They fucked up the surprise element. Vader says to just go fuck them up.

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… and then he kills the asshole responsible.

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That guy’s in command now.

Colin:

This is such a great scene. The admiral fucked up, so Vader chokes him through Skype. Gotta have a premium membership for that perk. But as the guy falls, the grunt at the computer behind them is like, “Oh SHIT, the FUCK just happened?! Never mind, I ain’t see nothing.” And the new admiral plays it all cool like Daddy didn’t just Force choke Mommy at the dinner table.

“Daddy’s Force choking Mommy again!” — Ben Skywalker

And this is where we’ll END PART I.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is Part II, and — basically just fighting and shit. And some @@’s.

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

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