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Little Oddities in the Star Wars Trilogy

#16 User is offline   azerty Icon

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 08:31 PM

Well, don't forget the little inconsistencies such as Princess Lia somehow deciding that her name is Princess Laya between Star Wars and Empire.

And CHEW-Backa's name changing to Chew-BAAH-caah for no apparent reason. His name is only ever spoken twice, once by Kenobi in the cantina and once by Lando on Bespin.

And how did "Imperial Cruisers" become "Star Destroyers"?

Why did Lukes X wing have a hyperdrive, even though according to Obi Wan a fighter that size couldn't get deep into space on it's own?

How about dumb story chronology?

How could Vader know the rebel base was on Yavin, yet wait 3 years to go and get them? Or did it take the rebels 3 years to get to Hoth and start setting up a base? And are we meant to believe Solo and Leia just stared at each other for 3 YEARS, never saying a single word to each other before the big break up in the ice tunnel?"

For 3 years Luke had no interest in learning the ways of the Jedi, and had zero contact with Obi-Wan? "Too old to begin the training" plus 3 more years. Brilliant.

Why can't Luke pick up any life on Hoth when a huge beast is standing an arm's length away from him? Luke seems to be susceptible to getting whacked by alien beasts like Wampas and Tusken Raiders who suddenly jump out at him from behind snowflakes and grains of sand. Must be those awesome Jedi senses he doesn't have.

Why does Luke not stay in the Wampa's cave until morning, like any cub scout should know? (He is from a desert planet, too, he should know about survival techniques). Doesn't he have a radio? Yes, it's good for talking across the reaches of space, but won't make it the 5 miles back to the base.

When the rebels are looking for Luke,why do they have Artoo standing INSIDE the door with a three inch antenna waving around 6 inches above his head searching for a signal? For Christ sake, my Satellite TV antenna is bigger than that, and I'm smart enough to put it on the roof, not in the garage. Then Artoo decides that the chances of survival are 725 to 1. What the hell is he basing that estimate on?

The Vader yells at Admiral Ozzel for coming out of lightspeed "too close to the system." Where should he have come out of hyperspace, if not close to the system? Any further away wouldn't make any sense. (Drop out of lightspeed right next to the planet and start dropping bombs! What the fuck? It's a goddam AMBUSH for Christ sake! The indians don't jump out of the bushes 2 miles away, they jump out straight onto the covered wagon and start slitting throats.)

Why are harpoons and tow cables (which the speeders just "happen to have on board") the ONLY way of stopping the walkers. Especially when the rebels have an ion cannon, and prove that it can shoot down a star destroyer with a single shot! What about blowing up big pits in front of the walkers? Or since they only move at 1 mile an hour, just running up to them and chucking a grenade in the back door. Oh wait, Luke does that later.

Why do 2 Star destroyers crash into each other while chasing the Falcon. Could they not see through the windows that they were on a collision course? (Even if Solo hadn't pulled that maneuver, they still would have been on a colission course.)

Why does Luke steal a valuable spaceship, disappear for an unspecified length of time for his own personal business to a mysterious unknown planet without telling ANYONE where he is going? Then, he charges in at full speed through zero visibility with "all the scopes dead" towards the unknown planet, and crasheshimself in a lake. X-Wings can hover, can't they? They could on Yavin anyway. I guess he "just forgot".

Why does Vader decide that the best way of getting Luke involve capturing a few random rebels (which luckily happen to be our heroes) and torturing them so that Luke will possibly feel their pain across the galaxy, and then possibly come BY HIMSELF to rescue them, and thus be easily captured? I admit Luke is dumb enough to get captured this way (See Dagobah Debacle above) but not Force sensitive enough to get what is going on with this plan (See Wampa/ Tusken Debacle above.)

With Vader killing all his top commanders how does he ever expect to get anything done. Who would ever aspire to be a captain or admiral? Or is he doing it just to reinforce to us that he is evil? That's helpful, because I wasn't really sure about his motivations, to be honest. But now I know he is motivated by BEING EVIL. I'm glad that's cleared up.

Why, even after Threepio tells Solo EXACTLY what is wrong with the Hyperdrive engine ("the hyperdrive motivator has been damaged."), does Solo not just fix the problem instead of endangering everybody's lives by his incompetance with engines? He should know what's up - he made a few "special modifications himself"! Solo, instead of fixing the "Hyperdrive motivator" fucks around with hydro spanners, alluvial dampers and who knows what else.

Solo can hear Mynocks attach themselves to the Falcon, but a Star Destroyer (or is that an Imperial Cruiser) can't hear another ship attaching itself to the back of the bridge with a grappling hook?

The emperor's conversation with Vader tells us that he somehow knows that Luke destroyed the death star and that Luke is Vader's son. But Vader doesn't seem to know it himself. And yet why has Vader been chasing one small shitty ship through space? (See Vader's Cunning Plan Above) And what about the scroll up that said he was "obsessed with finding Skywalker?"

Why does Vader want to use carbonite to transport Luke to the emperor? If Lando didn't point out to him that it probably won't work, he might have accidently killed Luke right in that pit, and then he would have been in trouble. Oh yeah, good point, says Vader. THINK, Darth, you big moron! No wonder he has that black mask, how else would that dumbass manage to remember to breathe?

They make a big deal out of that door closing right in front of Artoo as he is following Luke in the city, but he wouldn't have been able to get over that sill anyway.

Why, at the end of the film when the heroes are all escaping in the Falcon, being chased by tie fighters and star destroyers, does Artoo make an offhand comment that he KNOWS that the Hyperdrive motor has been deactivated (the city computer told him so), but doesn't think it important to fix this BIG problem, but instead concentrates on welding Threepio's foot?

My favorite bit of absurdity are the "probe droids".

(This drives Civilian #2 crazy!)

Admiral Ozzel clearly states that they have "thousands of probe droids searching the galaxy" for the rebels. Let's work out the likleyhood of a result with that information.

400,000,000,000 stars in the galaxy. (According to the Encyclopaedia.)

999,999 probe droids (One less than 1 million,or Ozzel would have said "a million" and not merely "thousands")

Area of an earth sized planet 197,000,000 square miles.

Let's get even more restrictive and say only ONE IN A HUNDRED of the stars have 1 habitable planet.

Let's also say only ONE PERCENTof each planet is habitable and is worth searching. So we don't bother searching 99 out of 100 systems in the galaxy, and we only search 1/100th of the planets we DO bother to search. Let's give Ozzel an even bigger possiblility of succeeding by saying that each of the probe droids can search 10,000 square miles a minute, and let's also say the probe droids instantly travel from planet to planet and place to place, so no absolutely ZERO time is wasted. Let's also say that space itself doesn't have to be searched (even though the rebel fleet was hiding out in space at the end of Empire, nowhere near a planet.)

Let's give him ALL of these freebies, and work out what might happen...

So .01 x 400,000,000,000 = 4,000,000,000 possible planets.
and .01 x 197,000,000 = 1,970,000 square miles of possible habitable area per planet.

total area to be searched 4,000,000,000 x 1,970,000 = 7,880,000,000,000,000 square miles. (That's 7000 trillion square miles)

7,880,000,000,000,000 square miles divided by 999,999 probe droids divided by 60 minutes divided by 24 hours divided by 365 days

= 149.9 years. It could never work.
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#17 User is offline   Just your average movie goer Icon

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 07:38 AM

Damnit, that could drive me crazy too. Actually though, that probably ties in nicely with Civilian's point about Star Wars working best when it doesn't pretend to plausible. If we just say "Okay, 'a parsec' refers to a measurement of time in this reality and "lightspeed" doesn't actually mean lightspeed and it's all just a bit of fun, then it works. But if Lucas decides that he wants his universe to seem convincing, then he better be prepared for close scrutiny.

However, I don't really think that was what he was doing with all that midichlorian stuff ... (shudder at writing that stupid word) .... I think he was just being stupid.

Oh and on the subject of looking for people in a galaxy, we have to suspend a lot of belief right there. If someone wanted to hide from someone else with a galaxy of options, it wouldn't be a problem. In real life, the Rebellion could be hiding in downtown Detroit and the Empire could still have a hard time finding them. As for Han and that bounty Jabba slapped on his head, he could live it up on a dozen worlds without worrying one little bit about it.

However, in the Star Wars universe, it's more like "The Rebels are on Forest Planet", "We've found the Rebels on Snow Planet" or "The Death Star V.02 is orbiting Forest Planet V.02."

An entertaining list still, Azerty... although I always wonder whether you really like Star Wars at all. You like the original classic at least, right?

Actually though, I've thought of a few of those things myself too. For instance, Luke really should have stayed in that cave rather than risking freezing to death. And Darth Vader's plan for luring Luke to Bespin is fairly far-fetched. Maybe Yoda with his far-seeing abilities could have sensed what Vader was up to and saved that force vision lesson for a later date.

And I do think the emperor telling Vader to look for Luke is pretty funny. It reminds me of that episode of Fawlty Towers when Basil's hanging the picture up and then Sybil calls him to check that he's doing that, thus interrupting him in the middle of it. I think it'd be funny if Vader responded to the Emperor's interruption in the same manner. "I was just looking for Skywalker! Right when you called me - in fact, if you hadn't interrupted me..."

And I loved the bit about Luke always getting attacked by creatures like the sand people and the wampa without getting so much as a hunch beforehand. Mind you though, Luke is a bit of an idiot all throughout the trilogy. He's a huge moron in The Empire Strikes Back, whining the whole time on Dagobah, failing every test that he's given.

Yoda - The cave. Remember your failure at the cave.
Luke - But I've learned so much since then. Master Yoda...
Yoda - The ship. Remember your failure with the ship.
Luke - Yeah but...
Yoda - Concentrating on lifting small rocks without dropping me. Remember how badly you screwed that one up.

Also, there's that bit after the first part of his lightsaber fight when he knocks Vader off the ledge. If he were any way sensible, he would have left and rescued his friends. But somehow, he forgot all about why he had come to Bespin in the first place and so he jumped down after Vader... and look where that got him. What a moron.

And Vader being a moron is no news. He's a thug who likes throttling people, not stopping to assess situations and misusing the entire Imperial war machine for his own personal errands, jeopardising expensive military property and lives in the process. Tarkin was right to keep him on a leash.

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Why, at the end of the film when the heroes are all escaping in the Falcon, being chased by tie fighters and star destroyers, does Artoo make an offhand comment that he KNOWS that the Hyperdrive motor has been deactivated (the city computer told him so), but doesn't think it important to fix this BIG problem, but instead concentrates on welding Threepio's foot?


Maybe Artoo's not the friendly droid he's been made out to be but is actually a bit of a jerk who gets a kick out of watching his organic lifeform friends make fools of themselves.

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When Lucs claimed he'd read Joseph Campbell, had used universal themes to try to convey some sort of message, and when he created a symbiotic life-form as his explanation for the Force, then the space slug became stupid.

Not stupid in EMPIRE. Stupid only if you watch the prequels.


Yeah. Still cheesy though. But that's all right. A lot of Star Wars is cheesy. This is afterall a series in which the hero's second line is "But I was going to Toshi's station to pick up some power converters...."

I never understood why Luke was so upset about those power converters.

This post has been edited by Just your average movie goer: 19 December 2009 - 07:46 AM

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#18 User is offline   MyPantsAreOnFire Icon

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 01:36 AM

I think I've griped about this before, but it popped back into my head when I was watching the original trilogy with a couple of my younger cousins (who were seeing it for the first time): for being the one that's supposedly "for kids," RotJ is really messed up.

All the creepy sexual stuff going on with Jabba is just really awkward when you realize little kids are watching it. The whole sequence with the green dancer is especially loathsome since it ultimately ends up serving absolutely no purpose. There's really no need to show Jabba to be some kind of a letch at that point since that's made more than obvious once he gets his hands on Leia. There's no need to imply that there's something scary in the pit since that's painfully obvious just from seeing the damn Rancor and, just to bash over the heads with it, we get to see it messily devour a pig guard. Hell, wouldn't it have been at least a bit of a surprise if the trapdoor was revealed only when Jabba dropped Luke down it? What is the point of the whole dancer sequence in a movie that's "y'know, for kids!" outside of having some scantily clad woman dance around, beg for her life and then suffer a really horrifying death? It doesn't really make Jabba into any kind of an impressive villain since it really only makes him appear to be a threat if you're an abused, humilated woman chained to him that's standing over a particular spot on the floor. Ooooooh, scary.

Jabba as a whole is just very bad at his "job." His solution to everything is to feed someone to something else or to just sit around and listen to space disco and gorge himself in his crappy palace on a crappy planet in the ass-end of the galaxy. How is this guy a powerful intergalactic crimelord? He doesn't seem particuarly clever or wealthy and everyone around him besides Fett seems to be armed only with spears, axes or knives. You'd think the Empire would have just parked a few Star Destroyers in orbit and levelled the place to take a bit out of crime. Hell, it also doesn't make any sense that he seems to show no interest in dealing with the Rebels. Yeah, why would a guy whose "business" is seemingly hinged on smuggling and selling things "off the truck" want anything to do with a massive underground resistance movement that's going to need to be buying weapons and ships and supplies and information reguarly? That's just crazy talk!

Oh, I don't know if it's been posted here, but there's a 7-part(!) breakdown of TPM on YouTube and its failings that's been getting some attention recently. Here's part one:

http://www.youtube.c...h/2/FxKtZmQgxrI

The narrator's voice is annoying at first, but trust me, he nails it. I really hope he reviews all of the other SW films, too.
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#19 User is offline   Just your average movie goer Icon

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 04:15 AM

I'm glad you mentioned that Jabba thing. I thought I was the only one. I remember writing some posts about that a while ago but I wouldn't have a clue where. However, you're absolutely right. It's quite a disturbing scene that has no place in either a Star Wars movie, a movie aimed at kids or a movie made with an ounce of good taste. I wonder if any child watching it has ever asked their parents what was going on in that scene. It'd be pretty awkward, wouldn't it? "Oh, well, you see, son... er... Jabba was angry at this woman who he kidnapped because she wouldn't succumb to his advances and... er, go ask your mother."

And the other points you raised are absolutely correct. There is no need to give the rancor an earlier introduction. The introduction it gets when Luke sees it works perfectly well. Also, there's no way that Jabba as he's presented could be the boss of a galactic smuggling organisation/crime syndicate. Where are his ships? Where are the signs that he's running a business? Jabba's palace is nothing more than the refuge of a group of pathetic losers, not one of whom would have enough basic qualifications to find gainful employment as a cashier at Starbucks. It's a wonder any of them are alive at all, considering how hopelessly useless they are. Maybe that elephant puppet (with the visible strings) who plays the keyboard does occasional tours and raises some bread for the rest of them, I don't know.

Yeah, it's a pretty uneven movie all round, that one. There's the contrast of the aforementioned scene with the ewoks. There's the fact that the death of one ewok cues the most melancholic cue in the entire Star Wars soundtrack, while moments later, a star cruiser with several thousand people onboard is blown to atoms by the Death Star without so much as a minor note. It's all action and excitement again.

Then there's the fact that you've got the rancor with its thick matte lines all around it, sharing a movie with one of the most well choreographed and realised space battles ever put in a movie.

In fact, I'd say that Return of the Jedi could be the best example of an uneven movie one could ever come across. Perhaps what it lacks in artistic value, it can make up for as a cautionary example for future film-makers.

This post has been edited by Just your average movie goer: 20 December 2009 - 04:16 AM

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#20 User is offline   Just your average movie goer Icon

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 08:35 AM

Hm... I wrote "cues the... cue" then, didn't I? I shall have to pay more attention when I'm writing these posts.
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#21 User is offline   MyPantsAreOnFire Icon

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 11:17 AM

Not to keep picking on Jabba, but why is he into human women in the first place? Wouldn't that roughly be the equivalent to one of us being attracted to a water buffalo? They're totally different species! Though I guess that means you can add beastiality to the laundry lists of perversions distracting him from actually being a crime boss. Nevermind that's he's basically a giant worm and essentially a hermaphrodite so it makes no sense that he's a "he" to begin with.

Outside of the great visual "gotcha" of seeing Jabba for the first time, he really isn't a character that holds up to even an iota of critical scrutiny. Hell, even if he was actually some kind of brilliant schemer it makes absolutely no sense that he wouldn't have been long dead in such a cutthroat world seeing as how he's immobile to the point of being unable to even turn his head.
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#22 User is offline   Mr Pye Icon

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 02:37 PM

When you have seen the movies so many time you do tend to start noticing things you hadn't before, and making speculations you didn't make before.

Like early in the first movie, where Vaders ship chases down Princess Leia's ship to recover some stolen plans. This a strange purpose, unless the theft was such that the plans are no longer available to the Empire. If they were they could have merely destroyed the Princess's ship, and presto! Problem solved. But lets assume for the sake of the story that they really need to physically recover the plans, What then shall we make of the commands crews decision not to destroy the escape pod because 'There are no life forms onboard'. Okay I can you might not wish to destroy the capsule because it may contain the plans, but why then do you talk as if you did destroy capsules that had life forms onboard, which might also have contained the plans? Just a minor nitpick.

Another line that I have re-evaluated over the years is Vaders 'The ability to destroy a planet is insignifcant, next to the power of the force'. I used to take Vaders word for it, but having heard the line perhaps one too many times I finally started thinking about it. Aren't there like a billion people on Alderaan disagreeing with you? Well there aren't of course, but that sort of proves you wrong too. Meanwhile all Vader ever uses the all powerful force to do is things like choking, which you could do with your hands, and sensing wich is rather like turning on the stations security cams. Even old Ben Kenobi was more imaginative than that, at least he could turn stormtroopers into parrots.

Another minor thing ,very minor infact, to notice is that in the first movie the fleet officers of Vaders ship wear black uniforms. I rather like those. Wonder why they changed them to green in Empire.

Then there is the other peculiar use of the force in Star Wars. When Luke has finally reached the exhaust port of the Death Star, he gets his first post mortem advice from Ben Kenobi. Use the force Luke. And so he does. Or does he? What exactly is he using the force for? Is it to guide the missile? Is it to align the ship? Is it a prayer to higher powers to intervene? Or is it just to calm himself down enough to get the deed done? And why does it involve shutting down the targeting computer? For all we know he simply launches the missile and then uses the force to align the whole bloody Deathstar in the path of the missile. Don't get me wrong, this is still a great moment, and a pay off for Lukes character and the spirit of the film. It is once you start trying to figure out exactly what happened you realize that this story is rather like some old legend passed around and improved by fantasy of mind.



Empire also has some things I started thinking about only after repeated viewings. The power struggle of the Imperial officers for instance. Vader blames Ozzel for coming out of hyperspace too close to the systems. Lets ignore for now what he thought Ozzel should have done, and look at what happens. Another officer, Veers I think, stands in front of Vader and tries to take Ozzel in defence. Was this humanitarian conscience or did the officer have something of his career vested in Ozzel? Vader puts his own man Piett in charge and Veers, gets to command the ground attack. After that we never see or hear from him again. Anyway all this at one time had me speculating what kind of politics were going on in the fleet, and if Vader wanted Ozzel removed for more reasons than what he considered a tactical failure.

Yoda is a funny character. He is even more imaginative than Kenobi when it comes to using the force. He can look into the future. Or so he claims anyway. This is potent stuff. Just like the Mirror of Galadriel in LotR:s is really a far more powerful device than Saurons dinky old ring. What does Yoda's expedition to the future tell us? He identifies cloud city, he identifies Lukes friends, and he forsees that they are about to be tortured. Doesn't he forget to identify the system however? How did Luke know where to go? Surely there must have been other cloud cities in the Galaxy?

Another funny thing is when the Millenium Falcon attatches itself to the Star Destoyer. This very neatly puts it safe from the Star Destroyers scopes. Now nobody knows where it is. Except Boba Fett. Isn't that funny. Boba Fett must have figured out what they did, but instead of strolling casually over to vader and suggest sweeping the hull, he decides to leave the Star Destroyer through the garbage shute. This raises a few questions. Did the crew of the Star Destroyer even consider why he wanted to do this? What did he tell them? How did they lug his ship all the way from the hangar to the garbage storage? Or if he did tell them about the whole plan, couldn't they just have gone into hyperdrive without releasing the garbage, bringing the Falcon with them to wherever they felt it best to go.



Return of the Jedi has me mostly thinking about the plans to get Han free from Jabba. Lando is already installed as an inside man. By whom? By Luke? By Leia? Or by his own initiativ. This is never cleared up. Leia and Chewbacca then turns up with what appears to be a plan of their own. This leads to both them beeing captured. Finally Luke arrives and also get captured. But now the real plan begins. Or does it? R2 has a hidden lightsabre, which he must have had all the time, that's ok. What about the rest? Was it planned that Leia was going to release Solo from the carbonite? Jabba could have stopped that. Was it planned that R2 would be serving drinks on the barge? Jabbas major domo droid could have stopped that. Was it planned that Leia would be made a personal slave of Jabba? Or that they would be taken to the pit of Sarlacc for their execution? There seems to be an awful lot of assumptions in the planning. Or did they all have their own plannes and everything just panned out for the best?


When Han and the infiltration team is about to land on the Moon of Endor they make a lot of fuzz about a stolen security code that may or may not work. It turns out it does work. Either that or Vader decides to let them through. Let them through what though? Ackbar told us that the Deathstar is protected by an enrgy sheild generated on the nearby moon of Endor. Solo is landing on the moon, but still he asks for deactivation of the energy. This must refer to a shield (possibly the same one) protecting the base area down on the moon. But unless they intended to land on base landing platform which is unlikely, why did they do this at all? If the people down on the moon deactivate the shield as instructed they would have been looking for a ship to come landing. The rebels would have been outed either way.

Ok enough nitpicking for today, they are still good movies, but in all movies one can apply questions of this kind.
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#23 User is offline   civilian_number_two Icon

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 01:29 AM

Hey great stuff there, Mr Pye. I think I can clear up the "Use the Force" business from STAR WARS however.

Lucas was trying to tell a story of a return to older ways, in this case of relying on the magic of the past over the technology of the present. So while the targeting computer was having trouble guiding missiles fired from a moving base at high speed down a narrow chute on a target that was also moving, Luke relied on the Force to tell hime when to fire. In the context of the first movie, when there is some mystery to the magic of the Force, this is all fine. Yes, I agree that as the films progress and the Force becomes very limited on its scope and is even defined as the byproduct of a parasitic infestation, this is stupid and incredible, but in the context of STAR WARS it is more than just the end of an action scene.
"I had a lot of different ideas. At one point, Luke, Leia and Ben were all going to be little people, and we did screen tests to see if we could do that." -George Lucas, in STAR WARS: the Annotated Screenplays (p197).
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#24 User is offline   Supes Icon

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:32 PM

The thing that irritates me oddly enough centres around midiclorians. I mean there is the obvious rage against taking the mystic out of the force and replacing it with a "scientific" explanation, but the problem is there is still the question of just how midiclorians actually cause the "magical/mystical" manifestations that they do. For my mind all that has happened is that we have seen the replacement of living beings with a symbiotic being that somehow channels mystical energies. To the best of my knowledge (and I will admit to only seeing the PT films once each) there is no logical/scientific explanation as to how midiclorians work.

That being the case you really do need to ask the question, What was the point George?

I'm happy to stand corrected here, as stated I'm working from a one time viewing memory, but it was something that I was curious about when they were first mentioned.

Note - I know JYAMG that you were referring to OT inconsistencies but it relates when you look at the apparent shift in understanding that has been created by this addition in the PT.

This post has been edited by Supes: 22 December 2009 - 11:34 PM

Luminous beings are we... not this crude matter.
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#25 User is offline   Just your average movie goer Icon

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 01:56 AM

Hey Supes. Yeah, the midi... ah, I can't bring myself to write that word. They suck. However, there's no need for anyone to view the Star Wars trilogy through the tainted lenses of one who has seen the prequels. I'm confident that even if Lucas doesn't pull his act together and restore the original movies without alterations, time will sort out the prequels soon enough. You know, it's been more than thirty years since Star Wars came out and it's still a widely beloved movie. However, I'd wager that in another thirty years, the prequels will only be referred to in a kind of embarrassed way. You know, ex-fanboys looking sheepishly at their friends, saying things like. "Yeah, all right. I liked them. But I was a kid."

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Lucas caved in eventually and washed his hands of these things. I know he loves them and all but the die-hard loyalists he's catering to are not the kind of fans anyone would want to be associated with. All over the net, you can find these uncouth and illiterate thugs attacking people on forums, writing abusive comments under blogs or threatening reviewers... attacking practically anyone who either likes the original movies and/or dislikes the prequels, generally with a lot of expletives and vulgar threats.

Actually, given the fact that this crowd doesn't even like the original movies, you'd think they wouldn't mind if those of us who do could have the theatrical versions restored... but I digress. Now I know Lucas likes to get his hands on as much money as he can and so from this standpoint, the more fans he has, the better. However, I think if he found out what he's unleashed, he might well decide he wants to make amends. Because whether they make money for him not, these are not the kinds of fans one embraces. They're the kind you denounce.

Regardless, the prequels won't stand up to the test of time and time is a pretty good judge. That's why you can easily buy Zulu on DVD but you'd have to look pretty hard to find Hercules vs The Moon Men. What's that? You haven't heard of Hercules vs The Moon Men? Then you're really missing out on... well, not much. Recently, I introduced Star Wars to my nephews and gave them DVDs of the original trilogy. I guessed that not knowing about the changes, they wouldn't really mind. Anyway, they loved them. And I imagine that someone from their generation could show the films to someone in the next generation and so on and so forth. I honestly think they're timeless, whereas the popularity of the prequels is a fad... and I think it's already on the way out.

Anyway...

I'm going to reign this thread back in. So those oddities in the originals. Actually, it's amazing what kind of stuff has come up. I've noticed some of the things that have been raised but some of the others are things I've never thought of before. Mr Pye, I loved some of the things you mentioned in your post, particularly the point that to prevent the rebels from having the plans, Vader didn't have to take Leia's ship intact. I also loved the oddity you raised regarding Boba Fett leaving in the garbage. Actually, I've never thought about that before but you're right. It's kind of funny imagining how he talked his way into being able to do that. Also, how did he know where the Millenium Falcon was? Or does Han always do this and somehow Boba Fett knows about it? "Oh yeah, that Han. I know him. Yeah, he's got this great little trick for hiding from Imperials. He latches his ship on the back of a Star Destroyer bridge. It's great. Anyway, good luck, Boba. I'm sure you'll catch him."

Actually, there's another funny thing with the bounty hunters. Right after Admiral Piett says "Bounty hunters, we don't need their scum. Those rebels can't escape us.", one of the bounty hunters growls at him in a way that's obviously meant to be threatening. However, I can't imagine any bounty hunter with half a brain doing that. Think about it. He's threatening the Admiral of the Imperial Fleet while he's standing on his bridge. I don't know how many stormtroopers are standing between him and his ship but I imagine that particularly bounty hunter was probably taken off and shot somewhere shortly after that scene.

Which reminds me of another thing... because right after that scene, we cut to Captain Needa and his failed attempt to catch the heroes. If one knows that failure in the Imperial fleet means more than just a demotion, why didn't Needa wait until he had actually captured the Falcon before contacting the Super Star Destroyer? That way, if the Falcon got away he could pretend that he had never found it in the first place...


... and now I realise something else. Since the Falcon was latched on Captain Needa's ship and Boba Fett was last seen on Vader's ship, that means that only did Boba Fett get his ship transferred to the garbage desposal area. He got his ship transferred to the garbage desposal area of another ship. The mystery deepens.

Also, I always wondered why nobody on one of the other Star Destroyers could spot the Falcon. Really, it was pretty visible. And why not, one more! On a roll here... Han says that standard Imperial procedure is to dump the garbage before they go to lightspeed but this is the only time we ever see that... and (okay, this is the last one, I promise)... how come Captain Needa's ship has so many enormous pieces of garbage anyway? These weren't foil wrappers and soft drink cans floating out into space.

Weird. Anyway, like I said. I'll stop. Still, great post, Mr Pye. Love your work. And happy holidays to you all.
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#26 User is offline   Mr Pye Icon

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 03:04 PM

View PostJust your average movie goer, on 24 December 2009 - 01:56 AM, said:

... and now I realise something else. Since the Falcon was latched on Captain Needa's ship and Boba Fett was last seen on Vader's ship, that means that only did Boba Fett get his ship transferred to the garbage desposal area. He got his ship transferred to the garbage desposal area of another ship. The mystery deepens.


That is a very interesting observation. One that I haven't made myself before. At some time Boba must have flown from the super destroyer to Needa's destroyer (or whoever took command after Needa). I suppose Boba may have seen Falcon on his way in, signalled whoever was in charge and requested to dock in the garbage hangar. But I still have to wonder why tracing the falcon to Cloud City was a better option than calling in reinforcement and oh, say recommend the destroyers not to go to lightspeed. Maybe the whole thing was Vaders idea.

It also raises the question if Han saw him coming or not. Han may not be familiar with Boba Fett or his ship at all perhaps, though he did mention a bounty hunter at Ordmendell earlier in the movie, and if one takes in consideration the Special Edition (which I prefer not to do) he might have noticed Boba in the hangar on Tatooine.

But all this demonstrates a strength in the OT that I oftern thought the prequels could have benefitted form. Beacuse we learn that he traces them to Bespin and this helps the Empire set a trap, we are given a decent reason for Bobas actions which allows us to let the untold go. Despite not knowing exactly how it happened we know why it happened and that alone can make us feel a logic in it.

The prequels too are full of little weird things, like why Darth Maul decides to land his ship out in the desert a good distance from the city, but we are never hinted any reasons why he made this choice, and frankly I'm at a loss to find one. All the more confusing to because his droids apparently can't transmit information but have to travel all the way out to him to beep him in face.

This isn't a prequel thread but I would still invite everone to to look at TPM from the time the droid first discovers Qui-Gon & co. until Maul hops on his little black scooter and chase them down. By appraising the time duration of everything Qui-Gon & co. does in between these two points you can make a good guess of how long it took the droid to travel back out to Mauls landing place.

This of course is really a problem of poor editing.
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Posted 27 December 2009 - 12:58 AM

I can't say I really remember that particular bit. All I really remembered about Darth Maul was that he had a lot of press before the movie and then when we saw him onscreen, he had absolutely no presence. Thankfully, the memories are fading away. Oh and I remember knowing that the whole thing was very wrong before I had even seen it. The preview had too much CGI for one thing and I remember asking someone who had seen it about how long it takes during the movie before we see Anakin Skywalker as an adult. When to my stunned disbelief, my friend told me that Anakin remained a child for the duration of the film, I knew something was up... you know, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" and all that. Since people still want to talk about the effects the prequels had on the franchise, maybe we can take the thread off the original topic for a while and look at what I will call...

The Damage Report How the prequels have hurt the franchise.

Public perception:

For the uninitiated and those who only have a passing knowledge of Star Wars, the prequels have given a lot of people the wrong idea about it. I'm sure some of you have had the experience of telling someone that Star Wars is a great film, only to hear a reply along the lines of "Really? It's so childish, the plot is non-existant and there's so much CGI and slapstick rubbish..." It's annoying have to explain that you're not talking about these things. I really wish that Lucas had the decency to give his prequels another name so as not to sully that of the original movies.

The DVDs

This is just a seemingly endless source of irritation, isn't it? I remember when the format had just come out and everyone was wondering when the Star Wars trilogy was going to be released on it and now, years later, after even Rob Schneider films have been given the clean up and anamorphic treatment that is standard in preparing a film for DVD, we are still waiting. Making it even more frustrating is the fact that Lucas keeps releasing and releasing the altered versions, trying to trick Star Wars fans into buying the things over and over again. What's more is that a lot of people probably wouldn't know about the alterations until they took the DVDs home. I mean, why would they? Nobody else but Lucas does this. I know some of you might think of director's cuts but they're always clearly labelled in large print. It's not the same. To give you an idea of what it would be like to some innocent shopper who didn't know, imagine you've bought the Dark Knight on DVD and then when you put it in your player, you discover that Nolan has replaced Maggie Gyllenhaal (however you spell that) with Katie Holmes and dubbed Christian Bale's Batman voice using some unknown Orson Welles impersonator.

It begs belief and the worst part is that there seems to be no end in sight to this ongoing drama. If only 20th Century Fox had kept the rights to the films, we might have been able to avoid this.

Yes, I know the 1997 special editions had already brought in alterations but look at the nature of them. There was a lot of CGI. You had new scenes that were just silly like tiny critters riding kangaroo rats outside of Mos Eisley, a droid swatting another droid, Jawas falling off their mounts and acting like clowns, Jabba and Han repeating the earlier conversation with Greedo word for word... these are all examples of the approach that Lucas would take to everything he did in the future. Also, the worst of the alterations and the most intrusive were ones that were made to incorporate prequel elements.

The games

The foolish decision made with the prequels to focus almost exclusively on Jedi Knights at the expense of a well fleshed out universe has affected the creativity in the design of LucasArts games. It seems that all they can do now is make Jedi focused games. It's a real shame because they used to have excellent first person shooters like Dark Forces as well as flying games. I never played the X-Wing games myself but a lot of people said these were really good. Now, it's all about Jedi and I don't know about you but when you have games that just involve fighting Jedi after Jedi, it gets a bit boring and repetitive. There are some exceptions out there, like Battlefront but still. Also, I don't like being reminded about the prequels in those things either.

I might post some more later.
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#28 User is offline   Just your average movie goer Icon

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 07:19 AM

Resuming where I left off...

The Extended Universe

For a lot of fans, this phrase is almost like a dirty word and it's completely understandable. There is a lot of crap in the Extended Universe. Not all of this is Lucas' fault but one could lay blame on him for placing a constraint over authors that forces them to acknowledge anything written by another author. This problem was then compounded by the fact that the publishers let some really terrible authors have a crack at writing in the series. The worst of these authors is undoubtedly Kevin J Anderson, a man who is so bad at writing that to say he writes like a child is demeaning to children. At the moment, he is churning out Dune books and ruining that universe. Dune fans, I feel your pain. Actually, I was surprised that he had even read Dune because I got the impression from his writing that he was illiterate.

Anyway, some of you may know that I'm a huge fan however of Timothy Zahn, who's basically the father of the extended universe. His first books - Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command - were, and still are, the best things that have happened to Star Wars since The Empire Strikes Back came out. They do what that movie did and what Return of the Jedi failed to do. They expanded the Star Wars galaxy, brought in new characters and settings and made the place much more interesting. For a lot of fans, they're Episodes VII, VIII and IX. For me, they're Episodes IV, V and VI but that's only because Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and those scenes in Return of the Jedi I like are Episodes I, II and III. Anyway, they're good. Damn good.

Zahn's later work however just isn't up to the same standard. It's still entertaining but it's limited. The next two books he made after that were that way because he had to acknowledge and clean up the mess that Kevin J Anderson and others had made. However, everything after that was affected by the prequels. It's clear he tried to keep prequel elements to a minimum but he had one book that was set before Star Wars that looked as though it had been in the works for a long time and unfortunately, it's full of prequel elements and in the end, it's only half the book that it could have been... and no doubt was meant to have been.

Furthermore, the prequel fanatics have taken over the extended universe now, making a whole lot of silly Jedi focused books. Again with that narrow focus, they limit the potential breadth of their stories. If the original Star Wars trilogy had just been about lightsaber fights, then we wouldn't be watching it now. There was more than that. It had interesting worlds, skirmishes with laser blasters, ground battles, space battles, humour, a splash of romance, comraderie etc. The Jedi-only focus of prequel driven Star Wars narratives leaves the audience with a cold and rather sterile world. Now, if the people who like this kind of thing had just stuck to writing in the prequel time period, it wouldn't be too bad. However, they decided to have a whole lot of new Jedi appear after the early Extended Universe stories and so now, they've got a whole lot of Jedi stories at that end of the spectrum with classic Star Wars trapped in the middle on it. Everything I've heard about the New Jedi Order is offputting and a lot of it sounds like the prequels being put on paper. This leaves no more room for stories about the Rebellion-New Republic fighting the remnant forces of the Empire... and Star Wars needs the Rebellion and the Empire. Without them, it's not Star Wars.

Which brings me to the final item of the damage report...

Missed opportunities

You know, Star Wars could easily have been like James Bond. The series could just keep going and going and as demonstrated by the introduction of Lando and how ineffectual Han was in Return of the Jedi, one could easily argue that characters could come and go and it wouldn't negatively affect the series. The Empire is big. The rebellion is small. Even with the destruction of the second Death Star and the deaths of the Emperor and Darth Vader, their battle could keep going for ages with new and exciting adventures all the time. They could start with making Zahn's original trilogy into films and keep going from there, although there are other possibilities that could have worked just as well.

Now, when the prequels came out, the principle actors from the original Star Wars trilogy were probably young enough to reprise their roles, at least for the time required to hand the reigns over to new characters. It could have happened and maybe we could look forward to a new Star Wars movie every few years in much the same way as we look forward to new Bond films. Instead, we got three spectacularly bad films that will ensure that no one in their right mind will pay money to see a new Star Wars movie again.






Okay, back to the main topic of the thread. More oddities.

Mr Pye, the Han Solo/Boba Fett mystery deepens even more as something else comes to mind. How come Han couldn't see Boba Fett's ship on the radar? In Star Wars, he knew that TIE fighter was behind him so why not this ship? Or are to believe that along with the hyperdrive and the onboard Espresso maker, the Falcon's radar systems were malfunctioning too?

Also there's another thing with Luke and Leia. Yeah, I know, I said I wouldn't go over the obvious oddities but in making them siblings, Lucas overlooked more than just the fact that they'd shared kisses in both of the previous films. In Star Wars, when Vader's flying behind Luke, he comments that "The force is strong with this one." And he makes this observation while he's in another ship, not having even met Luke. Yet, he spends a lot of time with Leia, capturing her, interrogating her, keeping her company while Tarkin blows up her planet and not once does he get an inkling that Leia's strong in the force. Something else that Lucas didn't think about when he made that dumb decision.

The last oddity for my list today however is about the aliens and their languages. Has anyone else noticed that no aliens speak English until Return of the Jedi? It's weird. In fact, when I watched the whole trilogy again recently, it seemed very strange to me when Admiral Ackbar rocks up, opens his Mon Calamarian mouth and starts speaking English. Also, Jabba and Bib Fortuna speak English sometimes as well. Not all the time but then at random stages, they just do it for no reason.

Like Bib Fortuna for instance at one point says to Jabba "He's no Jedi."

And Jabba... actually, he speaks English a lot! "Welcome Chewbacca" "Come protocol droid" "He's using an old Jedi mind trick."

I wonder why they need a protocol droid at all unless it's to work out the many subtle variations of the word "Yoto" that Leia uses:

"Yoto yoto." - Translation: I have come for the bounty on this wookie.

"Yoto." - Translation: Fifty thousand, no less.

"Yoto." - Translation: Because he saw a thermal detonator.

There must be something subtle in the intonation there that only someone with Threepio's gift for languages can pick up on.

This post has been edited by Just your average movie goer: 27 December 2009 - 07:22 AM

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 05:35 PM

If only a Sith deals in absolutes, then apparently Yoda become one during his exile on Dagobah.

"Do or do not, there is no try"
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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:49 AM

Yes, if we acknowledge the prequels. I still just want to look at the oddities of the trilogy in its own right. I thought of another one:

The Empire doesn't comply with workplace health and safety guidelines

Remember when Ben Kenobi goes to shut down the power to the tractor beam? That path that he walks along is narrower than any walkway I've ever seen. In fact, it's narrower than your average window ledge. However, in a manner similar to a window ledge, it is positioned over a drop. Unlike most window ledges though, the drop is quite substantial - one of the bottomless pits that are so popular with the architects and engineers of the Empire - but unlike narrow ledges over sheer drops in other situations, there is absolutely no railing to speak of.

Now, if you skip ahead to Return of the Jedi, some improvements are made but they still seem to be inadequate. Walkways are not impossibly narrow now. In fact, one can stand with their feet shoulder width apart and still have each foot on solid ground. However, the bottomless pits seem to still be there - no doubt they are of vital importance because no proper Imperial facility seems to be built without them - and what's more, the railing is of insufficient height. This is particularly dangerous for people of greater stature such as Darth Vader, who could trip over them easily but even somebody of slight build like Luke Skywalker could still be at risk.

Then there is the dangerous practice of positioning a couple of technicians half a foot away from a massive horizontal shaft which focuses a laser blast powerful enough to tear a planet to shreds. One wonders what it is that these technicians do, why they need to be there to do it and finally, what must be going through their minds when such a blast rips through. Amazingly enough, both in Star Wars and Return of the Jedi, they seem to survive such occurences, despite their proximity to the high powered beams - but this seems to be entirely down to sheer silly luck. If the Death Stars hadn't been destroyed, they most certainly would have brought their complaints up at their next union meetings.

This post has been edited by Just your average movie goer: 28 January 2010 - 03:49 AM

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