Friday Fives: The Death Star

So since I haven’t resolved my Scene Its issue yet (there’s a bunch of complication with this, least of all that he wants me to now run the website but I’m not sure I have the time for it. On top of that, I’d have to add in TFA and Star Wars standalone movies and I’m not sure where I’d get those scenes or if I want to be responsible for it), I’m testing out my Friday Fives.

The 5 Coolest Things About the Death Star

  1. The most obvious point…the Death Star is round. Like, what?  That was the coolest thing ever the first time Ideath star saw it.  When I think of space stations, even today, I think of flat surfaces that are floating in space…mainly because that’s what we know from Earth.  I basically think of it as taking a building and lifting it up into space, except cooler of course because it would have rounded corners and made completely out of metal or something.  But the Death Star was completely round.  How did it manage to stay “afloat” without tipping to the side?
  2. It has the magnitude to destroy an entire planet. Oh my goodness.  I do not want that thing floating near Earth.  The fact that it was even referred to as a “small moon” means that you could have seen it from Alderaan, in fact probably did.  Can you imagine the chills that would have gone down your body seeing that space station slowly float into view?  Oooo…I just thought of a really cool EU/Legends story.  Someone sees the space station from Alderaan and escapes in a nick of time.  Actually that’s not much of a story, but it would be an interesting scene within the story.  The sense of foreboding you get when you see it in view, Bail Organa gives you a secret message to carry to Leia knowing he will never see her again, you narrowly escape the planet in your ship only to feel the rock of the explosion behind you.  Maybe your ship even gets somewhat damaged and you have to find a way to the closest planet on leaking fuel.    I’m getting distracted.  Anyway, I wouldn’t necessarily describe this fact as “cool”, but at the same time, it kind of is from a storytelling perspective.  I’ve been researching online if any other space station in fiction did that prior to Star Wars, and I haven’t found anything.  Neither have I found anything of space stations doing that after the Death Star.  It’s definitely left its mark (PUN kind of).
  3. It’s controlled by buttons. I just noticed this when I was watching ANH this past weekend.  It’s so old school, death star buttonsbut I love it.  Obviously, this movie was made in the late 70s and everything then was buttons.  Nowadays, we are so used to everything being a touch screen that buttons seem antiquated.  I always took the Death Star and its operations for granted, but rewatching it this weekend made me really think how it looked a little dated.  But at the same time, would you want something that large controlled by a touch screen?  You’ve all been there when your phone doesn’t respond to your touch.  What if that happened on the Death Star?  You’d probably blow yourself up.  I’ll be interested to see if TFA involves buttons or touch screens.
  4. It can be operational when not complete. I don’t know many machines that can operate even when it’s not complete.  For instance, a car’s engine can be working just fine, but without the wheels attached to a car, attached to a body, which is attached to the engine…it’s not going to go very far.  A laptop’s CPU and RAM can be in perfect working order, but without the keyboard and mouse, it would be pretty useless.  But the Death Star II is completely capable of blasting apart ships while it sits by looking harmless.  Genius, Palpatine, genius.
  5. And further on that topic, the second Death Star brought up some really interesting points. What happened to the innocent contractors brought in to work on it?  And, for Death Star II to be completed that quickly, they would have had to begun working on it way before ROTJ.  Yes, you know where this is going (and if you don’t, prepare to be enlightened).  This is one of the coolest scenes, in my opinion, to come from the Death Star existing:

Ever wonder if a Death Star could actually destroy a planet IRL?  Read this.

So, as a first Friday Fives, how did I do?  I do, truly, miss my Scene It on Friday’s, but I think there’s a time when you need to stop mourning something and turn the page.  Today is the first day of spring, so maybe this is a good time to leave Scene It’s in the winter and move forward with the life of something else.



Scene it on Friday – ROTJ Scene #25

second death star hologram

There’s so much to go into with this scene, I love it!

My main thoughts:

  1. The first time we see a woman leader within the rebellion other than Leia.
  2. Han and Lando have really progressed in their character arc.
  3. Leia is sensing Luke more and more, tuning into the Force.
  4. This is a turning point for the Rebellion.

1)  I never cared about Mon Mothma when I was younger.   I hated the way she said, “Many Bothans died to bring us this information”.  I found that line halting and weird…so it made sense not to like her character in my young mind.

Now that I’m older, I wonder why it took so long for us to see another female leader within the Rebellion.  Think about it, at this point weMon mothma speaking to rebellion are almost done with the entire OT.  In fact, according to the webpage I use, there are a total of 235 scenes between ANH, ESB, and ROTJ, and this is the 198th scene.  We are 84.25% of the way through the entire trilogy and have only seen Leia as a leading female.  Okay yes, I remember she was talking to some nameless woman who had no lines in ESB, but I’m not counting that.

I’m not completely knocking Lucas.  The fact that he had Leia standing equal to Luke and Han in a science fiction trilogy is, in and of itself, a great feat and I applaud him for that.  But with my 21st century eyes, this trilogy is very skewed in favor of the male.  Especially when we argue the case that ANH had quite a few Rebellion scenes where we could have seen some good examples of female leadership.  ESB is more understandable due to the fact that it focused on the adventures our heroes went on rather than what happened with the Rebellion.

2)  Han and Lando are now Generals.  Think about it.  That’s a huge step from where they were when we first met them.  Han was a smuggler with no interest in any cause, just interested in the side that paid him the most.  Lando was a pirate turned business man that stabbed our heroes in the back when he gave them over to the Empire.  And now both are going into this battle with the most dangerous missions for the Rebellion, knowing they might not come out alive.

It’s good to see this character development and show how when something is worth fighting for, you are willing to risk your life for it.  It’s easy to say Han was doing it all for Leia, which could be somewhat true, but what does Lando have?  Regret for a stupid action he took against his friend because the Empire gave him a lot of money.  He learned his lesson and knows the greater good outweighs the selfish motivation.

3)  We first see Leia sensing Luke through the Force in ESB, when she turns the Falcon around to go rescue him.  I wasn’t alive when the OT was released in theaters, but I wonder what fan speculation was about that?  Did fans suspect her to have Force sensitivities?  Did they think she was his twin?

Well, now we know by this scene that they are brother and sister, but her uncanny sensing that something deeper is going on with Luke has to be attributed to the Force.  I loved reading about Leia continuing/starting her training with the Force in the EU.  I remember how it had never occurred to me that Leia would train to be a Jedi…but why not??  She has some of the Force too, though she seems to lean more closely to her mother with her love for politics.

4)  Not much to say on the fourth point, since it’s the most obvious, but notice how “a volley of spirited chatter erupts from the crowd” when Mothma points out that the Emperor is onboard the second Death Star.  I guess this is why I call it a “turning point” for the Rebellion, and probably their greatest in the Saga.  They are always fighting, but until they kill the Emperor, they are just fighting the Lernaean Hydra.  So now they know if they blow up the Death Star, they kill the Empire’s leader…maybe both leaders since everyone is probably hoping Vader is on the battle station as well.  Stuff just got serious.

Great scene, glad I had one that I could go into with depth.  With that, I wish you all a great weekend.

general madine and mon mothma


The vast Rebel Fleet stretches as far as the eye can see.  Overhead a dozen small Corellian battleships fly in formation.  Fighters and battlecruisers surround the largest of the Rebel Star Cruisers, the HEADQUARTERS FRIGATE.


Hundreds of Rebel commanders of all races and forms are assembled in the WAR ROOM. WEDGE is among them. In the center of the room is a holographic model depicting the half-completed Imperial Death Star, the nearby Moon of Endor, and the protecting deflector shield.

MON MOTHMA, the leader of the Alliance, enters the room. She is a stern but beautiful woman in her fifties. Conferring with her are several military leaders, including GENERAL MADINE and ADMIRAL ACKBAR (a salmon-colored Mon Calamari). Lando moves through the crowd until he finds Han and Chewie, standing next to Leia and the two droids.

Han peers at Lando’s new insignia on his chest, and is amused.

HAN: Well, look at you, a general, huh?

LANDO: Oh, well, someone must have told them about my little maneuver at the battle of Taanab.

HAN: (sarcastic) Well, don’t look at me, pal. I just said you were a fair pilot. I didn’t know they were lookin’ for somebody to lead this crazy attack.

LANDO: (smiling) I’m surprised they didn’t ask you  to do it.

HAN: Well, who says they didn’t.  But I ain’t crazy. You’re the respectable one, remember?

Mon Mothma signals for attention, and the room falls silent.

MON MOTHMA: The Emperor has made a critical error and the time for our attack has come.

This causes a stir. Mon Mothma turns to a holographic model of the Death Star, the Endor moon and the protecting deflector shield in the center of the room.

MON MOTHMA: The data brought to us by the Bothan spies pinpoints the exact location of the Emperor’s new  battle station. We also know that the weapon systems of this Death Star are not yet operational. With the Imperial Fleet spread throughout the galaxy in a vain effort to engage us, it is relatively unprotected. But most important of all, we’ve learned that the Emperor himself is personally overseeing the final stages of the construction of this Death Star.

A volley of spirited chatter erupts from the crowd. Han turns to Leia as Chewie barks his amazement.

MON MOTHMA: (cont) Many Bothans died to bring us this information. Admiral Ackbar, please.

Admiral Ackbar steps forward and points to the Death Star’s force field and the Moon of Endor.

ACKBAR: You can see here the Death Star orbiting the forest Moon of Endor. Although the weapon systems on  this Death Star are not yet operational, the Death Star does have a strong defense mechanism. It is protected by an energy shield, which is generated from the nearby forest Moon of Endor. The shield must be deactivated if any attack is to be attempted. Once the shield is down, our cruisers will create a perimeter, while the fighters fly into the superstructure and attempt to knock out the main reactor.

There’s a concerned murmur.

ACKBAR: (cont) General Calrissian has volunteered to lead the fighter attack.

Han turns to Lando with a look of respect.

HAN: Good luck.

Lando nods his thanks.

HAN: You’re gonna need it.

ACKBAR: General Madine.

Madine moves center stage.

GENERAL MADINE: We have stolen a small Imperial shuttle. Disguised as a cargo ship, and using a secret Imperial code, a strike team will land on the moon and deactivate the shield generator.

The assembly begins to mumble among themselves.

THREEPIO: Sounds dangerous.

LEIA: (to Han) I wonder who they found to pull that off?

GENERAL MADINE: General Solo, is your strike team assembled?

Leia, startled, looks up at Han, surprise changing to admiration.

HAN: Uh, my team’s ready. I don’t have a command crew for the shuttle.

Chewbacca raises his hairy paw and volunteers.  Han looks up at him.

HAN: Well, it’s gonna be rough, pal. I didn’t want to speak for you.

Chewie waves that off with a huge GROWL.

HAN: (smiles) That’s one.

LEIA: Uh, General… count me in.

VOICE: (OS) I’m with you, too!

They turn in that direction and peer into the crowd as there are more cheers. The commanders part, and there at the back stands Luke. Han and Leia are surprised and delighted.

Leia moves to Luke and embraces him warmly. She senses a change in him and looks into his eyes questioningly.

LEIA: What is it?

LUKE: (hesitant) Ask me again sometime.

Han, Chewie, and Lando crowd around Luke as the assembly breaks up.

HAN: Luke.

LUKE: Hi, Han… Chewie.

Artoo beeps a singsong observation to a worried Threepio. 

THREEPIO: “Exciting” is hardly the word I would use. 


[There are minor spoilers regarding the second Hunger Games book/movie, so I would suggest not reading this if you know nothing about the plot regarding Catching Fire.]

I do hope everyone had a great May the 4th!  Alas, I did not do anything too exciting except go to a Bruins playoff party.  However – I forced everyone to eat my Star Wars sugar cookies and drank beer from a ROTJ glass.  Small victories for me as I was the only huge Star Wars fan that night amid many hockey fans.  My sister also bought me some Star Wars presents, which is so kind considering she is not a big fan like I am.  Did anyone else do anything fabulous?  I already heard what Mark did (play Star Wars video games on Playstation…awesome), but feel free to let me know how you celebrated, albeit in a small way like I did or in a massive watch-the-entire-saga-three-times way.

2013-05-04 17.46.33-1                        2013-05-04 19.24.31                       2013-05-05 18.06.26

When I was 12, I sent good ol’ Georgie a long letter about how much I loved Star Wars, but also included a list of all these continuity issues that he would have to address in Episode II and III.  It ranged from bringing stormtroopers into the movies (we had yet to meet the clone troopers) to the little mouse droids (MSE droid) we see in the first Death Star.  Was he going to somehow bring in the mouse droids? Those damn mouse droids are important!  I’m not sure anyone noticed – but they are in Episode III on Mustafar and I would like to think it’s because of my letter (it’s not).

(Grievance #1) I mentioned to him the ships of Episode I on my list of items to address.  They were so sleek and modern looking; how was he going to convert them into the huge, clunky looking ships of the Original Trilogy?

I’m not sure he addressed that one so well.  He definitely showed a transition; don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing that.  But compare the Naboo starships of Episode I to the ships of IV.

nubian                                             millenium falcon

Isn’t the Empire at the height of its power during ANH?  I mean, they built a freaking space station that blows up an entire planet…you have to have a lot of money to do that.  True, the Republic had years of wealth that it was sitting on, but didn’t the Empire just adopt that when they took over?  And then didn’t they squeeze even more out of helpless star systems through their dictatorship?  I know there’s so much more information on this in the EU, but I’m trying to think this through using common sense.

[Mr. Reticent just argued back at me saying that though they have a lot of wealth, they choose not to share it and the state has usurped all the resources.]

(Grievance #2) Speaking of the Death Star, it has always irked me that there was a second Death Star in ROTJ.  I know it’s such a minor issue, but c’mon, really?  It kind of lacked originality.  George couldn’t even think of a different name!

It’s similar to Catching Fire, the second Hunger Games novel.  I loved the first Hunger Games novel, LOVED it.  I was so eager to read Catching Fire and when I found out that there was basically going to be the same thing at the end of the book, I was oddly disappointed and confused.  Really, Suzanne Collins, really?  You couldn’t think of anything better to do with the second book?  You had to create ANOTHER novel with basically the same plot?  Okay, so the last three pages are a little different, but I remember being miffed at the end of the second novel.

It’s the same feeling I had when I was reading the opening crawl of ROTJ.  I got excited because Lucas made it sound just different enough from the first Death Star that you thought this could be some completely new and scary weapon.

“…Little does Luke know that the GALACTIC EMPIRE has secretly begun construction on a new armored space station even more powerful than the first dreaded Death Star. When completed, this ultimate weapon will spell certain doom for the small band of Rebels struggling to restore freedom to the galaxy…”

second death star

It’s just disheartening when you see that the this “armored space station even more powerful than the first dreaded Death Star” is, in fact, the Death Star all over again.  I mean, it’s not like I couldn’t enjoy the movie because of this, but I remember being jilted out of the movie when I saw it was the same thing.

(Grievance #3)  Before the prequels came out, Luke had some great lines when he first landed on Dagobah that led you to believe there was something more to the planet and Yoda than was let on in the movies.

For instance, when he first helps out R2-D2 after he is spit out of the Dragonsnake (I think that’s what it is), he says, “Oh, Artoo, what are we doing here? It’s like…something out of a dream, or, I don’t know.”  Okay, not too much to go on off of that sentence, but then when they set up camp right before Yoda appears, he says, “Still…there’s something familiar about this place. I feel like…I don’t know…”  I really want to know what he feels like!  And no, I don’t think he felt like he was being watched.

Luke and Artoo on Dagobah

Why was Dagobah familiar?  He pretty much gives two references on why it seems like he had been there before.  This was one of the mysteries I was DYING to have explained in the prequels.  Even when I was watching Episode III for the first time, I thought to myself, “Here it is!  Yoda is going to take Luke to Dagobah for a few years before taking him to Tatooine.”  Ummmm…no.  Didn’t happen.  No explanation.  Am I the only one completely hung up on these lines?

(Grievance #4) I promise this is the last one, but it’s also probably the worst one in my book.  Along the lines of my previous grievance, Leia talks about her mother like she actually knew her or had spent time with her.  In ROTJ, script goes as follows:

LUKE: Leia… do you remember your mother? Your real mother?

LEIA: Just a little bit. She died when I was very young.

LUKE: What do you remember?

LEIA: Just…images, really. Feelings.

LUKE: Tell me.

LEIA: She was very beautiful. Kind, but…sad.

Luke and leia discussing mother

Well.  I think we all know what I am going to say.  Unless Leia has amazing memory and sight when she is five seconds old, there is no way she could remember her mother.

Yes – I realize you can blame this all on the Force and say that when Padme was pregnant, Leia picked up on images and feelings in the womb.  Not buying it.  Couldn’t we leave Padme alive even a littttttle longer just so that these lines make sense?  No, we couldn’t, because then Anakin would probably sense her, or God forbid, dream of her and how she’s alive (lol).  But it just doesn’t match up with what Leia says in ROTJ and this is probably my biggest grievance, because I can’t believe this whole Force-osmosis-womb-thing.

Okay, this was another essay from me.  If you made it through – high five!  I tried not to make it sound like I was complaining, but I’m not sure if that worked.