14 May 2018

Behind the Scenes of Lost in Translation - Star Wars: The Original Radio Series

Over at both The Seventh Sanctum and Psycho Drive-In, I write a column called Lost in Translation, an analysis of adaptations, reboots, and remakes over almost all media.  Recently, I analysed Star Wars: The Original Radio Series - Seventh Sanctum and Psycho Drive-In - and made massive notes.  Normally, any notes get left at the bottom of the file I was using to write up the analysis, but these got long.  So, after the break, the notes taken while listening to the radio drama.

Ep 1 - Luke's background, why he's still on Tatooine, Biggs and his plan to jump ship and join the Rebellion, the Tusken Raiders, the Jawa sandcrawler.  The big space battle is seen by Luke.

Ep 2 - Leia's background, pre-Tatooine on Ralentiir, emergency powers invoked, Tantive IV, Alderaan and its peacefulness, what the Empire is doing to people, first mention of the Death Star, the threat of the Emperor's New Order, Lord Tion proposes political marriage to Leia, Leia's stubborn streak, Tion shot and body hidden, Death Star plans captured on Toprawa.

Ep 3 - Intro of R2-D2 and C-3P0, relationship shown in first 2 minutes, unscheduled reversion from hyperspace warning, new orders/instructions to protect Leia, droid skullduggery, transmission of plans (counters /Rogue One/, though being chased by Star Destroyer Devestator), battle stations, jump to Tatooine escaping Imperial warships, arrival at Tatooine, Devestator also arrives, battle scene from Star Wars but as seen from inside the Tantive IV, Leia gives R2 the plans and message for Obi-Wan, R2 and C-3P0 escape on pods under Leia's orders to R2, Leia is stunned by stormtroopers and brought before Vader

Ep 4 (follows movie) - droids on Tatooine, droids split up, "no more adventures!", "Look, sir, droids!" became a trooper telling his CO what he found, Jawa sandcrawler, Luke and Lars talk about needing more droids, droids reunited, R2 sabotages the R5 unit, Lars checks out the Jawa's wares, including R2 and 3P0 but buys 3P0 and R5, R5 blows its stack, 3P0 acts as salesman for R2 who gets bought (basically the movie), "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope",  follows the movie, ends with R2 leaving and Luke having to wait until morning to follow.

Ep 5 (follows movie) - Luke and 3P0 leave to find R2, info on Ben Kenobi, R2 found (as per movie), Sandpeople attack, Ben appears, explains he's Obi-Wan, 3P0 boots up, Ben's home, "You were a Jedi Knight?!", the light sabre, Leia's message, destroyed Jawa sandcrawler, "only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise", Luke races home too late and decides to leave with Ben

Ep 6 - approach Mos Eisley, "a more wretched hive of scum and villainy", more details than in movie, but follows film, "these aren't the droids you're looking for", cantina scene with Luke describing the patrons, Ben talks to Chewie, "I've got the death sentence is 12 solar systems", arm chop done by customers exclaiming, droids have adventure avoiding stormtroopers on a used droid lot, Ben and Luke meet Han (spice smuggler, independent businessman), stormtroopers question Han after Ben and Luke leave, "Oota goota, Solo?", Han shoots first.  Greedo isn't subtitled.  Han has a rougher edge.

Ep 7 - Travel to Falcon, spies, reunion with droids, warning of stormtroopers, send droids to Bay 94, selling the landspeeder, Ben sees through Han's front, mention of the bowcaster (only shown in the movie), Wookiee background including their ties to the Force, speculation of why Chewie is with Han, Ben uses the Force to get 2000 for the speeder, Docking Bay 94, mention of the price on Han's head, Squeak tries to charter the Falcon for far more than Luke's 2k but for the next day, Jabba's henchman Heater appears (the restored scene with Jabba, extended), "bargaining with the Imperium", Boba Fett used as a threat, droids arrive at DB94 and see stormtroopers, hide after bluffing home owner, troopers move along, reunion w/Ben & Luke, "What a piece of junk!", Han brags about Falcon, payment, back to movie, escape from Mos Eisley, jump to hyperspace, celebration

Ep 8 - Vader and Leia arrive at Death Star, Senate dissolved, description of the Death Star and its main laser, Leia given one last chance to confess, back to movie, "I find your lack of faith disturbing", interrogation of Leia goes into deeper detail with Vader trying to brainwash Leia using the Force, meeting between Tarkin and Vader on Leia's interrogation where Tarkin suggests harsher techniques, Tarkin wants info ASAP, Tarkin chooses Alderaan as first target, Tarkin threatens Leia with her home's destruction (as per movie), Leia reveals Dantooine, Alderaan still goes boom, Dantooine base deserted (as per movie), termination order for Leia

Ep 9 - on the Falcon, description of the Falcon's interior, holographic game board, Luke's training (per movie), end of the Jedi but there are other Force users, Luke and light sabre, Luke's impatience, Ben describes as Luke trains, possible source of the different stances when weilding the light sabre, more details on how to feel the Force, Chewie and R2 play the hologame, Luke practices against the remote, Ben feels the destruction of Alderaan, "Not wise to upset a Wookiee", "But with this blast shield down, how can I see?", arrival at Alderaan/asteroid belt, TIE fighter strafes, "That's no moon", tractor beam.  Expands scenes in movie

Ep 10 - Falcon ejects escape pod, hiding in smuggling compartments (comedy!), docking w/Death Star, stormtroopers come and go, Ben senses Vader, "Who is more foolish, Captain Solo, the fool or the fool who follows?", Han and Chewie mug search team and stormtrooper guard, explains the plan shown in movie, taking of the command post, Ben goes to deal with the tractor beam, (following movie), R2 finds princess Det Block AA-23 and scheduled to be terminated, "She's rich", Luke, Han & Chewie go off to rescue Leia, "We're fine, we're all fine here, how are you?", "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper", Leia takes charge of her rescue, into the garbage chute. compactor, "It could be worse", dianoga attacks Luke, classic crushing walls cliffhanger

Ep 11 - Tarkin/Vader discuss the Force, 3P0/R2 bluff stormtroopers in the command post, "Shut the all down!", out of the armour (but keep the belt), Leia takes over the rescue (back to movie), back to the Falcon, found by troopers, Han gives chase, split the party, Han wants to leave with or without the rest, Chewie acts as conscious, Luke/Leia dodge troopers, Luke tells Leia why he's there, found by stormtroopers, the core shaft, shoot the control panel, swing across the shaft, "A kiss for luck", everyone but Ben reunite, Ben and Vader showdown, "Now I am the master", light sabre duel, Luke sees battle and calls out, Vader cuts down Ben, "Run, Luke.  Run."  No body (movie scene as scene from the light sabre duel), Luke mourns on Falcon, Luke takes a step to the Dark Side, Leia pulls him back by talking of purpose, Han explains how the turrets work to Luke, fight against the TIE fighters (movie, but from Luke's turret), escape to light speed

Ep 12 - Vader/Tarkin on Death Star following the Falcon via homing device, 3P0 tangled on Falcon, repairs on Falcon, "The Imperials let us get away", Leia knows they're being tracked, Han shows mercenary side (follows movie), arrival on jungle moon of Yavin, meet the Rebels, Han remarks on age of the snubfighters, R2 taken to techs to get the Death Star plans downloaded and analyzed, few pilots, resistance to paying Han but he gets a payoff, Han wants to bug out, Luke tries to change Han's mind but fails, Han reveals a bit of his past, Luke/Biggs reunion, Biggs runs Luke through flight sim (basis for X-Wing?), Luke assigned Red 5, briefing, Death Star arrives in orbit around Yavin

Ep 13 - Batlle of Yavin IV, 30 minutes until Yavin IV in range, main gun ready to fire, Motti congrats Tarkin on upcoming victory, Motti urges Tarkin to grab power but Rebels first, Han tries to convince Luke to leave (as per movie), R2 assigned to Luke's X-Wing, "The Force will be with you", snubfighters launch, explanation of how the Rebel assault will go - Y-Wings first then X-Wings, Red and Gold flights in range, battle as per movie with view from command centre on Yavin IV, "Evacuate, in our moment of triumph?", back to Luke, down to Luke's trench run, Wedge pulls out (ship damage), Biggs destroyed, "Use the Force, Luke", "Let go.", "You've switched off your targeting computer", Han blows through, Luke uses the Force, Death Star destroyed, pre-ceremony jitters, Han explains why he returned, medal ceremony (as per movie, but with dialogue)


Narrator (Ken Hiller)
Fixer (Adam Arkin)
Biggs (Kale Brown)
Lord Tion (John Considine)
Captain Antilles (David Ackroyd)
Prestor (Bail Organa) (Stephen Elliot)
Beru Owens
Lars Owens
Gen. Tagge
Adm. Motti (David Clemmon)
Gen. Dodonna (James Blendick)
Wedge Antilles

Ep 1 sets up Luke as a good pilot, possibly equivalent to Anakin in The Phantom Menace.

Luke - ep1 (Mark Hamill)
Leia - ep 2 (Ann Sachs)
Vader - ep 2 (Brock Peters)
Obi-Wan - ep 2 (mention), ep5 (appears) (Bernard Behrans)
Han - ep 6 (Perry King)
Chewie - ep 6 ()
R2/3P0 - ep 3 (Anthony Daniels)
Gov. Tarkin - ep 8 (Keene Curtis)
Stormtroopers - ep 2

Script - Brian Daley
Sound - Ben Burtt
Director - John Madden
Music - John Williams

NPR w/Lucasfilm
Verify spellings!

Clone Wars - LiT 135
Phantom Menace - LiT 3

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