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Logic Flaws in the Star Wars Trilogy (long)
You don't notice these things as a kid, but as a critical thinking adult, they become obvious to you. Here is a long thorough list of plotholes and logic flaws in the original Star Wars trilogy that defy basic logic and common sense. Feel free to add any of your own.
Star Wars A New Hope
- When the Falcon was captured by the Death Star tractor beam, and the Imperials found it empty because Han and his party were hiding in the smuggling compartments, why didn't the Imperials use their life form detection devices, like on Star Trek? They should have such capabilities, since at the beginning of the movie, when C3PO and R2D2 were in the escape pod fleeing the captured Rebel cruiser, the Star Destroyer personnel said, "There goes another one. Wait, hold your fire. There's no life forms. It must have short circuited." Then later an Imperial officer told Vader aboard the captured Rebel cruiser, "An escape pod was jettisoned during the fighting. But no life forms were aboard." This indicated that the Imperials did have life form detection capability. So why wasn't it used on the Falcon in the Death Star?
Furthermore, the pilot of the Tie Fighter that the Falcon was chasing to the Death Star should have reported that the Falcon was following it like a manned craft, not like a ship on automatic pilot, which should have told the Imperials that there were pilots on board.
- Before the Falcon was captured by the Death Star, Governor Tarkin ordered his Imperial officers to execute Princess Leia immediately, after she lied to them about the location of the Rebel base. So how could Han, Luke, Ben and Chewie have so much time to sneak into the Death Star and rescue Princess Leia, if she was scheduled to be "executed immediately"? I guess "immediately" must be a long time in the Star Wars universe. lol
- There was no reason why the Death Star personnel would let Han, Luke, Leia, Chewie and the droids escape on the Millenium Falcon. They could have easily deactivated the ship or hauled it away, rather than leaving it intact and operable in the hangar bay with only a few guards around it. That is too contrived and convenient.
- When our heroes went down into the trash compactor room on the Death Star, after the shootout in the prison bay, the Imperials obviously knew they were down there, since they disappeared and blew open the trash chute. So when they set the walls of the trash compactor to close in on them, and R2D2 managed to stop it and open the exit door, there should have been guards outside the door to immediately capture them, since their location was already known. But there weren't. That was never explained.
- When the Falcon escaped the Death Star, even though the tractor beam was deactivated, the Death Star could still have easily shot it out of space, or immediately sent fighters to destroy it. There's no way a gigantic space station could be that easy to escape from. It should have many things in its arsenal besides its tractor beam.
- In a military space station, areas where you can deactivate things should not be so easy to get into. They are usually locked and heavily guarded. So Ben Kenobi should not have been able to get to that control panel to deactivate the tractor beam that easily, by simply walking through a hallway and out onto a balcony.
- During the light saber duel between Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader, Kenobi gives up when a few stormtroopers arrive and point their weapons at him, and lets Vader slay him and vanishes. There was no reason for him to give up like that. In the prequels, Jedis can deflect lasers with their light sabers very easily, like a routine breeze in the wind. If Kenobi could deflect lasers so easily during his youth, there was no reason why he couldn't do it again in that scene and continue to fight Vader, or flee and rejoin Han's party in their escape. His sacrifice seemed senseless. Furthermore, he was in a personal duel with Vader and the stormtroopers were not supposed to interfere.
- Furthermore, during that same duel with Vader, Kenobi's light saber suddenly turns into a glass stick, revealing the prop that it was. That scene should have been cut out, but was left in for some reason.
- The stolen data tapes of the Death Star that the Imperials were after the whole movie made no sense. If the Rebels can analyze it and find a weakness in the Death Star so quickly and easily, why couldn't the Imperials have done the same long ago? I mean, what's to stop them from analyzing the technical blueprint of their own Death Star, finding the same weakness in the exhaust port, and plugging it up or fixing it so that it doesn't cause a chain reaction? A simple realignment or plugging of the pipes could have easily fixed the problem. This was never explained, of course, because obviously, if they had done that, the Rebels would have had no chance. lol
Since there was no logical reason to believe that the Rebels were more technologically advanced than the Imperials were, the Imperials should therefore have been able to discover this weakness in the Death Star long ago and fixed it. Then there would have been no need to chase the Rebel cruiser at the beginning to try to retrieve the stolen data tapes. The Death Star would have been invincible and the Rebels would have had no chance, and the movie would have sucked I guess. lol
- When the Falcon escaped from the Death Star, Leia tells Han, "They let us go. They're tracking us." So that means that Leia was knowingly leading the Death Star to the Rebel Base. Yet she seemed unsure though hopeful about whether the stolen data plans would reveal a weakness in the Death Star. So why would she willing take such a huge gamble, knowing that if she lost, then the whole Rebel base would be destroyed? How could her conscience and allegiance to the Rebel Alliance let her do that?
- When the Death Star headed for the Rebel base on one of Yavin's moons by tracking the Falcon, there was no reason for it to stay around and risk itself. Once it found the location of the Rebel base, it could have sent out thousands of fighters to destroy the Rebel base, or dispatched ground troops to capture it, or called the Imperial fleet to destroy it, and then fled the scene out of harm's way. There was no need to try to destroy the entire moon that the base was on, to destroy the Rebel base, and incur risk upon itself. Since the Imperials knew that the Rebels were planning to find a weakness in the stolen data tapes that could destroy the Death Star, they knew that the Death Star was at risk, so they should have had it flee and jump into hyperspace, as soon as the location of the Rebel base was discovered.
Furthermore, the Imperial fleet should have followed the Death Star for protection and backup, in case the Rebels succeeded in destroying the Death Star. There was no reason not to have the Imperial fleet tag along in this huge pivotal battle that could end the war and the Rebellion.
- After the Death Star was destroyed, the Imperial fleet should have arrived and finished off the Rebel base. Yet, at the end of the movie, the Rebels have enough time for a relaxing medal of honor ceremony for Han and Luke. In it, they do not look like they are in a rush to leave at all, before the Imperial fleet arrives.
- If Darth Vader was Luke's father, then why did Vader try to shoot Luke down during the Death Star trench run? Couldn't he feel that Luke was his son, using the Force?
- During the trench run, Vader locked onto Luke's fighter and fired his lasers. They should have hit Luke's X-Wing and destroyed it, just as it did to the other fighters. Yet Luke's fighter was not hit and it was never explained why. Instead, Han's Falcon comes and destroys one of Vader's guard Tie Fighters, and knocks out the other, hurling Vader's fighter into space. But no explanation or cause for Vader's miss was given.
Also, the Death Star should have had thousands of Tie Fighters and cannons protecting it during this battle, so Han's ship should not have been able to approach the Death Star and enter its trenches so easily. You can't approach a giant technologically advanced space station the size of a moon that easily. Its cannons and defenses should easily be able to blow targets out of the space around it.
- A space station the size of a moon ought to have thousands of fighters, not just a dozen like was shown in this movie.
- When the X-Wing squadron approached the Death Star, it was very gradual. It took time for them to get to it, and then into the trenches. Yet, after Luke successfully fires into the exhaust port, he, Han, and a few other fighters, suddenly flee and get really far away from the Death Star, in just a few seconds, so that they are safely out of range when it blows up. If they can get that far in a few seconds, why didn't the whole Rebel squadron get into the trenches in just a few seconds when it was arriving too? And again, the Death Star should have had countless laser canons and missiles which should have blown away the escaping fighters anyway.
- On Tatooine, there was no reason for the stormtroopers to have killed Luke's Uncle and Aunt that he lived with and worked for. If they wanted those two droids and the stolen data plans they carried, which was traced to their home, they would have held his Uncle and Aunt hostage until Luke returned and surrendered the droids. That would have been the logical move. But killing them and then moving on was senseless. It accomplished nothing and did not help their objective. I guess Lucas was in a rush to cut off Luke's remaining obligations to his relatives on Tatooine so he could go away with Kenobi and join the Rebellion. And when Lucas is in a rush, any senseless thing will suffice. That seems to be the pattern.
The Empire Strikes Back
- At the beginning of the film, Han Solo tells Leia and the General that he has to leave because he's still a wanted man being tracked by bounty hunters. But at the end of the first Star Wars film, Han had collected his reward for rescuing Princess Leia, and said that he was going to use it to pay off his debts to Jabba the Hutt. If he did that, then why is he still a wanted man at the beginning of Empire Strikes Back? That should have been explained, but it wasn't.
- When Luke escapes the Wampa cave on Hoth, he turns on his light saber and cuts off the Wampa creature's arm. Then he runs outside in the snow storm to slowly freeze to death until Han rescues him and digs a shelter. However, wouldn't it have been far safer for Luke to just finish off the Wampa creature with his lightsaber, so that he could use its cave as shelter, rather than go out and risk freezing to death? That Wampa was clearly no match for his light saber.
- During the Hoth battle scene, the Imperial Snow Walkers' armor hull was impenetrable to laser fire from the Rebel Snow Speeders. Luke says after firing at it, "That armor's too strong for blasters. Use harpoons and tow cables. That might be our only chance of stopping them." Yet when one of the Snow Walkers collapses after its legs were tied up by harpoon cables from a Snow Speeder, another Snow Speeder flew over it, shot the top part of it, and blew it up. Now, if you can blow up a Snow Walker just by shooting the top of it, then why didn't they do that earlier, instead of saying that their armor was too strong for their blasters and that they had to use harpoon cables? Huh?
- When Luke's Snow Speeder crashed, he got out and pulled himself up to the underbelly of a Snow Walker to throw a bomb/grenade into it. Then he detached the cable he was dangling from, and fell straight to the ground from a great height. How could he fall straight down from that high up, which we clearly saw, and not get injured or killed? Instead, he gets up and walks back to the Rebel Base to get into his X-Wing as though he were unharmed.
- When the Imperial fleet attacked the Rebel base on Hoth, most of the Rebels ended up escaping in transport ships, even though Hoth was surrounded by the Imperial fleet. These transport ships should have been destroyed or captured. Yet they all just slipped past the fleet, after one Rebel ion cannon disabled one Imperial Star Destroyer? WTF? Or could it be that that one ion cannon disabled the whole Imperial fleet? If it could do that, then why did they need to evacuate Hoth? They could have just kept firing with it to smash up the whole Imperial fleet.
Furthermore, the huge Imperial flagship Executor, which Vader was in, was also above Hoth. Since it looked to be the size of at least ten Star Destroyers, how would the ion cannon disable that? And how could all the Rebel transports get past that and all the Star Destroyers alongside it?
- If the ion cannon of the Rebel base was powerful enough to take out Star Destroyers all the way out in space, then why didn't the Rebels just point it at the giant Snow Walkers approaching the base on the ground? It should easily have taken out the Snow Walkers and made it difficult or impossible for the Empire to attack the base by ground. Furthermore, if the Rebel base was protected by an impenetrable force field, as the Imperial officer told Vader, then how could the ion canon fire through it? I've never heard of a "one-way force field" before. lol
- In the original Star Wars movie, it was established that fighters cannot go too far out into space on their own, when Han Solo said that the Tie Fighter they were following, headed for the Death Star, could not have gotten so far into space on its own. Furthermore, the X-Wings were shown to be fueling in the Rebel base hangar bay before the Death Star attack. So how then, in Empire Strikes Back, did Luke's X-Wing go from Hoth to Dagobah, and then all the way to Cloud City? Where did it refuel?
- Also, the Falcon's hyperdrive was inoperative until the end of the movie. So how did it travel all the way from Hoth to the asteroid belt and then to Cloud City on its jet engines or sublight speed alone? Wouldn't that have taken thousands or millions of years? lol. Star systems are usually many light years apart, so the Falcon would have had to travel at faster than light to get to other star systems. But if it's only traveling on jet propulsion, wouldn't it have taken forever, beyond a human lifetime?
- As in the first Star Wars movie, when the Imperials captured the Falcon at Cloud City, why did they leave it operable and unguarded? Why didn't they deactivate it or haul it away? Didn't they learn from their mistake in the first movie when they escaped the Death Star so easily? Or did Darth Vader have amnesia? lol. How convenient of the Imperials to always leave the Falcon operable and virtually unguarded so that our heroes can jump into it and escape. They've done it twice now.
When they left Cloud City, Vader asked the Imperial officer if his men deactivated the hyperdrive on the Millenium Falcon, and he says yes. But why would they only deactivate the hyperdrive rather than the whole ship itself? What kind of dumbass strategy was that? Furthermore, why didn't they put a tracking device on the Falcon, like they did in the first Star Wars movie, so that they could track it all the way to the Rebel base or fleet again?
Also, when Lando, Leia, Chewie and the droids were escaping Cloud City and shooting at the stormtroopers, the Imperials should have known that they would head for the Falcon and either guard it, haul it away, or render it inoperable. Then Lando would have had to direct them to another ship for their getaway.
- Chewbacca was huge and moved slowly. So how could any stormtrooper repeatedly fail to hit him? Hitting him should be as easy as hitting a big door.
- After Han and his party in the Falcon left the asteroid belt and the monster inside one of them, why didn't they simply catch up to the Rebel fleet, instead of going to Cloud City for repairs and risking what might happen there? Obviously they must have known where the Rebel fleet was, since Leia and Lando went directly to it after escaping Cloud City. If their inoperable hyperdrive wouldn't allow that, then how did it allow them to go all the way to Cloud City, which must have been light years away? Or why couldn't they have called the Rebel fleet and asked to be picked up?
- If Anakin Skywalker created C3PO, as revealed in the first prequel, then why didn't Vader recognize his own creation when he saw him on Cloud City and in the carbon freezing chamber?
- If Vader could sense through the Force that Luke is his son, then why didn't he recognize Leia as his daughter in the first two movies when he encountered her?
Return of the Jedi
Oh boy, this movie, which I consider the worst of the trilogy, has so many flaws and blunders that listing them is going to be tedious. Nothing made sense in this movie. So here it goes...
- The beginning part was stupid. Why would Jabba the Hut keep Han Solo frozen? If you want revenge on someone, you don't keep them asleep. You wake them up and punish them and torture them. Or you make them repay their debts and then either release them, kill them, or torture them, depending on the score you want to settle.
- And why would Jabba keep Han, Leia and Luke prisoner so he could take them out into the desert and throw them into that mouth pit? Why not just execute them on the spot or imprison them? Why take such a chance so that they could escape?
- During the battle on the barge, why did Bobba Fett hit the sand dune and then roll into the mouth pit? Sand is not ice. You do not slide down it against your will. Anyone who has walked on a sand dune or tried to roll down one knows that you have to MAKE yourself roll down one. You do not slide down one like ice. When you hit a sand dune, you immediately stop. You do not roll down unless you make the effort to roll down. It looks like Lucas doesn't know anything about sand. Or he just wants the movie to be stupid.
- Why would Bobba Fett not take out Han Solo first, who is right next to him, rather than Luke? A blind Han Solo would be easy to take out in a second. Instead, he ignores Han and concentrates on Luke, while Han accidentally hits Bobba Fett's jet pack with some pole, causing it to ignite and propel him into the sand dune for that unrealistic roll into the mouth pit mentioned above. A great fighter or bounty hunter does not get defeated by an accidental move from a blind man. That's silly and has never happened in history. It's also a cheap insult on the villains too.
- How can Luke stand in the middle of the barge in broad daylight, surrounded by enemies, and not get hit? Anyone can shoot him from behind. A light saber does not provide 360 degree protection.
- How did Leia choke Jabba the Hutt to death with chains so easily? He was huge. How could he be that weak to have a woman choke him so easily? Furthermore, why would Jabba tie chains around himself so that anyone can choke him with it, including his female slave Leia? Also, wouldn't a super powerful gangster whom everyone feared (including Solo) like Jabba the Hut have some body guards around him?
Also, if Jabba the Hutt was that easy to kill, then why was Solo running from him during the first two films and acting afraid of him? Why run in fear from someone who is super easy to kill? lol
- Why would firing the barge's deck gun at the barge's deck destroy the whole barge and explode it? Why would Jabba have a barge that was so easy to blow up with just one shot from its own deck gun? That is way too contrived. It seems that this movie was designed for the brainless.
- When Luke returns to Dagobah to complete his Jedi training with Yoda, Yoda tells him that he does not need any more training, and that he must face Vader again to become a fully trained Jedi. How can this be? When he left Yoda and Ben's apparition in Empire Strikes Back, they said that he still needed a lot more training. How did Luke suddenly excel so far that he didn't need it anymore? One might think that his experience with Vader on Cloud City accelerated his training. However, that doesn't make sense. He got his ass whipped by Vader, his hand cut off, and suffered an emotional shock from learning that Vader was his father. How does that make up for missing training? Sure he resisted Vader's temptation to join him. But that shouldn't make up for any missed training either. Plus, in his previous training, Luke failed his test in the cave when he slew a phantom image of Darth Vader, which indicated that he still had a lot to learn. It just doesn't add up.
Next, the whole Death Star/Endor battle scene was ridiculous and senseless. It was like a cartoon. I guess you don't have to have common sense to be a movie director.
- Why would the new Death Star need to have a shield generator outside of it? Ships and space stations usually have shields generated from the INSIDE, not outside. Why would they have a shield generated outside, which could be easily destroyed? Furthermore, why would the Emperor place himself in a Death Star that was so easy to destroy?
- The Rebel strategy for taking out the shield generator was nonexistent. Why send a small assault team to try to take it out, not knowing what would happen or how heavily guarded it was or even how to get into it? There was no real plan or basis for this strategy. I mean, what if they arrived and the shield generator was heavily guarded by an army and had many exterior guns? What would their small assault team do then? Try to take them out in a shootout? Infiltrate them? Recruit wild animals? lol. They simply had no real reliable plan. Yet they banked the survival of the whole Rebel fleet and the outcome of the war, on this one ground mission which technically had no chance of succeeding?! WTF? That was weird.
Yet in spite of this, Lando kept telling Admiral Ackbar to have faith in Han completing his mission and getting that shield down, when there was no logical basis for such faith, as explained above. So, the survival of the whole Rebel fleet was at stake and they were banking on Han's small assault team taking out a heavily guarded shield generator with no strategy or method? WTF? That sounds suicidal to me. No one would rely on such a strategy or bank a whole war on it.
It would have been more quick and efficient to simply fire missiles at the shield generator to take it out, or try to use fighters to secretly attack and destroy it. But oh wait, I guess if they did that, then our heroes wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet those stupid Ewoks, and the film wouldn't have appealed to children. lol
- When Han and the Rebel assault team in the shuttle transmitted the clearance code to the Imperial fleet to get to Endor, Vader sensed that his son Luke was on board the shuttle. He even told the Emperor about it afterward. So he knew right there that there was a Rebel assault force in the shuttle. Yet he let the shuttle land anyway. That was a huge tactical blunder that made no sense, and cost the Empire the whole war. Why would he let them land and put the shield generator at risk? Why not immediately capture the shuttle and take his son to the Emperor to be converted, if that was his plan? Or put the tractor beam on them without warning? Why bank on Luke coming to Vader of his own will on Endor, if he didn't have to, and could have captured them right there? Vader's decision to allow the shuttle to land was completely baseless and reckless. It also cost the Empire the whole war. Antagonists always do the stupidest things.
- The battle on Endor was ridiculous, goofy and impossible. The Ewoks had no chance against the stormtroopers. How could the Ewok arrows pierce the armor of the stormtroopers? If their armor can't stop arrows and stones, then what's the point of them wearing it, which slows down their movement and heats them up (unless there is a cooling system inside)? Arrows are no match for laser blasters and walking machines.
- In fact, what was the point of the stormtroopers wearing all that white armor over their whole body? I mean, it did not protect them against laser blasts, nor did it protect them against the Ewoks' arrows. So what was the point of wearing it? It only slowed them down, impeded their mobility and flexibility, and required cooling units inside. It seemed like a lot of trouble for nothing. The Empire does not seem very efficient. Why not just have the stormtroopers wear the gear and outfits that standard army soldiers wear, or that SWAT teams wear with bullet proof vests? That white armor that covered their whole body did not provide any advantages, only disadvantages.
Plus, didn't Luke say in the first Star Wars movie when he was wearing stormtrooper armor that, "I can't see a thing in this"? If the stormtroopers couldn't see well in that armor, then what's the point of wearing it? What kind of Empire puts helmets on their troops that interferes with their vision? lol. Wouldn't such an Empire that inefficient be unable to have conquered so many star systems? lol.
Also, I gotta wonder how those stormtroopers take a piss or shit or even go to sleep. Do they remove all that armor every night? lol
- Swinging logs cannot destroy the metal hull of AT Walkers like paper. Metal does not collapse like paper from colliding with logs. On Hoth, when giant Snow Walkers were deployed, their armor was impenetrable to the lasers of the Rebel Snow Speeders, which means they must be pretty tough. So, if the little AT Walkers had similar armor, then there's no way swinging logs could crush them like paper.
- Speaking of Snow Walkers, one was seen in this film at night on Endor, in the scene where Luke surrenders himself to Vader. However, it was never used during the battle of Endor. I wonder why. Since its armor was impenetrable to lasers, there's no way the Ewoks could have done anything to it (except maybe tie a rope around its legs to topple it like the Snow Speeders did in Empire Strikes Back). It would also have kept the shield generator protected from Solo and his assault team. Now, one might suppose that it wasn't used because it was too big to walk around the forest fighting the Ewoks. But if that's so, then what was it doing there in the first place? At least it could have guarded the shield generator, so clowns like Solo couldn't get to it.
- When Han and his party were captured by the stormtroopers at the shield generator, there was no need to take them outside to stand around. What was the point of that? To have them look at all the stormtroopers and gloat in their defeat? Why didn't they just execute them, and eliminate the risk that threatened their whole war?
- During the shootout outside the shield generator, Han and Leia stood in the corner of the closed doorway of the shield generator, totally unprotected and exposed in the open. They were no more protected than if one were to stand in the corner of an open room. This means that they were sitting ducks and anyone could have shot them. Yet none of the stormtroopers hiding in the forest could hit them?! WTF? That is unbelievable and implausible. They should have been easily gunned down in seconds. I guess Lucas expects us to subdue reason and believe that two people standing out in the open cannot get hit by trained military soldiers surrounding them. Uh huh.
- When Leia was hit in the shoulder during the shootout outside the shield generator, Han gets distracted and the stormtroopers come up behind them and order them to surrender, which they get out of after Leia just shoots them down. Yeah right. Again, why didn't the stormtroopers just shoot them when they had the chance, since they posed a high risk and threat to the shield generator, on which the whole war hinged on? They should have immediately shot Solo in the back and finished them both. I guess the Empire just wasn't meant to win...
- The way Han Solo and his party finally capture the shield generator defied basic logic. Han poses as an AT Walker driver, using a captured AT Walker, and asks the shield generator personnel to send reinforcements to pursue the fleeing Ewoks and Rebels. When reinforcements are sent out, they are immediately ambushed and captured, and the door is left open for Han and his party to enter into the shield generator and blow it up. Now, there are a number of obvious problems with this:
First, why would an AT Walker driver be giving orders to the personnel of the shield generator? He takes orders. He doesn't give them. And the personnel in the generator should have refused his request anyway, for the next reason.
Second, the shield generator personnel's primary duty was to protect the shield generator and keep it running. It was their highest priority, since the whole war with the Rebels hinged on the shield generator's protection of the Death Star (well according to the logic of this movie that is). Therefore, there was no sense in sending out most of the personnel inside out to chase Ewoks and Rebels deep in the woods, leaving the shield generator unprotected and undermanned, when their primary duty was to protect it. That made zero sense and was a suicidal move.
Logically, the shield generator manager should have replied to Han's request with the following, "That won't be necessary. Just let them go and return to the shield generator to help guard it. The protection of the generator is our highest priority right now."
At that point, Han would have no way to get into the shield generator except by trying to destroy it with the AT Walker, or placing the explosive charges on the outside of the generator. But then again, shouldn't a crucial shield generator have some exterior weapons, armor or defensive capability, or at least a protective force field of its own?
Third, when the squad of Imperial personnel left the shield generator only to be surrounded by Ewoks, there was no reason for them to surrender. They could have immediately fired their laser weapons at the Ewoks and at Han Solo too. Arrows are no match for laser blasters. If arrows were better, why would anyone be using lasers? lol. And plus, if the Imperial squad knew that giving up the shield generator meant that the Empire would lose the war, wouldn't they have gone for broke anyway and started firing at the Ewoks and Solo? Han's strategy made no sense and should not have worked.
Fourth, the personnel inside the shield generator should have known from watching the battle outside through exterior cameras, and from field reports from their forces outside, that they had lost the battle in the forest, and therefore, should stay in and keep the doors locked to prevent the Rebels from getting in. In that case, Han's cheap trick should have failed and been obvious.
Furthermore, when the Imperial personnel inside the generator saw that the squad sent out was immediately captured, with their security cameras, why didn't they immediately close the door? And why didn't the door close by itself after the squad went outside? Surely the Imperials weren't planning on leaving that crucial door open were they? Geez. Also, how did all those Ewoks get on top of the generator for this stupid ambush? Weren't there security cameras outside that let the Imperials see what's going on outside?
As you can see, the capture of the shield generator contained multiple errors of basic logic. Sheesh. George Lucas must suck at any kind of strategy. If he were a military commander, he'd probably be the worst in history. He probably could not even beat the computer at chess on level one. The strategy and actions used in Return of the Jedi were obviously meant for the most brainless of people.
Next, the space battle above Endor also defied basic logic.
- The Imperial fleet obviously outnumbered, outsized and outgunned the Rebel fleet. Admiral Ackbar even admitted this when he said to Lando, "At that range our ships won't last long against those Star Destroyers." Yet it was never explained why the Imperial fleet didn't finish off the Rebel fleet. Even after the Death Star was destroyed and the Emperor was dead, nothing still prevented them from finishing off the Rebel fleet.
We are expected to assume that after the Emperor died, the entire Empire fled and disbanded. Yeah right. Didn't the Emperor have a successor, or did he plan that after he died, his Empire would be no more? Presidents and Kings have always had successors, to continue their nation or empire.
But either way, even without an Emperor, the Imperials should have finished the Rebels off anyway out of pride and vengeance. That way, they could go home and say, "We lost our new Death Star and Emperor, but we destroyed the entire Rebel fleet and won the war. All we need now is a new Emperor to continue the Empire. Since we successfully crushed the Rebellion, our Emperor did not die in vain." Wouldn't that have been far more honorable and glorious than going home and saying in shame, "We lost our new Death Star and Emperor, so we fled and gave up and lost the war. The Empire is no more."
Um Lucas, hello! Have you ever tried putting yourself in the Empire's shoes? I guess when Lucas wants closure in a movie, he rushes it any way he can, even in the most nonsensical way.
The bottom line is that technically, Return of the Jedi does not bring closure to the saga or end the war with the Empire. Even if the Empire had divided up into factions after the Emperor died, still, with Imperial ships out there that outmatched the Rebel ships, the galaxy was still not safe and neither was the Rebel Alliance. The rest of the Empire still posed a great danger. So the silly war on Endor had not really brought stable peace to the galaxy. Therefore, Lucas goofed in assuming that it did.
- When the Death Star's shield was down, why didn't the Imperials close off the tunnels that the Rebel fighters were flying through to get to the main reactor? Why make it so easy for fighters to fly through the Death Star and blow it up? Haven't the Imperials ever heard of a "door or wall" before?
- The way the Imperial flagship Executor got destroyed by crashing into the Death Star after a Rebel fighter crashed into its bridge, was cheap, cheesy, implausible, and defied the laws of physics, for a number of reasons.
First, you can't destroy a ship the size of the Executor, which looked to be at least ten times the size of a Star Destroyer (based on the scene in Empire Strikes Back when Star Destroyers moved alongside and under it, see here: http://www.theforce.net/swtc/Pix/dvd/zs ... choth4.jpg), by simply crashing a fighter into its bridge. Geez. Can you sink an aircraft carrier by simply crashing a fighter plane into its bridge? No, you can't. You have to inflict a lot more damage than that to sink a carrier. So this made no sense.
Second, a huge flagship the size of ten Star Destroyers should have a ton of defensive capabilities, including shields, armor, lasers, backup systems, etc. and should be extremely difficult to destroy or incapacitate. A few outmatched, outnumbered and outgunned Rebel fighters isn't going to take out a thing like that. Come on now. Furthermore, such a ship should have backup navigation systems.
Third, even if you destroy a ship's navigation system (by crashing a fighter into its bridge in this case), it will simply glide onward and eventually get lost in space. It will not fall down like a plane from the sky in Earth's atmosphere. Come on now. Moreover, the Death Star does not produce gravity, and even if it did, it would not be strong enough to pull down a gigantic ship like that. Obviously, Lucas thinks that Earth's sky and space have the same properties and physics, or thinks that we are dumb enough to think that. Either way, he insults the viewer's intelligence.
Again, this scene was made for the stupid and brainless. Lucas obviously has low respect for your intelligence. Either that, or he has low intelligence himself or cheesy taste. I guess when Lucas wants something out of the way, whether it be a Galactic Empire or a flagship the size of ten Star Destroyers, he will do it any way he can, even if it insults your intelligence or is super cheesy. That seems to be his pattern all right.
- When the Death Star's shields were down, and the Rebel fighters were flying through the tunnels toward the main reactor, none of the Imperial personnel contacted the Emperor to tell him to evacuate to his escape pod. Gee I guess they didn't really care about him. Wouldn't the Emperor leave his intercom on, in case his forces lost or the Death Star was in danger, so that he would be notified?
- In the Emperor's room on the Death Star, there is a bottomless pit next to it, so that he can be thrown into it at the end by Darth Vader, who has no other way to kill the Emperor. Gee how convenient. Do rulers and kings like to sit near bottomless pits? Does Julius Caesar or King George sit around bottomless pits while giving out orders, so that someone who wants to assassinate them can simply throw them into it? Well, not in our world. But in the Star Wars universe, I guess they do. How bizarre.
- How could Luke endure the Emperor's lightning attack for so long, and then get up with normal strength afterward, yet Darth Vader only got hit with it for a few seconds while carrying the Emperor into the bottomless pit, and as a result, began dying right after?
- When the Death Star is about to be blown up, Luke takes Vader, his father, from the Emperor's room all the way to hangar bay to flee in a shuttle. Now, how did he get someone as big and heavy as Vader all that way? Did he drag him on the ground? If so, that would take a long time and they would not have escaped in time. Or did he carry him in his arms? If so, that would strain his arms and slow him down. Either way, why didn't any Imperials who saw him arrest or capture him?
- On Endor, when Luke asks Leia, "What do you remember about your mother? Your real mother?" Leia replies that her mother died when she was very young, and that all she remembered was that she was beautiful but sad. Yet in the prequels, Padme dies while giving childbirth to Luke and Leia, so how could Leia remember anything about her? That has been cited as a major plothole. But then again, what's new? Lucas is no master of logic. That's for sure. Rather, he seems to be a master of cheesiness. lol
Whew. I think this list is done for now. Sorry that was so long, but I hope you enjoyed reading this list of logic flaws, which you probably never thought about or realized while watching the Star Wars trilogy. Feel free to add any more if you like.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Look how big a Star Destroyer is. Here is a Rebel Cruiser being captured by one and taken into the hangar of its underside.
Yet compared to the Imperial flagship Executor, the Star Destroyer looks very small.
Yet in Return of the Jedi, Lucas tells us that the Executor was destroyed by one single fighter ramming itself into the bridge? lol. That's like an insect crashing into a castle or mansion and destroying it. lol. So dumb. Lucas must not have all his marbles to expect everyone to buy that. Or he has a fondness for cheesy stupid scenes. He definitely isn't into logic. I guess if Lucas wants something out of the way, he gets it out of the way any way he can, including the dumbest ways. He has no respect for anyone's intelligence.
Here is that stupid scene from Return of the Jedi.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Check out this Irish guy listing 10 things wrong with the original Star Wars Trilogy. It's pretty funny and melodramatic, as well as true.
Also, check out my blog post about the all the many logical errors in Return of the Jedi.
http://blog.happierabroad.com/2014/04/r ... flaws.html
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
well, hello, lol
It's Hollywood, what did you expect?
Just look at how they made that scrolling intro thing, it ruins the mystique...
http://gizmodo.com/5542745/so-thats-how ... ning-crawl
Dang! The video (Syd's- about the opening credits) has been removed.
ah, so it has. you get the gist from the still pic and the gizmodo article tho...
Sorry to necro a thread, but I saw this while googling a question about a plot hole and figured I'd add my two cents to it in case others find their way here as well. A lot of the OP's points are valid, but many aren't and are explained easily enough, either through the movies themselves or in the other "canon" (not the expanded universe, which technically isn't "canon").
First things first...it's Hollywood. There is an expected level of suspension of disbelief when it comes to movies. It has nothing to do with insulting viewers' intelligence...it's just how movies are done. The story is more important than the details, and that is what a director and screenwriter focuses on. With that said...
• On the Empires many strategic errors, the Empire was a dysfunctional organization. It was headed by a man who desired power for the sake of power alone, and as smart as he may have been, focused more on his cult of personality and having absolute control over others through fear and intimidation than actually running an empire successfully. Does this remind you of anyone? It should. There have been several historical leaders who acted like Palpatine/Darth Sidious. And the results of that type of system led to the same kinds of strategic and tactical errors. Leaders within those systems tend to not take any initiative and spend most of their time worried about screwing up. Put yourself in the shoes of a captain or admiral serving Vader...are you going to do anything that could possibly get his attention? Nope! Best to just follow inflexible procedures and hope for the best. Why didn't they shoot that pod over Tattooine? Probably procedural that they don't waste the energy of firing at an empty object. Do you think that commander is going to breech protocol because intuitively he might think that pod might have the plans they are looking for on it? No. In fact, he likely had no clue about the plans. Having been in the military myself, I have dealt with both lousy procedures and lack of pertinent information. Like I said, the Empire is a dysfunctional bureaucracy and as such it has a culture where there is little initiative and a lot of blame-shifting and finger-pointing. A lot like the USSR used to be.
The second thing to consider which adds to such ridiculous errors is the absolute hubris with which the Empire operates. It really does believe it is invincible. And this starts right at the leadership (the Emperor and Vader) and trickles down through the ranks. They don't consider the Rebellion an actual threat. They don't work very hard to self-assess and protect themselves from the Rebellion because they have absolute contempt for the idea that the Rebellion could ever actually threaten them. They see themselves as a cat and the Rebellion as a mouse to be toyed with before finally crushing them. The Death Star itself was never intended to defeat the Rebellion...it was a tool to instill fear in the populace of the galaxy. That is why they used it to destroy Alderaan. And that is why, once it was operational, the Emperor dissolved the Senate. He no longer needed them when he had a way to obliterate planets at the push of a button.
• The Death Star was vulnerable because of engineering. There are a plethora of examples in history of systems or equipment with major flaws that go, if not undetected, un-fixed. Why didn't the Empire "board up" the exhaust port? I don't know. Maybe being an exhaust port meant it had to be completely unblocked. Maybe it was a straight shaft instead of one with turns because it had to be, or it would be too restrictive to meet it's functional requirements. You have an excellent point about why didn't the Empire figure out this weakness prior to the Battle of Yavin...during the battle, it is mentioned by an imperial officer that they have figured out what the Rebels are trying to do and deem it worth trying to evacuate Tarkin. It is strange that they didn't figure this out before. But I've seen so many engineering blunders that it doesn't surprise me at all that something like the Death Star could have such a flaw. In fact, I'd expect it would have a lot of flaws. That is just the nature of such grand constructions.
The Death Star was not invincible because the Empire didn't really believe that anyone would be fool enough to attack it with just fighters. They were concerned with a fleet attacking it when they designed it, which is why it had mostly turbolasers, which are great against capital ships, but awful against fighters. I agree though, that the Death Star should have had many squadrons of fighters. It makes no sense that they didn't other than that the Empire deployed the Death Star as soon as it was complete and didn't wait for fully stocking it with fighters.
• The fleet was not with the Death Star because, again, hubris. The Empire wanted a display of their might by using that single weapon to wipe out the Rebellion. If the fleet had been there, it would have ruined the image that they were going for...that the Death Star was the "ultimate power in the universe". Stupid yes, but understandable given how arrogant the Empire was.
• Why didn't the snow speeders on Hoth just shoot the AT-ATs (imperial walkers, not "snow walkers" as you keep calling them) on the top? Because they are speeders. In the Star Wars universe, a "speeder" is not an aircraft or a ship. It is a vehicle that operates on "repulsorlift" technology. In other words, speeders have to be within a certain distance from the ground to stay airborne. If you watch the scene in Empire Strikes Back when the snow speeder is looking for Han and Luke the morning after Han stuffed Luke into a tauntaun, there is some rather lengthy footage of the snow speeder travelling with the view through the cockpit, and you will notice that it follows the terrain closely. The Snow speeders could travel above the AT-ATs (which are some 26 meters tall), but they would drop like rocks immediately after, so it made it pretty difficult to aim a shot at the top of the walkers. If X-wings had been used in the battle, those walkers would have been toast, but all of the x-wings (other than Luke's) were committed to escort duty for the transports. Sure, in hindsight, the Rebels should have used the X-wings to stop the walkers, and then worry about escorting transports. But even the Rebels make tactical errors. In war, it is a fact of life.
• Why did Luke drop about 20 meters from the belly of an AT-AT and not get hurt? Good question, but there are two factors to consider. First, he fell into a pretty thick pile of snow. Second, as a force user it is entirely possible he broke his fall using the Force. Such is not explained in the movie, but it is discussed in the various other Star Wars stuff out there. Jedi can't fly per se, but they can jump incredible distances and not get hurt...so that implies they can break their fall using the same Force that lets them jump over buildings. In a universe that has a form of magic, anything is pretty much possible.
• When the Death Star captured the Falcon, it wasn't disabled because Vader convinced Tarkin to use it as a way to find the Rebel Base. Along this plot line, it is entirely feasible to extrapolate why and how the intrepid heroes got away. The stormtroopers might even have been under instruction to not hit them, but "sell the act" so to speak. I mean, it seems rather far-fetched that Tarkin would agree to the plan to let them escape and track them if he was going to also let his troops willy nilly kill them off. It was thus a totally engineered thing to make it look good. Leia seemed to be the only one to completely see through the deception, which is amazing considering Han's extensive experience in life and within the Empire itself at one time. Your question about Leia then going straight to the Rebel Base? Yeah, that's a GOOD question. That has to be the most boneheaded thing in the movie. Surely she could have led them elsewhere and used some deception to get the plans to the Rebellion without revealing their location.
The only explanation I can think of is that Leia didn't want the Empire to destroy an innocent planet, and that she wanted to lead the Death Star to the Rebellion so they could get at it. But it still seems like such a ridiculous risk that anyone sane wouldn't take it.
• There are two things that make Han and company traveling to Bespin (the location of Cloud City) from Hoth possible. First, the schematics of the Falcon show a back up hyperdrive...it's much slower and can only operate for a short time, but it is far more reliable, so it can be used in an emergency to go a short distance. The other thing is that three system Bespin, Anoat, and Hoth are a star cluster. They are so close that using sublight speed, a ship could feasibly travel between them in months. And it is thought that the trip did take months, since during it Luke was training under Yoda, which would at least take months to do based on his progression in the film.
• "Governor" Tarkin wasn't merely a governor. He was a Grand Moff, which basically made him the second most powerful person within the Empire. Vader took orders from him for that reason. It wasn't until his death that Vader assumed the position of #2 in the hierarchy.
• Obi Wan let himself be killed for a reason...and that was to be more useful to the cause. He knew a way to transform himself through death into a manifestation of the Force, and he decided he could do more that way than as a living breathing human. That is why he chose that route. It had nothing to do with being outnumbered or outmatched. It is entirely possible he could have fought his way back to the Falcon and escaped. But that was not his intention, and he chose the moment to die when he saw that Luke was safe.
• The second Death Star didn't have shields because it was still under construction. I am amazed that you overlooked this rather important point. It was unfinished and couldn't sustain a shield yet. The Emperor pushed to have the weapon it is built around finished as a priority over anything else. Again...hubris.
• An AT-ST "driver" would never give orders to a station commander. An AT-ST commander might, depending on rank. One would have to assume that Han Solo was pretending to be the force commander in that situation. Why they left the door open? Beats me. You are dead on with that point.
• Darth Vader had no idea who Luke was during the Trench Run scene in SW IV. So he had no qualms about shooting this pilot with whom the Force is strong. Vader didn't find out until after that battle, which setup the events of SW V.
• The Ion Cannon in the Battle of Hoth couldn't destroy anything. It was basically an EMP device, which shuts down electronics momentarily. Its entire purpose was to pave the way for transports to escape. We only get to see a single transport get away using it, we do not see all of them and it is implied that it kept firing and monetarily disabling ships. When Luke leaves, he hits clear space, and one might extrapolate from this that the imperial ships decided it was better to just move out of range of the ion cannon than to sit around and keep getting disabled, leaving a large window for escape. The only ship that couldn't take advantage of this window was the Falcon, because it couldn't engage its hyperdrive. The other ships could and did so as soon as they hit black. The ion cannon also could not be used against the imperial walkers presumably because of its orientation skyward. Just from the pictures of it, it doesn't look like it can move to aim at something on land, and it really isn't designed for that in the first place. It is a ground to orbit weapon, not a conventional cannon. Also based on it's "theory" of operation, it wouldn't matter if the target was a small ship or an Executor class Super Star Destroyer. The principle is the same...an EMP that knocks out electronics and temporarily disables a ship. An SSD would suffer the same as a star destroyer. In the Star Wars universe, ion weapons are commonly used to disable ships, and smaller ones to drain shields. But they do not destroy. The earliest ion weapon used in Star Wars was the Jawa rifle used against R2-D2. As you could see, it took a while for R2 to "reboot" and find himself on the sandcrawler.
• "Short range fighters"...a TIE fighter is a short range fighter because it does not have a hyperdrive at all. This has nothing to do with refueling. X-wings have hyperdrives, so they can travel between star systems just fine. Since fuel isn't really discussed in the Star Wars universe, we can only assume that an X-wing carried plenty to make multiple trips. TIE Interceptors, like Vader's fighter in SW IV, have hyperdrives, so they can travel great distances which explains how Vader got away. But the regular TIE fighters do not, and so they are effectively short range. The comment in the movie about being a part of a convoy implies that the TIE fighter would have been able to dock with a ship for hyperjumps. They themselves cannot do so.
• Maybe Anakin Skywalker didn't recognize C-3PO because he wasn't Anakin Skywalker anymore. He was Darth Vader. He was an absolutely different person, and one might assume he had shelved away a lot of memories and emotions to continue on in his new role. Also...C-3PO looking droids weren't exactly rare. There was one that looked almost identical (other than being silver instead of gold) in Empire Strikes Back at Cloud City. R2 units were also pretty common, so it is doubtful that Vader recognized his old pal R2. Darth Vader is actually one of the most brilliant villains ever devised on screen. He has no facial expressions...all of it being hidden under a mask. That is almost a faux pas in movies...an actor's facial expressions are half of acting. Yet the Darth Vader character absolutely commands the attention of the viewer. And he is one of the most iconic villains ever despite the lack of a face. He has only what he gives us, but you just know there is more to it. There is more going on under the mask, and we find out in Return of the Jedi how true that is. Maybe he did recognize "3PO". We don't know and never will.
• Jabba kept Han frozen for the same reason a hunter keeps a dead deer's head on his wall. It was a trophy. I thought that was relatively well explained in the movie, but I suppose some people didn't pick up on that. Jabba operated like a mobster...he did a lot of things to project an image of power. It does more to have some guy that crossed you hanging frozen on your wall for all to see repeatedly than to just whack the guy or even to torture him. Making a trophy out of him is a gift that keeps on giving. Personally, I think it's brilliant. It's what Tony Soprano would do if he could, so why not Jabba? For the same reason...for effect...Jabba decides to kill the heroes in a rather grandiose fashion. To make a point. It isn't for them, and it isn't for personal revenge. It is just another ploy to establish his power. Because that sort of power is really based on perception. So he plays to that. He makes a spectacle of it...of killing a Jedi especially, because it will set tongues to wagging. And that is what he wants. He could care less about killing these people, but he wants people to talk about it and about how he did it. He wants anyone who might every think of crossing him to know what their fate might be. That is strategy. Killing and torturing a guy out of revenge isn't. Jabba is smart.
• Yeah Jabba is easy to kill. So is any mob boss. If I really wanted to, I could drive to New Jersey and take out Francesco Guarraci, the acting boss of the DeCavalcante family. He would die from a single bullet just as easy as anyone. But, other than obvious legal and moral reasons, I wouldn't do that. Because I know I'd have a target on me and my family for the rest of my life. The Hutts were crime lords. You mess with one, you mess with all of them, just like real crime syndicates. When Leia strangles Jabba, it was a response to the situation. She had to get out of there, and that meant taking out Jabba. And she had a place to go that could protect her from any issues with the Hutt cartel: the Rebel Alliance, which is way worse to be a part of than being on a Hutt hit-list. Why did Jabba have a chain like that? Because, he liked having slaves on chains. It was a power thing. He probably never considered that such a chain could be used against him. Lucas and his writers did, and so it was a bit of poetic justice. It was the one time Leia was sexualized, and she killed the jerk that had done so. I thought it was actually a brilliant moment in the movie.
• I used to live in Arizona, and I have rolled down sand dunes whether I wanted to or not. I don't understand this bit of criticism. Sand shifts easily, especially on an incline. You will either slide or roll. I don't get your comment here. Since we are talking about Boba Fett though...of course he is going to go after Luke. That is the guy with the lightsaber. Why would you go after Han? He's half-blind and not a threat and has no weapon. But you have some guy with a lightsaber, which has a stigma attached to it, that is probably the biggest threat on the whole field.
Seriously, put yourself in a battle scenario. You see a bunch of guys with blasters, and you see one guy with a lightsaber. Who do you try to take out first? A random guy with a blaster? Or that guy with a lightsaber. Boba Fett wasn't stupid. He recognized the threat and he took appropriate action. Even I would try to stop the jedi/sith first. That is the single biggest threat!
• Luke didn't need more training when he went to Dagobah the second time, because he obviously didn't need it. He had already reached knight level, if not master level, when it comes to using the Force. This is apparent in the opening scenes of Return of the Jedi. He uses the "Jedi mind trick" and Force telekinesis easily. What else does he have to learn that can be taught by Yoda? There is plenty, sure, that Yoda could teach him, but nothing that would prevent his progression. Yoda mentioned in Empire Strikes Back when Luke first met him that he had been "watching him". So, however Luke had trained between SW V and VI, Yoda knew it. Facing Vader...not killing him, that wasn't the goal, was Luke's trial. All Jedi must face a trial to be knighted. And Yoda chose that one. It is probably the most difficult Jedi trial ever in all of the extended Star Wars universe, but there was a reason behind it. Without facing Vader, there would never be any Jedi ever. Luke had to deal with that, or else the Jedi Order would perish forever (good riddance probably).
• Maybe swinging logs can crush an AT-ST. I don't know, but this ties into comments about arrows taking out stormtroopers. Right now, today, if a modern soldier went into combat against a medieval army, he would have a superior weapon and superior training...but inadequate armor. Modern body armor cannot stop a sword/axe/spear and probably not an arrow from a longbow. You can actually cut Kevlar with scissors. It isn't designed for pointy or cutting weapons...it is designed for high-kinetic energy blunt weapons like bullets. So maybe a stormtrooper's armor has some limited ability to stop energy weapons, but it is doubtful to be designed to stop old fashioned blade weapons. The odds of a stormtrooper facing a stone-aged adversary is probably pretty low, so this oversight can be forgiven. And maybe the "armor" on an AT-ST isn't physically very strong, but is good at dissipating heat and so is very useful for absorbing energy weapon fire. It might not take much to crush it since, frankly, what are the odds of an AT-ST being "attacked" with heavy logs? Pretty low.
• Vader had ulterior motives. He often convinced the Emperor to do otherwise foolish things using his immense control of the Force. He learned how to do that from the Emperor, and he used it on him. Vader wanted Luke to come to him on Endor. He thought he could talk him into working with him to defeat the Emperor one more time. But he got side-tracked from his plan from the rather emotional visit. You have to keep in mind...the Empire is dysfunctional. Lucas made no effort to hide that fact. And there is a real distrust between the Emperor and his apprentice, which is a common theme throughout the Star Wars universe.
• The Imperial Fleet didn't attack the Rebel Fleet following the destruction of the Death Star and the Emperor because the death of the Emperor had such a profound effect on the Imperials. It is rather explicitly stated in other sanctioned Star Wars works that the Emperor was fully employing the Force to basically micromanage his Empire. When that control suddenly disappeared, the Imperial officers panicked. They fled. The "dear leader" was gone and they didn't know what to do, so they bugged out. I think it is naive to think that the imperials, to a man, had some hatred towards the Rebellion. For the most part, they were "just following orders". So when their leader was suddenly ripped away from them, they defaulted to simply leaving the scene. There was no point in destroying the rebel fleet because it felt like the entire cause they fought for had just crumbled. That was the effect of the Emperor.
• The Emperor's successor was technically Darth Vader. But the Emperor had no plans to have a successor. He was effectively immortal. He had himself cloned and would assume a new body every so often. In his addled mind, he felt he could rule forever. Poor fool he.
• RotJ does bring closure. The hold of the Empire over the many systems of the galaxy is tenuous at best. If you look at the numbers, just extrapolated from the original trilogy, the military force holding all of these planets was tiny compared to the population of the galaxy. The power of the Empire was built entirely on perceptions. As was evidence in A New Hope , the Emperor still had to deal with the Senate, a holdover from the Old Republic. Once he had the Death Star, he no longer had to entertain a senate. So it was through the use of brutal tactics and a massive super weapon that the Emperor maintained control. Once that facade was broken, the Empire could no longer exist. Destroying the second Death Star and killing the Emperor pretty much sealed the deal. Obviously the Rebellion had a long way to go to reestablish the Republic, but the Empire died with the Emperor.
• Ok, just using basic physics alone one can conclude that the sheer mass of the Death Star would "generate" gravity. A space station of that size would have to be orbited at some velocity to prevent falling into it. Even a speck of dust has gravity. A space station the size of a moon? Real gravity. So yes, if whatever systems controlled the engines of the Executor failed and it suddenly stopped (bad design there if true), then it would fall towards the Death Star. I also question that scene, for some of the reasons you mentioned, but the Death Star would definitely have a gravitational field.
Anyway, you made a really good list. I could only "defend" a few things relatively. And honestly, there are more things you could have added. But I enjoyed "defending" a few of the ones you did bring up. Great movies and entertaining, but they're just movies.
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