I’ve decided to start going over a random scene from the Star Wars Saga every Friday (or…hopefully every Friday, sometimes life will get in the way, I’m sure). Star Wars Insider used to run a scene in their issues with a picture and dialogue. I loved it because I would always have some thought or another about that scene. And then, for the past 3 issues, they haven’t put it in! I’ve been so bummed about that, but I’m hoping they restart it at some point. I can understand that it was kind of random and maybe not the most loved piece of the magazine, but oh well. I shall continue the tradition in my own fashion, which is just writing whatever pops up in my head regarding that particular scene.
I found a page that has every scene of the Saga listed by movie, so all I’ve done is close my eyes, click on a movie, then run a random number generator depending on the number of scenes in the movie and voila! Today I had clicked on ANH, and the random number generator gave me scene #49 out of 75 scenes.
And gueessss what scene that is?? Not a boring scene, not a filler scene, not a corny scene – but the beginning of the TRASH COMPACTOR SCENE.
What a great way to start this off.
Honestly, who doesn’t love this scene? This is the first time our Fabulous Four (yes, I’m including Chewie!) are together. Sure, you can count that technically the first time was when they were in the Death Star hallway shooting at Stormtroopers right before this scene and they jump into the Compactor. But this is the first time they are alone and exchanging dialogue. Their personalities really show up here.
Han: Thinks he knows best, immediately tries to do something about the situation, and has some great quips with Leia.
Luke: Farmboy straight out of Tatooine, kind of slow on the uptake that he has a comlink and could get very useful outside help, also is the idiot that gets taken down by the Dianoga (I think it sensed he wouldn’t be good at fighting back).
Leia: Fiery temper at being pulled into this mess, has the bright idea about bracing the walls.
Chewbacca: More scared than you would think by looking at him.
Yup, just a typical scene amongst our four heroes. I also like how we have this random creature in the scene…as if Lucas didn’t have enough action going on with the doors closing. On the Dianoga’s Wookiepedia page it says “In the final film, director George Lucas was reportedly less than impressed with the delivered Dianoga effect, having envisioned something bigger and more ominous.” Perhaps that’s why it seems a little out of place to me; maybe he was going more for an effect in the lines of the Watcher in the Water from Fellowship of the Ring.
I just love this scene for Han. He is such a macho, I-know-best guy in this scene that it cracks me up. First thing he does when he falls down there is sarcastically say something to Leia and then pull out his blaster (no, not that blaster – sorry I had to! Perfect moment). Really, Han? Don’t you think someone would have already tried that? Luke may be an idiot at this point in the trilogy, but he has enough common sense to try his gun.
Another interesting part of this scene is that it shows the trash of the Death Star. I don’t know if anyone can see how amazingly great this is, but when you read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, their waste is not really mentioned. They don’t even get colds or sick! They just suffer from blaster wounds, spells that deteriorate their body, sword wounds, etc. With this scene, we see that Stormtroopers poop and poop goes somewhere! Hey, maybe even Darth Vader still has bodily functions. All the liquid down there, plus the horrible smell they’ve discovered, can’t just be shower water. It’s just an interesting glance into the functioning of the Death Star.
Here’s the scene below:
INTERIOR: DEATH STAR — GARBAGE ROOM.
Han tumbles into the large room filled with garbage and muck.Luke is already stumbling around looking for an exit. He findsa small hatchway and struggles to get it open. It won’t budge.
HAN: (sarcastically) Oh! The garbage chute was a really wonderful idea. What an incredible smell you’ve discovered! Let’s get out of here! Get away from there…
LUKE: No! wait!
Han draws his laser pistol and fires at the hatch. The laserbolt ricochets wildly around the small metal room. Everyone dives for cover in the garbage as the bolt explodes almost on top of them. Leia climbs out of the garbage with a rather grim look on her face.
LUKE: Will you forget it? I already tried it. It’s magnetically sealed!
LEIA: Put that thing away! You’re going to get us all killed.
HAN: Absolutely, Your Worship. Look, I had everything under control until you led us down here. You know, it’s not going to take them long to figure out what happened to us.
LEIA: It could be worse…
A loud, horrible, inhuman moan works its way up from the murky depths. Chewbacca lets out a terrified howl and begins to back away. Han and Luke stand fast with their laser pistols drawn. The Wookiee is cowering near one of the walls.
HAN: It’s worse.
LUKE: There’s something alive in here!
HAN: That’s your imagination.
LUKE: Something just moves past my leg! Look! Did you see that?
Suddenly Luke is yanked under the garbage.
HAN: Luke! Luke! Luke!
Solo tries to get to Luke. Luke surfaces with a gasp of air and thrashing of limbs. A membrane tentacle is wrapped around his throat.
Leia extends a long pipe toward him.
LEIA: Luke, Luke, grab a hold of this.
LUKE: Blast it, will you! My gun’s jammed.
LUKE: Anywhere! Oh!!
Solo fires his gun downward. Luke is pulled back into the muck by the slimy tentacle.
HAN: Luke! Luke!
Suddenly the walls of the garbage receptacle shudder and move in a couple of inches. Then everything is deathly quiet. Han and Leia give each other a worried look as Chewbacca howls in the corner. With a rush of bubbles and muck Luke suddenly bobs to the surface.
LEIA: Grab him!
Luke seems to be released by the thing.
LEIA: What happened?
LUKE: I don’t know, it just let go of me and disappeared…
HAN: I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.
Before anyone can say anything the walls begin to rumble and edge toward the Rebels.
LUKE: The walls are moving!
LEIA: Don’t just stand there. Try to brace it with something.
They place poles and long metal beams between the closing walls, but they are simply snapped and bent as the giant trashmasher rumbles on. The situation doesn’t look too good.
LUKE: Wait a minute!
Luke pulls out his comlink.
LUKE: Threepio! Come in Threepio! Threepio! Where could he be?