Star Wars plot problems
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Some people enjoy picking holes in films. Some people pick holes in films even though it makes them miserable. I, on the other hand, enjoy trying to patch apparent holes! Since I'm a big Star Wars fan, this page will be dedicated to my explanations of the major apparent plot-holes in the Star Wars films.
Q. Day and night, on Tatooine Darth Maul always seems to be wearing layers upon layers of clothing. Why doesn't he get hot?
A. Firstly, we don't know (yet) if Darth Maul is actually some kind of mutated human, or a completely alien species. Either way, it seems entirely possible that he naturally has a much greater temperature tolerance than the average human.
Second, given the advanced technology, the fabric could either do some remarkably cunning thing with heat, or have a smalll and cunning heat-pump built into it that... gets rid of the heat in some cunning way.
Thirdly, he uses the dark side of The Force! (sub-question left for the reader: do both sides of The Force obey the laws of thermodynamics?)
Q. How did Qui-Gonn know that Jar-Jar would come in handy? How come the only Nubian hyperdrive was being sold by a species immune to the force? What if Anakin hadn't won? Isn't it all actually tremendously implausible?
A. Yes. There was a lot of 'Will of the Force' going on. Sorry, best I can do on this one!
Q. Palpatine is Sidious, isn't he. Isn't he?
A. Almost certainly... but not quite! A fascinating resource for star wars debate is the starwars.com databank - in particular, the height entries. For example, while rebel troopers heights 'vary', all stormtroopers are apparently 1m83cm tall... as are all snowtroopers, biker scouts, and... Jango Fett! As regards Palpatine and Sidious, intriguingly the dark lord is listed as being 3cm taller than the noble Supreme Chancellor. Evidence that they are two different people? Or has Sidious' sinister machinations extended to altering the starwars.com database to better confuse his enemy? The credits of the films don't tell us who plays Sidious, but good old imdb.com tells us that it is in fact Ian McDiarmid, who of course plays the Supreme Chancellor, and also played 'Emperor Palpatine' in Return of the Jedi. All in all, it looks like they are the same character - although I for one think it would be extremely cool if there were some cunning twist in Episode III that made it not so!
Q. It makes no sense!
A. Well... it does make sense, it is just not obvious. Tragically, while critics have long railed against the 'simplicity' of Star Wars plots, the moment things get a bit complicated, everyone seems to get confused. (That said, there were still those who accused Episode II of being too simple). Personally, I get very confused by Bond films, largely because I don't really going on in the world. But, because I know more about the Star Wars universe than the real world (which is just slightly worrying...), I could make sense of Episode II! Yes!
Here's my take.
- 10 years earlier, Darth Maul was killed, and so Darth Sidious needed a new apprentice. Dooku was rebelling against his fellow Jedi, and sure enough Sidious was able to turn him to the Dark Side.
- They then killed Sifo Dyas. Dooku assumed Sifo's identity when he went to the Kaminoans to order a batch of clones.
- He went under his 'Darth Tyranus' identity when he hired Jango Fett to be cloned.
- Before he left the Jedi order entirely, he deleted Kamino from the archives.
What are the odds that Leia happens to be running to the planet with her own brother on it, chased by their father?!?
A. Given the Skywalker heritage, it was inevitable that they would all end up caught in the galactic conflict. Obi-Wan appears to be stationed on Tatooine to keep a bit of an eye out for Luke, using the force. (this explains another co-incidence - Ben happening upon Luke just as he is attacked by sandpeople). Maybe Episode III will have more to say on this.
Q. How does R2 make it down stairs?
A. He uses his third leg to walk down them. This can be seen on quite a few occasions in Episode II.
Q. If the Millennium Falcom's hyperdrive was broken, how did they get to Bespin so fast?
A. They didn't. It has been speculated that the Millennium Falcon carries a 'backup' hyperdrive which takes a few hours to warm up, but this seems unlikely as it is never mentioned (and is not shown in the Lucas-endorsed cross-sections of the ship!). It is far more likely that they made the journey under conventional thrusters. Bearing in mind the lack of friction in space, and the short distance between the Hoth and Bespin (as indicated on the Lucas-endorsed galactic map!) this should only take a few months, possibly a year! This theory has many pleasing ramifications. Firstly it gives Han and Leia plenty of time to develop their relationship. Secondly it gives Vader plenty of time to work out where they are headed and when they will arrive. Thirdly, and I think most importantly, it gives Luke enough time to train up under Yoda so that when he fights Vader, he is not completely outclassed!
Special Relativity also suggests that while a few months might pass on the Millennium Falcon, many years would pass in the rest of the galaxy! Given the fact that they have to accelerate and decelerate a lot, I'm not certain this is true, even after having done my General Relativity course.
Q. How did Luke know he could contact Leia after his duel with Vader? Last he saw she was being dragged off screaming 'its a trap!' - and he doesn't know yet that she is his sister!
A. I don't know. I think it's time for the classic Star Wars plot-hole cop-out: it was The Force!
Q. How is it that 'An entire Legion' of the Emperor's 'Finest troops' were unable to defeat a stupid bunch of little furry things?
A. As we all know, "Size matters not".
More importantly, ewoks are actually extremely vicious, and due to a lack of extras and costumes, the fact that they outnumbered the stormtroopers ten to one was not fully shown in the film. Also, to maintain the 'U' certificate, scenes of ewoks decapitating and disemboweling stormtroopers were cut, as were the scenes in which they feasted upon the bodies. All that remains now is the sinister sight glimpsed towards the end: an ewok playing the bongos on trooper helmets, with some strangely familiar looking bones...