Saturday, April 2, 2011

When Star Wars Doesn't Make Sense

For almost a year I've been trying to compile a list of my favourite films of all time. While it may be an easy task for some it has been rather difficult for me because I love film. However one film I know which easily fits into my top 10 is the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope. Even though I saw ROTJ first, A New Hope has a special place in my heart.

I don't know too many people who haven't seen at least A New Hope or even both trilogies because they're very easy to follow. But lately I've discovered that there are some really confusing things in almost all the movies that no one ever brings up and they just confuse me. These are in no particular order so try to stay with me as I go from one spot to another in a galaxy far, far away...

...people actually appreciated George Lucas' storytelling abilities

1) They elected Queen Amidala?- In The Phantom Menace, there is a scene where Queen Amidala addresses the Galactic Senate and tells them, "I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee."

Now, I don't know a lot about monarchies but are Queens elected? I don't think so. At first I attributed the line to just a simple flub be it intentional or not. Amidala was under a lot of stress at the time, it's understandable to screw up a word or two. But then in the next movie, Attack of the Clones, she says that she was relieved that her two terms were up. So wait, the planet of Naboo decided that the best person to elect as Queen, to be their leader was a teenage girl? What the hell is the matter with this planet? They have a fourteen year old in charge and are then surprised that the Trade Federation wants to invade?

Of course there's another line in Clones, that Amidala makes that just leaves you in shock that the Gungans didn't take over: "I wasn't the youngest Queen ever elected." They elected a baby? Is that what she's saying? They elected a baby or a preschooler? Good Christ, what is going on?

The New Queen of Naboo. She was elected in a landslide

2) Princess Leia's REALLY Good Memory-In Return of the Jedi, just before Luke leaves to confront Vader, he decides to tell the Leia the truth about themselves (They're brother and sister). He starts off easy, to break the ice. This is actual dialogue from the movie:

Luke: Leia, do you remember your mother? Your real mother?

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

Luke: What do you remember?

Leia: Just images, really. Feelings. She was very beautiful, kind but...sad.

Now this would all be fine and acceptable except for the fact that their mother dies moments after they're born. What's equally baffling is that Luke was born first and he admits that he has no memory of his mother. Hell, Uncle Owen probably told her she died after a wild orgy with Jabba the Hutt and Bib Fortuna.

And despite Leia being just ten seconds old, she was able to remember that her mother was very beautiful, kind yet sad...the sad part understandable since she was dying and everything. I don't know how the hell this is possible considering most people don't remember most of the first few years of my life. Hell, do you want to know what I remember from when I was a baby? Shoving a raisin up my nose. Maybe Lucas shouldn't have rushed that death scene so quickly...

Oh and equally confusing is why she's screaming so much during childbirth. I've noticed that during childbirth in both Star Trek and Star Wars, despite all this wonderous technology, machines that make food out of thin air, abilities to travel across solar systems in a second...they still don't have a way to make childbirth painless. Why did they keep calling her 'Princess' after her kingdom was destroyed?

3) Obi-Wan's Relationship with Anakin: This is what Obi-Wan Kenobi says about Anakin Skywalker when discussing him in A New Hope.

"He was the best star-pilot in the galaxy. And a cunning warrior...and he was a good friend."

Repeat that over and over as you watch Episodes II and III. Obi-Wan is constantly on Anakin's ass like he's some demented kid who likes to start fires and isn't taking his ADD medication. I can't really sense any form of friendship, it's more like Obi-Wan's just tolerating him. Somewhere along the line I honestly think that George Lucas forgot to watch the first trilogy before writing the prequels. Here's some dialogue from ROTJ where Obi-Wan talks to Luke about his father and I'll give you my version of how it should have gone.

(ROTJ) Obi-Wan: "Anakin was a good friend. When I first knew him, your father was already a great pilot. But I was amazed how strongly the Force was with him. I took it upon myself to train him as a Jedi. I thought that I could instruct him just as well as Yoda...I was wrong."

(Schweitzer-Man Version) Obi-Wan: "Anakin was a royal pain in the ass 90% of the time. When I first met him, I guess he was a good pilot or something. He won this race that I never saw and to be honest, I really didn't want him around. I would have rather hung out with Jar-Jar. Jar-Jar, man! I mean, I thought he was dangerous. But then my mentor died and he sorta guilted me into training him. We...were at odds most of the time, I was usually yelling, he was usually pouting. And then he killed everyone so I chopped off his arms and legs. The end. Oh and that part about him wanting you to have his lightsaber? Yeah, I was just fuckin' with ya."

"Hey, Luke, want to hear some more bullshit about your father?"

4) The Younglings: Just repeat that word over and over to yourself. Seriously, George, why?

5) The Rebels Just Stay There-In A New Hope, we see the Rebel Alliance launch a squadron of thirty ships to try to destroy the Death Star. As soon as the battle commences Princess Leia, 3PO and other leaders watch the battle unfold on the computer and hear how they have fifteen minutes until the Death Star is in firing range of the moon they're hiding on.

Now, I'm not too nitpicky about the Death Star not just blowing up the planet they were orbiting and then blowing up the moon because there might be some other reason, like the Death Star can only fire it's main weapon once an hour or something-I'm just speculating.

But, think about this, they've got the plans to the Death Star, they're a pretty large threat to the Empire and if the mission failed they could always get more people to join...yet they're just standing around waiting to get blown up. No ships are being launched to get out of there, they're just watching. Hell, when the computer announces that the Death Star is in firing range, Princess Leia gives a look like she's thinking, "Ooh, we better come up with a Plan B." Good thing Luke was a good shot. I know that it's all for dramatic tension'd be nice if someone said WHY they were staying.

"OK, they'll be firing in about four seconds. Does anyone want to go start the car?"

6) What Was the Empire Waiting For?-In The Empire Strikes Back, our stranded heroes of Han Solo, Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO find refuge in Cloud City from Han's friend Lando Calrissian. Of course it isn't until later that we find out...

As the stormtroopers file in with their guns pointed at our heroes, Lando says, "I had no choice. They arrived right before you did."

OK, if that's the case, then what were they waiting for? They let them feel comfortable, change their clothes...why? What was the point of that? Were they so busy touring Cloud City that they just forgot and cried, "Oh shit, we forgot we got to capture the rebels."

Hell, a stormtrooper blows up C-3PO just a few minutes after they arrived. So what, was Darth Vader just feeling like a dick and decided, "I'm going to ruin their vacation!!!" Oh and as an added bonus, Han sees Vader and right there decides to try and blow his brains out. It doesn't do him any good, mind you, but there you go George Lucas: Han DID shoot first! Although now that I've pointed it out he'll probably re-release ESB and change the scene so that Vader gets off a shot that he stupidly misses. God, I need a drink just thinking about that.

7) It was NOT a Trap!-We all know the meme. Even those who never saw ROTJ know of the line and even the name of the character who said it. But if you really think about it, Admiral Ackbar was not much of leader and neither was Lando.

So, the Rebels have got all their ships to do a 'Do-Or-Die' showdown with the second Death Star, with smaller, one-man fighters flying inside and blowing it up by destroying it's reactor. However to get inside, the Death Star's shield, which is generated on the moon of Endor, must be deactivated. So they arrive and found out it's still up just as they're about to go in. So all the ships turn around and one officer shouts, "Admiral, we have enemy ships in sector 37!"

So the fleet turns around to find an armada of Imperial Star Destroyers waiting for them however only the small TIE fighters are attacking. Things quickly change when the Death Star starts firing on the Rebel ships. So Lando decides that the only way for them to survive is for them to engage the Star Destroyers at point blank range, which upsets Ackbar.

Ackbar: At that close range we won't last long against those Star Destroyers!

Lando: We'll last longer than we will against that Death Star. And we might just take a few of them with us!

Now, I don't claim to know what was going through Lando's mind when that battle was happening. But I really think he forgot how vast space really is. For example, he knows that on one end, there is a powerful space station and at the other, there is a fleet of enemy ships? Two questions: 1) Why didn't Lando order the fleet to go around the Death Star?

There sure is a lot behind the Death Star...

I mean, the Death Star doesn't look like it can turn 360 in a few seconds and it would take the Star Destroyers time to catch up.

2) Why not just...go down? I don't mean surrender but why not just use your thrusters and descend like, 5000 meters? Kirk did it in Wrath of Khan, why these ships can't is beyond me.

So, for Ackbar to claim that the scenario there were in was a trap, would be like if you were walking towards an exit when all of a sudden you see a mob of zombies marching towards you. Is that a trap? No, just use your damn head. Trap my ass.

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