Scene it on Friday – ANH Scene #72

Now this is podracing!  …oops.  What I meant was: Now that’s how you write an action scene!

Wow, I can’t believe that while I was reading this, I was actually completely enthralled.  I kept reading the next line thinking “What happens next?” even though my brain knows what happens next.  It’s completely different reading this versus watching it.

When you watch this as a movie, there is so much to take in at once.  We have the Death Star scenes with Tarkin, the War Room scenes with Leia, et al, looking tense, and then we have the battle above the Death Star with Luke, Biggs, and Wedge.  It goes by so fast and that’s the beauty of it because it keeps us on the edge of our seats.  However, when it goes by that fast, you miss a lot.

The great thing about reading through this scene is all the minor little details that my brain takes in as second nature when watching, but I never really thought had to be put into writing.  Lines like “Luke’s targeting device marks off the distance to the target,” and “Vader adjusts his control stick.”  I mean – of course I remember that scene with Vader adjusting the control stick.  I always thought that it looked like he was unscrewing a soda to take a swig in the middle of the battle.  That would have been a good Coca-Cola commercial.

“Right when things feel like they can’t get any more crazy…” pan to Vader in the TIE Fighter taking a swig of Coca-Cola, “…you remember you have a Coke in your cockpit.” *commence jingle* “Life tastes good – Coca-Cola.”

I digress yet again.

Has anyone listened to the soundtrack of ANH and the actual piece of this song?  Listening to the track is pretty boring.  It serves well in the movie because it’s subtle enough that you pay attention to the action but it also heightens the scene enough to build tension.  However, if I remember correctly, the track is about 13 minutes long or something ridiculous with a lot of it just being cymbals and drums.   In the beginning and end, they have the nice brass instruments that Williams loved so much in ANH, but it’s definitely not prevalent.

Whatever happens to Dodonna in the rest of the movies?  No, I refuse to look at Wookiepedia for this answer.  I’m fine not knowing.

(One small minor tangent – I guess I am a little confused on how this is one whole scene, but I don’t know much about film.)

Princess leia war room ANH

INTERIOR: DEATH STAR.

Grand Moff Tarkin casts a sinister eye at the computer screen.

DEATH STAR INTERCOM VOICE: Rebel base, one minute and closing.

INTERIOR: MASSASSI OUTPOST — WAR ROOM.

Dodonna and Princess Leia, with Threepio beside them, listen intently to the talk between the pilots. The room is grim after Red Leader’s death. Princess Leia nervously paces the room.

LUKE: (over speaker) Biggs, Wedge, let’s close it up. We’re going in.  We’re going in full throttle.

INTERIOR: WEDGE’S COCKPIT.

The horizon twists as Wedge begins to pull out.

WEDGE: Right with you, boss.

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

The two X-wings peel off against a background of stars and dive toward the Death Star.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

BIGGS: Luke, at that speed will you be able to pull out in time?

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

LUKE: It’ll be just like Beggar’s Canyon back home.

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

The three X-wings move in, unleashing a barrage of laserfire.  Laserbolts are returned from the Death Star.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

Luke’s lifelong friend struggles with his controls.

BIGGS: We’ll stay back far enough to cover you.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S COCKPIT.

Flak and laserbolts flash outside Luke’s cockpit window.

WEDGE: (over headset) My scope shows the tower, but I can’t see the exhaust port! Are you sure the computer can hit it?

EXTERIOR: DEATH STAR — GUN EMPLACEMENTS.

The Death Star laser cannon slowly rotates as it shoots laserbolts.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

Luke looks around for the Imperial TIE fighters. He thinks for a moment and then moves his targeting device into position.

LUKE: Watch yourself! Increase speed full throttle!

INTERIOR: WEDGE’S COCKPIT.

Wedge looks excitedly about for any sign of the TIE fighters.

WEDGE: What about the tower?

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

LUKE: You worry about those fighters! I’ll worry about the tower!

EXTERIOR: DEATH STAR SURFACE.

Luke’s X-wing streaks through the trench, firing lasers.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

Luke breaks into a nervous sweat as the laserfire is returned, knicking one of his wings close to the engine.

LUKE: (to Artoo) Artoo…that, that stabilizer’s broken loose again! See if you can’t lock it down!

EXTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER.

Artoo works to repair the damages. The canyon wall rushes by in the background, making his delicate task seem even more precarious.

EXTERIOR: DEATH STAR.

Two laser cannons are firing on the Rebel fighters.

INTERIOR: WEDGE’S COCKPIT.

Wedge looks up and sees the TIE ships.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

Luke’s targeting device marks off the distance to the target.

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

Vader and his wingmen zoom closer.

INTERIOR: DARTH VADER’S COCKPIT.

Vader adjusts his controls and fires laserbolts at two X-wings flying down the trench. He scores a direct hit on Wedge.

INTERIOR: MASSASSI OUTPOST — WAR ROOM.

Leia and the others are grouped around the computer board.

WEDGE: (over speaker) I’m hit! I can’t stay with you.

LUKE: (over speaker) Get clear, Wedge.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

LUKE: You can’t do any more good back there!

INTERIOR: WEDGE’S COCKPIT.

WEDGE: Sorry!

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

Wedge pulls his crippled X-wing back away from the battle.

INTERIOR: DARTH VADER’S COCKPIT.

Vader watches the escape but issues a command to his wingmen.

VADER: Let him go! Stay on the leader!

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

Luke’s X-wing speeds down the trench; the three TIE fighters, still in perfect unbroken formation, tail close behind.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

Biggs looks around at the TIE fighters. He is worried.

BIGGS: Hurry, Luke, they’re coming in much faster this time. I can’t hold them!

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

The three TIE fighters move ever closer, closing in on Luke and Biggs.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

Luke looks back anxiously at little Artoo.

LUKE: Artoo, try and increase the power!

EXTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER.

Ignoring the bumpy ride, flak, and lasers, a beeping Artoo-Detoo struggles to increase the power, his dome turning from side to side.

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

Stealthily, the TIE formation creeps closer.

INTERIOR: DARTH VADER’S COCKPIT.

Vader adjusts his control stick.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

Biggs looks around at the TIE fighters.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER.

Luke looks into his targeting device. He moves it away for a moment and ponders its use. He looks back into the computer targeter.

BIGGS: (over headset) Hurry up, Luke!

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

Vader and his wingmen race through the Death Star trench. Biggs moves in to cover for Luke, but Vader gains on him.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

Biggs sees the TIE fighter aiming at him.

BIGGS: Wait!

INTERIOR: DARTH VADER’S COCKPIT.

Vader squeezes the fire button on his controls.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

Biggs’ cockpit explodes around him, lighting him in red.

EXTERIOR: SURFACE OF THE DEATH STAR.

Biggs’ ship bursts into a million flaming bits and scatters across the surface.

INTERIOR: MASSASSI OUTPOST — WAR ROOM.

Leia and the others stare at the computer board.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING COCKPIT.

Luke is stunned by Biggs’ death. His eyes are watering, but his anger is also growing.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Scene it on Friday – ANH Scene #72

  1. I honestly cannot recall the number of times that I have seen that scene but have never noticed/thought that Luke got angry with the death of Biggs – sad yes but not necessarily angry. This brings a new insight into the shot he made into the exhaust port and makes you wonder whether it was the dark side flowing through him which gave him he edge. It also makes you wonder why Obi-wan’s spirit didn’t sense the anger, or was that what was meant by the line later on where Luke was told to let it go.

    I need to watch this scene again……

    • I noticed that too! I wanted to expand on it within my post but was too scatterbrained. You bring up a good point with Obi-Wan telling Luke to let go. It’s never quite clear what he’s referring to. Perhaps that anger definitely did flow through him and helped him to get that bulls eye.

      Or perhaps Mark Hamill was not a good enough actor to portray the anger well enough. Or (another thought) maybe George Lucas decided he wanted to go in a different direction with Luke’s reaction when Biggs died, but this line was still left in the script.

Use Your Comlink...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s